Wallasey Ferry Royal Iris

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Santos
27th April 2005, 21:04
Here is a picture of the last Royal Iris before she was sold into private hands.
She is now rusting away in Woolwich on the Thames (Sad) , I would love to see her saved and returned to the Mersey

Santos.

Ron B Manderson
27th April 2005, 21:20
This is a picrure copied from news letter today.Not in a very good state
Ron

Santos
27th April 2005, 22:13
Its a great shame Ron. Why these people buy these ships and then leave them to rot I just dont know.

It would have been a more dignified ending if she had been scrapped.

Santos.

Bob S
28th April 2005, 19:15
I've seen her many times at Woolwich, just below the barrier. Never got round to getting a photo but will have to before she rots away completly!

Santos
28th April 2005, 21:59
Here is an ex Wallasey Ferry whose second life is much happier. It is the M.V. Egremont, built in 1952 for Wallasey Ferries. She served until 1975 when she was laid up. In 1976 she was sold to the Island Cruising Club of Salcombe in Devon and became their floating Clubhouse.

As you can see she looks very nice and shipshape and very well looked after. She has had her after prom deck covered over , however it does not detract too much from her lovely lines. Long may she live on.

( Picture courtesy of Island Cruising Club's web site )

Santos.

Bob S
29th April 2005, 16:36
My mistake, I do have a photo.

Laid up at Woolwich on the 16th March 2004.

Gerrysea
26th September 2005, 00:12
I'm an ex-pat Scouser, who left Liverpool in 1962 when I went into the forces and now living in Bexleyheath Kent. In my teens I spent many happy hours aboard MV Royal Iris. To begin with as a youngster on days out with my parents and Family, in later years with the lads, and all that goes with that or days out with girlfriends, over to New Brighton or Saturday Night Rock cruises and Sunday nights Merseysippi Jazz cruises. Lots of good memories.

When hunting on the web for more nostalgic memories from my days in Liverpool, I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear that she had been moved down here and wondered what she might have become of her or what she might be being used for. When seeking out more info I was dismayed to find to find that the first picture that I found of her was the one of her tied up at Woolwich looking such a shadow of her former self. The blue and white hulk a near wreck by comparison with my memories of her.

The memories, oh lord my best mate Les met his wife Jackie on there when we where returning home from one of our weekend jaunts to New Brighton and one of our first dates (I went out with Jackie's mate for a while) was a Saturday or Sunday night River Cruise on her.

I understand the current owner is contemlating a restotation. Oh I hope he does! It's bordering on criminal to see her in that state. :@

Nice to meet y'all.

Gerrysea.

rstimaru
27th September 2005, 20:38
As i youngster we used to call her the fish and chip boat for the obvious reason she sold the fish and chips on her crossings to New Brighton. I certainly remember the great dances on her, It is a shame to see her like this.Thanks lads for showing her sorry plight now Bob

Santos
27th September 2005, 20:49
A plea from me, if anyone knows the owner of her, please ask him to do something with her as soon as possible before she sinks at her moorings, I hate to see her dying there. (Sad)

It would be great to see her refitted, but I know her engines are just about finished if they are the same ones she had on the Mersey. That is why the Ferries sold her as she was having trouble managing the force of the Mersey on full ebb or flood. It apparantly was too costly to re engine her, so she had to go.

Chris.

Gerrysea
27th September 2005, 21:19
A plea from me, if anyone knows the owner of her, please ask him to do something with her as soon as possible before she sinks at her moorings, I hate to see her dying there. (Sad)

It would be great to see her refitted, but I know her engines are just about finished if they are the same ones she had on the Mersey. That is why the Ferries sold her as she was having trouble managing the force of the Mersey on full ebb or flood. It apparantly was too costly to re engine her, so she had to go.

Chris.
Hi Chris.
Extract from GREATER LONDON INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY web site.
Notes and news - June 2001. MV Royal Iris. "The vessel's present owner, James Jegede, would like to hear from anyone interested in her restoration. MV Royal Iris, Barrier Gardens Pier, Unity Way, London SE18 5NL. Tel: 078 1865 620. Email: jegs@vodafone.net"

Don't know if he's still the owner but I've already sent him an e-mail hoping to find out more. no answer as yet.

Thanks for the additional info, I was wondering why she was retired from Mersey Ferries. Does any one know how she finished up in EVERTON colours!!?

Didn't eat to many fish & chips on board but sank a few pints of Guinness (Pint) at her bar.

Y'all keep safe & be lucky.

Gerry

Santos
27th September 2005, 21:55
Hi Gerry,


Thanks for the info.

I am afraid it was my fault that she became blue and white. She was originally yellow and green with Wallasey Ferries, however in 1970, the Wallasey & Birkenhead Ferries merged under I think, Mersey Passenger Transport and the Funnel Colours were changed to Blue & White or Cream.

I at that time was working for British Torpedo Marine Paints as a Technical Rep ( I was a sailor so knew about ships, hence the technical ) We were responsible for painting the Ferries and were asked our opinion for the colour design of the Royal Iris. The Manager gave myself and the two other reps a clear plan each of the Royal Iris and asked us to submit a design, which would be put in front of the owners.

I did mine of blue and white with a blue dividing line around the superstructure. The owners liked my plan and it was adopted. I was then detailed by my boss to supervise the shotblasting and subsequent painting which I did. So I am afraid it was my fault.

Chris.

Gerrysea
28th September 2005, 01:22
Wow Chris, I certainly didn't expect to get such a rapid and definative answer to my question! The proverbial smoking gun no less?
I guess these new colours would have been ok with the Toffee's fans :eek: up home but Red would have suited me better. Mind you, in the old days she certainly stood out on the river in her original yellow & green livery. Come to think of it though, she probably stood out every bit as much, sporting her brand new blue & white paint job as well. (Thumb)
Thinks: Blue & white = Chelsea colours, perhaps we can talk them into adopting her as a mascot. The "main man" over there seems to have loads of cash to throw about, so perhaps he could be pursuaded to sponsor the refit that we all want so much for her to have??

Can't believe that I'm not able to find a decent picture of her any-where on the web, in her best bib and tucker (not even the blue and white). By the way Chris, that was new news to me, I was totaly unaware of the changes you referd to. Thanks again for info.

Y'all keep safe & be lucky.

Gerry

Santos
28th September 2005, 21:04
Hi Gerry,

Yes, it was me what did it. The corporate colours of the then Owners was Blue & White / Cream, the Buses were that colour too for a while, so really I had to use a combination of those colours. However when the Ferries became Mersey Ferries, they reverted back to the Red & Black Funnel colours of the old Birkenhead Ferries.

They kept the Birkenhead Ferry Boats and sold the Wallasey ones including the Royal Iris.

The Wallasey Ferries Funnel colours and boat colours were always Black & White, except for the Royal Iris of course which was I suppose Buff ( rather than yellow ) and Green.

At some time in the 70s the during all the changes the Funnel colours were Green & Black as well.

I have a picture of the Royal Iris from my collection which was taken just after her makeover in my design in 1970 which is attached.

Chris.

Gerrysea
1st October 2005, 10:13
Thanks for yet more info & the pix. Yes, she looks fine there in all her glory and despite the change in livery looks every bit as good as I remember her. But I'm not sure that that is the blue & white I refer to, I'm suure you will have seen this: -
http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/royaliris/index.html (http://)

I've still had no reply to the e-mail I sent to James Jegede (last known owner?), however, it's not bounced back to me so I can only assume someones got it. I do believe that there was a telephone number for the guy, perhaps I'll try that!

You mention the Bus connection with regard to livery colours but how about the Royal Iris Bus? Must admit that I don't remember ever seeing it myself but it was apparently used as a promotional tool.

Y'all keep safe & be lucky.

Gerry.

Gerrysea
1st October 2005, 10:32
Some pix from the launching of MV Royal Iris.

Y'all keep safe & be lucky.

Gerry.

Gerrysea
1st October 2005, 17:22
June 1957?
"That month Sytner also launched another happy Merseyside tradition that was to continue for more than four decades—the Cavern’s legendary "riverboat shuffles," a series of four-hour dance cruises up and down the River Mersey aboard the M.V. Royal Iris, a beautiful, Art Deco-style ship that had been plying the river since 1951 and was popularly known as "the fish and chip boat" for the food served onboard during the dance cruises." (Lots of fond memories here!!) "The 'riverboat shuffles' continued until 1990, when the 40-year-old Royal Iris was retired from service, sold off and relocated to its present berth on the Welsh coast, where it now serves as a floating casino."
Can anyone shed any light on her time as a casino?
Any Pix or publicity?
Could this be where she got her Chelsea colours?

Y'all keep safe and be lucky.

Gerry

Gerrysea
7th October 2005, 17:27
No joy from the e-mail, it was eventually bounced back. The telephone No. was NU as well. But did find a more recent update on her condition?

"GLIAS Newsletter June 2005: The former Mersey ferry Royal Iris (GLIAS Newsletter August 2001) is still at her usual berth but now looks much smarter. Her superstructure (much of the ship) has been repainted silver and black. Bob Carr."

Could it be that the present owner has positive plans? I wait with baited breath!!

Bruce Carson
7th October 2005, 17:55
It's a coincidence, but there's another ferry of streamlined design going through about the same hard times as the 'Royal Iris'.
The 'Kalakala' was as well known in the Northwestern United States as the 'Royal Iris' was on the Mersey.
These ships would eat up a fraction of the cost of restoring a liner. Many more people were acquainted with them than with any large passenger ship and it seems a shame that there is no strong urgency to do something before it's too late.

http://www.kalakala.org/
(Click on "History" for lots of pictures.

Bruce C.

ron baker
7th October 2005, 19:23
Hi all just joined the group today, i could not have picked a better one, i used to sing with my group on the good old Royal iris on a saturday night, oh the memories of sailing up the Mersey and when it was choppy we used have to watch the Vox amps in case they fell over, many happy memories of the great days in the sixties Fort Perch Rock light house literally rocking all weekend lets hope she gets a rerprieve and brought back to life again regards Ron Baker

neil maclachlan
8th October 2005, 18:27
Hi Folks,
Just a quick question was there also a Royal Daffodil? Can remember those ferries when I was standing by our ship at Cammell Lairds.
Neil Mac.

ron baker
8th October 2005, 20:18
Hi Chris
join the club yes i literally joined on thursday, i worked on Royal Iris in the sixtes with my group, and did many trips on her and the other ferries to New Brighton or over to the one eyed city to the market in the fifties, did the Manchester ship canal trip in 63 on Egremont my last year at school, fond memories of the Caledonia and Accra at the stage together as we sailed, it would be great if they could make space for her and the Manxman back at the pool perhaps were the naval relics are in Birkenhead will post some images of her soon regards Ron

ron baker
8th October 2005, 20:20
Hi Neil yes there was and still is regards Ron

Santos
8th October 2005, 20:40
Hi Ron,

Which group were you with, I know that the Jazz groups used to play on her Merseysippe being one, ( hope thats the right spelling ) and a number of rock groups too( I think the 4 Dees were one group ). I had some great nights on her, I probably watched and danced to your group.

I really hope she is being done up, and will be used as a place to entertain people again, she deserves better than to rot away.

Kind regards

Chris.

ron baker
8th October 2005, 23:25
Hi Chris it was Cherished Memories plus Memphis Soul band we used to play at all the major clubs and all weekend at Fort Perch Rock, one night we left The Harlequin night club above Burtons in Church street and went through the old tunnel to the perch as we called it, it was just on high water when we arrived all we had to guide us towards the Fort was the two lights one each side of the door the water was over the causeway i still dont know how we made it, i think our driver had had a few pints of Guiness ha ha almost joined the ships leaving on the tide, the Royal Iris was a real classic for her time a marine architects dream if you compare her to the other vessels in the fleet her curves were quite modern at the time i can still smell the ozone as we made our way up the mersey as kids on the ferries escaping the city on a bank holiday for the excitement of New Brighton fair and beach i hope she can be saved along with some of the fleet still on the river
best regards Ron
ps i hope i did not go of subject to much

Gerrysea
9th October 2005, 02:41
Hi Bruce, thanks for this info,

[QUOTE=Bruce Carson]The 'Kalakala' was as well known in the Northwestern United States as the 'Royal Iris' was on the Mersey.
These ships would eat up a fraction of the cost of restoring a liner. Many more people were acquainted with them than with any large passenger ship and it seems a shame that there is no strong urgency to do something before it's too late.

http://www.kalakala.org/QUOTE]

That sure is one interesting site they've put together there. By coincidence, similar stories in a number of ways, not just another ferry of streamlined design going through the same hard times but also both worked rivers in the north west of respective nations and now both apparently suffering a similar fate. Altough, at the moment, we appear to be somewhat less well informed as to what is happning to our MV Royal Iris.

It certainly would be nice to russtle up a similar information & history package for the Royal Iris. Perhaps it would bring about a greater awareness of her plight and her quite unique design and place in history and maybe bring about a more general interest in seeing her preserved/restored.

I know that Ron has sat at the high table there, sharing his fame with The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers and Acker Bilk to name but a few who have also made music on MV Royal Iris, to entertain those of us who frequented the cruises.

