When you’ve been in business as long as we have, it is a real pleasure to revisit customers from days gone by. As time passes, some of those customers need a bit more help than others. That’s why we’re delighted to get involved in the campaign to restore the historic Loch Lomond paddle steamer, the Maid of the Loch.
The Maid of the Loch is a very special boat. Launched in 1953, the Clyde built vessel was the last paddle steamer to be built in Britain and Stewart-Buchanan Gauges proudly supplied the original gauges for her engines. Licensed to carry up to 1,000 passengers, she was the largest paddle steamer to ever sail Loch Lomond. After nearly three decades of service and millions of passengers later, the Maid was decommissioned. While she was later restored as a tourist attraction, she never sailed again.
Full steam ahead!
Now, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC), a charity staffed entirely by volunteers, there is a chance that the Maid could grace the waters of Loch Lomond once more. After a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid in 2015, LLSC secured funding of £3.8m to help return the Maid to full operation. However, this is on the condition that the charity can raise additional funds themselves.
A crowdfunding campaign is now underway to restore the ‘heart’ of the Maid of the Loch by raising £125,000 to buy a new steam boiler to power the ship. We have offered our help to repair and re-calibrate our original gauges and, where necessary, replace any missing or damaged ones. It will be a step back in time for Stewart-Buchanan Gauges and a real honour to get involved. We’d be delighted to see this beautiful old boat back where she belongs, sailing the iconic Loch Lomond.