Restoring floating royalty

Cherished steamer heading back to the water

An iconic steamship restored with our marine coatings is about to set sail once again after originally being destined for a permanent berth as a maritime heritage center.

Regarded as the vanguard of 1930s Scottish engineering, the TS Queen Mary will be back in service offering cruises on the Firth of Clyde by the summer of 2024.

The original intention was for it to be based at Pacific Quay next to Glasgow Science Center, where it would have had a heritage and maritime training focus. The new plan was announced by HRH The Princess Royal in March 2022.

Built in 1933 and the last of its class in the world, the 252ft vessel is a legacy of Scotland’s great shipbuilding industry and was saved from being scrapped in 2015.

After being found rusting in an Essex dockyard, a two-year battle ensued to buy the vessel and tow her 700 nautical miles back to Greenock. Even actor Robbie Coltrane got involved. He became patron of the Friends of TS Queen Mary charity and launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for the multi-million pound restoration.

Our International brand soon got involved and donated specialist coatings to make the steamship fit for the 21st century.

“AkzoNobel brings centuries of expertise, giving us absolute confidence the meticulous and delicate job of repainting the Queen Mary will be handled with the utmost care and attention,” said Iain Sim, trustee of the Friends of TS Queen Mary.

Added Simon Parker, Director of our Marine and Protective Coatings business: “We’re proud to be involved in restoring such an iconic vessel. It’s a world class example of maritime heritage conservation and we’re sure she’ll continue to be enjoyed and admired in all her glory for many years to come.”

Since restoration work began, Friends of TS Queen Mary have raised and invested nearly £4 million of cash and in-kind support in the project. The vessel is listed in the Core 40 fleet of the UK’s National Historic Ship register, as a ship of national pre-eminence.

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