"According to Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles played on the Royal Iris four times
and, on the first two dates, shared the bill with Acker Bilk's Jazz Band. 25 August 1961; 6 July 1962;10 August 1962; 28 September 1962."

See attached pix said to be from 6/7/62 "The Beatles have another appearance aboard the Royal Iris, on the River Mersey, for a "Riverboat Shuffle" all-night show. On that night, the Star is jazzman Acker Bilk. In between his sets, the Fabs play their repertoire." 1: The Beatles play Love Me Do on board the Royal Iris. 2: In the dressing room on board the Royal Iris.

Niel, it appears that there has been an "Iris" and a "Daffodil" on the Mersy since 1906, they both saw service in WW1 and were given their 'Royal' handles when when they returned to pasenger sevice after being refitted in 1919.
www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/ archive/pdf/Ships-Mersey%20Ferries%20no27.pdf (http://)

Current Ferries appear to be "Royal Daffodil", as Ron confirmed and "Royal Iris of The Mersey"

Best regards.

ron baker
9th October 2005, 11:32
Hi Gerry i think the Royal suffix was bestowed due to war service, i will have to check this out my memories fadeing a bit, the ferries used to carry cattle and goods when it started, i think the infamous King John gave Liverpool its charter, it was an integral part of the transport system at Rush hour in years past as commuters went to there offices in Liverpool and home in the evening of course now they have two tunnels there is less need for the ferry but god forbid they get rid of them. regards Ron

Santos
9th October 2005, 21:18
The ' Royal ' prefix was awarded to the Daffodil and the Iris by King George V in reward for their service to the crown at Zeebrugge in 1918. They took part in the battle which was an attempt to block the port with blockships and prevent it from operating submarines. The battle was a success.

The Iris and the Daffodil successfully carried the Royal Marines into and out of the battle zone under extensive enemy fire.

The three boats currently operating on the River Mersey are, Royal Daffodil, Royal Iris of the Mersey and Snowdrop.


Chris.

Gerrysea
10th October 2005, 23:28
Hey guys, really enjoying this thread. For years I've taken the ferries for granted. Like Mum & Dad, they were just always there when you needed them. This started as a nostalgic desire to find out what happenned to the MV Royal Iris which led me, amongst other places, to this web site. This thread is leading me into so much more. Thanks.

A couple of intersesting links with info about the Zeebruggeand the two ferries:

http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/zeebrugge_admiralty1.htm (http://)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwone/war_sea_gallery_06.shtml (http://)

See pix: The Mersey ferries Iris and Daffodil, commandeered for the Raid on Zeebrugge - 23rd April 1918, to carry assault troops to the Mole (IWM).

Gerrysea
10th October 2005, 23:47
Hi Chris, Found one at last, MV Royal Iris as I remember her in her "home strip", prior to your paint job. (Found it on E-Bay of all places)

If I listen carefully, I'm sure I can hear the band playing (Memphis Soul band?) and see my pint of 'Bitter Black & Tan' sitting on the bar, as she heads off out to the Bar.

Gerrysea
11th October 2005, 01:17
The three boats currently operating on the River Mersey are, Royal Daffodil, Royal Iris of the Mersey and Snowdrop.

Chris.
It was interesting to find that all three have had previous existences

http://www.ferryphotos.co.uk/pages/overchurch.htm (http://)
http://www.ferryphotos.co.uk/pages/mountwood.htm (http://)
http://www.ferryphotos.co.uk/pages/woodchurch.htm (http://)

It's also of interest for me to find that Royal Dafodill (I), sister ship to the first Royal Iris, was sold to the New Medway Steam Packet Co in 1934 for use on the River Medway from Rochester/Strood to Sheerness and Southend.

http://website.lineone.net/~tom_lee/roydafimg.htm (http://)

The Medway is only about 18 - 20 miles from where we now live and we have a static Caravan on the Isle of Sheppy, about 4 -5 miles from Sheerness. It appears that I have unwittingly and belatedly followed her south!

Gerrysea
15th October 2005, 20:41
Some more pix!

1) Royal Iris II (Nice clear print, pitty it's not colour)
2) Royal Iris II Middle Deck 3) Royal Iris II Saloon.

More to follow.

Still unable to find anything on her time berthed on the Welsh coast, where she served as a floating casino? Can any one help here?

Gerrysea
15th October 2005, 21:14
Royal Iris leaving New Brighton.

If I half close my eyes, I'm back there watcing her leave, looking forward to whatever New brighton was about to offer? Dependant upon time of life, A day at the Fair or a night on the ale!!

Gerrysea
16th October 2005, 19:43
There's obviously some local interest, this I found on the GREENWICH INDUSTRIAL HISTORY SOCIETY web site.

"GREENWICH INDUSTRIAL HISTORY"
"Volume 8, Issue 3, June 2005"
"She was built in 1950 by the famous William Denny Bros, Dumbarton as a twin screw, diesel electric ship for Wallasey Corporation. She was the largest and most commodious vessel ever built for the all year round service from Liverpool to Seacombe and the summer service to New Brighton. Her gross tonnage was 1,234 tons and she was 160 ft overall in length and 48 ft in breadth. Outwardly she differed from any other ship and carried the Borough coat of arms proudly on the front of her streamlined, unusual and futuristic looking superstructure. Her hull underwater was designed to facilitate instant manoeuvring and control in the often-crowded shipping lanes of the River Mersey. She was also capable of withstanding gales, which regularly sweep the Mersey Estuary, especially during the winter months. She had a large area for dining and drinking and a spacious dance floor. A fish and chip cafe was an integral part of original design. Her passenger accommodation had room for over 2000 under cover. The Royal Iris's most distant seaward destination from Liverpool was to the Bar Lightship, 14 miles northwest and she also traversed the Manchester Ship Canal, carrying cruise passengers. In November 1991 she was sold for use as a floating nightclub in Liverpool, and later to the Thames. Today she is laid up in a neglected and derelict condition."

Will continue hunting.

Also found other pix of Chris's Paint job. Got to give it to you Chris, she sure looks elegant all spruced up in her best bib & tucker!! What we wouldn't give to see her looking like that again. How come Liverpools new Maritime Museum doesn't want her??? That's surely where she belongs!!!

Gerrysea
18th October 2005, 22:06
I got in touch with the GREENWICH INDUSTRIAL HISTORY SOCIETY and asked if they had any info on pesent owner and his intentions. Got the following reply:-
I don't (know)- she has been there for quite a long time. The chap that bought her was living on the deck in a caravan - his name was Jegs, but I don't know any more than that. He had no plans that I know of other than to continue living there
Mary
So despite the bounced e-mail and n/u phone line, it looks as if this guy Jegs could still be the man?Living on deck in a caravan? What's his game? Waiting for an offer? (Cloud)

Gerrysea
1st November 2005, 23:54
Hi Guys,
I've been down to Woolwich and had a look for myself. A sorry sight I must say, quite upset me to see her like that, tied up and appeared to be sitting on the mud with weeds growing out of her stern. Yes, she does look a little better for the paint job, no longer that patchwork of various blues and white, but she still looks so sad. I managed to talk to someone who appears to know a little about her current situation and confirmed that James Jegede is still the owner. Apparantly she was towed there from Cardif, the engines having been removed. I am told that they've had a couple of panics when she's broken free during rough weather. The word is that he would like to use her as an Art Gallery?? :confused: He apparently owns a film studio specialising in black & white films? I'm going back on Friday with a camara, will try and post some up-to-date pix. Also trying to make contact with Mr Jegede, my new contact seems to think he may be able to help with that. Will keep you posted.

Gerrysea
4th November 2005, 23:00
Hi Y'all.
Ok, went back to see her again today. I have to admit that I was a little disapointed when my contact over there told me that he has not yet been able to get in touch with the owner. She'd been listing over due to sitting on the mud when I saw her on Tuesday, but today she looked better with enough water under her to be afloat. Hey, but then my disapointment was soon turned to joy when I was offered a run out in a small boat to get a better view and get up close, couldn't believe my luck.
As promised I am posting some pix: The first is from the landing, the others from the river. Clearly still a shadow of the way those of us who knew her on the Mersy will remember her, but as you can see she does look better for a coat of paint.
In the pix from the river we can see the caravan on the top deck. I don't think he's living on her there, but he does apparently stay there at times when working on her.

Gerrysea
4th November 2005, 23:27
The guys I met really do appear to care about her and were quite interested in what I was able to tell them about her days on the Mersey.
As can be seen from the pix, any form of refurbishment is going to be a fomidable task. And I am told that on board is even worse, with some parts of the decks also rotting. However, she was floating, so I supose that suggests that she is at least water-tight. By the way, she's not listing, it's just Gerry's inability to keep the camara steady in the small boat. No 'Sea legs', that's my trouble!!
Coming up to the stern, if you squint your eyes you can almost believe that she's all ship-shape and Bristol fashion, but that bubble is soon bust when you see the rotting timbers of the fender (I don't know the correct tecnical term for it?) and the weeds growing in it, around her hull.

Gerrysea
4th November 2005, 23:53
Last one from the river and a farewell shot from up on the waterfront.
While I'd been out in the boat another unsuccessful atempt had been made to contact the owner. These are real nice guys. I've left a calling card, which they have promissed to pass on to him, in the hope that he may contact me.

Hope y'all don't mind but I've thrown in one of the Thames Barrier for good measure.

Cyrus
28th January 2006, 18:03
Hi All.
Just found your forum. I to am on a nostalgia trip having been on the boat many times as a little boy.
How near to her can you get on public roads or footpaths? I would be travelling from Lancaster in the north of England so it would be quite a trip.
Thanks for all the pics.

Cyrus

Gerrysea
28th January 2006, 19:20
Hi All.
Just found your forum. I to am on a nostalgia trip having been on the boat many times as a little boy.
How near to her can you get on public roads or footpaths? I would be travelling from Lancaster in the north of England so it would be quite a trip.
Thanks for all the pics.

Cyrus
Hi Cyrus,

Kindred spirit here. you can drive to within about 150 yards and get to within about 50 yards of her on foot without any trouble at all (involves a flight of steps), but restricted to a "head on view" + a "3/4 front" view if we gain access to the jetty.(see pix attached, which is about all that you'll see from shore and jetty) As you can see from posts in the forum I was dead lucky in being offered a run out in a small boat, in order to get a better view & take my pix. No guarantee that this offer would be repeated.

I have been contacted by the owner's secretary who assures me of the owners intention to make contact with me when he has the time. ( he's entitled to be busy, he appears to run a TV station!!). That was about a week before Xmas. To date I've not pushed it, because I don't want to become a pain in his preverbial. She said to give him a couple of weeks or so, so it's getting close to the time to remind her I'm still here, I guess.

Ok, That's quite a trot that you're planning and I assume that you have other reasons to be this end of the country, as well as visiting the Royal Iris. When would you be making the trip? I can certainly help out with directions, I work part time so perhaps could meet you? I guess that I could also have a go at oiling some wheels, but I'm afraid that I can't make any promises there!!

jim barnes
28th January 2006, 22:37
The Liverpool ferries where my first ships to sea !
when I was a kid living in liverpool I had a habit of wandering off(Still do) and would follow the trams to the Peir Head and calmly board one of the ferries any one would do, any way I must have done it once too often as the coppers would pick me up and return me home. aged aprox 4yrs then, also I would lie awake in bed in those days and listen to the ships whistles, not anymore (Night) (Hippy)

treeve
29th January 2006, 00:13
I have just discovered this thread, but have not yet
had time to read it all .... I am in the midst of writing
up a webpage which covers the last days of the
HMS DUKE OF YORK; as I saw her being towed on
her way north, from the decks of the old SCILLONIAN,
off Wolf Rock lighthouse. The ROYAL IRIS and HMS
DUKE OF YORK were "in collision", as they say.

Would anyone object if I collated the stories
and photographs from this thread in with my own
details? All properly credited to the original authors.

Best Wishes
Raymond

Santos
30th January 2006, 21:31
I have no objections Raymond, as long as you let us know the address of the web site when its finished so we can view it.

Perhaps it might be better if you let me know by ' personal message ', dont want anyone getting upset because you have advertised your web site on this site.

Chris.

Gerrysea
1st February 2006, 20:38
Hi Y'all,

No problems with that here, Like Chris, I'd like info on the web site as I'd like to follow up on this info. Total new to me!!

You Can contact me by personal message with the URL for your web site and for copy of any additional info I have.

Gerrysea
26th February 2006, 16:59
I have just discovered this thread, but have not yet
had time to read it all .... I am in the midst of writing
up a webpage which covers the last days of the
HMS DUKE OF YORK; as I saw her being towed on
her way north, from the decks of the old SCILLONIAN,
off Wolf Rock lighthouse. The ROYAL IRIS and HMS
DUKE OF YORK were "in collision", as they say.

Would anyone object if I collated the stories
and photographs from this thread in with my own
details? All properly credited to the original authors.

Best Wishes
Raymond
Hi Guys,

Just got some new (to me) info, from Raymonds wep-site and thought I'd share it.

