The pleasure ship MV Balmoral is facing another major financial hurdle following reports that all the crew-accommodation in the ship will have to be ripped out or renovated before she can be re-certified for service next year.
After a run of bad weather – and bad luck – this season MV Balmoral Trust ponders whether the little ship may have killed a metaphorical albatross.
Quoting from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner ” (which says the killing of an albatross portends bad luck) the Trust says “With the amount of misfortune Balmoral has had already this season – there must have been a very large number of that wonderful bird killed.”
The Trust says “It’s ironic that when the weather has been good the ship has had mechanical problems and when really poor weather (and what a poor summer it’s been) she has been mechanically fine. Passenger numbers (when we have sailed) are up substantially and comments and feedback received has been very positive.”
The latest problem to beset the little ship however is the condition of the crew quarters on board. New standards which the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is introducing from 2019 require that crew members – who sleep aboard – can no longer be accommodated below decks in traditional wooden-panelled cabins.
The old crew cabins will have to have their varnished mahogany panelling removed and replaced to meet the new crew accommodation fire safety and welfare standards.
The Balmoral Trust says “ What was acceptable in 1949 [ when Balmoral was built] is far from ideal or comfortable now for our crew in the 21st Century. This could challenge some heritage elements of the ship and of course will have major cost implications.”
The Balmoral Trust has submitted a £1,800,000 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund – but the Trust has yet to hear whether the bid has gone though to Stage 2 of the grants process.
Balmoral is back at Penarth Pier on Friday September 29th 2017 10:00 for a cruise to Clevedon where passengers are invited to take in a movie at the “Curzon Community Cinema and Arts Centre” and might well feel it’s a pity, since the closure of the Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema that, Penarth can’t offer something similar.
The programme continues until Balmoral’s final sailing of the year from Penarth on
Monday October 9th 2017 07:15 – which is advertised as a “Breakfast Cruise: River Avon & Bristol City Docks”. Passengers return by coach.
The full programme is on line on https://www.whitefunnel.co.uk/c-15-penarth.aspx