Given that the newly published edition of Paddle Wheels contains a Balmoral article PSPS members may wish to be aware that White Funnel Ltd issued the following statement on Thursday 13th December with regards to her 2018 operation.
White Funnel Limited regrets to announce that MV Balmoral will not be sailing next season. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has recently made clear that the type of hull re-plating work undertaken and approved over many years is no longer acceptable and needs to be changed before she operates again. This work is expensive and exceeds the resources currently available to the owning charity, MV Balmoral Fund Limited.
The charity has recently submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £3.72m for major capital work that will also improve educational facilities aboard the ship, restore heritage features which need refurbishment and make crew accommodation better suited to current requirements. The work will also ensure that Balmoral complies with changes to regulations affecting heritage ships which the Maritime & Coastguard Agency is currently developing. The temporary suspension of operation will enable the owning charity to concentrate on fund-raising and the Heritage Lottery Fund bid.
During this interim period the White Funnel offices will be closed until further notice. Holders of concessionary or complimentary tickets and vouchers should retain these for use when Balmoral returns to service. Suppliers should address any correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We regret that with the closure of the Bristol office no other correspondence can be entered into. For details of the charity’s appeal and news, please refer to its website, www.mvbalmoral.org.uk . To receive news of progress and future plans please register to receive the charity’s newsletter at www.heritagesteamers.co.uk/balmoral/news.htm.
We thank all our passengers, suppliers and a wide range of others for their unwavering support for the ship over the past three seasons since we returned Balmoral to service in 2015. We very much hope we can continue to rely on your support in the future.
Giving further information the charity which owns Balmoral, MV Balmoral Fund Ltd, stated that the Harbourside Events team are organising a number of social and money raising events on board and there are a number of lettings to outside organisations booked.