THE Iconic PS Ryde has been saved from the scrap heap as restoration enthusiasts have entered into a contract to purchase the vessel.

As previously reported, the dilapidated paddle steamer, also known as the Ryde Queen, caught the eye of restorer Lisa Turner, who owns a ship restoration company.

She organised a fundraiser to get the purchase started and last week, she and her team signed the contract for the ship's purchase.

It will be a 24 month venture, starting in April. The vessel must be broken into eight sections and taken away for restoration work.

Several attempts to save the PS Ryde have been made over the years.

Formerly a passenger ferry, then a wartime anti-aircraft vessel that took part in the Normandy landings, it was finally the Ryde Queen floating nightclub.

Lisa said today: "In March this year I contacted Island Harbour about possibly buying Ryde Queen, as many people said she was just decaying.

"When I first saw her I just fell in love with her — it's not everyday you find a paddle steamer.

"Yes she is very delicate, but this is a war veteran, a holiday romance, old fashioned elegance at its best.

"After a very long nine months, we can now announce that Tuesday last week we signed the contract for purchase.

"We will be continuing to fundraise whilst we start our funding applications, and we look forward to working with Island Harbour, National Historic Ships and all other companies which we are slowly appointing."

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