Glasgow & West Scotland

Steamer TS Queen Mary returns to the Clyde

Queen Mary at Greenock
Image caption The steamer has completed its journey to Greenock

A 1930s steam ship that gave its name to the ocean liner Queen Mary has returned to the Clyde.

TS Queen Mary, one of the oldest Clyde-built steamers, arrived at Greenock on Sunday afternoon after being towed from the Port of Tilbury in Essex.

The 250ft ship has been languishing at the docks for years after falling into disrepair.

A charity backed by Robbie Coltrane is raising funds to restore the ship and berth her permanently in Glasgow.

Friends of TS Queen Mary has raised enough money to make her seaworthy but a further £2m will be needed to complete the restoration.

The group hopes eventually to give her a permanent berth near the Finnieston Crane as an entertainment venue and education centre.


History of a steam ship

Image copyright Cpt Calum Bryce
Image caption TS Queen Mary sailed from Glasgow to places such as Dunoon, Rothesay, Millport and Arran

Built in 1933 at Dumbarton, The TS Queen Mary was one of the last steamships to be launched from the famous Clyde dockyards.

She sailed passengers 'doon the watter' from Glasgow to destinations such as Dunoon, Rothesay, Millport and Arran.

At the outbreak of World War Two, the steamer - known as TS Queen Mary II at the time - became a lifeline for Scotland's island communities.

While other vessels were commandeered to sweep for mines or to protect Scotland's skies from German bombers, she helped maintain a vital passenger and freight service between the mainland and the islands.

As cars became more affordable and British holiday habits changed, she was eventually retired in 1977 and spent several years as a floating restaurant.

In 2008 she was sold to a private owner but plans to restore her failed and she fell into disrepair.


Image copyright Friends of TS Queen Mary
Image caption Donations were secured to enable the ship to undergo essential repairs

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