T.S. Queen Mary: The last steamer built on the Clyde is captured in oils
A leading maritime artist has completed a remarkable set of paintings to help to restore a famous Clyde-built steam ship that once carried passengers including the Queen Mother and King George V.
Artist Billy Dobbie, 67, has spent the last two years producing 15 oil paintings of the iconic TS Queen Mary, the historic vessel currently undergoing a £6 million restoration project in Glasgow.
The paintings tell TS Queen Mary's story from its launch at Denny's Yard at Dumbarton in 1933 to one of her last sailings on the Clyde in the 1970s.
They will be the stars of an exhibition at The Lighthouse in Glasgow in January, when they will be sold for thousands of pounds each to raise new funds for the ship's restoration.
Limited edition prints and other memorabilia including mugs and note pads, coasters and placemats will also be made to help boost the campaign.
Glasgow artist Dobbie recently presented a print of one of his paintings, The Leaving of Rothesay Bay, to the Princess Royal, the project's royal patron. Other patrons include actors Robbie Coltrane and Sam Neill, the Jurassic Park star.
Dobbie said: "TS Queen Mary has been my favourite ship since I was a wee boy. My mum and dad would take me to Dunoon and back on it every summer. It's had a special place in my heart ever since.
"She was known as the Glasgow Boat and she would sail down to the Kyles of Bute, but I've taken many trips on her, around Ailsa Craig, to Rothesay and all over the Clyde.
"Many people have fond memories of steam ships, and for me it was always the Queen Mary.
"I've enjoyed painting her story, and it means a lot to me to be able to help contribute to her restoration."
The last turbine steamer to be built on the Clyde, she is currently undergoing restoration in a berth next to the Glasgow Science Centre.
The Friends of Queen Mary, the charity that is tasked with the restoration, has already raised over £3.8million towards the project.
Dobbie's paintings include 'The Launch party', which depicts how he imagined her being launched at Denny's Yard in 1933.
Among the others are "Summer in Loch Long" and "Broomielaw astern", while Dobbie's final work was his own take on a portrait of the Queen that was presented to the ship on behalf of Cunard in 1935.
Dobbie added: "I was delighted to present one of my prints to the Princess Royal. I've experimented with other merchandise, including mugs, and gave a couple to Robbie Coltrane.
"I'm told he had a Zoom meeting with Sam Neill who was admiring one of the mugs, so I believe he sent one over to New Zealand so now he too has one of them."
Iain Sim, Chairman of the Friends of Queen Mary charity, said: "Billy is one of Scotland's leading maritime artists and has had a passion for TS Queen Mary going back to trips he took down the Clyde as a child.
"We are delighted that he has produced this remarkable set of paintings telling the story of TS Queen Mary in support of her restoration.
"We anticipate a lot of interest when these pictures are exhibited."
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