Clyde-steamer TS Queen Mary is to be towed to Glasgow for the first time since 1977, where she will stay over the winter, thanks to a deal struck with Glasgow Science Centre.
The historic vessel, built near the Clyde in the 1930s, is being restored by a charity patroned by Scots actor Robbie Coltrane. The charity needed to find a safe place to berth the ship over the winter months as her current home in Greenock is required for other commercial marine work.
The steamship will be towed from Greenock to Glasgow in the coming weeks. It will be the first time the ship has been on the Clyde, beyond her most recent docking in Greenock, since 1977.
Charity Trustee Iain Sim said: “Glasgow Science Centre has been fantastic in offering us this berth, giving us a safe place to berth her over the winter months. We’re sure the people of Glasgow will look after her well and will be chuffed to have her back.”
David McQueen, Director of Finance & Operations at Glasgow Science Centre said: “We are delighted to be assisting the Friends of the TS Queen Mary in their efforts to restore another example of Glasgow and the Clyde’s engineering heritage and we look forward to welcoming her to the Science Centre.”
TS Queen Mary is expected to remain in Glasgow until early 2017. Friends of TS Queen Mary is looking at options for a permanent home for the vessel, once she has been restored. The charity hopes to raise £2 million to transform the ship into an arts and culture destination and an interactive exhibition.
Glasgow Science Centre joins a long list of high-profile supporters, including Clydesdale Bank, Cunard Line, Caledonian MacBrayne, Forth Ports, V Ships and The RHS Charitable Foundation run by Lord Smith of Kelvin.
Scottish Enterprise assisted in granting access to The Canting Basin, the area of water which borders the Science Centre and IMAX cinema at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.
- Friends of TS Queen Mary rescued the ship from almost certain demise earlier this year after she was found languishing in a dockyard on the Thames Estuary, several years after serving as a floating bar and restaurant in London.
- She was towed back to Scotland in May where she was met by a flotilla of pleasure boats and crowds of people who lined the shore as she was towed north, passing Arran to her west and into Greenock.
- The first phase of restoration began in September when her hull was stripped, coated and repainted after paint specialists Jotun and AkzoNobel donated tens of thousands of pounds of specialist coatings and time.
History of the TS Queen Mary
The Turbine Steamship (TS) Queen Mary is the last remaining turbine steamship to be built in Scotland. Built in 1933, she once sailed ‘doon the watter’ from Glasgow to destinations such as Dunoon, Rothesay, Millport and Arran. Her place as a national treasure was secured in 1996 when she was listed on the United Kingdom’s official historical ships register and she’s now the last of her kind in the world. In the spring of 1935, at the request of Cunard White Star Line, TS Queen Mary was renamed Queen Mary II, so as to release the name Queen Mary for yard number 534, then under construction at John Brown’s shipyard, in Clydebank.
About Friends of TS Queen Mary
Charity Friends of TS Queen Mary was set up to rescue, restore and reopen the famous Clyde-built turbine steamship, the Queen Mary. The charity raised £300,000 and rescued her from almost certain demise, towing her 700 nautical miles from London to Greenock in Scotland. A £2 million fundraising campaign was launched in June 2016 to restore and re-open her as an arts and culture venue.