AN old boat believed to have been used to save people on the beaches of Dunkirk is being restored at the Riverside Museum - and turned into a mobile classroom.

The 1922, 45ft, Starcrest leisure boat operated in Margate, Kent, until the 50s and is thought to have helped bring soldiers back from the battle of Dunkirk in 1940.

In the late 1950s, it was brought to Scotland and used to ferry passengers between Largs and Millport until the turn of the century before being gifted to Clyde Maritime Trust.

In 2014 volunteers began returning her to her former glory - and they hope to take school pupils down the River Clyde.

They are planning to give for buoyant history lessons on the area's world famous shipbuilding industry.

Boatbuilder Richard Martin, 56, has been at the centre of the restoration process.

Although he can't be certain, he thinks Starcrest was used in Dunkirk.

He said: "The shape of the Starcrest is very flat-bottomed meaning it could get very close to the beaches in Dunkirk.

"That meant the boats didn't have to pull up to piers - they could pick soldiers up directly from the beaches.

"Although we can't categorically say it was used in Dunkirk, we have a very strong suspicion it was - and if not then it is a massive coincidence.

"It came to Scotland in the 1950's and was used as a pleasure boat.

"It was gifted to The Tall Ship exhibit in 2006 and because we are a charity we didn't have the funds to begin restoring it until 2014.

"We're hoping by late next year that we can get her on the water with 12 to 30 passengers and use it as an outdoor classroom.

"We can show people what's left of the Glasgow Clyde."

Starcrest is being restored at Riverside Museum in Glasgow as part of The Tall Ship Glenlee exhibit.

Of the many hundreds of ships built in Glasgow's shipyards, the Glenlee is one of only five Clyde built ships still afloat in the world today and she is the only one of her kind in the UK.

The Tall Ship is an independent museum that preserves the shipbuilding history of the area for the benefit of local people and visitors to Glasgow.