Charity Pumps Life Back into Maid of the Loch
Maid of the Loch has taken a step forward in getting the Loch Lomond paddle steamer up and running thanks to Summerlee Heritage Museum. The ship has received two boiler feed pumps from the museum, a critical component in getting the ship sailing once again.
Both pumps, one which has been donated and the other gifted on long-term loan, are identical to the Maid’s original boiler feed pumps, and come as part of the crucial work needed to replace the lost engine room machinery, which was pillaged during the years the ship lay derelict. The vital equipment will pump fresh water from the loch directly into the boiler room to help generate steam. Once operational, visitors to the Maid will be able to enjoy the ship ‘in full steam’ again as it sails through the water.
The 300+ kilo pumps were transported from Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge directly to the Maid’s home on Balloch Pier by local company Galt Transport, who provided specialised transfer of the pumps.
John Beveridge, Director of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said: “This generous gift lies at the heart of our dream to have the Maid of the Loch once again in full steam operation on Loch Lomond.
“The importance of these pumps to the ship cannot be underestimated as without them, the dream of the Maid sailing again would be even more challenging. We know how difficult it would be to get these pumps specially made and installed, so to have such a significant piece of machinery gifted to us in this way is something for which we are extremely grateful. It is very reassuring, after recent setbacks, to see Summerlee, Museum of Scottish Industrial Life and Galt Transport having such faith in our journey and sharing our vision for the Maid.”
Clare Weir, Collections and Exhibitions Manager at Summerlee Heritage Museum, said: “When we heard that the Loch Lomond paddle steamer needed two feed pumps to get it operational again, we were more than happy to oblige. The pumps have been in storage at Summerlee Museum for a number of years, and it is great to know that they will be in use once again to help power such an important part of Scotland’s maritime heritage.”
The Maid currently operates as a static tourist attraction and hopes to gain industrial museum status for the ship and steam slipway as a growing number of artefacts are collected and restored to working condition.
Charity Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC) have worked tirelessly since 1996 to transform and restore the ship, with the aim of bringing her ‘back to life’ and fully operational once again.