News Archive

Talk at Fairfield, Govan

There will be a talk by Iain Quinn on the history of Denny Turbine Steamers, up to and including the Queen Mary:

Date and time: 16 Nov 2016, 2pm - 4.30
Venue: Fairfield Heritage Centre, Govan, Glasgow, G51 4XS (map)

To book your free tickets please call 0141 445 5866 or online from the Eventbrite website.

£150,000 Dry Dock Milestone

22 June 2016

Our restoration campaign will ensure that Queen Mary remains part of Scotland’s cultural fabric for years to come. She will inspire innovation, apprenticeships, economic growth, education, heritage preservation and tourism.

The first milestone of the campaign is £150,000, to pay for Queen Mary's first dry dock in almost 20 years. Tonight we formally launch our dry dock fund, with a view to undertaking this work in the autumn.

As part of the launch, we're introducing a new giving scheme, with benefits including certificates of giving, an invitation to a drinks and canapés event aboard TS Queen Mary later in the summer, a visit to see the ship in dry dock and personalised plaques (made from surplus wooden fittings from the ship).

As always you can track our progress on the front page of the website! You can donate by visiting our donations page.

Robbie Coltrane launches £2 million restoration campaign

5 June 2016

Scots actor Robbie Coltrane OBE has launched a £2 million fundraising campaign to restore the world-famous TS Queen Mary, the last remaining Clyde-built turbine steamship.

The famous ship was withdrawn from service in 1977 and had languished in a dockyard near London for seven years. It was finally bought and towed over 700 nautical miles to Greenock last month by charity Friends of TS Queen Mary.

The charity raised more than a quarter of a million pounds in less than a year to bring the ship home to Scotland and now want to restore the vessel and open her to the public once again.

Robbie Coltrane said: “She will be a wonderful addition to Scotland. We’re certainly not going to let her sit there like an ornament, that’s why we’re determined to raise enough money to restore her.

“When you see her polished up, you will be staggered with how beautiful she looks. I know £2 million is an awful lot of money but then we’ll have a wonderful asset for Glasgow and for the whole of Scotland.”

The charity plans to restore the steamer as an interactive exhibitition and an arts and culture venue. She will host school children on educational visits as well as drawing crowds for festivals and events which draw upon the talents of Scotland’s creative industries.

“You might even be able to get married on her, can you imagine that!” said Coltrane.

The vessel’s return to Scotland attracted crowds along the Clyde coast last month as well as a flotilla of leisure boats following in her wake.

News of the event travelled far and wide with people sharing photos and videos on social media as the vessel made its way into Greenock.



TS Queen Mary will arrive at the Cumbrae gap at 14:00. She is scheduled to berth at James Watt Dock at 17:00 (approximately).

The charter of "Clyde Clipper" is confirmed and WILL go ahead!

"Clyde Clipper" will depart Victoria Dock (see attached map) at 14:30 (returning approximately 18:30). Boarding is from 14:00, for a very prompt departure at 14:30.

There are still some places available; these can be reserved until 20:00 this evening. Tickets are £25 per person. To book a place call 0141 291 5934. Reservations clearly are recommended, but if you do want to just "walk up" you are advised to be at Victoria Dock much earlier.

Please note that ALL reserved tickets must be paid for in CASH only at the gangway, as you board. Debit/credit cards cannot be accepted on the day.

A map of the dock area is attached. The departure point is clearly marked as "Clyde Cruises".

Tomorrow a little bit of history is going to be made - the first Clyde Steamer ever to come home. You're going to be part of it, with the best ringside seats. What's more, the sun is due to shine!


Clyde Cruises departure point at greenock

Queen Mary to Return to the Clyde

24 April 2016

The Queen Mary is set to make her historic return to the Clyde next month, more than eight decades after she was first launched.

In just under a year, we have secured over £300,000 of corporate in-kind giving and donations, enabling the ship to undergo essential repairs to make her seaworthy for the voyage north. Our latest corporate supporter to "come aboard", providing the final link in the funding chain to make a May return possible, is Caledonian MacBrayne.

