Maid of the Loch

Alistair Black
8th December 2005, 18:57
Some of you may be aware, some of you may not, but Loch Lomond's Maid of the Loch is liable to be leaving her berth of some 24 years at Balloch in late Feb early March next year.

The Heritage Lottery Fund last year gave grant aid towards the restoration of the slipway & winch house at Balloch. The project is to return the slipway to full working condition and much progress has already been made.

The project is on schedule for completion by early March and one of the conditions of completion is that the restored engine, cradle & slipway are in fully operational condition. This of course means that the Maid will be towed across from the pier to the slip, secured on the cradle then hauled out of the water.

Watch this space for further developments!

Alistair.

Hendo!
8th December 2005, 19:12
Yay!

(Applause)

fred henderson
8th December 2005, 20:26
Great news Alistair. Let us hope that all goes well. I remember travelling on her as a schoolboy. It would be wonderful to think it may be possible to repeat the experience as an OAP.

Fred (Applause)

Alistair Black
8th December 2005, 22:31
It will certainly be interesting to see the old girl out of the water after over 12 years of volunteer work in bringing her back from the brink. When I got involved with the Maid she was within 2 inches of sinking due to the accumulated rainwater in her hull. All of her (copper) scupper pipes had been thieved and the bilges were " a little damp"!

I'm sure I have a picture of the Maid taken just before we started work, must dig it out and post it.

Alistair.

Alistair Black
10th December 2005, 00:39
If any site members are in Glasgow next weekend, they will be welcome to the Renfield St Stephens church complex where I'm doing a short talk on this autumn's developments at Balloch. The talk is to the combined meeting of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and the West Highland Steamer Club, members of the public are welcome.

Hope to see some of you there,

Alistair.

Tmac1720
10th December 2005, 16:34
Some details for interest:
Built by Harland and Wolff Pointhouse yard number 1474P launched 5th March 1953 delivered 4th May 1953 555 gross tons for British Railways Scottish Region.

neil maclachlan
10th December 2005, 19:29
Hi Tmac,
Back to the old argument again,most people know Harland and Wolff as Harland and Wolf's, Pointhouse on the other hand may be owned by Harlands but is known as J & A Inglis,where "The Maid of The Loch" was built and engined by" Rankin & Blackmores" of Greenock. If it was'nt for the engines she would'nt go nowhere!
Neil Mac.

EMMESSTEE
11th December 2005, 11:21
I'm not getting into the Harland & Wolff/A & J Inglis argument!!

However, can anyone tell me why the beautiful, white hulled, yellow funnelled "Maid of the Loch" is being restored into a livery of a black topped red funnel with black hull? I can remember her in her prime and I think she was retired in her original 1953 condition, albeit minus her mainmast.

I am delighted that the intention of her restorers is to return her to service on Loch Lomond - but why not in her original livery, I ask? Whilst (thank goodness) her colour scheme is a far cry from the likes of "Queen Mary" and "Tattershall Castle" on the Thames - it is almost in the same vein as an unrealistic repaint job.

----------------
Mike.

Tmac1720
11th December 2005, 12:00
No argument from me I like the company here too much. (Thumb)
However having said that did you know that in its latter years the Belfast yard of Workman Clarke was also owned and controlled by H&W? The main difference being that those vessels did NOT receive H&W yard numbers but simply carried on the original number sequence. Believe me there is a lot about Harland and Wolff that is unknown and is very surprising, they really were a massive orginisation.

Tmac1720
11th December 2005, 12:11
Hi Neil,

Couldn't agree more but then I'm biased as I have an engineering background (Thumb)

As a point of interest did you know that "Maid of the Loch" was actually trial assembled at the Pointhouse yard before being partially dismantled and transported by road to Balloch on Loch Lomond were she was finally put back together again. Also she has two close relatives, well not what you could really consider as sisters. They were 1491P Maid of Argyll and 1492P Maid of Skelmorlie both built in 1953. I have a photo of the "Argyll" I'll dig out and post if you are interested.

Alistair Black
11th December 2005, 13:47
I'm not getting into the Harland & Wolff/A & J Inglis argument!!

However, can anyone tell me why the beautiful, white hulled, yellow funnelled "Maid of the Loch" is being restored into a livery of a black topped red funnel with black hull? I can remember her in her prime and I think she was retired in her original 1953 condition, albeit minus her mainmast.

I am delighted that the intention of her restorers is to return her to service on Loch Lomond - but why not in her original livery, I ask? Whilst (thank goodness) her colour scheme is a far cry from the likes of "Queen Mary" and "Tattershall Castle" on the Thames - it is almost in the same vein as an unrealistic repaint job.

----------------
Mike.


There is a very simple answer to your question, Mike. Upkeep. The job of maintaining a white hull is considerably greater than a black one. We have no full time employees and very little money, so the current colour scheme is one which will make the ship look as presentable as possible with the least upkeep.

