THE last paddle steamer to be built in Britain is set to be winched out of the waters of Loch Lomond for the first time in 40 years this week.

The Maid of the Loch is scheduled to be hauled on to a specially built cradle on the 120-year-old Balloch Steam Slipway on Wednesday, July 14.

The charity which owns the Maid plans to carry out a detailed survey of the ship’s hull once she’s out of the water to determine the amount of work required to get the 1953-built ship into a good enough condition to, hopefully, sail on the loch for the first time since 1981.

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The operation has been more than two years in the planning after an unsuccessful attempt in January 2019 when the original cradle snapped and the ship slid back into the loch.

The Loch Lomond Steamship Company estimates that the winching operation, which is due to begin at 11am on Wednesday, will take around four hours to complete.

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