The Acorn Archive Hearts of Oak: Raymond Forward
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~treevecwll/yscill.htm


· The ROYAL IRIS also had the dual role of being principal summer cruise boat and for this, she was designed with a Class III passenger certificate to enable her to sail on short excursions to sea. Originally the ROYAL IRIS could carry 2,296 passengers on her Class V certificate, and 1,000 when running on her seasonal Class III certificate.

· April / May 1985 : She made a journey, around Land’s End, on a publicity drive for Merseyside. She sailed to London and under Tower Bridge, and berthed next to HMS Belfast. She completed the 1,500-mile trip without incident. Remarkable, especially considering her earlier brush with HMS DUKE OF YORK, September 1951, in her first year.

· Collision with HMS DUKE OF YORK: HMS Duke of York left Spithead on Monday September 3rd 1951, in the company of the tugs Jaunty, Saucy and Envoy to be placed in Gladstone Dock, Liverpool.

From Liverpool, HMS Duke of York was to be towed to Gareloch to be laid up with other ships. She damaged her last vessel; at Liverpool. On Friday September 7th at 10 pm she was in collision with the new £250,000 Wallasey cruise ship, the ROYAL IRIS, in the Mersey, off Gladstone Dock, Liverpool. Royal Iris was nearing the end of a three-hour cruise organised by the Merseyside Branches of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. The Royal Iris was electrically operated and went temporarily out of control. She was carried by the floodtide against the battleship and was damaged about the superstructure.

Over 60 people were injured, most of them superficially. The Royal Iris called at Liverpool, where three people were taken to hospital for treatment and then she crossed the river to Seacombe Stage where a fleet of ambulances and taxis took over 60 people to hospital - only 10 were detained.

jaigee
2nd March 2006, 13:29
Hi All,

I did not realise that this thread existed, I suppose this should really be here.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/18121/password/0/sort/1/cat/502/page/3

jaigee
2nd March 2006, 17:12
If you search for "woolwich england" on Google Earth and move Westwards down the Thames, you can pick her out moored just to the East of the Thames Barrier. If you zoom in you can actually see the caravan on the upper deck.

Google Earth can be downloaded here, but beware, it's addictive, just like this site! I've been back to Monte and BA today, might try Santos tonight!

http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html

Tip: Only add the country name if a search on the town/city name alone fails or picks the wrong one.

seddostar
17th October 2006, 23:05
In response to the Royal Iris thread.

There have been three Royal Iris's on the Mersey. Currently there is a vessel named Royal Iris of the Mersey. The ship that is best known is the Royal Iris of 1951. She was built on the Clyde and was designed my W.H.Fry the Wallasey Ferries manager to withstand the strong winds of the Liverpool bay. She contains two engines, with four diesel generator sets conected to two Metrovick marine propulsion units. She was the first and only ever diesel-electric ferry to grace the Mersey. When she entered service she took some getting used to for the crews due to her increased size and bullwarks and was somewhat hard to handle, especially when berthing during heavy seas. Her original colours were yellow and green, the green finishing just below her rubbing strake. This was later raised higher so it was just under the main deck windows. The Royal Iris also carried the Wallasey borough coat of arms at the front of her superstructure and originally had two side slung lifeboats. She had a large ballroom with a stage and also on one deck a fish and chip cafe, which earned her the nickname 'Fish and Chip Boat'. She was popular for her band cruises in the 1960s and played host to bands such as 'Gerry and the Pacemakers', 'The Searchers' and 'The Beatles'. The Royal Iris retained her unique livery through the merger of the Wallasey and Birkenhead fleets, when all the other ferries were given primrose yellow and powder blue colours, replacing Wallasey's white and black, and Birkenhead's orange and black. The Iris was withdrawn at the end of the 1971 season and was extensively refurbished in Bootle by Harland and Wolfe, a transformation which resulted in the loss of her side slung lifeboats and the fish and chip cafe, and the incuction of a steak bar come restaurant and complete refurbishment of facilities. Her livery was changed to blue and white. She returned to service in 1972 and was an immediate hit.
She operated then up until 1984, when she was withdrawn due to an accident when a barge collided with her stern causing some considerable damage. During this time she was also re-painted in a patriotic red, white and blue livery, along with all the other ferries of the fleet in correspondence to the new flower festival which was held in Otterspool. In 1990 she was re-painted simple blue and white. She last sailed as a Mersey Ferryboat in April 1991 to participate in the annual commemeration of the Zebrugge raid, which the 'Royal' prefix was given for. She was then offered for sale, much to the dismay of many Merseysiders. It was said by Mersey Ferries that the hull was in poor condition and she would need lots of money spending on her to bring her up to modern standards. She sailed from the Mersey in 1993 to Wales where she was used for a short spell as a floating nightclub/casino. She was then sailed under her own steam to Bristol where she remained for a number of years in an increasingly decaying state. Due to complaints from the port authority she was offered for sale and was purchased and towed to London and berthed near the Thames barrier, where she still resides today.
Upon arrival at the Thames, her appearence was somewhat decrepit, with peeling blue paint, however she has recently been re-painted in a smart silver, black and white livery. Her interior is in good condition, as are her engines which are still operational. Her wheelhouse and bridge wings also remain intact complete with all instruments. I don't know what the future may hold, however i would love to see her return to Merseyside, her real home as part of the 2008 capital of culture celebrations.

Santos
17th October 2006, 23:51
So would I. I was responsible in 1971 for her new livery of Blue and White. I worked at that time for British ( Torpedo ) Marine Paints and we were responsible for her painting.

I was a technical services rep and the owners invited us to submit a new livery design for her. My design won and I was made responsible for overseeing the total shotblasting and repainting of her.

I must say ( even though it was my design ) she looked good when she was finished. Blue hull, white superstructure with a single blue line around it. To say I was proud was an understatement.

I really hope that she can return to some kind of working life, she dosnt deserve to rot on the mud in the Thames, she needs to come home to the Mersey.

Chris.

Gerrysea
18th October 2006, 00:06
In response to the Royal Iris thread.........

Hi Seddostar, Tnx4that. It's been added to my file of collected info. It would mean so much to me and so many other people if we could see her restored to somthing of her former glory and back home on the Mersey! Just one point which may be at variance with you info. The guys on the River Thames who watch over her tell me that her engines have been removed, whether permanantly or for repair I don't know? Perhaps you have some additional info on that?

Gerrysea
18th October 2006, 01:00
From Lower Thames & Medway Passenger Boat Co.
Some more recent pix

Gerrysea
18th October 2006, 01:07
More recent pix from the web.

Royal Iris [III] Awaits Her Fate
Photographs © Trevor Roberts 2006
ROYAL IRIS [III] William Denny's classic diesel electric ship completed for Wallasey Ferries in 1950. She entered service on May 5, 1951 with a passenger certificate of 2,296 for ferry services and 1,000 for cruising. ROYAL IRIS was refurbished by the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive in 1972 and sold out of service in 1993 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.
Her design is timeless - the sweeping curves in the superstructure displayed by the ROYAL IRIS well predate those shown by at least a couple of modern ships operating on the Irish Sea today. Just look at the stern - can't you see a ULYSSES there? The curves behind the wheel house - STENA ADVENTURER?
Mersey Travel should never have disposed of this popular vessel - so well known in local folk lore as the "Fish and Chip" boat. It is recorded that she needed a lot of work performing on her at the time of her withdrawal - but over a decade later she still floats on the tide and still looks incredibly modern.
What an asset ROYAL IRIS [III] could have been for the forthcoming Capital of Culture Celebrations to be held in 2008, for it was on board her that many famous "Mersey Beat" performers appeared during river cruises including "Gerry and the Pacemakers" and "The Beatles".
Given all the money that is sloshing around on Merseyside on the run up to the Liverpool Capital of Culture year, some of it appearing to be directed to some dubious projects, it is a shame that this Merseyside icon is left to rot on a "foreign" river when she could be returned home, restored and put back into service on the River Mersey. She would embrace not only our maritime culture but also the popular culture of the area. What a flag ship she would have made for the 2008 celebrations!

**A sentiment shared by many on this forum**

If only we could make it happen!!

seddostar
18th October 2006, 15:18
Hey, in response to Gerry's request for info regarding her engines, i must say that from what i am aware they are still intact. There are some clear signs of this. The most noticable is the level of the ship when she is fully aflot, it is exaclty the same as earlier photos of her in service. If the engines were removed she would sit much higher in the water, as can be seen on M.V Egremont. Secondly i know that her engines were intact upon her leaving Bristol as a friend of mine toured her and commented that they were in good condition. It is likely she was towed from Bristol for operational and insurance purposes, as no doubt the engines would not have been serviced for a number of years. Another sign is that the propellers are still there. It is routine to remove a ships propellers after engine removal due to weight imbalance or so im told. So im guessing that the engines are still there. I know the bridge is still complete. All the evidence points to her engines being in situ and i doubt they have been removed to be honest.

Hope to have helped and if you need to know anything else regarding the ferries let me know!

James

Gerrysea
18th October 2006, 22:07
Tnx4that James.

The word that I got on the Thames, that her engines had been removed, seemed to fit in with Chris's Earlier comments "I know her engines are just about finished if they are the same ones she had on the Mersey. That is why the Ferries sold her as she was having trouble managing the force of the Mersey on full ebb or flood. It apparantly was too costly to re engine her". And I had no reason to suspect otherwise. But your explanations seem to make sence to a non-the-wiser, Guinness-supping land-lubber like me.(Pint) So I'll bow to your superior knowledge.
I'll be more than interested to hear any additional info that you or any-one else has about her. I've just got one hell of a soft spot for her, so many great memories as you'll see from earlier posts.
If any one has GOOD colour pix of her in her "home strip", Wallasea Ferries colours (Yellow & Green) I'd love to see them. the only one I've beem able to find so far is the the copy post card from E-bay that I posted earlier.
Thanks again.

seddostar
18th October 2006, 23:36
Hi Gerry. Im not sure, however if these people have access to the ship and say the engines were removed, then it is likely that they must have been as they will know. Its just things don't make sense. I know for a fact the bridge is still complete as when i visited the ferry last year i could see the shiny brass binnacles and telegraph heads. I'd love to go aboard and look round. It's a pity there is not a preservation society set up for her. If youd like to know enething else regarding her or any of the ferries dont hesitate to say.

cheers

james

eyrebrush
25th October 2006, 07:47
Hi, all. It's taken me AGES to read right the way through this thread on the Royal Iris. Only just discovered it through reading the comments on the pictures I've put into my album! lol. If you are interested in more pics of her .... and the Royal Daffodill II, egremont, leasowe, etc., I'm slowly adding more pics.
Ronnie. (eyrebrush).

billyboy248
30th October 2006, 22:32
Here is a picture of the last Royal Iris before she was sold into private hands.
She is now rusting away in Woolwich on the Thames (Sad) , I would love to see her saved and returned to the Mersey

Santos.

I know how you feel, I was a bridge boy on the Iris and worked on most of the other mersey ferries when I left school in 1958, before joining the M.N.
FOND MEMORIES.
bye from
billyboy248.( ex E.D.H.)

xl391
31st October 2006, 18:48
How sad. Anyone heard from her owners? I have fantastic memories of her...

Gerrysea
31st October 2006, 19:48
How sad. Anyone heard from her owners? I have fantastic memories of her...
Like you, I have very fond memories.
I was contacted by the present owners sectretary about this time last year, and had quite a pleasant conversation with her. She assured me of the owners intention to contact me, but I'm afraid it never came to anything. I've also e-mailed but had no response.

Gerrysea
31st October 2006, 20:03
Hi, all. It's taken me AGES to read right the way through this thread on the Royal Iris. Only just discovered it through reading the comments on the pictures I've put into my album! lol. If you are interested in more pics of her .... and the Royal Daffodill II, egremont, leasowe, etc., I'm slowly adding more pics.
Ronnie. (eyrebrush).

Hi Ronnie,
Yep, remember them all, but Royal Iris is kinda special to me with lots of good memories from my youth & teenage years. I would love to add any additional pix you may have of her, to my collection. You can PM me for direct e-mail contact.

Gerrysea
31st October 2006, 21:59
A variation on the pix.

xl391
1st November 2006, 09:00
Can we try and get in touch with her owner again? I, for one, am desperate to know what the future holds for her. I know for capital of culture 08 the powers that be are thinking of bringing the SS Manxman back to Liverpool. Why the Iris, which has far more to do with Liverpool life is being overlooked is beyond me. She needs to come home to where she belongs!!

Will(Thumb)

xl391
1st November 2006, 18:29
Got the postal address for the owner. PM me if interested.

Will

eyrebrush
2nd November 2006, 07:41
Hi, Gerry
I've just posted another pic of the Iris, infront of the Liverpool Liver building. I don't know how to make a thumbnail link to it here, but I've posted it in the main gallery. If you would like any of the pictures that I've posted of her in my own gallery, in larger sizes, I'll email them to you.
Regards,
Ronnie.

PollY Anna
2nd November 2006, 13:59
Hi Billyboy

I live approx half a mile from her do you want some photo's I don't mind anything for an old ship mate Ring me

billyboy248
3rd November 2006, 11:32
polly anna, do you mean billyboy, or billyboy248?

Coastie
4th November 2006, 05:48
Wasn't she the one used in the film "Ferry cross the Mersey" with Gerry Marsden singing the title song on deck at the end?

seddostar
4th November 2006, 14:22
No, the ferry used on that was the M.V Mountwood, which was an Orange funnelled ferry for Birkenhead Corporation and was built in Devon in 1959, Whereas the Iris was operated by Wallasey Ferries. Interestingly the Mountwood was refurbished in 2001 and re-named Royal Iris of the Mersey.

Gerrysea
4th November 2006, 18:46
Can we try and get in touch with her owner again? I, for one, am desperate to know what the future holds for her. I know for capital of culture 08 the powers that be are thinking of bringing the SS Manxman back to Liverpool. Why the Iris, which has far more to do with Liverpool life is being overlooked is beyond me. She needs to come home to where she belongs!!

Will(Thumb)

I'm up for making another attempt at making contact.

Gerrysea
4th November 2006, 18:47
Got the postal address for the owner. PM me if interested.

Will

See PM.

Gerrysea
4th November 2006, 19:54
Hi Billyboy

I live approx half a mile from her do you want some photo's I don't mind anything for an old ship mate Ring me

Hi there. I guess that must make us neigbours by comparrison with most, as I'm only a couple of miles or so away from her.

PollY Anna
5th November 2006, 12:22
I have only been on this site a few weeks, already I have had more than one (old salt) say that we are neighbours. THE POWER OF THE INTERNET and our site, it's mind blowing

Regards Ron

xl391
6th November 2006, 13:46
http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=public&X=541750&Y=179500&width=700&height=400&gride=541750&gridn=179500&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=&pc=&zm=0&scale=5000&multimap.x=482&multimap.y=307

Aerial Shot...

Gerrysea
7th November 2006, 02:12
Hey Guys,
It appears pretty clear that we're mostly like-minded about this Royal lady and many of us share a wish to see her back on the Mersey. It's also been suggested by Will and others, that the Capital of Culture celebrations could be a way of achieving this.
Can I share this PM with you:
The address Gerry is:

James Jegade,
MV Royal Iris,
Barrier Gardens Pier,
Unity Way,
London,
SE18 5NL

Do you have any pictures of her current state Gerry?

Will
Hi Will,
Yep, got a few pix that I took of her from the river about this time last year and a couple more recent that I've found on line. Let me have your e-mail ad. and I'll send 'em over to you.
Suggest contact direct via e-mail and we'll see what we can do.
That "Barrier Gardens Pier" address is from an old GLIAS Newsletter June 2001 that I found on the web and is an actual address for the boat. But I've got to say that I've not had much joy with tryin' to make contact with him via that address.
I think that I can get hold of a business address for him which may make direct contact with him a possibility, but I'd like to have some concrete suggestions to put to him as he's clearly not got the time or inclination for chatter, even about his Royal lady.
I did manage to get the guys down on the river to pass on some info about her, a couple of old pix of her on the mersey and a brief note to him. That appeared to get his attention at the time and got me a telephone call from his secretary back at the start of this year, with an assurance that he would definitely be contacting me, but I'm afraid that never came to anything.
What we need is a SAVE THE ROYAL IRIS campaign, where people could sign up to support, perhaps with a website in order to spread the gospel and drum up support. The Echo may be the place to try and get a campaign started, but I've not got the skills or knowledge to put together a web site!!
I'm thinkin' that we should open this idea up on the forum and see what support there is out there for starters??
Good to meet you too.(Thumb)
Best regards.
Gerry
So my question is, I know that we have the desire but:-
Do we have the will, and more importantly the colective time, expertise and contacts to organisae this and get it done?
How about it guys?
PS. Should there be a new thread "Save The Royal Iris" ?

Gerrysea
7th November 2006, 02:22
http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=public&X=541750&Y=179500&width=700&height=400&gride=541750&gridn=179500&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=&pc=&zm=0&scale=5000&multimap.x=482&multimap.y=307

Aerial Shot...
Hi Will, Nice one, I guess this proves that at least one of your contacts is a high flyer then?

PollY Anna
7th November 2006, 16:13
Gerry

You will not know until you start

Start a new thread (Save the Iris and bring her Home) From what I have read her engine is finished she will not have to run up and down or across she could be used as a permanent home for the history (Mersey Ferries / Ships and or History of Liverpool.) all you need is a berth maybe in one of the old docks. It's got to be better than a floating Map of the U.K.

Do you have a Maritime Museum in Liverpool maybe they would help. Ask for help on this site and others I am sure there are loads of ex seaman out of Liverpool who would give their time even if it's only a few hours Our heritage must be saved and be useful at the same time

It will not take long to get a few guys out of the Yates Wine Bars if they are still there ?????

Hope that's started the ball rolling. The Internet is a powerful thing.

Regards Ron (PollY Anna)

karbine
5th December 2006, 20:30
Last one from the river and a farewell shot from up on the waterfront.
While I'd been out in the boat another unsuccessful atempt had been made to contact the owner. These are real nice guys. I've left a calling card, which they have promissed to pass on to him, in the hope that he may contact me.

Hope y'all don't mind but I've thrown in one of the Thames Barrier for good measure.


Nice of them to run you out Gerry. Is that the boat you were on in the last photo? If so thats CPBS Watchdog, i know her owner,nice bloke.

So whats the outcome of this? Have we found out what her future holds?

xl391
15th December 2006, 11:03
No, but we need to....

xl391
15th December 2006, 12:06
Go to Royal Iris page http://www.amerseyferry.co.uk/ ans see recent pics from Feb 06

panzar
15th December 2006, 13:52
spent many a trip on the old lady of the mersey surly some thing can be done to restore her to her former self.
they dont make them like that any more.
while on one of her many river cruises my wife took to the wheel house when they use to let you steer the boat and get a certificate to prove you did it my wife got hers you would have thought me being exmerchant navy i would have got mine .
as you guessed i did'nt maybe because i was down the engine room during my time at sea.
boy did i get some stick over that....great memories....john...

xl391
16th December 2006, 00:16
As a kid, I remember my solitary cruise on the Royal Iris. I remember the day. I remember the day the Liverpool Echo reported that her days were numbered, I remember her last cruise, the QE2 visits and I still have (somewhere) the Echo supplement of when she was retired from duty. I sailed on her once, as a young boy, year not remembered, but I will never forget it as long as I live. I remember my solitary cruise with affection, even though, I couldn't have been more than 10 at the time. She sailed into Stanley Dock straight after her retirement where my father was a market trader. Times were hard, and I used to help my Dad every weekend to make ends meet. I remember after she arrived. I hate water, despise it, I can't swim to this day, but I remember, she berthed in Stanley dock with her ar*e facing the quay. She was the same hight. Climb over I said. The angel in my head said no. But, and i'd never trespassed in my life, over the barriers I went. I walked up the rear stairs to the boat deck and was promptly chased. But, I felt her magic again. I followed her progress every week. She was moved further up the dock, out of the way, then painted blue. I used to know a fella at Stanley Dock, who used to love everything sea, ship and mainly Merseyside. My grandad was the same, but these are another story. Until I picked the Echo up that day to say she was off to Cardiff. Why? My heart sunk. But why was I bothered?? I had sailed on her once as a young kid??
The day came. She was off to Cardiff. I was distraught. I wanted to see her off (if anyone was there, she put up a hell of a fight at Stanley Dock gates, not wanting to leave...) and all I was doing was watching her on TV. The morning she eventually left, it was all low key, but I BEGGED my Dad to take me down to the Pier Head to say goodbye. It was cold, wet, miserable but he took me and my sisters down there to see her go. We got there, to Mersey Ferries Terminal, I sprinted down, I said to the guy there "Where is she??" He replied:- "My boy, you've just missed her. She came up to the pier head, behind her tugs, a blast of the whistles, a brief farewell, and she was gone", wiping the tears from his eyes, off to Wales. I cried my leg off.
A few years later (1999 to be exact) I had to drop a car off in Cardiff. Perfect, I thought, I hadn't seen the old girl in years, and I couldn't wait. I'll see how she is doing. To my shock and disappointment, she had left, a week earlier, for London.
I visited London a lot and still do, not knowing her exact location. I do now, and will make a point of saying hello to the old girl. No matter what anyone says or does, e.g. saving the s.s. Manxman. The Manxman is a BEAUTIFUL ship. Gorgeous. It would be a priviledge to have her. But look at one of Liverpools Jewels in the Crown. The Royal Iris IS Liverpool. She left our fair city once (funnily enough, to go to London) but on no other occasion. The Royal Iris IS LIVERPOOL!!!. River cruises in the sixties, the dance floor, the fish and chip cafe, the bloody NAMES that have played on her, e.g. The Beatles??? Why nothing is being done to bring this great vessel back to Liverpool both shocks and saddens me. You ask anyone in Liverpool, who Lived through the fifties, sixties and seventies about the Royal Iris, very few ask "What are you talking about??" Most remember her with a wry smile, a giggle, and their next line is:

"I'll tell you a story. One time when we were on the Iris......"

I bet you all, to this day, with river cruises, especially on the Mersey, now coming back into fashion, Mersey Ferries are gutted to have let her go. She had her problems, and most people know what they are, i've heard a lot of them, and that's probably why she was retired, but when you look at what Mersey Ferries have outlayed on Woodchurch, Mountwood and Overchurch in the past few years, they could have spent that on the Grand Old Lady of the Mersey. Instead, Overchurch is now the cruiser, the one who carries out all that the beautiful Iris did ten times better. Me, my missus and my son will do the Manchester Ship Canal on the Royal Daffodil (Overchurch) next summer. But, what it would have meant for me to be on the Iris for that cruise....

BRING HER HOME!!! - THERE IS NO VESSEL, AND THERE NEVER WILL BE, ANYTHING LIKE HER!!(==D)

(P.S. If there is anyone on here who was part of her crew, sailed on her, even loves her for what she is, lets hear your stories - Come On All You Old Lags!!!!!!)

Waterways
17th December 2006, 14:15
Hi Chris
join the club yes i literally joined on thursday, i worked on Royal Iris in the sixtes with my group, and did many trips on her and the other ferries to New Brighton or over to the one eyed city to the market in the fifties, did the Manchester ship canal trip in 63 on Egremont my last year at school, fond memories of the Caledonia and Accra at the stage together as we sailed, it would be great if they could make space for her and the Manxman back at the pool perhaps were the naval relics are in Birkenhead will post some images of her soon regards Ron

British Waterways, with Liverpool council approval, are making the Liverpool docks around the city centre into a glorified shallow inland canal boatway. They allowed the docks to be infilled to a few feet in depth. The infilling was for the owners/developers to make money selling the space for lurative dumping.

The people behind the SS Manxman wanted to berth her in Princes Dock - now it is a glorified pond, as is Princes Half Tide Dock and West Waterloo Dock. Liverpool is one of the few cities where ships can berth in or near the centre - a great asset in berthing historic ships and tall ships when they visist. This capability is foolishly being whittled away for greed. The naive Liverpool authorities freely allow this rot to happen.

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/watercity/PrincesHalfTideInfill-3.jpg
photo permission of Liverpool Pictorial: http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk

Click on this link:
http://www.saveliverpooldocks.co.uk

Waterways
18th December 2006, 00:59
The Beatles on the Royal Iris:

http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/1962/62.07.06%20royal%20iris%20riverboat/thumbs/01.jpg

http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/1962/62.07.06%20royal%20iris%20riverboat/thumbs/02.jpg

http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/1962/62.07.06%20royal%20iris%20riverboat/thumbs/03.jpg

http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/1962/62.07.06%20royal%20iris%20riverboat/62.07.06riverboat.html

Gerrysea
22nd May 2007, 00:35
How sad. Anyone heard from her owners? I have fantastic memories of her...

Can we try and get in touch with her owner again? I, for one, am desperate to know what the future holds for her. I know for capital of culture 08 the powers that be are thinking of bringing the SS Manxman back to Liverpool. Why the Iris, which has far more to do with Liverpool life is being overlooked is beyond me. She needs to come home to where she belongs!!

Will(Thumb)

Nice of them to run you out Gerry. Is that the boat you were on in the last photo? If so thats CPBS Watchdog, i know her owner,nice bloke.
So whats the outcome of this? Have we found out what her future holds?
Hi Guys,

Been quiet on the subject for some time as there's not been much to add.

But good news today. The long wait has paid off. I've at last been contacted by the new owner of MV Royal Iris. Recieved an e-mail from him today which includes the following comments: -

Hi Gerry,
Many thanks for your letter and emails. Absolutely fascinating
material and useful documentary information.
This is a very short note as I am in Cannes - but at some point would
be nice perhaps to meet up.
I have a little news - The Historic Ships Register has sent an
invitation to be listed which helps and we are now in the final
Inventory Phase for the refit.
We hope to have substantial progress within the next year - We will
definitely keep you posted.
Best Regards
James.

So we have contact at last. I will keep y'all advised as & when I get any further info about her future.

Attached are some pix that I don't think we've had posted previously, more to follow, most courtesy of forum member Eyrebrush. Thanks Ronnie.

Gerrysea
22nd May 2007, 00:38
Hi guys,

Some more pix of the Royal lady

karbine
22nd May 2007, 00:51
Great News Gerry, Keep us posted. Top pictures too!

She looks good in the Mersey Ferry Colors

Gerrysea
22nd May 2007, 00:53
Here she is in right Royal company. courtesy of Ronnie.

Gerrysea
22nd May 2007, 01:50
Great News Gerry, Keep us posted. Top pictures too!

She looks good in the Mersey Ferry Colors

A couple more in royal company, I'm afraid that I only remember her in Wallasey ferry colours but I have to admit to real soft spot for her, and she looks good no matter what colours!!

Keith Adams
22nd May 2007, 08:11
Hi All, Taken me ages to go through the postings ... I almost took an apprenticeship as an Engineer with Wallasey Ferries in 1951 but at the same time was accepted at Liverpool Nautical, so I went on-deck instead. We in Wallasey called her "The Fish and Chip Boat" and thought the "Royal Iris" was a horrible looking vessel initially, however her design was ideal for passenger comfort in River Mersey normal weather ... cold and damp ... I recall that two years ago I was surprised to see the Builder's Model of her in the lobby of Earlston Public Library in Wallasey ... remember how Wallasey Ferries had all of the Builder's Models in glass cases down the centre of the Seacombe Landing ramps and also in the main entrance?
Excellent "MERSEY FERRIES" books in 2 volumes, of which Vol.2 covers Wallasey's operations by T.B.Maund FCIT & Martin Jenkins BA published by Black Dwarf Publications www.lightmoor.co.uk printed Alden Press,Oxford.
Be glad to send a decent contribution if she is to be taken back to the Mersey for the 2008 celebration. Cheers, Snowy

Gerrysea
22nd May 2007, 09:29
Hi All, Taken me ages to go through the postings ... I almost took an apprenticeship as an Engineer with Wallasey Ferries in 1951 but at the same time was accepted at Liverpool Nautical, so I went on-deck instead. We in Wallasey called her "The Fish and Chip Boat" and thought the "Royal Iris" was a horrible looking vessel initially, however her design was ideal for passenger comfort in River Mersey normal weather ... cold and damp ... I recall that two years ago I was surprised to see the Builder's Model of her in the lobby of Earlston Public Library in Wallasey ... remember how Wallasey Ferries had all of the Builder's Models in glass cases down the centre of the Seacombe Landing ramps and also in the main entrance?
Excellent "MERSEY FERRIES" books in 2 volumes, of which Vol.2 covers Wallasey's operations by T.B.Maund FCIT & Martin Jenkins BA published by Black Dwarf Publications www.lightmoor.co.uk printed Alden Press,Oxford.
Be glad to send a decent contribution if she is to be taken back to the Mersey for the 2008 celebration. Cheers, Snowy
Hi Snowy,

As you can see from his e-mail, the new owner hopes "to have substantial progress within the next year" I'm not sure pecisely what that means at present. However he clearly has his own plans which could of course mean that she may be mid-way thru a refit for the 2008.

It's my intention to try to make an early arrangement to meet with him (That may be more easily said than done as it's taken best part of 18 months to recieve a response to my original letter & subsequent e-mails. However I think that he runs a TV company, so I guess that he has more than enough to keep him busy), and will put it to him that we try to get her back home, at least on a temporary basis, for the 2008 celebration. But, even if that is possible, I shudder to think what it could cost? Mind you wouldn't it be something to see her on the Mersey again, even if it was just for the celibration? We'll see what's possible!

Meanwhile some more memories of her on the Mersey in the form of pix. Thought the sketch to be quite unusual.

Keith Adams
23rd June 2007, 08:30
Hi Gerry, Thanks for the update ... being over here in the States since 1961 I was amazed to hear "Ferry Across The Mersey" by Gerry and The Pacemakers as I used to say " They write songs about the Missouri and other rivers but no-one will ever write one about the Mersey" ... wrong ! Snowy

Thom Gorst
26th June 2007, 22:05
Hello everyone. Just joined today, and never used this sort of thing before! - Just wanted to say that I have seen the Royal Iris in its current berth, and would love to know who currently owns it, given that Mr Jegede is not contactable. I visited the Manxman last year thanks to the generosity of Pallion shipyard, and simply can't understand why everyone wants to save that (admittedly lovely) ship, whilst no-one is making a noise about the Royal Iris. The Iris was a revolutionary design - diesel-electric, and the first of many many ships to have a false funnel for'ard with plain uptakes further aft. I welcomed the comments on this site about the Karakala, but that was a conversion I think: the Iris was truly revolutionary! If it was a building, it would surely have been listed by now.
Even though the Iris' design is over 50 years old, it is still modern. Why do preservationists seem to prefer the conventional, rather than the progressive?

Santos
26th June 2007, 22:58
Hello everyone. Just joined today, and never used this sort of thing before! - Just wanted to say that I have seen the Royal Iris in its current berth, and would love to know who currently owns it, given that Mr Jegede is not contactable. I visited the Manxman last year thanks to the generosity of Pallion shipyard, and simply can't understand why everyone wants to save that (admittedly lovely) ship, whilst no-one is making a noise about the Royal Iris. The Iris was a revolutionary design - diesel-electric, and the first of many many ships to have a false funnel for'ard with plain uptakes further aft. I welcomed the comments on this site about the Karakala, but that was a conversion I think: the Iris was truly revolutionary! If it was a building, it would surely have been listed by now.
Even though the Iris' design is over 50 years old, it is still modern. Why do preservationists seem to prefer the conventional, rather than the progressive?


Welcome Thom, enjoy SN and all it has to offer.

Re the Manxman & the Royal Iris, many many people want to save both vessels as well as the Ex Mersey Bar Lightship ' Planet ' and would be over the moon to see all three on display in their home port.

It would seem the chance of saving the Manxman is looking better at the moment but the Planet and the Royal Iris face differing problems.

It appears that certain individuals and conglomerates in Liverpool are against
any ideas of preserving historic vessels, or for that matter preserving any maritme history or hereitage, prefering instead the filling in of docks and the errection of office blocks, hotels and luxery appartments. Unfortunately they appear to be winning and whilst this situation persists, Liverpool will very soon lose all its maritime culture and heritage. History and nostalgia do not make big profits for business men and women, concrete and glass do.

Berths for these vessels ( historic ships ) are becoming very difficult or even impossible to find. ( this is not just in Liverpool, the people trying to bring HMS Plymouth back home have also lost out having a promised berth taken from them ) as we have lost out here on the Wirral by having HMS Plymouth and the Historic Warships taken from us by land developers.

There is a very negative attitude here in Merseyside with regard to maritime history and heritage and whilst there are many of us who would be delighted to see such vessels returned to their old home, we cannot foresee it happening until someone sees the light and realises just what an attraction these vessels would be to Liverpool and Merseyside in general and makes it an attractive proposition for their owners to bring them back home.

It is currently a very sad situation especially when Liverpool a great maritime city is going to be Capital of Culture next year. All it will have to show its many expected guests from all over the world is filled in docks and a concrete and glass waterfront. It beggars belief that some think that people will come to see Liverpool like that with nothing to see, they may come the once but I bet they wont come a second time.

Chris.

Bruce Carson
26th June 2007, 23:50
Tom, Welcome onboard.
As you can see, your posting on this thread was #92, which should give you an idea of how active many of our members tend to be.
It's good to see you join in the discussions.
I think you'll enjoy the friendly give and take and also the maritime information found on our forums.

Best
Bruce

Gerrysea
27th June 2007, 01:20
HI Tom,

You’re certainly not alone in your frustration at the plight of the Royal Iris. All that we would need is unlimited access to very extensive resources and an enormous pot of gold, and the situation could be resolved without any real difficulty at all? But as Chris rightly points out, there appears to be very little chance of that coming from Liverpool at present. In the absence of such provisions, I guess that we can only wait to see what plans James Jegede has in store for her and hope that whatever it is, he will at least keep her around, maintained in a reasonable condition for many more years to come. All the time that she's still with us, there'll always be the possibility, no matter how remote, of a return home. For the time being we just have to be grateful for the fact of her being kept away from the breakers yards.

Thom Gorst
27th June 2007, 20:06
Thanks for the comments and for making me feel at home. Chris paints a gloomy picture of the scene on Merseyside, and despite being enormously fond of my roots, I do think this is a national, not a local issue: the Royal Iris is a truly revolutionary vessel. It currently lies just a short distance from the National Maritime Museum: an institution which, until the sixties, was almost obsessed with Nelson's Navy. The problem with the Royal Iris is that it isn't a warship; it didn't do brave deeds in the War; it isn't pretty, it's no greyhound and it was associated with common things like dancing and fish 'n chips. It is a symbol of our culture in those days of austerity in the '50s. Can you think of another ship which, apart from the Britannia or the Bronington, is really part of our heritage?

Lesl Clegg
18th July 2007, 11:17
Hi The Royal came from the 2WW IT was given to the Dafadil as well The King gave the Ships Royal fro the work they did at Zeebroug

Lesl Clegg
18th July 2007, 11:33
I have only just registered today, and the information on the Royal Iris is good news for me, as a boy I worked on Her for abut three Years, Her and other Wallasey Ferries,[Wallasey, Liscard, Egremont] and when I go home for a vist it is heart breaking to see only One boat in Service. The New Brighton run was the best.

Gerrysea
18th July 2007, 14:07
I have only just registered today, and the information on the Royal Iris is good news for me, as a boy I worked on Her for abut three Years, Her and other Wallasey Ferries,[Wallasey, Liscard, Egremont] and when I go home for a vist it is heart breaking to see only One boat in Service. The New Brighton run was the best.
Hi Les,

Nice to meet you. So How long ago was it that you worked on her? I was many times a passenger on her, as you'll see elswher in this thread. Like a long lost girlfreind, I loved her lots and miss her dearly. Not withstanding the fact that she's currently berthed only about 6 or 7 miles from where I live.

Guess that you may have a couple of good tails from your days on board, please do tell! I'd be very interested in seeing any pix you may have of her. Particularly in her Wallesy Ferries livery, or maybe pix "on board"?

Once again, nice to meet you. Take care.

Lesl Clegg
31st July 2007, 16:12
Gerry,

Nice to hear from you, I am still getting used to the Net work,I will look out some Photos, I will have to get onto my Sister in Wallasey, with living in N.Ireland she has all the info I would have kept.(Thumb)

Take Care

Les

Lesl Clegg
4th August 2007, 21:00
Hi guys,

Some more pix of the Royal lady

Gerry

I found the attached photos thouht you would be interested, taken at Wallasey Landing Stage. [They are in the attchment files]

Take Care

Les

Santos
4th August 2007, 21:22
Les,

Not wanting to be a spoiler, but that is a pic of the Royal Daffodil 2, not the Royal Iris, being raised during WW2, She was bombed and sank alongside at Seacombe , May 7th 1941. Back in service in June 1943.

Chris.

Lesl Clegg
5th August 2007, 13:50
Chris,
Thank you for that, my photo file says Royal Iris, but I will now amed it to read Daffodil 2, This is still all new to me, it is nice to talk to other members, I was sorry to see the photos of the Royal Iris in the state that she is in, after being a member of her crew for Three years, it is the same as the Old Manxman she is in a bad way as well. Thanks Chris and Take Care

Les

Santos
5th August 2007, 20:35
No problem Les, I too am very fond of the Royal Iris and the Manxman, having been on both vessels and also being responsible for the Royal Iris's last make over.

I would be over the moon to see them both back on the Mersey where they belong.

Kind regards

Chris.

WILT
8th August 2007, 00:47
Hi,

Ive just spent 2 nights reading all this harrowing thread. It seems that any article/ building that relates to commonplace english culture,regardless of its future potential, will be scrapped /pulled down.

I too sailed on a river cruise on the Fish & Chip Boat as a teenager although at the time I thought her as ugly as sin and the colour scheme atrocious .I was delighted at the pictures of her on the forum painted in refreshing Blue and white ,although being a Rock Ferry lad I still think Birkenhead ferries were the smartest in their crisp Black, White and RED livery(when did the orange creep in?)

I am a member of the Mersey Lightship Preservation Society and they too are having the same fight .I find it totally incredible that Merseyside politicians could even consider letting the Bar Light go somewhere else or be scrapped.
Millions of tons of shipping and countless passengers passed the bar Knowing they were nearly home to the "Pool" and safety, especially us Bikers returning from the "Island" after the TT a lot of us were not natural sailors and braved the crossing in the name of religion! So I too would support the "Manxman"
Ive crossed over on her a few good times.

I lived in Cardiff for nigh on twenty years and the posts on here have confirmed my belief that I had caught a glimpse of her in Cardiff Docks many years ago ,I presume that was the casino business?

Incidently, was she painted that colour originally to match the Bus fleet because the No 10 bus we used to catch to New Brighton was a sort of Bannana Yellow. I agree that if she was ever returned to the river she should be restored to her original colours because thats how she is in all our memories.

If anyone sets up a fund for coping with the administration of lobbying for the old girl count me in.

