THE Maid of the Loch paddle steamer swung to the big band sounds of the HMS Neptune Volunteer Band on Saturday afternoon.

From the apt 'Proud Mary' – inspired by a river paddle boat in Memphis – to getting everyone 'In The Mood' and great vocals from singer Phil Gambon on 'Mr Bojangles', the Maid's visitors were well entertained.

Bd Sgt Annabelinda Hardy ably directed the band, and all donations went to the appeal for the Maid's restoration.

Then, the following day, the classic ship played host to a collection of classic cars.

Eleven beautiful vintage vehicles parked on the pier and were admired and photographed by appreciative visitors. The photo shows an Alvis from the 1950s (left), a 1930s Alvis (middle), and a 1920s Humber (right).

On both days the numbers visiting the Maid were boosted by some of the thousands of people who flocked to the Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival at nearby Loch Lomond Shores.

John Beveridge, director of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, the charity that owns the Maid, said: “As we start to make a big push to raise the £1.7 million we need to unlock the £3.8 million offered by the Heritage Lottery Fund to get the Maid sailing again, we would like to thank everyone who gave a donation at these two marvellous events.

“Thanks, too, to the band members and classic cars owners who made both events possible. We hope to welcome them both back again next year.”

Built in Glasgow at the same yard as the now world-famous Waverley, the Maid – the last paddle steamer to be built in Britain – was launched in 1953 before being brought, in bits, to Balloch by train for reassembly on site.

She sailed on Loch Lomond for 29 years before being taken out of service as changing holiday patterns saw passenger numbers dwindle in the face of cheap breaks to the Spanish sun.

Moored at Balloch pier, she suffered years of neglect, decay and vandalism after being withdrawn in 1981 before being bought by Dumbarton District Council in 1992.

She was handed over four years later to the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, who secured a pledge of £3.8 million for the ship's restoration from the Heritage Lottery Fund, leaving the charity with the task of raising £1.7m to meet the total £5.5m cost of returning the vessel to steam operation.