Thursday, 9 June 2016

TS Queen Mary returns to the Clyde

The last surviving Clyde Turbine steamer has returned to the Scotland for restoration. TS Queen Mary has a fascinating history. Built in Dumbarton in 1933, she was renamed Queen Mary II in 1935, to avoid confusion with the Cunard liner Queen Mary (now preserved in the USA). She retired from service in 1977 and was eventually moved to the Thames, where she became a floating restaurant. Having fallen into disrepair, she has now been rescued from scrapping by the Friends of TS Queen Mary. With so many former steamers and ferries scrapped or at risk (including Southsea, Ryde, Lincoln Castle, Dover and Duke of Lancaster), to save one for preservation is a great achievement. Sadly her engines were removed when she was converted into a restaurant, so a return to seagoing service is practically impossible, but she will form a museum on the Clyde and her beautiful 1930s interiors will be restored.

Filling the Defender gap

With the Land Rover Defender and Iveco/Santana Massif now off the market, Ovik (who have experience in up-armouring Land Rovers for the MOD and PSNI) have developed a vehicle that looks rather like a butch Defender: the Crossway. The Crossway comes in a heavy 6x6 variant, which pushes it into Pinzgauer territory, so it could also be seen as a replacement for that vehicle (which has also ceased production).

Meanwhile Supacat have developed a reconnisance vehicle based on the Land Rover Discovery:

With the Defender replacement rumoured to be based on the Discovery platform, does this give us a clue as to what a Defender replacement might look like?

The boss of oil giant Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe, has announced his intention to build a "spiritual successor" to the Defender. Details of the vehicle are non-existent at the minute: