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#306029 - 2nd Apr 2009 12:45am Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History *****
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
While looking up information for the Royal Iris Bus thread in the History Information Request Subforum, I started reminiscing (always dangerous), so I decided to bore everyone with maritime things that were and things that could have been.

1. T.S.S. Manxman



The Manxman was built by Cammell Laird in 1955, she was the last of six similar ships build by Lairds for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company between 1946 and 1955. The others being: King Orry (1946 - 1975), Mona’s Queen (1946 – 1962), Tynwald (1947 – 1974), Snaefell (1948 – 1978) and Mona’s Isle (1951 – 1980).



The ship had two oil fired boilers and her twin turbines gave a service speed of 20 knots. She sailed from Douglas to Liverpool on her maiden voyage on the 21st May 1955. She was able to carry a total of 2,393 passengers. She could also carry a small number of cars, but these had to be loaded by crane and considerably reduced the number of passengers that could be carried.

She was the last in a long line of “miniature” liners, she was a supremely elegant vessel, her fine lines being similar to the great liners of the past.



The Manxman was used all year round, mainly on the Liverpool to Douglas route but she was also used on the Dublin, Heysham and Llandudno routes. After the introduction of the new car ferries in the mid 1960s, and the closure of the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Co in 1962, her main duties during the summer season were on the Liverpool to Llandudno and Llandudno to Douglas routes.



In 1981 the Steam Packet Co announced that the 1982 season would be the last for the Manxman. Her final sailing to Llandudno was on 1st September 1982, and her final journey to the Isle of Man was on 4th September 1982, on returning she was laid up in Birkenhead awaiting her fate.



The Manxman was bought by Marda (squash) Ltd for use as part of a new leisure complex at Preston Docks. The Manxman travelled to Preston under her own steam on 3rd October 1982, calling at Liverpool to pick up passengers.



Manxman's new owners intended to convert her into a museum and visitor centre, however this venture failed, and the ship was instead converted into a nightclub and restaurant.

Redevelopment of the Preston docks area meant that the Manxman had to move again, and she was towed back to Liverpool in 1991 where once again she was used as a nightclub in the Trafalgar Docks area.



In 1993 she was moved to Hull and was moored in the disused Ruscador Dry Dock. Here, a fire which broke out in August 1997 damaged much of the vintage wood panelling, although the worst damage was confined to the second class dining room. Following the fire she was moved to the yard of Pallion Engineering Company Ltd. on the River Wear, where she has remained.



The Manxman Steamship Company, a charitable trust, was formed in 2002 to purchase, restore and preserve the vessel, in December the same year she was listed by the National Historic Ships Unit as part of the UK "Designated Collection" of Historic Ships.

Things looked bright for the ship, the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company provisionally agreed a berth in Birkenhead, both Wirral MBC and Liverpool City Council supported the trust, she appeared on the BBC and money poured in towards the 100,000 cost of bringing her home. Liverpool Capital of Culture Company offered a 60,000 grant, and a lottery grant from the Heritage Fund was applied for.



In April 2007 Peel Holdings, who had taken over the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, announced that “their [Peel Holding’s] project will undoubtedly involve some form of major visitor attraction ……. but certainly we would have to say that the Manxman would not be appropriate”.

Both Liverpool and Wirral Councils made it very clear to the trust that they could not renegotiate on the position taken by Peel, presumably because of the larger financial implications.



Following Peel Holding’s announcement, and the withdrawal of the berth previously offered by the MDHC, the Manxman Steamship Company released a statement saying that the rescue of the Manxman was not viable without a base on Merseyside, and that the “Trust has concluded, obviously with great regret, that the envisaged project cannot be progressed”.



The only other hope of saving the Manxman was an American organisation, but their interest ended in December 2008, due to the global financial problems.

In January 2009, Peel Holdings confirmed that their position regarding Manxman was unchanged i.e. “she is considered to be inappropriate”.



In March 2009, Manxman is still in one piece, but her condition continues to deteriorate, and a vertical crack in the hull (adjacent to the boiler room) is worsening significantly.

Her owners r are now re-examining the costs of breaking her up. Time is not running out – it has run out. She was the last remaining classic British passenger turbine steamer, she was also among the last surviving passenger ship constructed by Cammell Laird - she merited preservation in the long term and deserved public support. Sadly it was not to be and she is now lost forever.



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#306037 - 2nd Apr 2009 2:15am Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: uptoncx]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9868
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks for that uptoncx, really good read, I could never believe that they stopped the ferry service from Liverpool to Douglas for a few years in favour of Heysham. Are you going to follow this up with one the car ferry?
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#306041 - 2nd Apr 2009 7:31am Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: diggingdeeper]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


A great write up! Up until the introduction of the diesel rattletraps in the 1960's/70's, the I.O.M. Steam Packet Co. had possibly the best coastwise ferry fleet in the UK. "Miniature Liners" just about sums it up.

