One of the country’s most important historic steamships has launched an appeal for survival. Registered charity The Solent Steam Packet has launched an emergency appeal for £80,000 to secure the future of SS Shieldhall, the historic steam-driven ship based at Southampton. Shieldhall is part of the UK’s National Historic Ships Fleet and was named ‘Flagship of the National Historic Ships Fleet’ in 2009.

In spring 2011 Shieldhall must undertake dry-docking at an estimated cost of £80,000 to £100,000. Without this, she cannot continue to sail as a heritage attraction and would be at risk of being scrapped. She is operated entirely by unpaid volunteers, who are now looking for help in funding this essential work. To help Shieldhall and make your contribution, go to www.justgiving.com/shieldhall, or link from the ship’s own website www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk.