Campaigners, having come up against a brick wall with the Dubai owners of the former Cunard flagship, Queen Elizabeth 2 have conceded that the chances of the ship coming back home to her place of birth on the Clyde are now dead in the water.
Aubrey Fawcett, chair of the working group in Inverclyde and head of Riverside Inverclyde said that the proposal to bring her home 'which was always ambitious' now looks unlikely to happen.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World, the ship's owners, has been reported as telling a cruise website that they have plans for the ship, but refused to give details, however he stressed that rumours of the ship going for scrap were 'absolutely untrue'
The iconic vessel of the 1960s, with her distinctive funnel and flowing hull, redefined Cunard from the previously rather august image they had cultivated over a century, to one of sleek modernity. The company, whose roots were on the Clyde originally, backed by Clyde engineers and wealthy investors, retained its traditions of building on the River Clyde up to the construction of the famous liner. She was launched at the Clydebank yard of John Brown and fitted out finally in Greenock.
The ship has returned to the Clyde on cruise calls a number of times, but now it seems those will be the last views of her Clydesiders will ever get.
The ship had become part of the Clydeside vocabulary and an immense source of pride. She now languishes in docks in Dubai awaiting whatever fate becomes her. Many influential figures in Scotland, including local shipbuilder and engineer Jim McColl, who owns the Port Glasgow shipyard formerly known as Ferguson Shipbuilders, had praised and given the thumbs up to the original proposal to return the ship to Clydeside.
However, this year a Clydebuilt Queen WILL return to her homeland. Albeit a much smaller one, the nevertheless equally historic former Clyde turbine steamship, the Queen Mary, is to be located at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, following a successful purchase and rescue from the scrapyard.
Don't miss Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter when in Glasgow in February - Click here for details