The last remaining turbine steamship to be built on the Clyde has returned to Scotland for restoration, eight decades after it was first launched.

It has been 35 years since TS Queen Mary was last on the open seas, and the return voyage was made possible by a charity patroned by Robbie Coltrane OBE, Friends of TS Queen Mary, which raised over £300,000 in under a year.

Captain Calum Bryce, a trustee of the Friends of TS Queen Mary charity, mastered the ship as she was finally towed into Greenock on Sunday 15 May.

He said: "I am absolutely honoured to have been given this opportunity. Considering she hasn't seen the open seas for 35 years, as long as I've been in the industry, she was like a duck to water."

The vessel left London on Thursday 12 May afternoon as small crowds lined the embankment to wave goodbye.

TS Queen Mary was expected to return on Monday 16 May but sailed better expected and arrived at the James Watt Dock in Greenock 24 hours ahead of schedule.

Built in 1933, TS Queen Mary was the last steamship ever to be launched from the famous Clyde dockyard in Glasgow. The vessel became a national treasure in 1996 when it was listed on the UK’s official historical ships register.

In order to restore the turbine steamship, the Friends TS Queen Mary charity plan to launch a fundraising appeal, worth approximately around £2m.

The restoration effort will be aided by apprentices, continuing Scotland’s ship-building legacy in the 21st century.

Iain Sim, Friends of TS Queen Mary trustee, said: "This is a proud moment for the charity and for the people of Scotland. We have saved one of Scotland's historic gems from being cast aside in a dockyard on the Thames awaiting a scrapheap.”

He concluded: “Our challenge now is to restore her and transform her into an entertainment venue and educational resource, so that people can continue to enjoy her and learn about Scotland's shipbuilding heritage."

By Alice Mason