The restoration of the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer has received a significant boost thanks to the Summerlee Heritage Museum in Coatbridge.

The ship has received two boiler feed pumps from the museum, a critical component in getting the ship sailing once again.

Both pumps, one which has been donated and the other gifted on long-term loan, are identical to the Maid’s original boiler feed pumps, and are part of the crucial work needed to replace the lost engine room machinery, which was pillaged during the years the ship lay derelict.

The equipment will pump fresh water from the loch directly into the boiler room to help generate steam.

The Summerlee boost is welcome news for the restoration project after the shock failure last month of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £3.46 million to support the project.

Weighing more than 300 kilos, the pumps were transported from Summerlee directly to the Maid’s home on Balloch Pier by local company Galt Transport, who provided specialised transfer of the pumps.

John Beveridge, director of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said: “This generous gift lies at the heart of our dream to have the Maid of the Loch once again in full steam operation on Loch Lomond.

“The importance of these pumps to the ship cannot be underestimated as without them, the dream of the Maid sailing again would be even more challenging.

“We know how difficult it would be to get these pumps specially made and installed, so to have such a significant piece of machinery gifted in this way is something for which we are extremely grateful.

“It is very reassuring, after recent setbacks, to see Summerlee and Galt Transport having such faith in our journey.”

Clare Weir, collections and exhibitions manager at Summerlee Heritage Museum, said: “When we heard that the Loch Lomond paddle steamer needed two feed pumps to get it operational again, we were more than happy to oblige.

“The pumps have been in storage at Summerlee Museum for a number of years, and it is great to know that they will help power such an important part of Scotland’s maritime heritage.”