I have a great fondness for the marvellous pleasure cruiser MV Balmoral and a great respect for the team which works so hard to keep this special historic ship cruising around our coast.
She is a very regular visitor to the Isle of Man and makes a wonderful picture steaming into and out of Douglas Harbour.
Named National Historic Flagship 2016, this fine vessel is always faced with a tough financial challenge against all the odds. To meet the stringent challenges set by the Maritime Coastguard Authority (MCA) to keep sailing, does not come cheap. In Britain, we are careless with our maritime heritage, but surely to have a ship like the Balmoral still operating summer coastal cruises (day excursion sailings) around our coast is a real joy. She is a reminder of days long ago when many of these pleasure steamers plied their trade.
She now faces a cash crisis and urgently needs more funds to help keep her sailing this summer. The Balmoral Fund is asking readers to save this iconic vessel which has called at more British harbours and ports than any other.
If you would like to help save our ship, please visit www.mvbalmoral.org.uk for details of how you can make a donation by the Mydonate scheme or via cheques, marked BMSOS on the back, to the treasurer, MV Balmoral Fund Ltd, 23 Adder Hill, Great Boughton, Chester, MCH3 5RA".