FANS of the historic pleasure cruiser MV Balmoral are being urged to share their memories as part of a fundraising appeal.
The ship, which often stops at Newport Docks while sailing along the Bristol Channel, is facing a cash shortfall of £300,000.
Event cancellations and unforeseen technical problems have led to the cash crisis, according to members of MV Balmoral Fund Ltd, the charity that owns the ship.
MV Balmoral charity trustee Paul Doubler said: “We have been left with a massive £300,000 shortfall, which we need to find before next season, if indeed there is to be a next season.”
The ship was initially taken out of service in the autumn of 2012 after a series of similar loss-making summer seasons around the UK’s waters.
But through the efforts of volunteers, grants and pledges from enthusiasts, it returned to the waters in 2015 under the banner of a new company, White Funnel Ltd.
The MV Balmoral Fund will receive 90 per cent of all money donated by fans – the remaining 10 per cent will cover the costs of administration and promotion of the appeal.
Despite their financial situation, those involved in the ship are asking fans to share their memories and photos of the iconic vessel, which was named National Historic Flagship 2016.
Letters written to the charity will be published once a week over the course of the two-month fundraising campaign.
The author of the best letter will receive a VIP tour of the ship while it’s docked at Bristol City Docks and lunch for two at a waterfront hotel.
The winner will also win a day out for a family of four from Penarth if the ship is able to sail again next summer.
For more information on how to donate to the MV Balmoral Fund, visit mvbalmoral.org.uk.
To send letters and photos for the fan campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send responses to Nigel Heath, The Cottage, Common Road, Mitchel Troy, Monmouthshire, NP25 4JB by March 15, 2017.