WILT

seddostar
3rd September 2007, 17:49
Hi Wilt,
The orange funnel livery came in upon the introduction of Mountwood and Woodchurch in 1960. As far as I am aware when the Claughton, Thurstaston and latterly the Bidston (the old steamships) were scrapped the red livery was gone completely. Despite having an orange funnel the Mountwood, Woodchurch and Overchurch still carried a red band above the rubbing strake. I've got several photos of the Mountwood, Woodchurch and Overchurch - (Now the Royal Iris of the Mersey, Snowdrop and Royal Daffodil) with thier smart orange funnels and they look very good when brand new! Much better than Wallaseys white funnels in my opinion.

James x

seddostar
3rd September 2007, 18:12
just some info for people on today's ferries, just incase anybody fancies a read lol

The current vessels are Mountwood, Woochurch and Overchurch although over the past 10 years each of these has, in turn, been extensively re built and re engined and also re named with traditional Wallasey names.

The Mountwood and Woodchurch were commissioned by Birkenhead Corporation in 1958 and were based looseley upon the designs of the 1952 Wallasey pair, Leasowe and Egremont. Up until this time Birkenhead had been operating with a fleet of popular but ageing steamships and were lagging behind Wallasey's technologically advanced fleet which included the Royal Iris. They were built by Philip and Sons Shipbuilders at Dartmouth, Devon. The Mountwood's hull was launched on the 31st of July 1959 and Woodchurch in late october of the same year. Both ferries were deilivered to Birkenhead in 1960, replacing the Thurstaston and Claughton. Only the Bidston remained of the old steamers. They were joined in 1962 by the Cammel Laird built Overchurch, which was similar in design to the slightly older pair, but what of the ferries themselves?

Well the Mountwood and Woodchurch each weighed around 460 tonnes each. They were powered by two Crossley diesel engines which propelled them at a top speed of around 12 knots. The engines were fitted with air brakes for rapid reversal. They had, on the main deck, a central saloon, below this was the buffet and smoke room for special functions. For'd of this was the fwd main deck saloon which was heated. On the top deck there was a forward shelter beneath the bridge with a forward promanade deck. The main prom deck was aft of the bridge. The bridges originally had a central control room / wheelhouse and two navigation boxes used when berthing. The wheelhouse contained the brass helm and telemotor, a pair of Chadburns synchrostep telegraphs, rudder angle indicators, whistle controls, CB radio, speed and engine indicators as well as switches for the deck and nav lights. There was also a large binnacle with compass. The docking wings or navigation boxes had pairs of telegraphs which were linked to the wheelhouse ones and another binnacle and various other controls. Overchurch differed from the Mountwood and Woodchurch in the fact that she had a higher funnel that joined onto the bridge, and the bridge spanned the full width of the ship, not like the Mountwood and Woodchurch's wheelhouse and nav boxes. There was also a bridge deck around the funnel. The equipment on Overchurch's bridge and the engines were identical to the slightly older pair.

All the ferries remained in operation through the merger of the two companies under the control of the PTE, and were never sold off. The Mountwood and Woodchurch were withdrawn in 1989 for major refurbishment which saw complete rewiring, re decorating and the bridge wings and wheelhouse were plated to form a single bridge, though the equipment inside remained the same as built. Overchurch was also refurbished though not as extensively as the sisters. They were given a new black and red livery. They all remained in operation up until 1998 when Overchurch was withdrawn and re engined and re built as the Royal Daffodil. Mountwood recieved the same treatment in 2001, emerging as Royal Iris of the Mersey and Woodchurch in 2003 becoming the Snowdrop.

I'll post more info on the rebuilds soon.

Here is a list of funnel liveries used on these ferries.

1. Orange and Black - Original Birkenhead Corp Colours
2. Primrose yellow and powder blue - First PTE colours
3. Green and Black - Second PTE colours
4. Red, White and Blue - Given for the garden festival in 1984
5. Current Red and Black livery - Recieved 1990

James x

please excuse any spelling errors lol

Eddie D
8th October 2007, 23:28
Hi guys, this is my first posting and, while I hate to rain on your parade, I'm afraid there is little hope of the Iris returning home for the '08 celebrations. I am a member of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, a group of people busy restoring the ex Manchester Ship Canal tug/tender of the same name. Built in Birkenhead in 1903 as 'Ralph Brocklebank' with steam engines supplied by John Jones of Liverpool she worked towing barges across the Mersey between Ellesmere Port and Liverpool. In 1936 she became 'Daniel Adamson' and was altered in appearance but still worked on the canal until laid up in the lower basin at E/Port Boat Museum where she sat for nearly twenty years gradually rotting away and victim of sustained vandalism and theft. Her owners decided to scrap her in early 2004 and it was only due to the quick intervention of a small group of enthusiasts that she was saved at the 11th hour, but that was only the start of the problems which, I fear, would be the same except on a larger scale to bring the Iris back home. For the short journey between E/Port and Liverpool the insurance cover cost us some £1500 and a hull survey had to be undertaken before they would allow her to move an inch. We were exceptionally fortunate that Svitzer Towing generously offered a free tow across river into the Liverpool dock system to a berth kindly donated by Peel Holdings. We were informed that there would be no berth available at either Canning or Albert dock until such time as she was restored and,while we have done a huge amount of work on her, only a HLF grant will get her back into our ultimate goal of full restoration and steaming with passengers up the Manchester ship canal. So what of the Royal Iris?. The cost of insurance for a tow from the Thames to the Mersey would, I think, be astronomical that is of course if anyone would take on the risk in the first place. Assuming someone did then who would undertake and how much would such a tow cost?. I doubt Paul McCartney could afford it and even if she made it round without her bottom dropping out where would she go? Apart from their reluctance to allow anything not in pristine condition into Canning half tide dock I am not sure she would fit through the lock gates anyway. The chances of a river berth are just about nil as is a berth within the dock system which, anyway, would defeat the object of bringing her back as they are now closed to the public.. Sorry to sound so negative because I can promise you that I would love to see the ugly old girl back where she belongs but it ain't gonna happen. Feel free to prove me wrong though!.
Details of the Daniel Adamson can be found on www.danieladamson.co.uk

Cheers,
Eddie D

Bill Davies
8th October 2007, 23:47
A small 'snippet' of information from the 60s when I used to travel on 'Royal Iris' from Seacombe to Liverpool when up for Master's (FG) in 67 and may be useful to enthusiats. The Master was a Capt McCormack and the Purser Bernard Floyd ( a true Gentleman)

John Williams 56-65
1st March 2008, 22:31
Nice to read about the Royal Iris doing her river cruises, but does anyone remember the name of the ferry boat that did cruises before the R.I I have forgotten her name but not the wonderful times we had aboard her every Saturday night. She was just an ordinary ferry boat with canvas awnings draped around her open decks and decorated with flags. I am talking about the late forties here, before she was replaced by the fish and chip boat, the Royal Iris. As I remember there was no alcohol on sale nor food of any description but as teenagers we had some wonderful times on her and met plenty of other teenagers from all over Merseyside. I met my first serious girlfriend on her.

Santos
2nd March 2008, 17:34
Hello John,

The old three deckers, Marlowe, Royal Daffodil II and the old Royal Iris were used for cruising, it was probably one of those.

Kind regards

Chris.

Ekkl
27th March 2008, 13:06
Well, I am stunned reading this! I cannot believe the Iris has been left, miles away from home to rot, I cant work it out to be honest, it's the Royal Iris, a local 'landmark' as well known as the Liverbirds and the Tower, it should have some kind of support from someone on Merseyside to get it back home and something done with it.

I used to go on the Mersey ferries quite a lot in my youth and have been on the Iris quite a few times. I went on it once when it was the Merseypirate when it had the funny looking round thing on it for the TV people. Got tickets for that through a family freind called Bobby Sidwell who used to work on the ferries.

I have moved from the Wirral where I used to live (born and bred up there) in '91 to Brighton. I used to spend a lot of time around the docks between Seacombe Ferry and Woodside instead of being at school!!!! (1979, 80 and 81)

Can anyone remember that UFO shaped submarine thing that was in a dock near to Woodside, what was the story behind that?

I have not been home for a while or indeed down to the ferries, where are they now so-to-speak????? Thanks. :)

Santos
27th March 2008, 21:07
EKKL,

The UFO shaped submarine thing that was in a dock near to Woodside, was in fact designed as an underwater caravan. It could submerge and sit on the bottom. It had if you remember numerous portholes around it from which its inhabitants could view the sea world outside. It was designed for clear tropical waters, and not Liverpool as the view from the bottom of the mersey docks was probably about 1 inch and that is being very generous.

It was quite a startling concept, however the designer apparantly could not get anyone interested and the whole idea was dropped. I believe the UFO shaped submarine thing was finally broken up by the then MD&HB when the docks were filled in.

Chris.

dennytank5
1st April 2008, 20:41
A few months ago my local MSP tried to drum up support in the Scottish Parliament and media to help preserve the sternwheeler Delta Queen after reports of her being withdrawn from service. I wrote to her pointing out that, although a supporter of ship preservation, I thought that this was not an appropriate example. Only the hull was built by Denny at Dumbarton, the superstructure being added in the USA and most of the machinery was German built. In any case it is a registered historic monument in the US. I invited her to use her new found enthusiasm for ship preservation to be directed nearer home to Royal Iris. I suggested that as the waterfront area which used to form Denny's shipyard was being redeveloped it might be a thought to have Royal Iris as a centrepiece, possibly housing a museum to local shipbuilding, local library, restuarant etc. As expected no reply - maybe I'm a cynic but Royal Iris didn't offer the prospect of a freebie to the States!
Agree that the Mersey should be the choice destination but sadly she will lie rotting until the breakers yard is the only option. Why as a country have we so little interest in our proud maritime history?

drwhoman
7th April 2008, 03:11
A good stream of posts. I am another Mersey exile - memories of a busy Mersey in the early 60s - packed ferries taking daytrippers to New Brighton - lots of ships to see - dredgers in action etc. The Royal Daffodil 2 from the 1960s was sold to Greece in around 1977 and was in use as a ferry until late last year when she sank. There may have been fatalities - it was covered in either Ships Monthly or Sea Breezes a month or two ago. I suspect nothing will happen with the RI. The Mersey authorities are only interested in selling land to developers who presumably make donations to their political parties. You only have to see what happened to the Warships Trust which lost its Birkenhead home when Peel Holdings, the owner of the land, decided to redevelop the site. Similarly, Manxman was knocked back and scrapping looks inevitable which is probably just as well as she is in very poor condition. Something should have been done when she finished 26 years ago and before she went to Preston and the disastrous night club venture.

xl391
6th June 2008, 12:54
Royal Daffodil 2 from the 1960s was sold to Greece in around 1977 and was in use as a ferry until late last year when she sank. There may have been fatalities - it was covered in either Ships Monthly or Sea Breezes a month or two ago.

Bl00dy Hell!! Any links / pictures / articles???

JimC
10th June 2008, 17:32
I'm an ex-pat Scouser, who left Liverpool in 1962 when I went into the forces and now living in Bexleyheath Kent. In my teens I spent many happy hours aboard MV Royal Iris. To begin with as a youngster on days out with my parents and Family, in later years with the lads, and all that goes with that or days out with girlfriends, over to New Brighton or Saturday Night Rock cruises and Sunday nights Merseysippi Jazz cruises. Lots of good memories.

When hunting on the web for more nostalgic memories from my days in Liverpool, I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear that she had been moved down here and wondered what she might have become of her or what she might be being used for. When seeking out more info I was dismayed to find to find that the first picture that I found of her was the one of her tied up at Woolwich looking such a shadow of her former self. The blue and white hulk a near wreck by comparison with my memories of her.


The memories, oh lord my best mate Les met his wife Jackie on there when we where returning home from one of our weekend jaunts to New Brighton and one of our first dates (I went out with Jackie's mate for a while) was a Saturday or Sunday night River Cruise on her.

I understand the current owner is contemlating a restotation. Oh I hope he does! It's bordering on criminal to see her in that state. :@

Nice to meet y'all.

Gerrysea.

I seem to remember doing much the same trip on the Royal Daffodil. What happened to her? Just wilt, wither and die as the other one is doing. Suffering from a severe doze of 'accountant greenfly'.

Lesl Clegg
7th July 2008, 16:36
Gerry

I found the attached photos thouht you would be interested, taken at Wallasey Landing Stage. [They are in the attchment files]

Take Care

Les

Chris My Sister sent me some Photos you might be interested in.
Les

Lesl Clegg
7th July 2008, 16:45
10716

10717Les,

Not wanting to be a spoiler, but that is a pic of the Royal Daffodil 2, not the Royal Iris, being raised during WW2, She was bombed and sank alongside at Seacombe , May 7th 1941. Back in service in June 1943.

Chris.

Chris
My Sister sent me some Photos from Wallasey, you might be interested in as you said she had sank.

Les

Santos
7th July 2008, 20:15
Thanks Les for showing the pictures - they put her there as it was a nice stretch of firm sand which she could safely sit on when the tide went out. They then patched the damage and refloated her on the next tide.

Quite often if they had a quick hull, prop or rudder job to do they used to put them on the sand and do the job whilst the tide was out.

Thanks again for the pics to you, and to your sister for sending them (Thumb)

Regards

Chris.

tapdnalop
12th July 2008, 22:03
hi, the overchurch became the new Royal Daffodil, the mountwood became the royal iris of the mersey and the woodchurch became the Snowdrop they have all undegone extensive refurbs .

