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Over 900 people flocked to the Scottish Maritime Museum on Irvine Harbourside this Saturday (22 April) for Ship Ahoy!, Scotland’s annual maritime heritage event.

North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson officially opened the free, day-long celebration of maritime heritage from the Clyde to the Western Isles.

From 10am – 5pm, visitors of all ages enjoyed a fascinating collection of over 30 model steamers and historic vessels outside on the Boating Pond and inside the Linthouse as well as postcards, photographs, artefacts and books on show by a host of maritime and shipping organisations.

Other highlights included a rare opportunity to tour the Museum’s Scottish Boatbuilding School workshops and see vessels under restoration as well as chat to Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed.

North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson said: 

It was a real pleasure to attend the 2023 Ship Ahoy! Exhibition.

“The exhibition is a fascinating journey through our rich shipbuilding history and reminds us just how influential this part of Scotland has been in the maritime industry. And it has been particularly heartwarming to see different generations – both young and old – enjoy the exhibition and find out more about our shipbuilding past.”

Christopher Woodland, Commercial Manager at the Scottish Maritime Museum, added:

We were delighted to welcome North Ayrshire Provost Anthea Dickson and over 900 people to Ship Ahoy! this weekend.

“Ship Ahoy! is always a firm favourite with our visitors and we look forward to hosting the event again in coming years.”

“Ship Ahoy! was also a great opportunity to invite everyone to tour the Museum for free and see many of our exhibits, behind the scenes at our Scottish Boatbuilding School and, of course, enjoy our current exhibition on lighthouses, ‘Following the Lights’.”

Models on show at Ship Ahoy! included Lady of Mann, Waverley (2022), a small Queen Mary and small King George V by model maker John McNulty as well as vessels displayed by Irvine Model Boat Club, the RNLI Model Lifeboat Display and the Model Steamer Club of Glasgow.

Organisations taking part included Caledonian MacBrayne, which celebrates 50 years of car ferries, Maid of the Loch, the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, The Tall Ship Glenlee, Caledonian Railway Association, Clyde River Steamer Club, the Coastal Cruising Association, Dereck Hunter & Vintage MacBrayne Bus, Friends of TS Queen Mary, West Highland Steamer Club, Kilmarnock & District Model Rail Club, the Skylark IX Recovery Project and Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed.

Ship Ahoy! Committee Chairman Iain Quinn also presented screenings of unique archive footage of Calmac vessels throughout the day.

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 Issued on behalf of the Scottish Maritime Museum by
Joanna Harrison, Mobile: 07884 187404

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