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CHARITY IN BID TO SAVE CLYDE SHIP.

Byline: Lynn McPherson

A charity are appealing for help to keep afloat a 1955 steamship which used to sail on the River Clyde.

The Solent Steam Packet want anyone with old records, photos or cine footage of the SS Shieldhall to come forward to help secure Lottery cash to keep it running.

Operated by the former Glasgow Corporation, the vessel gave poor families, kids from children's homes and the disabled the chance to escape the city on a river trip.

Chairman of the charity Graham Mackenzie said: "Shieldhall was a familiar sight on the Clyde, setting out at 8.30am and returning sometime after 4pm.

"What would really help our application is if any of the former passengers could share any old cine film or photos they have of the ship.

"We could use the memories as part of an onboard education record so people could see the ship at work. I think it would help secure funding. If we lose it, then we have lost probably the only operational cargo ship from the age of steam."

Sold after more than two decades of service on the Clyde, SS Shieldhall was laid up in 1976 after the Corporation replaced their steam fleet with diesel power.

It was sold to the Southern Water Authority but rocketing fuels costs saw her withdrawn from service in July 1985.

A few years later, a group of Southampton-based volunteers formed the Solent Steam Packet charity and bought the steamer in 1988 for pounds 20,000.

Shieldhall is now a frequent sight around the Solent and is the largest sea-going steamship operated by UK volunteers.

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REPAIRS Shieldhall
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 16, 2012
Words:273
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