A small but incredibly powerful canal tug, the ton twin screw, coal-fired steam vessel is now unique in being the last surviving steam-powered tug to be built on the Mersey and is believed to be the oldest, operational Mersey-built ship anywhere in the world. In her early days she also carried passengers between Ellesmere Port and Liverpool, a service that continued until while the First World War also saw her in service as an unarmed patrol boat with the Royal Navy around the Liverpool coast.
As well as towing duties she started to carry passengers again between Manchester and the canal entrance at Eastham.
The stalwart tug sailed on in her dual role through the post-war years but by the s her towing duties became less frequent. Though still in demand for hospitality, she was now seen as a valued tradition rather than an integral part of the working life of the ship canal.
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By the s, the octogenarian vessel was nearing the end of her era and in the ship canal company decided to withdraw her from service. Arrangements were made in for her to be towed to the Boat Museum in Ellesmere Port, the very place where she had started her working life 83 years before. At the museum her unique combination of steam engine and stylish Art Deco interiors drew admiring visitors but she soon fell victim to funding cuts and maintenance became too expensive to carry out.
By the early s the Daniel Adamson was starting to show signs of neglect and over the next decade her condition deteriorated and she was vandalised and partly set alight. In , despite being a unique century-old maritime survival, she was earmarked for scrapping but within days a decision to try and save her was taken.
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Original members of the crew also turned up. People will be able to cruise on the vessel along the Mersey, the Weaver and the Ship Canal or hire the ship when she is moored in Ellesmere Port and other locations. By David Norbury Reporter. Daniel Adamson vessel sailed into Canning Dock tonight after sailing across the Mersey from Cammel Laird Get the biggest daily stories by email Subscribe See our privacy notice.
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SS Daniel Adamson. View gallery. Follow CheshireLive. She looks in fair condition for her age. I started as cabin boy aboard the coal-fired steam tug Bristolian , built She had no electrics, no running water, no sinks or baths, no lino on the floors and iron bunk beds. All the lighting, including the navigation lamps, were paraffin lamps. My job was to make the tea, trim and fill all the lamps, polish all the brass, scrub all cabin floorboards, help with towing lines, fill tin buckets by hand water pump and heat them on the stove so that all could wash at the end of their shifts.
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Ellesmere Port tug sails back into life after near £4m restoration - Cheshire Live
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