"The history of TS Queen Mary is very much part of our own heritage," said Graeme MacFarlan, CalMac's Head of Commercial. "And we are proud to be able to play a small part in bringing her home to the Clyde. This is a chance for everyone to be part of saving a unique piece of Clyde shipbuilding history - the Trust had the vision, and the passion, commitment and the tangible results of its members and many, many marine enthusiasts means that new generations can look forward to marvelling at this grande dame of the golden age of steam."

We are delighted to announce that Dales Marine has been awarded the contract to bring Queen Mary home, in partnership with Carmet Tug Co Ltd. Queen Mary's passage plan has been approved by the MCA, and we now await tug availability and a fair weather window.

With an estimated £2 million required to fully restore and refurbish Queen Mary, the hard work starts in earnest when she is back on the Clyde.

For the moment, however, we can all enjoy a moment that seemed to be only a distant hope, when we started: Queen Mary is going back to sea - one, final time - and this time she's coming home.

Pre-Tow Repairs Contract Awarded

We are pleased to be able to announce that the pre-tow repair contract for TS Queen Mary has been awarded to Dales Marine, Greenock. We received several tenders from across the UK, with Dales Marine offering the best value in terms of deliverable outcomes. Work is due to start in April.

Repair Appeal Supported by J & J Denholm

We are delighted to report that the Glasgow based ship management company, J&J Denholm, has gifted £2,000 towards the repair of TS Queen Mary.

We are most grateful to Mr Denholm (Chairman) and his board for this very generous gesture.

FOTSQM Trustees


Four years of hard work (three as a registered Charity) have come to fruition.

Following today’s exclusive announcement in the Sunday Mail, we are delighted to confirm that at exactly 15:30, on Wednesday 21st October 2015, TS Queen Mary passed into the ownership of the Charity.

Forth Ports plc had to arrest the ship in July, when the former owner failed to pay berthing dues. By then TS Queen Mary was subject to a prohibition notice (declared unseaworthy) and was at a renewed risk of being scrapped.

Thankfully, we received a most generous gift that allowed us to go forward with a bid and - on 5th August - the Charity was informed that it had been selected as the preferred bidder. This was subject strictly to non-disclosure, pending completion of the sale.

Since August we have been engaged in an intense process, including surveying the ship at Tilbury (with representatives of the MCA, Ferguson Marine and V Ships) and dealing with a multiplicity of other technical issues that have surrounded the transaction.

TS Queen Mary now has a new owner and a chance of a bright future. This is the outcome that the Charity and its supporters have long hoped for.

It goes without saying that the Trustees will do their utmost to take good care of TS Queen Mary and bring her home to the Clyde, in 2016. Indeed, work has started in earnest and engineers and contractors are due to attend the vessel next week.

Further major announcements will be made over the coming days. There is a lot to do to get our Queen repaired and readied for sea.

We thank all of you for being a part of our journey so far. However, we pay a special tribute to the workers of Denny of Dumbarton, the yard that gave birth to TS Queen Mary. This moment is dedicated to them.

Stay tuned on our Facebook page for updates as the journey begins to bring Queen Mary home.

The Trustees
Friends of TS Queen Mary
25th October 2015

Star Coltrane Launches Steamship Campaign

Evening Times, 29 February 2016

Queen Mary set to return to Scotland as charity led by Robbie Coltrane succeeds in buying legendary steamship

Scottish Sunday Mail, 25 October 2015

Queen Mary to finally take up berth on the Clyde

The Herald, 25 October 2015

Queen Mary set to return to the Clyde

The Times, 27 October 2015

Former Clyde Steamer Queen Mary To Come Home

Shipping Times, 25 October 2015

Great News From ‘Friends of TS QUEEN MARY’

Maritime Matters, 25 October 2015

Friends of TS Queen Mary now on Twitter: 01/03/2015

CLICK HERE to view our website Twitter feed.