Magellan
20th August 2008, 08:51
Hi,

Does anyone know the current location of the Royal Iris on teh Thames? I think the last post mentioning said she was at Woolich. I will see if I can locator and get a few up to date photos. Anyone know her current status?

captainchris
20th August 2008, 09:06
She is alongside just below Barrier Gardens Pier looking very sorry for herself. I have seen people on board but not doing much. They seem to be in a caravan on the upper deck.

Best regards,
Chris

Magellan
20th August 2008, 09:26
She is alongside just below Barrier Gardens Pier looking very sorry for herself. I have seen people on board but not doing much. They seem to be in a caravan on the upper deck.

Best regards,
Chris

Thanks,

She even shows up on Google Maps:
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Barrier+Gardens+Pier,+london&ie=UTF8&ll=51.495425,0.042921&spn=0.00176,0.005155&t=h&z=18

Magellan
20th August 2008, 09:35
A few months ago my local MSP tried to drum up support in the Scottish Parliament and media to help preserve the sternwheeler Delta Queen after reports of her being withdrawn from service. I wrote to her pointing out that, although a supporter of ship preservation, I thought that this was not an appropriate example. Only the hull was built by Denny at Dumbarton, the superstructure being added in the USA and most of the machinery was German built. In any case it is a registered historic monument in the US. I invited her to use her new found enthusiasm for ship preservation to be directed nearer home to Royal Iris. I suggested that as the waterfront area which used to form Denny's shipyard was being redeveloped it might be a thought to have Royal Iris as a centrepiece, possibly housing a museum to local shipbuilding, local library, restuarant etc. As expected no reply - maybe I'm a cynic but Royal Iris didn't offer the prospect of a freebie to the States!
Agree that the Mersey should be the choice destination but sadly she will lie rotting until the breakers yard is the only option. Why as a country have we so little interest in our proud maritime history?

Does anyone know what work is need to get teh Royal Iris back in shape?

jaigee
20th August 2008, 10:09
Hi,

Does anyone know the current location of the Royal Iris on teh Thames? I think the last post mentioning said she was at Woolich. I will see if I can locator and get a few up to date photos. Anyone know her current status?

I found her in June 2006.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/27193/ppuser/5363

I went to Woolwich by the DLR & Ferry from central London and then walked back towards the Barrier along the riverside walk/promenade.

Magellan
20th August 2008, 10:25
I found her in June 2006.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/27193/ppuser/5363

I went to Woolwich by the DLR & Ferry from central London and then walked back towards the Barrier along the riverside walk/promenade.

Cheers - I will give it a try.

matey1960
21st August 2008, 12:48
Hi Folks,
Just a quick question was there also a Royal Daffodil? Can remember those ferries when I was standing by our ship at Cammell Lairds.
Neil Mac.
Hi, I attach a scan of a postcard that my mother sent whilst on holiday in France in the 1960's. She took my sister from Gravesend on the 'Daffodil' in 1963 and recently I found out that a good friend of mine was the galley boy on the Daffodil around about the same time!

Enjoy! Jo

Santos
21st August 2008, 21:08
Jo,

I am afraid that is not the Royal Daffodil of the River Mersey fame. Its a totally different ship that operated in the south of England. Royal Daffodil (I) was a former Mersey ferry, which had been bought by the New Medway Steam Packet Co in 1933. Royal Daffodil (I) had received her regal prefix after she had taken part in the raid on Zebrugge in the First World War. After she was sold in 1938 for breaking, the people of Merseyside thought that a new ship built in 1934 for the Mersey Ferry and named Royal Daffodil II, could drop the suffix and be named Royal Daffodil. The General Steam Navigation Co Ltd, however, used that name for their new vessel which you have pictured. Quickly pressed into war service, Royal Daffodil was at Dunkirk and took off 9500 men over seven trips. After the war she was refitted in 1947 and undertook non stop trips to France from Tilbury or Gravesend, calling at Southend and Deal in later years.

At the end of the season in 1966, the GSN decided they could no longer continue their Thames services and Royal Daffodil was withrawn and placed for sale. She finally sailed under her own power for breaking up in Holland in 1967.



Chris.

matey1960
22nd August 2008, 11:44
Jo,

I am afraid that is not the Royal Daffodil of the River Mersey fame. Its a totally different ship that operated in the south of England. Royal Daffodil (I) was a former Mersey ferry, which had been bought by the New Medway Steam Packet Co in 1933. Royal Daffodil (I) had received her regal prefix after she had taken part in the raid on Zebrugge in the First World War. After she was sold in 1938 for breaking, the people of Merseyside thought that a new ship built in 1934 for the Mersey Ferry and named Royal Daffodil II, could drop the suffix and be named Royal Daffodil. The General Steam Navigation Co Ltd, however, used that name for their new vessel which you have pictured. Quickly pressed into war service, Royal Daffodil was at Dunkirk and took off 9500 men over seven trips. After the war she was refitted in 1947 and undertook non stop trips to France from Tilbury or Gravesend, calling at Southend and Deal in later years.

At the end of the season in 1966, the GSN decided they could no longer continue their Thames services and Royal Daffodil was withrawn and placed for sale. She finally sailed under her own power for breaking up in Holland in 1967.



Chris.

All these Daffodils get confusing lol....and I hope you forgive my faux pas! It was a good excuse to scan the postcard though. Thanks for the info (Thumb) Jo

Santos
22nd August 2008, 20:13
All these Daffodils get confusing lol....and I hope you forgive my faux pas! It was a good excuse to scan the postcard though. Thanks for the info (Thumb) Jo

No problem Jo, it is confusing and I am surprised that GSN used the name especially with its connections to the Mersey Ferries and its Royal patronage.

Chris.

degsy
23rd August 2008, 15:07
The Liverpool ferries where my first ships to sea !
when I was a kid living in liverpool I had a habit of wandering off(Still do) and would follow the trams to the Peir Head and calmly board one of the ferries any one would do, any way I must have done it once too often as the coppers would pick me up and return me home. aged aprox 4yrs then, also I would lie awake in bed in those days and listen to the ships whistles, not anymore (Night) (Hippy)

Similar experiences Jim. I used to love going on the ferry as kid , kids out of our street would all go to New Ferry or New Brighton baths . Writing this I can almost smell it , the smell of the ferry boat a mix of hot oil , the sea and ropes . The ferry boatmen would throw the ropes around the bollards and the noise they would make, I can almost hear it now, as they took the strain. Screaming gulls, and the rattle of the chains as the gangways dropped, absolutely brilliant. It was all part of a great day out. Just put me of a mind to go on the ferry next week when I have a couple a days free.(Thumb) (Thumb)

Ben Hall
23rd August 2008, 19:46
Hi guys.

Fascinating thread - I've spent the last couple of hours doing some research on the Royal Iris, it's a fascinating read.

Why?

Well, as I type this, and look out of my office window, she's moored not 50 feet away from me. Hence my interest in knowing something about her history.

BTW I'm happy to take pics if anyone wants current ones, even though they are kinda sad to see...

There is definitely some activity on board - certainly this week, there has been lights on inside in the evenings/night, and I've seen someone moving around inside from time to time.

vortex
4th September 2008, 19:28
Hi Ben, Thanks for posting an uptodate pic of the Royal Iris, and offering to post more as time goes on. She is in a sorry state, but at least there is a glimmer of hope with movement on board. Fingers crossed my lotto numbers come up one weekend soon, I'd buy her in a flash and bring her home.

El.

Ben Hall
4th September 2008, 19:40
Hi El - no problems.

I actually saw the guy onboard (known here in the office as "the boat guy") the other day - I've only ever seen some vague movement inside, but he was out on the top the other day attending to something or other...

If I see a window of opportunity at some point I'll go and have a chat to him and see what's what...

Santos
4th September 2008, 19:53
Thanks Ben, (Thumb) it would be great to know whats happening to her.

Chris

Coastie
4th September 2008, 20:13
Thanks Ben.

It's great to know that we have a "Man on scene" who can info us of anything that goes on more or less as soon as it happens.(Thumb)

Coastie
4th September 2008, 20:14
Oh, one other thing. Do you know if she uses shore power, or is she using her own generators?

thobshropshire
6th September 2008, 10:37
Hi El - no problems.

I actually saw the guy onboard (known here in the office as "the boat guy") the other day - I've only ever seen some vague movement inside, but he was out on the top the other day attending to something or other...

If I see a window of opportunity at some point I'll go and have a chat to him and see what's what...

Ben,
Perhaps you can tell us when the Live Search photo was taken:

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCC&cp=51.495545~0.041489&style=h&lvl=18&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=398.202312937938&cam=51.495545~0.041489&scene=-1&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1


Regards
Terry

Phill
13th September 2008, 23:57
a few more pics taken in July and August.(Cloud)
Phill

Gerrysea
14th September 2008, 02:36
Hi El - no problems.

I actually saw the guy onboard (known here in the office as "the boat guy") the other day - I've only ever seen some vague movement inside, but he was out on the top the other day attending to something or other...

If I see a window of opportunity at some point I'll go and have a chat to him and see what's what...

Hi Guys,
It's some time since I last posted on here. but do keep a watching brief so to speak.

I'm afraid that despite sendin' a number of e-mails to him and his Aid, I've heard nothin' further from Mr James Jegede since that surprise e-mail that I told y'all about early part of last year. All the subsequent e-mails I've sent got bounced?

Anyway, now retired, so have a bit more time on my hands. Perhaps I'll take the opportunity to pop down to the river and have another look at her. It sounds like you're workin' down there close on hand Ben, so maybe if your around we could compare notes? How about you PM me with some way I can contact you?

I guess that Phill must be quie close by too?

Meanwhile, here's a few more pix that I've found around the web, that I don't think have been previously posted in the thread. Another one of her when she first appeared down here on the River, and a couple more of her in all her former glory.

karbine
14th September 2008, 05:37
Hello Chaps,

Been a while since i have posted here too. Ben hall wrote:

There is definitely some activity on board - certainly this week, there has been lights on inside in the evenings/night, and I've seen someone moving around inside from time to time.

As a few of you know. I work on the river and normally i dont take much notice but have a glance at her sorry state,poor old girl.

However its funny you mention movement onboard.

One day last month in early August it was a lovely sunny day and very warm. Ontop of the Iris is that caravan which had its door wide open and laying on the top deck were 2 women in bikini's. We blew our horn on the boat and they jumped up and started waving.

Recently on night shifts i have noticed the wheelhouse lights on (Exactly like in Ben Halls attached photo) and for the first time earlier in the week, i noticed a man walking along her bottom deck from stern to the bow.

Its a very strange setup? Ben, if you could post a few more photographs of activity on the boat ,that would be great.

Phill
14th September 2008, 11:39
Hi Guys,
It's some time since I last posted on here. but do keep a watching brief so to speak.

I'm afraid that despite sendin' a number of e-mails to him and his Aid, I've heard nothin' further from Mr James Jegede since that surprise e-mail that I told y'all about early part of last year. All the subsequent e-mails I've sent got bounced?

Anyway, now retired, so have a bit more time on my hands. Perhaps I'll take the opportunity to pop down to the river and have another look at her. It sounds like you're workin' down there close on hand Ben, so maybe if your around we could compare notes? How about you PM me with some way I can contact you?

I guess that Phill must be quie close by too?

Meanwhile, here's a few more pix that I've found around the web, that I don't think have been previously posted in the thread. Another one of her when she first appeared down here on the River, and a couple more of her in all her former glory.

I must admit, I often pop down there for the views and a nice cup of tea in the barrier cafe
Phill (Thumb)

wend
4th October 2008, 06:52
I have been on the phone with James today the owner of the Royal Iris and he’s a really really nice fellow. He is going to put the website back up so everyone can keep up to date with what happening with her What I can tell you is he saved her from the knackers yard just a week before she was to go so we are lucky with that and he paid quite a substantial sum for her. He said he done this because he wanted to save her no other reason. He has had new engines designed for her and he is waiting on approval for them to be built. Next month he is getting her surveyed as well. Amongst a lot of other thing she needs welding when this is completed she will be painted again some of the decking is rotten and this needs replacing. He is looking into getting her hydro blasted down to steel in order to get a lasting finish on her as well. There is asbestos on board so only ticketed people can work on her in certain areas. I’m sure this is just the tip of the ice burg She needs to be pumped and he’s arranging for a boat to pull along side to do this. This is quite a mammoth task for one person to take on and he still has no regrets buying her he is looking for skilled volunteers to help out with her. I think if the boat was moored in Liverpool this wouldn’t be a problem but she is not as well known on the Thames. James said he wants to make sure it is some how maintained now and in the future he has plans for this. He has said he would like to bring her back to Liverpool. I really think James’s heart is in the right place with the Iris and at the moment he has had a lot of difficulties with the Thames authority i.e water supply cut and electricity. I am going to keep in touch with James and I will also be getting in touch with the powers to be in Liverpool and on the Wirral lets see how they can help. It’s a bit ironic that a solitary individual living in London has to buy a piece of Liverpool heritage and culture in order to save it while the council sit back and do nothing. I will be keeping you informed every step of the way when dealing with the council in regards to the Iris…..who knows… any way I will get things rolling quicker rather than later. .

