Campaign to save Delta Queen from scrapheap

  • 20 September 2007

More than 80 years since she was built in Dumbarton, the Delta Queen paddle streamer is at the centre of a new campaign to save her from the scraphead.

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Ballie has gathered the support of 15 MSPs to back a motion to save the vessel, which in her heyday was considered the pride of the southern US states.

Failing to meet safety regulations, the Delta Queen has had her licence withdrawn. The vessel is expected to cease operating permanently next year, according to owners the Majestic America Line.

Ms Ballie said: “I want the American authorities to reconsider this threat to our joint heritage. They must find a way of preserving this Clyde-built vessel for future generations.”

The Delta Queen has carried Princess Margaret and a host of US presidents, such as Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman. She also served in World War II, shipping wounded reservists in San Francisco Bay.

A trustee of the Scottish Maritime Museum, Graham Kennison said: “There can’t have been a river in the world which did not have one of Denny’s shallow draft vessels and the delta Queen symbolises something unique.”

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