Tuesday 24 May 2016

One funnel or two?

The Clyde steamer Queen Mary was towed into the James Watt Dock in Greenock last week.  A welcome return thanks to the Friends of TS Queen Mary, a charity formed to safeguard the future of the ship.  (TS - turbine steamer.)

She is not much to look at now, but in her heyday was a majestic passenger steamer taking day trippers from Glasgow "doon the watter" to Clyde resorts such as Dunoon and Rothesay.  These photographs are from an underpass mural in Greenock which I've blogged about before.  She looks quite a bit different.

Her appearance has changed somewhat over the years.  When she was built in 1933 at Denny's Shipyard at Dumbarton she had two funnels.  In 1957 she was given a new boiler and one of the funnels removed.  Then in 1987, having finished her days on the Clyde, she was fitted out as a restaurant, all her machinery was removed and another funnel added.  She was berthed at Waterloo Bridge in London until closed in 2009.

Perhaps when you think of ships called Queen Mary, the Cunard cruise ship springs to mind.  Well, there is a connection.  In 1935 Cunard requested that the steamer's name be changed so that they could name their liner Queen Mary.  The steamer was then named TS Queen Mary II.  In 1976 she got her old name back!

During World War II she was the ferry between Gourock and Dunoon.  The photograph above is of a poster in Gourock Station.

Dales Marine Services now have charge of the Queen Mary and it will be great to see what the future hold for her.

All this is thanks to a group of people, the Friends of TS Queen Mary who have got together to save her.  Check out their site for so much more information about the history of the ship.


  1. Great pictures of a magnificent ship with a lot of history. It's great that that there are efforts underway to save her. Thanks for sharing.

  2. A wonderful story.....hope there is a happy ending!

  3. OH, how interesting! I love ships and this is one that is back where it belongs! The link that you gave us, to The Friends of Queen Mary, what a great bunch of folks. Love that Robbie Coltrane is the Patron!

  4. Oh, and I forgot to say, thank you for becoming a follower of my blog! I am so tickled!

  5. Such a fascinating post and lovely photos. Thank you so much for sharing. :)


Your comments are very welcome.