Happy memories of family holidays in Port St. Mary. The 4hr trip to Douglas was one of the highlights. Will always remember the wonderful smell of hot oil and steam wafting up from the engine room. The constant ringing of the telegraphs when coming alongside the pier in Douglas.

It's tragic that she couldn't have been bought by a preservation society (The Waverley Paddle Steamer is a prime example) and not grabbed by some plonkers who ruined her lines with a paint scheme dreamed up by someone "under the influence".

Once again we have to thank Peel Holdings for their great contribution to our maritime History (NOT!). Just as they booted out the Historic Warships Collection from B'head Docks - they didn't look trendy enough in the setting of their up-market ripoff flats. Lowered the tone etc. The Manxman didn't stand a chance !

Sadly, it looks as if another bit of superb British engineering will be converted into xxx million Oriental razor blades or tin cans !

PLEASE don't tell me that Peel Holdings own a Chinese Steelworks as well !!

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#306042 - 2nd Apr 2009 7:41am Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: diggingdeeper]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
Its certainly not boring Upton and as DD mentioned car ferrys,I'll add my little bit. The Manx Maid was the first car ferry built by Lairds for the Steam Packet co Ltd. She was a 2,725 ton passenger vessel and was the first IOM vessel to be built with stabilisers. She was also had a special system of ramps to facilitate the embarkation and dis-embarkation of vehichles at Douglas, IOM, at any state of the tide.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
manx.jpg


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#306044 - 2nd Apr 2009 8:05am Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: bert1]
uggla Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 6th Feb 2009
Posts: 509
Loc: Bromborough
I went clubbing in the manxman when it was in the docks all them years ago it was a great place.

terribal how this boat has ended up
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#306475 - 3rd Apr 2009 9:53pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: uggla]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1544
Loc: Birkenhead
To add to Bert1s input the Manxmaid was built in 1962 then after that there was the Ben-My-Chree built in 1965 which also was built as a passenger/car ferry vessel


Edited by jimbob (3rd Apr 2009 9:54pm)
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Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#306527 - 4th Apr 2009 8:38am Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: jimbob]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
The Manxmaid and car deck no1, The Ben my chree.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
ManxMaid_CF-04.jpg

Manx%20Maid%20car%20deck-01.jpg

Ben_my_Chree_Ramsey121.jpg


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#307045 - 5th Apr 2009 7:37pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: bert1]
oxtonmac Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Loc: wirral
Shame really so much gets lost over the years due to costs

get me a few rolls of 1.2 mig wire and a grinder and I will make a start

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#307071 - 5th Apr 2009 9:29pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: oxtonmac]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1544
Loc: Birkenhead
sounds like oxtonmac is a snote hanger {welder} with him asking for mig wire
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Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#308450 - 10th Apr 2009 8:35pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: jimbob]
oxtonmac Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Loc: wirral
Originally Posted By: jimbob
sounds like oxtonmac is a snote hanger {welder} with him asking for mig wire


laugh A real welder.... cut my teeth on the stick many years ago tease

A monkey could mig weld

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#308472 - 10th Apr 2009 9:26pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: oxtonmac]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1544
Loc: Birkenhead
a real welder on the stick can use LH and have the work passed 100% X-ray and 100% NDT. in other words a coded welder like i use to have working for me building the last 3 subs that where built in Cammell Lairds during the late 80s early 90s.
good lads all of them.
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Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#308927 - 12th Apr 2009 10:41pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: jimbob]
oxtonmac Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Loc: wirral
dead right jim I had to do the same when I was there,pity im all mig now , certs gone to the wall, would take a couple of hours just to get me hand back in , cant afford to do it myself and most of the silly little firms i have worked for just give a quick visual test

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#308932 - 12th Apr 2009 11:09pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: oxtonmac]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4982
Loc: Birkenhead
My brother Steven worked at Camell Lairds as a pipefitter and my grandad worked there as a boilermaker
Steven said there were some good welders there
When I needed some welding done on a car for MOT he sent me to one near Rock Ferry Station who sorted it

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#313434 - 27th Apr 2009 2:42pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: derekdwc]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
1960, a picture of Seacombe landing stage with HMS Mersey paying a courtesy visit, the ST Hilary to the right and the Empress of France and Ben-my-chree in the background.


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mersey 1.jpg


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#313435 - 27th Apr 2009 2:48pm Re: Wirral's Disappearing Maritime History [Re: bert1]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
Better pic


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
mersey2.jpg


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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