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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on the board of one of the organisations in a consortia hoping to bring back to the Clyde the liner 'Empress of Britian'. I know that previous suggestions for a campaign to bring the QE2 ‘home’ to the Clyde struck a strong chord with board members here, so I thought you would be interested. What might make the difference this time is that a number of institutions are here already declaring their support – at least with practical assistance and goodwill:

A consortium of housing associations, along with Glasgow City Council, local regeneration companies and Anniesland College, have joined forces to try to save an iconic liner and promote her preservation as part of the overall regeneration of the Clyde.

Linthouse, Partick, GHA and Link Group is campaigning to save the SS Empress of Britain, which they fear may soon be sold for scrap.

The liner is the last available transatlantic liner of her type and era which was built on Clydeside. Completed for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1956, she initially sailed weekly from Greenock to Montreal.
Now named SSTopaz, a buyer is needed for the iconic liner, and the consortium has alerted national and local newspapers and broadcasters to the imminent demise of what would be a unique and real monument to Clyde shipbuilding and enterprise.

The consortium hopes that a 'champion' might emerge to fund her purchase her and return her to the place of her birth. Conversion for use as a hotel, leisure complex, conference centre and social enterprise 'hub' would have the potential to contribute to economic regeneration in Glasgow, Greenock or elsewhere in the area.

The consortium's spokesperson, Craig Sanderson of Link, said: “The Empress has had an uninterrupted career as a cruise liner for 52 years, an astonishing record and testament to the excellence of her builders, Fairfields of Govan.

“Growing up in Rothesay, I used to watch her gliding past the Skelmorlie coast - and I'm sure others of a certain age have fond memories of her too. We must not let her go without a fight!

“Sadly, the current members of the consortium are not commercial organisations or experts in the field of ships or hotels and do not have access to the sort of money needed to buy her or fund conversion. So, we need some big hitters to help - if your readers know of anyone who has some £9m to spare....”
 

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smalltown boy
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I think I might speak for a lot of people here when I wish you the best of luck.
 

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Jacobsian sentimentalist
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Wow!

yes!

excellent news escotregen and I wish the consortia all the best. It would be fantastic to see the 'Empress of Britain' in her original livery, say in the fitting out basin alongside the Titan crane at Clydebank (if that is navigationally possible). OK the folks at Fairfield in Govan might have first claim but could something so enormous get that far down the undredged Clyde? What an asset for the city region... Any idea of her vital statistics?
 

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MORI
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Any idea of her vital statistics?
Wikipedia


RMS Empress of Britain was a transatlantic ocean liner built by Fairfield Shipbuilding at Govan on the Clyde in Scotland in 1955-1956[1] for Canadian Pacific Steamship (CP). This ship -- the third of three CP vessels to be named Empress of Britain[2] -- regularly traversed the trans-Atlantic route between Canada and Europe until 1964, completing 123 voyages under the Canadian Pacific flag. This Empress was distinguished by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix in front of her name because the British government and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) had decades earlier reached agreement on a contract for subsidized trans-oceanic mail service. When not carrying mail, the ship would have been identified as SS Empress of Britain.

Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering,Govan, Scotland
Yard number: 731
Launched: June 22, 1955
Completed: 1956
Maiden voyage: April 20, 1956
Out of service: April 2008
Status: Laid Up
Class and type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 25,516 GRT
Length: 640 ft.
Beam: 85.2 ft.
Draught: 29 ft.
Propulsion: 6 Steam Turbine
Speed: 20 knots
Capacity: 160 1st-class & 984 tourist-class passengers
 

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Jacobsian sentimentalist
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Thanks for that Mori!

Oops, damn, should check my history first...! There I was thinking this was referring to the second RMS Empress of Britian i.e. the three funneled mini me Queen Mary lookilikey though at 760ft long she was still pretty big. Didn't realise she was torpedoed in the war. Sorry! Nevermind. And no offense intended. Still think having a big Clydebuilt liner back on the Clyde is a great idea as a tribute to the skills of the Clyde shipbuilders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
****** maybe my original heading was a touch misleading. The relevance of this particular ship is of course that she was built at Fairfields. To be honest I think that it is also a tad more feasible seeking to bring such a ship back to the clyde rather than one of the great liners.

Mind you, if we were for a scam... this confusion over the 'Empresses' reminds me of the true story of the USA millionaire develoepr who bought London Bridge and had it taken down, shipped to Arizona (?) and rebuilt as part of a tourist attraction. Only problem was that he thought he had bought that bridge in London i.e. Tower Bridge:) Now. any oil-rich rich sheiks out there who wanna buy a 'Queen-look-alike-Empress' (then we buy it back dirt cheap when he realises it ain't what he thought)? :shifty:
 

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All the best with this. The Empress in question might not be as grand as the John Brown launched one (now, sadly, at the bottom of the Atlantic thanks to a U-boat) but still looks to be an impressive vessel. If it really is the last of the Clyde built passenger liners then I see it as imperative that she is kept for posterity in the vicinity of where she was built. We're in danger of washing away the artifacts of the area's proud industrial past - ships like this and icons like the titan cranes are to Glasgow what ancient structures such as the colliseum are to Rome. Done up in a smart original paint job and with the interior fittings overhauled, I can see the Empress becoming a cherished 'landmark' in years to come. I hope your organisation succeeds.

On a similar topic, aside from the engines at the transport museum, does anybody else think that Springburn built locomotives could do with a bit more status in the public fabric of the city? I have a feeling that side of the city's industry gets a wee bit ignored and yet the products of Glaswegian labour found their way to all parts of the globe. My boss, for example, has a story where he was on a student placement in deepest darkest Africa somewhere in the early 70's and to his astonishment came across a Springburn locomotive pulling his train.
 
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