Star Coltrane launches steamship cam­paign

Evening Times - - NEWS -

SCOTS ac­tor Rob­bie Coltrane has launched a £200,000 cam­paign to re­turn one of the Clyde’s most fa­mous steamships to Glas­gow.

Char­ity group, The Friends of TS Queen Mary, hope to see the ves­sel given a per­ma­nent berth on the river. Coltrane, pa­tron of the char­ity, said: “I used to ad­mire her greatly when she was in Lon­don.

“I al­ways won­dered what had hap­pened to her and I had this aw­ful feel­ing she might have been scrapped. Some­body said to me, ‘you know there’s a char­ity try­ing to bring her home’?

“I was as ex­cited as a school­boy in a sweetie shop. I thought – I bet­ter get in­volved.

“They asked me to be pa­tron and it was a 10-se­cond con­ver­sa­tion.”

Built i n 1933, The Queen Mary was one of the last steamships to come from Glas­gow’s fa­mous Clyde dock­yards. Once the ‘pride of the Clyde’, she sailed pas­sen­gers ‘Doon the Wat­ter’ to des­ti­na­tions such as Rothe­say and Dunoon. Af­ter be­ing re­tired in 1977 she spent sev­eral years as a float­ing restau­rant.

Char­ity founder and trustee Iain Sim said: “The gen­eros­ity of our sup­port­ers has been phe­nom­e­nal.

“We have suc­cess­fully fundraised the cost of re­pairs need to tow her home and we will soon an­nounce which con­trac­tor will carry out that work. In fact, so far the char­ity has in­vested over £200,000 in Queen Mary, from cor­po­rate inkind as­sis­tance, cash and pro­fes­sional time.

“We now need to raise £200,000 to tow her home, where she be­longs. If we reach our tar­get, she could be home as early as this sum­mer.

“The funds will also cover an es­sen­tial dry-dock­ing, Queen Mary’s first since 1997, and all of the nec­es­sary lower hull re­pairs.”

Robbie Coltrane is launch­ing the ap­peal

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