Students on board to restore Clyde Steamer

Students from City of Glasgow College treated members of the public to free tours of the TS Queen Mary at the weekend in celebration of the 85th anniversary launch of the Clyde steamer.

The college’s Events and Hospitality students are running the tours to help raise awareness of, and funds for, the ship’s current restoration process.

Once on board the tour groups got to see the work being done to restore the iconic steamer which was rescued from a dockyard in London by the charity, Friends of TS Queen Mary. Their aim is to return the vessel to her former glory and open her as a heritage destination, and an education and business centre.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive of City of Glasgow College said: 

“TS Queen Mary represents an important part of this great city’s maritime history which students at our college are very much part of. In Riverside, we have the most advanced maritime campus in the world and we are proud to be part of the renaissance of the River Clyde and Glasgow’s shipping heritage. In supporting the Queen Mary’s restoration our students are playing an important role in helping the wider community become part of the process while gaining valuable life and learning experience.”

HND Events student, Shanice Hanton, said:

"Working aboard the TS Queen Mary has benefited me in so many ways. I've learned a lot about the history of the boat and the River Clyde just from communicating with the visitors that come for the tours. I feel I’ve really improved my customer interaction skills and I've made a lot of new friends. Before this I had no interest in boats but now I feel like it's a big part of my life. I look forward to seeing what the outcome is and seeing it succeed, and knowing I was part of that will give me great joy."

The special birthday weekend saw the students provide tour groups with cake, chocolates, snacks and drinks while showing them around the 85 year old vessel.

Michael McLaughlin, Lecturer in Hospitality and Events Management at City of Glasgow College said:

“The experiential learning opportunities that an 85 year old steamer can bring are quite simply unique.  Our Hospitality and Events Management students have embraced the ship tour programme with gusto, taking immense pride and delight in sharing this amazing vessel with the public.”

Iain Sim, Friends of TS Queen Mary founder, said:

"Since 2015 the charity has leveraged £1.5 million of cash and in-kind support. Of that, some £300,000 is the value that can be attributed to work carried out by students and apprentices. The support from Paul Little and Team City has been fantastic, and will be instrumental in delivering our long term vision for TS Queen Mary."

TS Queen Mary was originally launched in 1933 by Williamson-Buchanan Steamers. She is to be berthed permanently at the Glasgow Science centre beside the Millennium Bridge and will be connected to the SSE Hydro and SECC complexes. It is estimated that the vessel will attract around 150,000 visitors and students per year once the multi-million pound restoration has been completed.