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#272669 - 30th Nov 2008 11:44pm Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil *****
uptoncx Offline
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Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
In 1906 Wallasey Corporation took delivery of two new ferries, built by Robert Stevenson and Company on the Tyne and named 'Iris' and 'Daffodil'. The boats were 159 feet long and could carry 1,735 passengers, the Iris was 491 tons and the Daffodil was 482 tons.

In 1915 both boats were requisitioned for service in the First World War, they were renamed 'H.M.S. Iris' and H.M.S. Daffodil', had armour plating fitted and were painted Grey.

They were used on the first commando raid on the Port of Zeebrugge, in Belgium, because of their double hulls and as they only drew eight foot six inches of water, they could sail over the minefields.

Both boats were badly damaged, 188 Officers and men had been killed with a further 16 reported missing. 'H.M.S. Iris' was able to return to the Mersey under her own steam, but 'H.M.S. Daffodil' had to be towed back.

The White Ensign, which had been flown from the masthead of 'H.M.S. Daffodil' was presented to the Ferries Department, it used to be displayed at Seacombe Ferry terminal.


The damaged 'H.M.S. Iris' back in the Mersey

The two boats were reconditioned and were allowed to use the prefix "Royal" in front of their names in recognition of their gallant action. Both vessels re-entered service as ferryboats, after being repaired at Chatham.

The Zeebrugge bronzes were displayed on the ferryboats. On these plates were the names of those men who had died in action in the raid. There was one that commemorated the bravery of Commander Valentine Gibbs of the Royal Navy, who commanded 'H.M.S. Iris', as he "lay mortally wounded, fighting and directing his ship to the last, whilst under the enemy's fire, upholding in his noble death the glorious traditions of the Great Service to which he belonged".


The 'Royal Iris' running pleasure cruises on the Mersey

The 'Royal Iris' was withdrawn from service and sold in 1932 to Palmer Brothers of Dublin. She was used as a cruise boat operating from Dublin under the same name. She was later used at Cork. In 1947 she was sold to the Cork Harbour Authority and renamed 'Blarney'.


The 'Royal Daffodil' at New Brighton Pier

The Medway Steam Packet Company bought the "Royal Daffodil" in 1933. She took up duties on the Thames and eventually was sold for scrap.

In 1950 Wallasey Corporatin took delivery of 'Royal Iris II', she had been built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton, she was 1234 tons and 159 feet long. She was unique amongst the ferries as she had diesel electric engines. She also had a unique superstructure design.


The 'Royal Iris II'

The 'Royal Iris II' was withdrawn from service in 1993 and sold for use as a night club in Cardiff, following an unsuccessful period there she was moved to the River Thames in 2002. She remains afloat in an increasingly derelict condition.


The 'Royal Iris II on the Thames'


The 'Royal Daffodil II' was the last ferry to be built for Wallasey Corporation, she was built by James Lamont & Company of Greenock in 1957. She was 609 tons and 159 feet 6 inches long.


The 'Royal Daffodil II'

The 'Royal Daffodil II' was withdrawn from service in 1977 and sold to Greek owners who renamed her IOULIS KEAS II. On 7 November 2007 she sank about 20 miles off Cape Andreas, Cyprus after ingress of water and steering gear failure in heavy weather on passage from Mersin to Famagusta; 8 crew were rescued but her captain and 1st mate were lost.

In 2000 Mersey Ferries withdrew the former Birkenhead Corporation ferry 'Overchurch' from service, and after a major overhaul she was renamed 'Royal Daffodil'


The 'Royal Daffodil III'

The 'Overchurch' (or 'Royal Daffodil III') was built by Cammell Laird in 1962

Two years later, in 2002 the former Birkenhead Corporation ferry 'Mountwood' was overhauled and renamed 'Royal Iris of the Mersey' (the name 'Royal Iris' is still registered to 'Royal Iris II).


The 'Royal Iris of the Mersey'

The 'Mountwood' (or 'Royal Iris of the Mersey' was built by Philip & Son of Dartmouth in 1960.



