CELEBRATIONS were in order for the team behind the PS Maid of the Loch after they were honoured for the work of their volunteers in helping to restore the historic vessel.

The Loch Lomond Steamship Company’s PS Maid of the Loch volunteers have been awarded the group winner prize and £500 by National Historic Ships UK and the Marsh Charitable Trust, in recognition of their hard work.

It comes as volunteers continue to be at the heart of the vessel’s restoration, from those working on the ship and providing visitor services to the public and directors who also plan and manage the entire process, engineering, financial, marketing and supply.

Anne Urquhart, volunteer director, commented: “LLSC could not achieve what it has without the unpaid skilled labour unstintingly provided by our much-varied volunteer workforce. They have worked wonders, all with a can-do attitude. We value them hugely and consider that they more than merit the Marsh Award, and the recognition it will surely bring.”

The restoration process took a huge step forward in 2020 when the charity secured a substantial grant to rebuild the broken carriage in order to slip the ship successfully. With help from around 50 volunteers who have contributed many thousands of hours to the continuing restoration, the vision to restore the paddle steamer to her former glory is now firmly in sight.

Anne added: “Already a much-loved feature on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, the Maid of the Loch attracts thousands of visitors every year and, over the past 20 years, a loyal band of volunteers has focused every available hour on her restoration.

“With public support the Loch Lomond Steamship Company charity hope to safely steer the Maid to a new phase of her life, relaunching her as a fully operational paddle steamer.”

Support the restoration of the Maid. Full details are at maidoftheloch.org/donate.