2. S.S. J Farley

The S.S. J Farley was a Wallasey ferry boat, built at the Ailsa Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at Troon, she was launched on the 16th January 1922 and entered service on the Seacombe to Liverpool route in April of the same year.

She was named after one of the Chairmen of the Wallasey Ferries’ Committee, her sister ship, the S.S. Francis Storey was named after the other chairman. Unfortunately J Farley died before the boat entered services, so for her first year she carried a purple mourning band painted on her bulwarks.

In 1928 she became one of the regular steamers on the New Brighton and Egremont services, she was also regularly used on river cruises.

The J Farley was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1943 and was employed in laying anti-torpedo nets in Milford Haven and the Clyde.

After being returned from the Admiralty in 1946, the J Farley was reconditioned and converted to burn fuel oil instead of coal, and returned to normal ferry services.

In 1950 the J Farley had a brief film career when she played herself in The Magnet, an Ealing Studios film directed by Charles Frend and featuring William (later James) Fox.

In 1952 the J Farley was replaced by the new state of the art M.V.Egremont and she was sold for £12,000 to the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment, for experimental work at Portland as a sonar trials vessel. She was towed to Weymouth where her engines were removed by Cosens & Co Ltd ready for her new role.

The Admiralty sold the remains of the boat in 1972 to Mr Don Hickman, who planned to convert her into a floating dance hall, for this work to be carried out she was moved to Husbands Shipyard at Marchwood, Southampton. Nothing became of this plan and she was left rusting in the Shipyard.

In 1983, the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (MPTE) discovered that the remains of the J Farley were still in Husbands Shipyard, they planned a ‘Ferry Spectacular’ and to buy back the hulk and restore her as a museum ship. There was only one problem with their plan: by the time that it was coming to fruition in 1985, the J Farley had been broken up.