Final decision on livery has not yet been made. The 1953 colour scheme is one option, another would be to give her "proper" Loch Lomond colours, ie dove grey hull with brown detail lines, scumbled deckhouses and a red funnel with black top.

Hope this explains things for you,

Alistair.

neil maclachlan
11th December 2005, 17:49
Hi Tmac,
Did not mean to be argumentative,just getting a wee plug in for good old "Rankin & Blackmores" who disappeared many years before the rest of the Clyde Engine Builders ? I have a very interesting book on Clyde Steamers put together by a Kenneth Davies and printed by "Kyle Publications Ltd., Ayr". Illustrates sreamers from1812 untill 1980,a very interesting book. Always had a love for steamers on the Clyde, since I was a wee boy,one of the reasons I went to sea.
Kindest regards,
Neil Mac.

EMMESSTEE
12th December 2005, 03:33
Alistair -

Fully understand the situation of maintenance and the difficulty in keeping white pristine - however, still hope that you will be able to restore her to her original appearance .... is that not what it's all about? As much as the original Loch Lomond company livery you mention is attractive, "Maid of the Loch" was never in it and thus would not be "restored", if she were so painted?

I know that in the railway preservation world, locomotives take on various guises in the manner that they are painted/repainted/renumbered, even remodelled - but I think there's room to do it with the numbers of locomotives left .... there was only one "Maid of the Loch"!!

Good luck to you and your teams of volunteers.

--------------
Mike.

Alistair Black
12th December 2005, 08:53
Alistair -

Fully understand the situation of maintenance and the difficulty in keeping white pristine - however, still hope that you will be able to restore her to her original appearance .... is that not what it's all about?

Partly. The main thrust is to restore her to operational condition rather than original condition.

As much as the original Loch Lomond company livery you mention is attractive, "Maid of the Loch" was never in it and thus would not be "restored", if she were so painted?

I know that in the railway preservation world, locomotives take on various guises in the manner that they are painted/repainted/renumbered, even remodelled - but I think there's room to do it with the numbers of locomotives left .... there was only one "Maid of the Loch"!!"

We are aware of the number of people who feel that she should be returned to her original livery. Given the number of "steamer dreamers" within the volunteer force there is a strong sense of history among the squad too!

Good luck to you and your teams of volunteers.

--------------
Mike.

Thanks for your encouragement,

Alistair.

Fairfield
12th December 2005, 13:42
Would like to see her back with the white hull and yellow funnel but just glad she/s there anyway.
Hope to have a visit in Feb with the CCA.

Bob_F
13th December 2005, 00:27
How I would like to see her again as well Paul.
Cheers.
Bob Frizzell.

EMMESSTEE
13th December 2005, 06:58
We are aware of the number of people who feel that she should be returned to her original livery. Given the number of "steamer dreamers" within the volunteer force there is a strong sense of history among the squad too!







Alistair -

Pray tell - what precisely is a "steamer dreamer"?

Thanks.

----------------
Mike.

John Cassels
13th December 2005, 08:23
Tom young sir,

Ref your post no.10. If the "maid" class were close relatives then they must be
different to the maids I remember.
There were 4 in that class;
Maid of Skelmorlie
Maid of Argyll
Maid of Ashton
Maid of Cumbrae
There were twin screw diesel - British Polar engines

Rgds

jc

Tmac1720
13th December 2005, 14:36
Tom young sir,

Ref your post no.10. If the "maid" class were close relatives then they must be
different to the maids I remember.
There were 4 in that class;
Maid of Skelmorlie
Maid of Argyll
Maid of Ashton
Maid of Cumbrae
There were twin screw diesel - British Polar engines

Rgds

jc

John,
I don't have any knowledge of Ashton or Cumbrae and they certainly don't appear in any Harland and Wolff records, nor can I find any reference to those vessels in the Inglis records I have. I must assume therefore they were built by another yard. I'm sorry I can't be of any more help than that. I've posted the photograph of Maid of Argyll on the slips so perhaps that might help with identification.

Cheers and regards
Tom (Thumb)

Bruce Carson
13th December 2005, 14:54
Tom young sir,

Ref your post no.10. If the "maid" class were close relatives then they must be
different to the maids I remember.
There were 4 in that class;
Maid of Skelmorlie
Maid of Argyll
Maid of Ashton
Maid of Cumbrae
There were twin screw diesel - British Polar engines

Rgds

jc
Photos of all four may be found here:
http://shipsofcalmac.co.uk/ships_timeline.asp

Bruce C.

Tmac1720
13th December 2005, 15:10
Hopefully I haven't confused anybody when I said the Maid of the Loch had "close relatives" If I did I apologise. (Ouch) I was simply referring to their size, owner and intended service. I'll shut up now (Night)

Alistair Black
13th December 2005, 23:02
Alistair -

Pray tell - what precisely is a "steamer dreamer"?

