Maid of the Loch appoints new board members to help steer the ship forward
he last paddle steamer to be built in Britain, Maid of the Loch, has appointed two new members to its board of trustees as it nears its final funding target.
Sandy Barr from Bearsden and Gary Stevenson from the North East of England have both joined the historic Balloch-based ship as Directors and will support the team in a bid to get the Maid sailing once again.
Loch Lomond enthusiast Sandy Barr specialises in business transformations and has had a successful career in the manufacturing and service sectors, all of which will prove beneficial at this crucial stage of funding for the ship. Sandy said: “I enjoy a challenge and that is exactly what the Maid represents, an inspiring and nostalgic opportunity to restore the paddle steamer that I once sailed on as a boy.
“With an extensive background in business, I can see the commercial benefits her return to sail will have to the local area and Scotland as a whole, and I look forward to making it a reality.”
Gary Stevenson, currently serving as a Merchant Navy Deck Officer with over 30 years of experience, aims to make significant contributions to the restoration of the ship and help take this forward once operational. He said “It’s a real privilege to be appointed to Maid of the Loch at this crucial stage in her refurbishment.
“I was nominated by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society following their recent generous pledge of £50,000, and it would give me immense pride to see this magnificent paddle steamer return to service on Loch Lomond – one of the most beautiful inland waterways in Scotland.”
John Beveridge, Founder of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, the charity behind the restoration of Maid, added; “It’s a really exciting, yet vital time to welcome Sandy and Gary onboard Maid of the Loch. We’re a small charity that relies heavily on the support of our board members, volunteers and members of the public.
“Everyone who joins the Maid is making history and both these men bring a wealth of knowledge and passion to the cause. Their appointment will prove invaluable in getting her sailing once again.”
The Maid currently operates as a tourist attraction, with a tearoom, teddy trail and free guided tours provided by experienced volunteers.
Donations to return the Maid back to sail can be made through their dedicated website, www.maidoftheloch.org/donate, with the aim of offering cruises from Easter to October, and being open for guided tours, events and function hire the rest of the year.