A MURAL celebrating 20th century shipbuilding on the Clyde has recently been completed at the Maid of the Loch.

The charity which owns the Maid, which has been hauled out of the water for essential repairs, hopes to return the ship in working order to the loch and one day to be able to carry passengers on day trips again.

To commemorate the ship, and the pride taken in local shipbuilding, a mural has been completed for the public to visit.

The stunning artwork, which can be found at the new slipway cabin, was commissioned by the Loch Lomond Steamship Company as part an ongoing heritage project to create a new exhibition space for the ship - the last paddle steamer to be built on the River Clyde.

Illustrator and mural painter Barry Jenkins from Glasgow was chosen to create the artwork due to his experience and his outstanding ability to capture life, past and present, and to bring it to life with creative flair.

Barry said: “The brief was to create a mural based on shipbuilding and specifically the building of the Maid of the Loch.

"The mural shows the hard work that goes into shipbuilding. Inspiration was drawn from artists such as Stanley Spencer and Peter Howson.

"After spending some time around the Maid of the Loch, visiting the Winch House, and speaking to a few of the staff and volunteers, I started to formulate an idea and created a rough design from the visit.

"Like Stanley Spencer's paintings I wanted the mural to be busy looking, with lots of activity and machinery everywhere.

"I felt that the large cogs in the winch house had to feature in the mural as they are so visually striking.

"There is also a photo in one of the brochures that shows the progress of the staff removing a hatch to one of the paddles on the ship.

"I found this to be a perfect fit for the direction I would like the mural to go so I added that.

"There are sections of ship, cranes, supports, winch cogs and a paddle all featured in the mural.

"The people in the mural are dressed as they would have been when the Maid of the Loch was getting built.

"They are all working on tasks that were required for shipbuilding on the Clyde. You might notice there is a woman burner working in the foreground.

"Whilst the workforce was largely male, there were plenty of female workers also. It was a pleasure to paint this mural right next to the Maid.

"It made it a memorable experience for myself, and I hope that it shows in the mural. Thanks to all the staff there for being so knowledgeable and accommodating.

"It makes all the difference when you know people are doing this to preserve part of Clyde built history for the love of it.”

The Maid was built by workers at the A. & J. Inglis yard at Pointhouse in Glasgow - the same yard that built the world-famous Waverley - and was transported in pieces to Balloch and reassembled there before being launched in 1953. 

Charli Summers, activities coordinator at Maid of the Loch, said: "We are delighted with the artwork.

"It really captures the feel and activities of a working shipyard and is set mid-century when the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer was built.

"Our heritage project involves creating an exhibition space, showcasing important collections and stories surrounding shipbuilding, engineering and social histories involved in building the paddle steamer."

The mural is open to the public and can be found on the slipway.