Glasgow & West Scotland

MP in bid to save rare Clyde-built ship Falls of Clyde

Falls of Clyde Image copyright Alison Thewliss

A rare Clyde-built ship earmarked for destruction in Honolulu should be saved and brought back to Glasgow, according to an MP.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has written to the governor of Hawaii urging him not to scrap the Falls of Clyde.

Launched by Russell and Co, in 1878, it is thought to be the only surviving iron-hulled four-masted ship.

After it finished commercial service, Hawaii's maritime community saved it and opened it as a museum in 1971.

In 2008, after receiving an estimate of at least $30m (£24m) to restore the ship, the Bishop Museum issued a contract to remove all valuable items from the ship and to prepare it to be towed out to sea for scuttling.

Since then discussions between campaigners and the Bishop Museum have been ongoing on how to save the vessel.

Hawaii's department of transportation now wants the ship to be moved out of the port.

During service, the Falls of Clyde sailed under British, Hawaiian and United States flags and visited every continent except Antarctica.

Campaigners Friends of Falls of Clyde are trying to raise $1.5m (£1.2m) to dry dock the ship.

Ms Thewliss told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that tens of millions of pounds would be needed to refurbish the ship and to transport it to the UK.

She said: "I understand there has been interest from international shipping companies who might want to contribute to that.

"There's lots of opportunities for using the ship.

"We've seen with the Waverley and the Glenlee what interest there is with ships from the Clyde and the history of that."

She said it could also be used as a training venue.

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