Marine Projects Scotland Ltd awarded contract to revive iconic TS Queen Mary

TS Queen Mary

THE iconic ship TS Queen Mary has been moved from her current berth at Glasgow Science Centre to Govan Graving Docks, the first ship to be berthed at this historic facility in almost 40 years.

Marine Projects Scotland Ltd has been awarded the contract, to project manage and undertake the first phase of major restoration and repair work on the TS Queen Mary.

The year-long project will help preserve the iconic ship and will also create much-needed employment opportunities for up to 12 people, bringing associated community benefits to the Govan area.

The scope of the restoration work will be extensive and structurally complex, starting with a 3D laser map scan of the ship’s structure, prior to the removal of the two funnels and wheelhouse, which will be completely rebuilt. 

The ship will be encapsulated for the removal of the windows and teak boat and promenade decks, which will receive underdeck stiffening, before being replaced with completely new steel decks, all  of which is necessary to bring her back into active service.

All of this work will meet Classification Society (Bureau Veritas) and MCA regulations, ensuring that the ship, upon completion, will be able to return to active service.

Peter Breslin, Managing Director of Marine Projects Scotland Ltd, said:

“It is a tremendous honour to be awarded the TS Queen Mary restoration contract. In the coming year, we will devote ourselves tirelessly to safeguarding, protecting and reviving this exquisite and historically significant vessel.

“Securing this contract is testament to our commitment and confidence in the business viability of Govan Drydock. As a fully operational ship repair and maintenance facility, it has the capacity to generate employment opportunities and contribution to the ongoing reinvigoration of the Clyde waterfront.”

Iain Sim, Chairman of Friends of TS Queen Mary, added: 

“The Trustees are delighted that this major contract will commence in TS Queen Mary’s 90th anniversary year. It will be truly transformative for this vital part of our maritime heritage. This major structural work will help breathe new life into TS Queen Mary and ensure she will be in the best possible condition for years to come.”

Harry O’Donnell, Chairman, New City Vision who own the site, said:

“We are delighted that such a historic ship as the TS Queen Mary will be restored at our site in Govan. It is testament to the hard work that Marine Projects Scotland Ltd has done to date on Dock No1 that it is now in a position to be brought back into working order for the first time in more than 40 years.

“The restoration of Dock No1 is an important part of our wider vision to bring the Govan Graving Docks back into use, alongside the creation of new homes, commercial use and thriving new community spaces including a new riverside park and active travel routes through the site, all of which are currently undergoing extensive consultation.”

In her heyday, the Dumbarton-built ship, launched in 1933, once carried King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt, and was known as Britain’s finest pleasure steamer. During World War II, she became a vital lifeline for Scotland’s island communities, carrying around 13,000 passengers each week.

Queen Mary has been out of service for 35 years. The Charity “Friends of TS Queen Mary” brought her back to the Clyde in 2016. Since then, she has been berthed at Pacific Quay, next to the Science Centre. In 1996, she was listed on the United Kingdom’s official historical ships register and is now the last of her kind in the world.

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