Glasgow & West Scotland

Robbie Coltrane launches Queen Mary steamship appeal

TS Queen Mary Image copyright Jim Phanco

Actor Robbie Coltrane has launched a fundraising campaign to restore one of the last remaining Clyde-built turbine steamships.

TS Queen Mary was withdrawn from service in 1977 and has been in a dockyard near London for seven years.

It was bought and towed to Greenock in May by the Friends of TS Mary.

The charity needs to secure £2m to restore the vessel and open it to the public as an exhibition and an arts and culture venue.

The friends have already raised £250,000, which was needed to bring the ship back to Scotland.

Coltrane said: "She will be a wonderful addition to Scotland. We're certainly not going to let her sit there like an ornament, that's why we're determined to raise enough money to restore her.

Image copyright Ross Easton

"When you see her polished up, you will be staggered with how beautiful she looks. I know £2m is an awful lot of money but then we'll have a wonderful asset for Glasgow and for the whole of Scotland."

The restored ship would host school children on educational visits and the charity plans to hold festivals and events on board.

Charity trustee Iain Sim said: "We want to restore the TS Queen Mary using the Clyde's shipbuilding expertise and, crucially, apprentices who will help to continue Scotland's maritime legacy.

"It's a tremendous amount of money to raise, but we're more determined than ever."

RMS Queen Mary, a steamship also built at Clydebank, is now permanently moored at Long Beach, California. It is a tourist attraction which features restaurants, a museum and a hotel.

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