Thanks.

----------------
Mike.

Steamer dreamer = nutter = shipping enthusiast for the "Railway steamers"

basically, the CLyde coastal maritime equivalent of a trainspotter.

Received a picture todaywhich I shall add to the thread (I hope!). It was taken on the second weekend of work parties and shows the condition of the Maid when we walked on to her. Scary stuff!

Alistair Black
13th December 2005, 23:18
Here we are, Maid of the Loch in May 1993. We had been working for 2 weekends by this point during which time we had: scraped, primed and painted the upperworks for'ard, removed several skiploads of rubbish from the decks & accomodation spaces, replaced several mooring ropes (which had almost rotted through) and pumped so much water out of her bilges that we had raised her between 18 & 24 inches. Imagine the lowest line of portholes being only an inch or two above the surface and you start to get the picture. Scary, isn't it?

Would you believe that we weren't daunted by the ship's condition, we took it as a challenge! That summer of '93 was an amazing time; as a paddle steamer restorer I'll probably never get the chance to bring a ship back from such a state of dilapidation.

I ocasionally forget just how far we have come and it takes images such as this to jolt the memory!


Alistair.

neil maclachlan
14th December 2005, 02:10
Hi Alistair,
Beautifull photograph of the PS Maid Of The Loch,thanks to people like yourself for keeping the memory alive of the age of the Paddle Steamer. The other Maids were Argyll"A&J Inglis", Ashton"Yarrow & Co Ltd", Cumbrae "Ardrossan Dockyard Co Ltd" and Skelmorlie" A&J Inglis.They all had British Polar ,2 stroke,single -acting,6 cylinder diesel engines.
Thanks for the memories,
Neil Mac.

Hendo!
16th December 2005, 19:37
Having seen photos as she was and as she is now ( CLICK THE LINK! (http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/lomond/maidoftheloch/) ), I would have to say I prefer the white with black hull. To me (anyway) it looks a bit more, how shall I say 'paddle steamery'.

It's current colours are very striking, and a nice contrast to the (dare I say it) 'pleasure boat' white. I honestly don't see what is so 'unrealistic' about her current livery.

Well done to the work parties involved.

davidcalgary
18th January 2006, 05:58
How I would like to see her again as well Paul.
Cheers.
Bob Frizzell.
That's exactly how I remember her!

Bruce Carson
18th January 2006, 13:18
[QUOTE=fred henderson]Great news Alistair. Let us hope that all goes well. I remember travelling on her as a schoolboy. It would be wonderful to think it may be possible to repeat the experience as an OAP.
Fred (Applause)

Me too.

Holy Mackerel, Fred, are we really that old?

Bruce C

Semaj
22nd January 2006, 18:23
Having seen photos as she was and as she is now ( CLICK THE LINK! (http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/lomond/maidoftheloch/) ), I would have to say I prefer the white with black hull. To me (anyway) it looks a bit more, how shall I say 'paddle steamery'.

It's current colours are very striking, and a nice contrast to the (dare I say it) 'pleasure boat' white. I honestly don't see what is so 'unrealistic' about her current livery.

Well done to the work parties involved.

I agree it looks much nicer now, all white would be too hard to maintain and I hate it to fall back into disrepair when the novelty wears of with the landlubbers.

Jim.

agentroadrunner
3rd February 2006, 20:41
A beautiful wee boat, my father was Mate on her in the 60's. A real shame to see the state she got into and a huge vote of thanks to the guys who have brought her back from the brink but she looks like a poor man's waverley or worse a MacBrayne's cargo boat in that livery, the yacht colours must return!!

Alistair Black
7th April 2006, 19:36
Update from Loch Lomondside (via my computer in Gourock!)

The winding gear has been overhauled, the new cable has been delivered, the engine has been overhauled, the timing was being set yesterday, the boiler has been in steam.

The winch house is just about ready to roll, the cradle is almost complete.

On Sunday I'll be on board the Maid removing the lengths of anchor chain which have kept her tethered to Balloch Pier for the last 12 years (note for Hendo!, me, Big Stu and a chainblock: we can do anything!).

We could be talking next 3 -4 weeks and then the Maid will be out of the water for a couple of days.

The reasons for the shortness of the slipping are twofold:

1) the slipping is basically to guarantee the job done by Heritage Engineering

2) we have bookings for functions starting in May and we don't want to cancel any!

Exciting times indeed, especially for those of us who remember setting foot on her when she was in the condition shown in message 23 of this thread!

Alistair

Gulpers
7th April 2006, 21:03
Alistair,

Thanks for the update.
Things are really looking promising now and I hope all goes well over the next few weeks. (Applause)
Please keep us updated. (Thumb)
Rgds,

Alistair Black
9th April 2006, 01:44
A quick update:

yesterday saw modern history being made as the newly refurbished upright boiler provided steam to operate the winding engine in the Balloch winchhouse.

