Sir Boyd Tunnock becomes Maid of the Loch’s patron as charity celebrates 25th anniversary
The charity which owns Maid of the Loch, Loch Lomond’s Paddle Steamer, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a special event on 10 October.
On 9 October 1995 that the Loch Lomond Steamship Company was established, and to help mark the silver jubilee, the charity is thrilled to announce that Sir Boyd Tunnock CBE is to become its Patron.
John Beveridge, Chair of LLSC said, “We are absolutely delighted that Sir Boyd has agreed to be Patron. He is one of Scotland’s outstanding business people and to have his support for the Maid is a huge boost to the project”.
Sir Boyd said, “Last year I was invited to the charity’s first steaming of the Maid’s engines in 38 years, and I appreciate the real potential of this beautiful ship as a boost to the local economy and to Scotland. I admire the amount of effort and commitment that the charity has given to restoring this unique ship wish them well for the future”.
Maid of the Loch was given free of charge to the charity in 1995, and in that time it has raised over £3.5 million, but it has also had to rebuild Balloch Pier, the slipway, and build a car park. The most recent success has been the £1.2 million refit of the Maid which has seen internal refurbishment of two main rooms, the installation of a lift, and the restoration of her steam engines to full operation.
“What an achievement”, said John Beveridge. “In 1995, the Maid was in a sorry state and had almost sunk at the pier. Now we have a brilliant visitor experience with a range of activities for children with engines and paddles turning to thrill adults”.
Asked about plans for the future, John said, “The charity’s aim has always been to restore the Maid to operational condition. Before we can proceed, we need to rebuild the slipway which suffered a structural failure when we tried to bring the Maid out of the water last January. Because of the Covid crisis we are struggling to raise the necessary funds, but that is our number one priority. With Sir Boyd now at the helm we face the future with confidence”.
In 25 years, the charity has saved the Maid, rebuilt Balloch Pier, built a car park, and rebuilt the 1902 Category A listed winchhouse and slipway.