Amnesty ap­peal for lost boat parts starts to de­liver

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

They hope peo­ple, es­pe­cially those who col­lect ship­ping mem­o­ra­bilia, can help find or re­turn plun­dered parts from the pad­dle steamship which was de­com­mis­sioned in 1981.

The char­ity’s chair­man, John Bev­eridge, said: “We hope this ap­peal will cap­ture peo­ple’s hearts and imag­i­na­tions, and that those who may have pieces of the ship will con­sider re­turn­ing them – es­pe­cially when they know that we are gen­uinely in the fi­nal stage of fundrais­ing to sail the ship again.

“Af­ter a lo­cal ap­peal a few years ago, the ship’s bell was re­turned to us anony­mously. It was in good con­di­tion and had clearly been kept by some­one who wanted to pro­tect this im­por­tant piece of the Maid’s her­itage.

“We know that, sadly, a lot of the ma­te­rial taken from the Maid when she was left derelict, like brass fit­tings and rail­ings, were sold off for scrap. But the re­turn of the bell showed us that peo­ple also took items in or­der to keep them safe for the fu­ture. Re­cently, the ship’s wheel was also re­turned to us anony­mously.”

Mr Bev­eridge added: “We are so grate­ful to the kind peo­ple who pre­served and re­turned the bell and the wheel – such im­por­tant parts of the ship’s her­itage. They will be vi­tal to our cur­rent ef­forts to re­store the ship and we hope this ex­am­ple will in­spire others to take a look at their col­lec­tions and con­sider re­turn­ing any items they find from the Maid.

“We have a gen­er­ous pledge of £3.8mil­lion from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund and we are cur­rently work­ing to raise the match fund­ing for this. So the Maid has a gen­uine, on­cein-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity right now to sail again, and we hope this might in­spire peo­ple to help us to re­store the ship both by do­nat­ing and help­ing us to re­cover lost pieces of the ship.”

In 1996, the Loch Lomond Steamship Com­pany took on re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ship and set out on a mis­sion to fully re­store her to sail again. They have launched this amnesty ap­peal for the re­turn of miss­ing items, to time with a fi­nal fundrais­ing push that is cur­rently un­der­way.

Three weeks ago, the char­ity launched a crowdfunding cam­paign with a tar­get to raise £125,000 in just six weeks, to buy and in­stall the special steam boiler that will power the en­gine and thus re­store the “heart” of Maid of the Loch.

To re­spond to the ap­peal for miss­ing items and the fundrais­ing cam­paign go to www.maid­ofth­e­

The char­ity is keen to thank Ian Gil­lies – who did not take the build plate, but acted as bro­ker to en­sure its re­turn.

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