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An engineer from East Kilbride has carried out essential repair work on the Maid of the Loch - 70 years after his father helped build the ship.

The remarkable connection spanning seven decades has delighted Eddie Van der Stighelen whose Belgian father was foreman of the engineering workshop at the Glasgow shipyard where the much-loved paddle steamer was built.

Eddie, whose company specialises in construction industry tools and plant maintenance, offered to restore the Maid of the Loch's windlass after discovering via social media that help was being sought with the ship's renovation.

However, the work took on a much deeper significance because of the family's connection to the ship.

Eddie explained: "My father, Jan Van der Stighelen, was a Belgian national who served in the Belgian Merchant Navy from before WW2 until the war’s end.

"My parents had met during the war and were married in Glasgow in 1943, but after the war they returned to Belgium where their first two children were born.

“In 1951, the family moved from Belgium to Glasgow and my father started working for the shipyard A&J Inglis at Pointhouse.

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"Later that year, work started on building the Maid of the Loch, and as foreman of the engineers shop, his skills would have been in much demand."

The Maid of the Loch was constructed at the Glasgow shipyard, but was dismantled and brought to Balloch where her sections were reassembled.

Eddie said: “My brother, who is four years older than me, remembers being taken in my father’s van to Balloch, presumably to the slipway where the Maid was constructed and launched into Loch Lomond.”

The ship's windlass - which is required for handling the mooring warps - was in poor condition and it had to be dismantled, cleaned and inspected to ensure it could still be made to work again.

Eddie said: "Thanks to the quality of the materials used and the robustness of the design the windlass renovation is almost complete."

Now he hopes his company, Vantech Engineering Services, will be given the chance to carry out more engineering work on the ship.

The Loch Lomond Steamship Company, the charity which owns the Maid, says the repair of the original piece of equipment is another step forward in its aim of returning the historic ship to full sailing condition.

It added: "So the Maid has benefitted from the skills of this amazing engineering family with Jan the father as the shipbuilder and Eddie his son, almost 70 years later, the renovator."

Maid of the Loch is the last paddle steamer to be built in Britain, and sailed on Loch Lomond until 1981.

A £1.1 million refit last year refurbished two of her public rooms back to her 1950s style, and restored her engines back into steam operation for the first time since 1981.