Given that the Countess was latterly hauled out by compressed air, this is the first recorded steaming of the Balloch winding engine in over 15 years (could be as many as 24 years).

Research so far has not thrown up any other steam driven slipways in Europe capable of hauling a vessel of the size of the Maid out of the water.

Is the Balloch slip the only steam driven slip in Europe?

Be assured that details of the Maid's impending slipping will be posted on site in plenty time for the event to be recorded; this will be Maid of the Loch's first departure from Balloch Pier since 30/8/81, almost 25 years ago.

Alistair.

Gulpers
9th April 2006, 14:05
Once again Alistair, thanks for keeping us updated. (Applause)

vchiu
11th April 2006, 06:32
All my congratulations for the work done!

Semaj
18th April 2006, 23:02
It will be good to see it in the loch again, thanks for the update Alistair.

Jim.

Fairfield
19th April 2006, 13:30
Great stuff Alistair-things moving along now.

Alistair Black
23rd April 2006, 07:47
Latest news is that the Maid will be slipped on Wednesday 3rd of May, assuming a calm day.

The engine has been run, the cable has been wound on the drum and the cradle has been run to the loch edge.

Another couple of runs are needed before the cradle & track gets entrusted with the weight of the ship.

Sad to say I am away on holiday that week :@ so I hope that loads of folk get pictures and video of the event.

Alistair.

Fairfield
23rd April 2006, 11:51
I/m sure there will be someone at Balloch to record it all!! A great day in the coming.

agentroadrunner
23rd April 2006, 12:46
Question for Alistair Black or Alan Blakely:

When the Maid is slipped next month, will she be crewed by the contractors or are volunteers required?

Thinking about the insurance implications etc.

Andy

Alistair Black
24th April 2006, 15:48
Question for Alistair Black or Alan Blakely:

When the Maid is slipped next month, will she be crewed by the contractors or are volunteers required?

Thinking about the insurance implications etc.

Andy

I suspect that Heritage Engineering and whoever is providing the tugs (possibly Sweney's) will have the crewing arrangements covered between them.

agentroadrunner
24th April 2006, 18:59
Thanks for that.

Would have gladly lent a hand but don't want to step on any toes!

A

Alistair Black
25th April 2006, 12:53
I'm sure that any assistance offered will be appreciated. I dare say that there will be some volunteers involved, but that they will be acting under the direct instruction of the contractors.

Alistair.

ruud
30th May 2006, 05:49
Ahoy,
Found this "old" picture of her, photos were kept in moisty surrounding conditions, so therefor not the best scan of her, piccie was taken in 1953

agentroadrunner
5th June 2006, 18:25
Alistair,

Been at work for 3 weeks after my stint on the paddler and a visit to Sharpness!

Have I missed the big event?

Andy

Alistair Black
16th June 2006, 12:31
Hi Andy, big day is set for Tuesday 27th. If you're free you'll be made most welcome.

(Thumb)

Alistair.

agentroadrunner
21st June 2006, 10:29
Not sure if I'll make that either, I'll PM you.

A

Alistair Black
23rd June 2006, 09:49
Latest news from Balloch: the test-run of the slipway on Wednesday went well, the cradle ran smoothly down the slip to the load position and returned equally smoothly. Yesterday the kedge anchors were being deployed.

It therefore looks likely that the slipping will go ahead on Tuesday, weather permitting.

I will be at Balloch tomorrow and will keep you all updated.

Exciting times!

Alistair.

agentroadrunner
23rd June 2006, 10:52
PM on the way

Alistair Black
24th June 2006, 17:15
Latest news from Balloch is that the Maid will be going up on the slip on Tuesday as planned (weather permitting).

Steam will be raised in the winchhouse boiler around 0700, the movong of the ship should commence sometime around 0900.

Let's all hope for a calm day and a smooth slipping.

All visitors are welcome, although there will be no public access to the pier, the slipway or the winchhouse during the move.

Alistair.

Alistair Black
27th June 2006, 22:56
The evidence!

Today went well, perfect weather and a successful slipping of the Maid for the first time in 25 years.

Alistair.

Dave437
25th September 2006, 19:57
I have just come across this thread. Spent a week at Inverbeg on Loch Lomond recently and visited Lomond Shores where the Maid is lying. Photograph attached. What is the latest news about her? Is the project to get her operational again still in hand?

ROBERT HENDERSON
13th July 2008, 12:29
I was watching the Scottish Golf Open Championship play at Loch Lomond yesterday when the cameras panned across to the Maid. Peter Allis made a comment about the wonderful work the volunteers had done and that she was just waiting for MCA certification and should be plying the Loch again.