Statement by the Trustees of Friends of TS Queen Mary: 15/02/2015

The ship's current owner last week announced a £10 million plan to return Queen Mary to the Clyde and to undertake a restoration that would see the ship sail, again.

We have always lobbied for the return of Queen Mary to Glasgow. We are pleased that the current owner, having first pursued other locations including (as revealed in last weekend's "Sunday Mail") Liverpool, appears to have settled on Glasgow.

However, we are very concerned about the vessel's condition. In spite of assurances issued by the owner (on the "Scotsman" website - 08.02.15) that Queen Mary is "regularly checked and maintained, overall she is in good repair and ready for her tow home", it has emerged that her condition is such that the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (the shipping regulator) has issued a Prohibition Notice, preventing her from leaving Tilbury Docks.

We ask that the owner clarifies why claims were made about the condition of the ship that now appear to be contradicted entirely by the existence of the Prohibition Notice.

We ask, also, that the owner publishes maintenance logs detailing all maintenance works that have been undertaken, since acquiring Queen Mary in 2011.

We ask the owner to urgently take steps to deal with the remedial works required by the Prohibition Notice.

The Trustees believe that the best outcome for Queen Mary would be for the Charity to have stewardship. We are a "not-for-profit" body. Every pound of income that we raise would be invested in the future of Queen Mary; not returned to private investors.

Prohibition Notice (PN) slapped on TS Queen Mary:

Recent TS Queen Mary news item

Intended permanent home for TS Queen Mary: 27/01/2015

We can confirm that our intended permanent home for TS Queen Mary will be alongside Glasgow's Riverside Museum. We can finally share these images of QM at the berth on our Gallery page. Our thanks both to ADF Architects and Peel Holdings for their support. FOTSQM

TS Queen Mary at Glasgow Riverside

Robbie Coltrane becomes Patron: 13/04/2014

Robbie Coltrane is spearheading a bid to bring the only surviving Clyde-built turbine steamer in the world back to Glasgow. He has become patron of the Friends Of The TS Queen Mary, one of the last links to Scotland’s shipbuilding past and has has vowed to help a group of maritime enthusiasts bring her home to Scotland and give her a new lease of life.
Robbie, 64, said: "I’m delighted to be patron. Having the Queen Mary back home would be a delight." He revealed that the last time he saw the ship was when she was moored at London’s Waterloo Bridge as a floating restaurant. Trustee Aidan O’Donnell said: "We are thrilled Robbie has agreed to be our patron. He knew all about the Queen Mary and thought it would be a good idea if it would come back to Glasgow. "We hope he will help raise money, interest and awareness. But the major problem is persuading the owner of the Queen Mary to let her go."
The plan to save the TS Queen Mary, also known as the Glasgow Boat, is backed by several MSPs, including Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie.

Motion S4M-07364: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 31/07/2013
Friends of TS Queen Mary

That the Parliament supports the work of Friends of TS Queen Mary, which aims to bring the last Clyde-built turbine steamer back to Scotland; notes that the charity is negotiating with the ship’s owner to purchase it and return it to the Clyde; understands that the charity would then aim to restore it in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games; notes that the Queen Mary, which is also known as the Glasgow Boat, was built at the Denny shipyard in Dumbarton and is the last of its class in the world; understands that it is a direct descendent of the world's first turbine steamer, the TS King Edward, which was also Clyde-built; believes that the Friends of TS Queen Mary envisage the restoration of the ship as part of a phased project; recognises that the project has already received backing from Glasgow City Council and believes that it could become a centrepiece of the 2014 Games; understands that, if successful, the Friends of TS Queen Mary will use the space for events, conferences and community events; commends the work of the charity trustees, and wishes them well with the project.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Patricia Ferguson, Annabelle Ewing, James Kelly, Hanzala Malik, Angus MacDonald, Duncan McNeil, Richard Lyle, Jim Eadie, Neil Findlay, Mike MacKenzie, Anne McTaggart, Joan McAlpine, Jackson Carlaw, Nigel Don


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