Clyde steamer given £1m anonymous restoration boost

It is hoped TS Queen Mary will be back in service by the summer of 2024.

A famous steamship which once carried passengers including the Queen Mother and King George V has been boosted by a £1m anonymous donation.

The funding will be used in the next phase of the restoration of the TS Queen Mary, in which the vessel’s existing timber decks will be lifted, and new steel decks fabricated and installed.

According to the Friends of TS Queen Mary charity, this is a regulatory requirement and one of the biggest structural undertakings of the ongoing work.

“We are overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of this donor,” said Iain Sim, chairman of the charity.

“This astonishing gift delivers a massive boost to our fundraising efforts. The individual who has made this a substantial cash gift wishes to remain anonymous and we, of course, respect that request.

“But to say we are over the moon is putting it mildly.

“Our work continues to restore an iconic British ship whose proud history serving the Clyde rekindles many memories for tens of thousands of Scots and others across the world.”

It is hoped TS Queen Mary will be back in service by the summer of 2024.

In its heyday, the vessel, built at Dumbarton in 1933, carried 13,000 passengers each week and was known as “Britain’s Finest Pleasure Steamer”.

Royal passengers included then-princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, while other famous people to step aboard included then US first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and music hall legend Sir Harry Lauder.

Robbie Coltrane, who was a patron of the charity up until his death last year, previously said: “I always dared to say that we could put engines back in her and sail her down the Clyde like she did in 1933.

“I believed it could be done, and I believed that it should be done.

“TS Queen Mary is as relevant in the 21st Century as she was almost 90 years ago.

“Now she is coming back to reclaim her throne.”

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