Steam Railway (UK) - - NEWS FOCUS -

Work has be­gun to re­lease 1937 South­ern Rail­way pad­dle steamer Ryde from its rest­ing place on the Isle of Wight and com­mence the long process of restor­ing it.

Lisa Turner, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Cram­ling­ton‑based ship restora­tion firm Si­ward & Co, is in the fi­nal stages of ne­go­ti­at­ing with Is­land Har­bour Ma­rina near Newport to ac­quire the ves­sel, and ex­pects to com­plete the pur­chase shortly.

Ms Turner told Steam Rail­way:

“A ma­rine ar­chi­tect has car­ried out an ini­tial sur­vey to as­sess her con­di­tion. The sur­vey showed, as we did ini­tially fear, that she does con­tain high lev­els of as­bestos, but her struc­ture it­self is still strong and we can re­move her as we planned.

“We will need to dis­man­tle the ves­sel and re­move her mid‑sec­tion to en­able us to re­move her en­gines.

“We are start­ing talks with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for plan­ning per­mis­sion and to get all the li­cences we need be­fore her re­moval, or be­fore any work starts.”

A GoFundMe page, set up to raise £5,000 to pay for the li­cences, raised just over £1,000 in nine days. Said Ms Turner: “We’re grate­ful to ev­ery­one who has sup­ported us so far. Work should start within seven months, as sum­mer is prefer­able for her re­moval.”

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