This year’s TT collection on board Steam Packet Company vessels in aid of the Rob Vine Fund raised in excess of £13,000, lifting the total raised by passengers over the years past the £200,000 mark.

The annual collection started, as many great ideas do, over a pint in the pub, following a conversation many years ago in the Albert Hotel in Douglas between Steam Packet Company stalwarts Tommy Harrison and Mike Stewart.

Tommy had been a fund raiser for a UK-based charity for some time and wanted to continue to raise funds for a worthy cause in the Isle of Man. Mike suggested a few charities, one of which was the Rob Vine Fund and Tommy got to work, orchestrating the collections.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Tommy was held in the highest esteem by all who came in contact with him and when his health deteriorated and he eventually became very ill on the run up to TT 2009, it was decided that staff would continue with the collection that year, when it raised more than £14,000.

‘Sadly Tommy died just after TT 2009. But since then, despite there being changes in crew members, it has been possible to keep this annual collection going during the TT festival.’

Mark added: ‘This year’s amount of £13,682.76 brings the total collected since the start to more than £200,000, which is a staggering achievement. Thanks must go to those who helped with the on-board collections on Ben-my-Chree and Manannan, those ashore who have counted the monies and all those travellers who made generous donations to this worthy cause.’

The cheque was handed over recently to Dr David B Stevens MBE, Secretary and Director of The Rob Vine Fund, Registered Charity No 954 [Isle of Man].

Dr Stevens said: ‘Every year we are amazed by the generosity of the TT fans. This collection allows us to purchase new equipment which is vital to those competing in not just the TT and Festival of Motorcycling but also in many other motorsport events that we hold in the Island each year.

‘Once again I would like to thank those fans who gave so generously and of course the crew of the Steam Packet Company vessels who help coordinate the collection on our behalf.’

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Captain Alan Weston presents a cheque for £13,682.76 to Dr David Stevens, Secretary and Director of the Rob Vine Fund, the money raised via on-board collections during TT2014. Also pictured (left) is Brian Convery, Steam Packet Company Sales Development Manager, and crew members Paul Turton (centre) and Sandra Fitzgerald, who help coordinate the collections.