The Maid's News

Maid of the Loch celebrates 65th Anniversary with new patron - Lord Robert Smith of Kelvin

Maid of the Loch celebrates 65th Anniversary with new patron - Lord Robert Smith of Kelvin

Balloch based charity, the Loch Lomond Steamship Company LLSC which is currently raising funds to restore the much-loved Lomond paddle steamer, the Maid of the Loch, celebrates its 65th launch anniversary this Monday, March 5, by announcing the appointment of their new Patron - Lord Robert Smith of Kelvin, KT CH.

LLSC Chairman John Beveridge who has driven the restoration project for the last 22 years explains, “We are absolutely thrilled to have Lord Smith on board. He shares our passion for paddle steamers and he can see the commercial viability once the restoration of the Maid of Loch is complete.”

Maid of the Loch is the centrepiece of a £5.5 million project to return her to full steam operation on Loch Lomond that will create approximately 30 jobs and multiple training opportunities that are key to the regeneration plans for the area. The charity has already raised a whopping £4.5 million already and they are quietly confident that it can reach its target with in the next few months.

Lord Smith said, “I am delighted with my latest role as Patron of the Maid of the Loch. The Loch Lomond Steamship Company have worked hard to raise the funds and just need that final push to raise £1 million required to get the refurbishment started. It is an enterprising project that both retains, enhances and celebrates Scottish shipbuilding and our engineering skills, and will be also create a stunning tourist attraction of one of the country’s most famous beauty spots”.

Built by Glasgow shipbuilders A&J Inglis of Pointhouse, although their old shipyard is long gone, it was situated where The Riverside Museum in Glasgow now stands.

The Maid is the only known example left in Britain of an “Up and Doon” ship – whereby she was built and bolted together in the shipyard, but then disassembled and transported to her final destination of Loch Lomond. Then rebuilt, riveted and then launched into Loch Lomond on March 5, 1953.

The Maid of the Loch was given to the Loch Lomond Steamship Company in 1996 and this project is the culmination of 22 years of voluntary effort to get her sailing again. The £5.5 million will restore her to her 1950’s condition, but with 2018 safety and comfort. She will offer cruises from Easter to October and be open as an events and function venue the rest of the year.

LLSC Chairman John Beveridge beams, “With Lord Smith’s support and guidance, I am confident that the Maid will be sailing by next year!”.

The restoration of the Maid of the Loch is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Enterprise, Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER, West Dunbartonshire Council, The Wolfson Trust, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, and a recent public crowdfunding campaign.

Notes to Editors:

Lord Smith of Kelvin, KT CH is currently Chairman of IMI PLC, British Business Bank plc, UK Green Investment Bank plc and SSE plc and Forth Ports Limited, the private ports owner operator and Clyde Gateway the urban regeneration company.

He is the Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and previously chaired the Organising Committee for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the Smith Commission to oversee the process of more devolved powers for the Scottish Parliament.

He was previously Chairman of The Weir Group plc and Stakis plc and a non-executive director on the boards of 3i plc, Bank of Scotland plc and Network Rail.

He was formerly Chairman and Chief Executive of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity and was Chief Executive of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management from 1996 until 2000 before becoming Vice Chairman of Deutsche Asset Management between 2000 and 2002.

Lord Smith was knighted in 1999, for services to the National Museums of Scotland appointed to the House of Lords as an independent cross-bench peer in 2008, and appointed Knight of the Thistle in 2013 and in 2016 was appointed a Companion of Honour.

A chartered accountant by profession, Lord Smith was formerly President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He has also been a Governor of the BBC, and a member of the Financial Services Authority.

John Beveridge is currently the Chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company. He helped set up Scottish Environment Protection Agency SEPA and was a Director there from 1995-2004. Prior to the re-organisation of the Councils, he was the Director of Environmental Protection & Leisure Services Dumbarton District Council 1990-1995 and Depute Director of Environmental Services, Argyll & Bute from 1986-1990.

John was the President of Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland 1995, Fellowship conferred, 1999 and was one of the first to achieve Chartered Environmental Health status 2003.

Please contact weelynn@weepartnership.co.uk or call 07967804257 for further information.