Nautical cadets help renovate Clyde Steamer

City of Glasgow College cadets spent their Spring break helping with the ongoing restoration of the TS Queen Mary, the Clyde’s largest and last excursion steamer.

The 14 international students from India are all studying HND Nautical Science at the college and volunteered to support this latest phase of restoration work as part of their college course.

Over the two week Spring break the students began to strip out the ship under the supervision of the ship’s project manager who instructed them on each section of the operation.

Dleep Fotedar, Curriculum Head for Deck Senior Marine and Short Courses, City of Glasgow College, said:

“Working on this phase of the project was a great opportunity for our students. It helped put what they are learning in college into context. They gained real life hands-on experience of working on a ship as well as making valuable contacts within the industry and gaining potential sea-time remission.

“Supporting the project and wider community also enabled the cadets to develop their roles as responsible citizens and effective contributors, both valuable elements of the Curriculum for Excellence.”

Himanshu Parmar, HND Nautical student, said:

“We really enjoyed the volunteer work and learning something new each day under the guidance of Chris Jack, who is Project Manager for the restoration. This was the first time most of us had been on board a ship so it was an ideal opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the layout. We also learned the practicalities of team work and team management, and developed our leadership skills.”

On their final day, the cadets were issued with certificates with the ship's stamp and signed by Captain Ayad Isoud, Deputy Operation Manager at Seatec UK Ltd and Captain of TS Queen Mary, and a Trustee. 

Iain Sim, Friends of TS Queen Mary Charity Trustee, said:

“We were delighted to welcome cadets from City of Glasgow College aboard TS Queen Mary. She is an integral part of Glasgow's rich social heritage, so much so that she was known as "The Glasgow Boat.

“In 2017, however, she perhaps should be ‘The International Boat’ as so many people from across the world are helping to restore her, whilst learning new skills. It is fantastic to see Queen Mary offering such positive opportunities for practical learning.”

Built in 1933, the former Clyde Turbine Steamer was the largest and the last vessel to operate "all the way excursion sailings" from the heart of Glasgow which she did until 1977. Friends of TS Queen Mary charity was set up to recover the ship from a dockyard in London, tow her over 700 nautical miles home to the Clyde, restore her and open her to the public.