The Maid enters the water for the first time on a grey Thursday,
15th March 1953
Before the vessel goes back into service we need to take her out of the water for survey, rectification of any underwater defects, and painting. To do this we need to restore the slipway.The privately owned Lochlomond Steamboat Co. was taken over by the North British Steam Packet Co. from the 31st of October 1888. The Steam Packet Co. was connected with the North British railway which at that time was the sole user of the railway line to Balloch.The Steamboat Co. had used a slip near Luss but after the takeover the new owners installed a new slipway at Balloch. On the 24th. of February 2000 that slipway was included in the list of buildings of special historic interest under Section 1 of the Planning(Listed Buildings Conservation Areas)(Scotland) Act 1997. This is the slipway on which the “Maid” was assembled and which must be restored to working order.The winch house at the head of the slipway appears to be in good condition and contains the original steam winch, apparently complete but needing overhaul. The boiler has long since been removed.The slipway rails, as far as can be seen, appear to be in reasonable condition but the carriage is severely damaged. It is mainly built of wood and has been much modified and patched up from time to time, being tied together by various steel rods, lengths of old railway line etc. Changes must have been made for the “Maid”, 16 ft. longer and with 6 ft. more beam than the largest previous user.
It was last used in 1990 to take the “Countess Fiona” out of the water during which operation the carriage gave way, many wheels leaving the tracks. It’s condition was not improved during 1999 when the “Countess” was demolished.
Before the Countess
After the Countess