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#272677 - 1st Dec 2008 12:06am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: uptoncx]
Wench Offline

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Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
Thank you for that upton thumbsup Such a shame that the originals have been left to rack and ruin.

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#272680 - 1st Dec 2008 12:15am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: Wench]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
they should get royal iris back on the mersey instead of leaving it to rot..
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#272682 - 1st Dec 2008 12:34am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: SoundLad]
peodude Offline
Addict

Registered: 7th Nov 2007
Posts: 205
Loc: Birkenhead
Very interesting stuff there, reading through it i thought that they may hav ebeen the originals still going today, but nfortunately not.

There is one ferry missing though, the formerly called "Woodchurch" whatever happened to that one?

EDIT: Google reveals that "Woodchurch" is now called "Snowdrop"


Edited by peodude (1st Dec 2008 12:40am)

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#272706 - 1st Dec 2008 8:55am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: peodude]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
I was working on the "new" Daffodil when she had her refit in Lairds. They had to cut the sides of the hull out to remove and refit new engines! Brought a team of Swiss engineers over for that!
Also remember one of the two engines packing in while in service and had to board her at Woodside with spares and tools to fix her while still operating! If only the passengers knew!!! thumbsup
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#272707 - 1st Dec 2008 8:57am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: hoseman]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
Also my great aunt was a "clippy" onboard, when you were allowed to fish off the side while in service, she would bring home ell`s etc. How the times are a changing, AND not always for the better! no
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#272736 - 1st Dec 2008 4:48pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: hoseman]
vw_kyle Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 27th Dec 2006
Posts: 1972
Loc: wirral
when the ferry was getting refurbursed about 4-5 years ago are firm installed alot of duct work and made the funnel for the boat i will try and get a few pics up

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#272738 - 1st Dec 2008 5:16pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: vw_kyle]
vw_kyle Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 27th Dec 2006
Posts: 1972
Loc: wirral
this is the only pic i can get its a bit small


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funnel.JPG



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#272812 - 2nd Dec 2008 6:31am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: vw_kyle]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
I remember you saying about that, wasnt it in the paper or summit? I know it was on ya firms website.

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#272884 - 2nd Dec 2008 4:29pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: MattLFC]
vw_kyle Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 27th Dec 2006
Posts: 1972
Loc: wirral
yeah it was meant vto go into the paper but never checked but a photographer did come round.

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#385214 - 31st Jan 2010 8:04pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: vw_kyle]
bazzoh Offline

Addict

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 252
Loc: wirral
hi
just to pass on messages from friends in the london fire brigade..it sounds bad!
Silvertown, Ex Ferry ship sunk, in docks, Fire, Police & Ambulance in Att, Now looking for bodies

just a derelict ex-Mersey ferry that has been moored there for years and has been on the bottom for sometime it appeared to be sinking as the high tide had been swamping it a little more than normal and this had been noticed by a passing vessel !

barry

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#385249 - 31st Jan 2010 11:19pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: bazzoh]
rentaclown100 Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Apr 2008
Posts: 1235
Loc: wallasey
i worked on a couple of them tiling and fitting stair nosings while on trials in the river. Scary
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needed to change this for years. so now i have. ha

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#385255 - 31st Jan 2010 11:37pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: rentaclown100]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15987
Loc: New Brighton
confused these are both moored in the docks by my work next to each other, by the flour mills on the dock road.
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#385260 - 1st Feb 2010 12:21am Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: _Ste_]
8HBob Offline
Addict

Registered: 23rd Mar 2009
Posts: 205
Loc: Pensby
I've just read on another forum that 'Royal Iris' has sunk at her moorings on the River Thames. Looks like this is the end.

Bob.

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#385323 - 1st Feb 2010 1:30pm Re: Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil [Re: 8HBob]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9889
Loc: Birkenhead
Not surprised she sank, here is a picture from about 3 years ago.
Clicky


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Iris.jpg



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