AN organisation working hard to get a steamer sailing again on Loch Lomond has received a huge funding boost.

Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC) has announced its delight in getting a substantial grant from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), with its worldwide membership once more supporting the restoration of the historic paddle steamer Maid of the Loch.

LLSC is also contributing a vital in-kind element to the funding package by providing free labour from their group of volunteers who work in the many and varied roles required to ensure the ship will sail again.

To top it all off, at its AGM, the Scottish Branch of PSPS made payment for the redesign and production of a new bow crest which will be installed once the new hull coating has been applied.

Ruth Davies, who is a highly regarded wood carver, manufactured the new crest using old images of the original and Jim McGregor, the ship’s painter, did the paintwork.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

And Jim Mitchell, heritage engineer at the Maid, was keen to acknowledge the continuing support of PSPS.

He said: “It is very heartening to know that fellow enthusiasts have faith in our crew’s ability here at the Maid to take the ship another step along the road of complete restoration. We won’t disappoint them.”

The organisation received another award from Barr Environmental Ltd through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund. The combined funding will allow the completion of work to the hull making the boat watertight for many years.

Gordon Wilson, vice chairman of PSPS, said: “We are very pleased to see the Maid’s journey back to sailing being undertaken by such an enthusiastic group of folk – all volunteers – which makes it all the more remarkable. We are keen to support that endeavour. Having the hull in good condition once more will be a major milestone in the restoration.”