The Maid is really missing you!
Due to the effects of Covid-19 Lockdown, the Paddle Steamer Maid of the Loch needs your help to get her through this season.
Why we need your support
Everything here at Balloch Pier on Loch Lomond is very quiet with all work ceased, staff furloughed and, while costs have been cut back to a minimum, lockdown means we will lose almost all of this season’s income from visitors to the ship and the Winch House. That income is vital to maintain the ship at the pier in Balloch and we don’t know when we can reopen but we need to be ready to return to full visitor operation as soon as possible.
What is The Maid of the Loch?
The Maid of the Loch was the last paddle steamer to be built in the UK, so it is very important we maintain this historic vessel for all to enjoy. After cruising the loch until 1981 she was allowed to decay for many years until our volunteers managed to get control of the vessel and began their rescue effort. They have since worked incredibly hard to bring her back to life and recently have even managed to get the engine turning again. The smell of hot steam and oil has filled the engine room once more during our special In Steam event days.
Recent efforts by volunteers to research and collate the ship's heritage have resulted in contributions from as far away as Australia and New Zealand. So this is about more than the ship - we need to reawaken and preserve these memories.
She now offers a special place amidst Loch Lomond's spectacular scenery where people can relax and enjoy our wonderful view, learn about the ship and be happy meeting with friends and families. She is a venue for singing, dancing, music making, health and wellbeing and provides an opportunity for the local and wider Maid communities to interact and grow together.
The Maid offers unique saloons ready to welcome meetings, conferences and celebrations of all kinds. More photos on our website.
How can you help?
Just to operate the ship at the pier costs over £100k per annum and we need to raise some of that to keep the Maid going until we can reopen. Costs include insurance, power, staff, licenses and from now on there will be additional costs required to provide safe reopening while meeting new rules for virus control.
All money raised will be used to keep the ship maintained and safe and allow us to reopen to visitors and events as soon as possible.
You can just make a donation but also claim one of our rewards which feature our Friends/Supporter club memberships. If you are already a Friend then we can send the membership to someone else. Please email us if you'd like to do that.
Rewards will be sent as soon as possible, bearing in mind the current restrictions on permitted work, and will be valid during any open period in 2020 and during 2021 open period. These images show some of the gifts added to our rewards.
The Maid has a special place in many peoples’ hearts and we hope she has a little bit of yours. Your donation will help our lovely old lady be ready to welcome everyone once again.