Maid of the Loch
Welcome to the Home Page for the MAID OF THE LOCH, Loch Lomond's Paddle Steamer. Visit her by the world famous Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, at Balloch Pier.
The Maid is open to the public as an Historic Visitor Attraction; and as a totally unique venue for events and functions. Built in 1953, Maid of the Loch is the last in a long line of paddle steamers on Loch Lomond, dating back to 1818. She is the last major paddle steamer built in Britain, and the last paddle steamer built for the railways.
Maid of the Loch opens at Easter, then every Saturday and Sunday until June, then every day from June to the end of August, from 11am to 5pm.
We will again have a Tea Room on board serving freshly made sandwiches, hot Paninis, toasties, and fabulous home baking. Relax with a cup of freshly made coffee with a choice of several varieties. The Tea Room will also sell a range of souvenirs for the charity, and these will be on display on the ship.
There is plenty car parking adjacent, and limited access for the less abled. Admission is free. Donations are most welcome and helps the upkeep of the Maid. A public appeal for funds to get the Maid sailing again is now over £135,000, and LLSC has made an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for development funding. The outcome will be known by the end of March 2014.
The Balloch Steam Slipway is a 1902 heritage attraction, rebuilt in 2006 with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund. See below for our "In Steam" dates. Opening times are 11am to 4pm, and entry is free. See the steam engine and gearing system in operation; try the interactive displays; or watch the audio visuals describe how the slipway pulls the Maid out of the water. Or blow our steam whistle!
LLSC is a charity registered in Scotland (No. SC024062). All Directors and volunteers give of their time free. It has no paid staff.
Maid of the Loch will open every Saturday and Sunday from 12 & 13 April until Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June; then every day from Saturday 28 June through to September. Opening hours are 11am to 5pm. Admission is free. Again this year, Mrs Codona will be running the Tea Room with hot & cold snacks, teas, coffees, and a tempting variety of cakes. Come Aboard!
We look forward to welcoming you on board.
BALLOCH STEAM SLIPWAY will be "In Steam" on the following weekends during the summer:-
April 19, 20, & 21
May 24, 25, 26, 31
June 01, 07, 08, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
July 05, 06, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
August 02, 03, 09, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 20, 31
September 13, 14, 27, 28, 29
Our volunteer engineers will be on hand to demonstrate how the steam engine works and answer any questions. Come in and have a shot at blowing the steam whistle!
Maid's Grand Summer Opening
Maid of the Loch's summer season gets underway on Saturday 28 June, when the ship will be open every day during the summer. A series of special events is planned for that day including the opportunity for visitors to win a short trip in a classic coach, watch two steam launches sail around the Maid, join a conducted tour of the ship, see an exhibition of a variety of ship, tank, and other models, and take part in a guess the weight of a cake in the shape of the Maid of the Loch. The Balloch Steam Slipway will also be "In Steam".
"It will be an exciting day and an opportunity for visitors to see boats and a bus", said John Beveridge, Director of the charity that owns the Maid. "Visitors can try and win a free trip on the 1980 classic coach, and watch real steam launches Silkie and Talisker as they sail about the bay. Our volunteers will be on hand to offer guided tours of the Maid for the very first time, and the cafe will be open as usual". And he added, "Knightswood Model Boat Club will be displaying a fantastic range of their model boats, cars, tanks, and helicopters, so the kids will love it - and there are two competitions for kids to take part in, so there will be plenty to do and see".
The classic coach is a 1980 Mercedes owned by Alex Pringle and will take the lucky winners on a short trip in Balloch. The steam launch Silkie is owned by Gudmund Jorgensen, while Talisker is owned by Tom Peebles. Both are lovingly cared for and are in gleaming condition. Alex, Gudmund, and Tom have offered their services free so it is hoped that visitors will be generous with their donations for the Maid.
Admission to the Maid is free, and she will be open as usual, from 11am to 5pm.
Friday 30 May, Denny Civic Theatre, Dumbarton
Local group, the Allsorts C.A.F.U. Choir are staging a music-filled evening in support of the Maid of the Loch. Also starring will be Rock Salt, Uken Good (a ukulele band), the Kerr Paton School of Irish Dance, and soloists.
TICKETS £5.50 from organiser Ghislaine Kennedy @ 01389 849348 or at the Bell Centre, Dumbarton, or on the Maid. Over 100 tickets already sold! Get yours now - all money raised goes to the Maid of the Loch Appeal.
Big Plans Revealed
Our aim to return the Maid to steam operation has taken a major step forward with the application to the HLF. LLSC also revealed plans to develop Balloch Pier as a visitor destination, by proposing a new building on the site of the former station.
This would support the operation of the Maid by being open all-year-round, and be an attraction in its own right with a museum, shop, and cafe. A public consultation exercise produced strong support for the project, and a survey by the community council identified the Maid as being the joint top project people wanted to see happen in the area.
This project will provide around 30 new jobs, investment, and be a major boost to Scotland's tourism. An operational Maid will provide connectivity around the loch. Importantly, it will give added value to visitors, and with a museum will allow the history of the loch and its steamers, to be told.
LLSC would like to hear your views on its proposals for a visitor facility on Balloch Pier. Does the building provide the attractions you would want to see? Will it encourage visitors? Is it too big or not big enough? Is there anything you would want to see included? If you like the idea, please tell us! Send you ideas/comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the Maid appeal by buying the new "Voyage of the Maid" DVD. A 50 minute story about the Maid's history from design to dereliction, and her restoration. Archive footage, interviews and location filming. Full details on News Page.
LLSC has raised and invested over £1.7M in the Maid and infrastructure since 1996, and committed over 73,000 hours of our volunteers time to her restoration so far. £3.3M is needed to get her sailing again, plus repairs to the pier, and £0.9M for a visitor facility. A public appeal was launched on the Maid's 60th birthday in 2013, and nows stands at over £125,000. Please help the charity to get this iconic heritage attraction back "In Steam" and sailing on the loch. Donations can be made via this website, or by post (cheques payable to "The Maid of the Loch Appeal") to the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, PO Box 9401, Gourock PA19 1NB.
Become a Maid Supporter - she has over 400 members who receive 3 newsletters a year. Annual subscription is just £15. Send a S.A.E. to R Weston 23 Second Avenue, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2LR
Be part of the Maid's "crew" - come and be a volunteer! No skills required, but if you have any, you will be made even more welcome. Volunteers meet on the Maid every Saturday (and some Wednesdays). Come aboard and join us, or come to the ship and find out more. We are also seeking volunteers to act as "hosts" to show visitors and groups round the ship.
Latest Maid News
2014 Ultrasound test of the hull shows it to be in excellent condition
Repair/overhaul of the original 1953 opening windows is proceeding well
Mactaggart & Mickel are again assisting with the refurbishment of the Douglas Mickel Saloon
The steering compartment is being cleaned and painted for the first time
See the port paddlewheel revealed as volunteers clean and paint it
Loch Lomond Brewery are to brew a new ale for sale on the ship
** SEE THE NEWS PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND MORE DETAILS **
Events & Functions
On the Loch
The Maid of the Loch is situated in the wonderful, world renowned setting of spectacular Loch Lomond overshadowed by Ben Lomond, the highest mountain in the area. A superb venue for events and functions, including Dinner Parties, Buffets and Wedding Receptions - just ask about our range of options.