Magellan
4th October 2008, 13:48
a few more pics taken in July and August.(Cloud)
Phill

Hi,

It would be nice to see one or two of these photos, or similar, appear on Google Maps :)

If you upload one of the images also showing the surronding landscape, then there should be no reason why it would not get authorised into Google Earth and Google Maps. You can add an account here:

http://www.panoramio.com/


This would help raise the profile of the Royal Iris world-wide and illustrate it's current plight.

Magellan
4th October 2008, 13:55
Hi Guys,
It's some time since I last posted on here. but do keep a watching brief so to speak.

I'm afraid that despite sendin' a number of e-mails to him and his Aid, I've heard nothin' further from Mr James Jegede since that surprise e-mail that I told y'all about early part of last year. All the subsequent e-mails I've sent got bounced?

Anyway, now retired, so have a bit more time on my hands. Perhaps I'll take the opportunity to pop down to the river and have another look at her. It sounds like you're workin' down there close on hand Ben, so maybe if your around we could compare notes? How about you PM me with some way I can contact you?

I guess that Phill must be quie close by too?

Meanwhile, here's a few more pix that I've found around the web, that I don't think have been previously posted in the thread. Another one of her when she first appeared down here on the River, and a couple more of her in all her former glory.

Hi Gerry,

Would you be able to contact the vessel's owner via the owner of the mooring?

Email is not always reliable - people change provider, and as in the case of Yahoo, the providers sometimes loose your email in delivery. Perhaps a written communication is the best means.

Magellan
4th October 2008, 13:58
I have been on the phone with James today the owner of the Royal Iris and he’s a really really nice fellow. He is going to put the website back up so everyone can keep up to date with what happening with her What I can tell you is he saved her from the knackers yard just a week before she was to go so we are lucky with that and he paid quite a substantial sum for her. He said he done this because he wanted to save her no other reason. He has had new engines designed for her and he is waiting on approval for them to be built. Next month he is getting her surveyed as well. Amongst a lot of other thing she needs welding when this is completed she will be painted again some of the decking is rotten and this needs replacing. He is looking into getting her hydro blasted down to steel in order to get a lasting finish on her as well. There is asbestos on board so only ticketed people can work on her in certain areas. I’m sure this is just the tip of the ice burg She needs to be pumped and he’s arranging for a boat to pull along side to do this. This is quite a mammoth task for one person to take on and he still has no regrets buying her he is looking for skilled volunteers to help out with her. I think if the boat was moored in Liverpool this wouldn’t be a problem but she is not as well known on the Thames. James said he wants to make sure it is some how maintained now and in the future he has plans for this. He has said he would like to bring her back to Liverpool. I really think James’s heart is in the right place with the Iris and at the moment he has had a lot of difficulties with the Thames authority i.e water supply cut and electricity. I am going to keep in touch with James and I will also be getting in touch with the powers to be in Liverpool and on the Wirral lets see how they can help. It’s a bit ironic that a solitary individual living in London has to buy a piece of Liverpool heritage and culture in order to save it while the council sit back and do nothing. I will be keeping you informed every step of the way when dealing with the council in regards to the Iris…..who knows… any way I will get things rolling quicker rather than later. .

This is a surprise, I hope he is genuine and and that he is able to see this through.

There appears to be some growing interest in saving the Royal Iris on the Liverpool Daily Post forums here:
http://forums.icnorthwest.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=51371

Gerrysea
4th October 2008, 14:45
Hi Wendy,

Well done, and thanks for postin' that information which has cheered me up no end. I know that it’ll be such a relief to so many others, as well as myself, to hear that so many positive things are goin’ on behind the scenes and inside her hull, and that her current condition is in the main surface deep and by no means permanent?

How lucky we are that such a Gent, with absolutely no connections with her or her home, should take her to his heart and go to such extraordinary lengths to save her for us, so much so that it is a little hard to comprehend. I can only guess that whist we all look at her and see many, many fond memories, James just looked at her and appreciated her for what she is, a superb example of original design and a beauty worthy of all his efforts to save her. I for one will raise a glass, and say “Mr James Jeged, thank you on behalf of everyone; from those who have just the slightest of fond memories of her, to those like myself who consider that she has been an integral part of my youth at home in Liverpool”. I wonder just how many others there were, like one of my best mates of youth & teens, who met their Wife, Husband or Partner to be, on the MV Royal Iris? They don’t even know that this is happening here, but they would undoubtedly be happy to form a queue to shake his hand and say “Thank you James”!

Wendy, for sure his heart is in the right place, I guess that he just had the misfortune to be born in the wrong place? LOL! But as of now, I for one will consider him to be, without a doubt, an honoury Scouser!

“He has said he would like to bring her back to Liverpool”. Is that great news or what? I can’t wait to be there when that happens.

Thank you Wendy, but most of all, THANKS TO YOU, JAMES!

Magellan
4th October 2008, 15:24
Just an aside; a simple search in Google places this thread third in ranking on the Royal Iris:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=Royal+Iris&spell=1

Gerrysea
4th October 2008, 15:47
........There appears to be some growing interest in saving the Royal Iris on the Liverpool Daily Post forums here:
http://forums.icnorthwest.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=51371

Hey Magellan, Good work on there, http://forums.icnorthwest.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=51371 and some well made points.
Sortin' out a few computer problems here just now, but once resolved will get on there with you and see if we can't drum up some more interest?
From what Wendy is telling us, It's not a 'bring her back to live at home' style campaign we need now, but a campaign to build up support for her to be brought back to life and maintain her connection with Liverpool whilst in the care and ownership of James? (Thumb)

........Just an aside; a simple search in Google places this thread third in ranking on the Royal Iris:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...l+Iris&spell=1

Good point, How do we get it bumped to No. 1??

Ben Hall
4th October 2008, 17:36
Wow, lots of activity since I last checked the thread!

Oh, one other thing. Do you know if she uses shore power, or is she using her own generators?

I don't know - I know that virtually every night there are some lights on, and then seem to be on for most if not all of the night.

Perhaps you can tell us when the Live Search photo was taken:

That looks pretty old to me. So much so that the office I spend much of my time in wasn't even built in that photo! The Google Earth one is much more reflective of the current state, although that is a little old as well - but does show the office. So I'm guessing that Live Search one is at least a couple of years old.

It sounds like you're workin' down there close on hand Ben, so maybe if your around we could compare notes? How about you PM me with some way I can contact you?

Actually I'm not there (apart from occasionally) for the next month or so, otherwise I'm there. But I have no notes as such, I'm just a casual interested observer, I have no history with the ship or anything...

One day last month in early August it was a lovely sunny day and very warm. Ontop of the Iris is that caravan which had its door wide open and laying on the top deck were 2 women in bikini's. We blew our horn on the boat and they jumped up and started waving.

Actually, a lady last week came down the road (we thought she was coming to us, as we had an appointment), and she disappeared into the ship. That's the only other person I've seen connected to it, apart from the Boat Guy.

Recently on night shifts i have noticed the wheelhouse lights on (Exactly like in Ben Halls attached photo) and for the first time earlier in the week, i noticed a man walking along her bottom deck from stern to the bow.

Yep, the lights are on most nights, and I've often seen a guy walking around inside - it was only recently I saw him out on top.

Its a very strange setup? Ben, if you could post a few more photographs of activity on the boat ,that would be great.

Yeah, at first we thought it might be an old wreck with squatters onboard. If I see anything interesting I'll take a pic, I usually have my camera to hand. Like I say, I'm not around for the next month or so, but I'll choose a few more recent pics from the recent batch I took and upload them here shortly...

Ben Hall
4th October 2008, 17:51
Some more pics...

Ben Hall
4th October 2008, 17:53
and more...

karbine
4th October 2008, 21:06
A nice mixture of photos there Ben,good stuff,keep them coming,especially the close up detail ones. Whats with the orange netting around her bow?

on the phone with James today the owner of the Royal Iris and he’s a really really nice fellow. He is going to put the website back up so everyone can keep up to date with what happening with her

Is the site up and running yet?

I hope what "James" is saying is true,its a huge job but i hope he carry's out the work.

Santos
4th October 2008, 21:57
I have supplied Wendy with the original shotblasting and painting spec, used in her colour transformation to Blue and White in 1970. This I hope will help in the costings of her renovations and give an idea as to what is involved in cleaning her up.

She was shotblasted completely in 1970 to SA3 ( highest grade ) and top class zinc primers and epoxy coatings were used. Things have changed since I was in charge of that job in 1970 and there are now much better protective coatings available. I have to say though, looking at her now, although looking pretty sad, she does not appear to be beyond recovery.

A good blasting and painting job - a bit of repair here and there ( rubbing strakes and wooden decking in particular). Hopefully she is sound in hull which will be a good start but only the survey will tell.

I wish James the very best of luck - and Wendy too.

Chris.

Magellan
5th October 2008, 17:43
Hey Magellan, Good work on there, http://forums.icnorthwest.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=51371 and some well made points.
Sortin' out a few computer problems here just now, but once resolved will get on there with you and see if we can't drum up some more interest?
From what Wendy is telling us, It's not a 'bring her back to live at home' style campaign we need now, but a campaign to build up support for her to be brought back to life and maintain her connection with Liverpool whilst in the care and ownership of James? (Thumb)



Good point, How do we get it bumped to No. 1??

I would like to know more about what the current owner has planned for the vessel before I decide. It does not sound like a preservation exercise, rather a restoration for another purpose which is fine if it saves the vessel from the scrap yard and it is done well. I will wait to see what appears on his website first.

This is a lot for one individual. It is also difficult to get support from businesses, authorities and organisations if you are a 'one-man army'. Perhaps James should look at building an organisation, such as a trust, to take on some of the work for him.

wend
8th October 2008, 07:38
what a good idea Magellan

Magellan
10th October 2008, 18:50
what a good idea Magellan

Thanks Wend.

I am sure that there are a lot of people on this site that would like to help out if it ensures the survival of the vessel.

It is important that James does not come to feeling that people are trying to step on his toes, or tell him what to do. It is his money and effort that is saving the Royal Iris. So any such organisation needs to carefully organised so that it helps by sharing the burden and workload rather than becoming a dog-collar for James.

Gerrysea
11th October 2008, 19:02
Thanks Wend.

I am sure that there are a lot of people on this site that would like to help out if it ensures the survival of the vessel.

It is important that James does not come to feeling that people are trying to step on his toes, or tell him what to do. It is his money and effort that is saving the Royal Iris. So any such organisation needs to carefully organised so that it helps by sharing the burden and workload rather than becoming a dog-collar for James.

Yeh! What he said! ............... But that's seriously a good point Magellan, however, I'm sure that there's more than a few willing hands as well as willing and able minds on here, who'd be more than willing to help. For no other purpose than to help ensure her survival. And the good news appears to be that there are a few of us almost on the door,step, so to speak.

Ok, I found a few more snippits out on the web, not new, but may not have been seen by y'all following this thread.

Take a look at these and remember her in better days? Jeezz, it takes me back!
http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/royaliris2/

1991 Video (Scouserdave),. There followed a severe lack of foward thinkin'.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBWy6RnP5I

karbine
11th October 2008, 19:18
Ok, I found a few more snippits out on the web, not new, but may not have been seen by y'all following this thread.

Take a look at these and remember her in better days? Jeezz, it takes me back!
http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/royaliris2/

1991 Video (Scouserdave),. There followed a severe lack of foward thinkin'.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBWy6RnP5I

I really enjoyed looking at the first link of interior photographs. Any idea who took these and when they were taken.

Looking at the picture it looks like squatters are living onboard,but it also seems slow restoration is taking place. She seems in pretty good nick except the minor details such as rubbing bands, wooden decking etc.

Gerrysea
11th October 2008, 19:33
I really enjoyed looking at the first link of interior photographs. Any idea who took these and when they were taken.

Looking at the picture it looks like squatters are living onboard,but it also seems slow restoration is taking place. She seems in pretty good nick except the minor details such as rubbing bands, wooden decking etc.

Hi Ben

Guys forum handle is Scouserdave, posted here http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/past-discussion/2878-mersey-ferry-royal-iris.html 22/02/07, so they're not current pix. It's worth a trip to that forum, theres quite a bit of interest in her there as well, as you might expect.

karbine
11th October 2008, 19:43
Thanks Gerrysea

Some interesting links and pictures on that forum, will have a good look.

I was reading the Wikipedia link on Mersey ferrys, i dont know much about them, i have just researched into the Royal Iris because i pass her everyday as i work on the River Thames.

The wikipedia page mentions "Royal Daffodil 2 sinking in rough seas with the loss of her crew" , do you have any more information/pictures about how this happened etc. Dont want to go off topic though,just interested.

Santos
11th October 2008, 20:26
Ben she was coverted to a RoRo & Container ship by Greek owners and sank in rough weather see here (http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=16258)

Chris.

Magellan
14th October 2008, 16:21
Yeh! What he said! ............... But that's seriously a good point Magellan, however, I'm sure that there's more than a few willing hands as well as willing and able minds on here, who'd be more than willing to help. For no other purpose than to help ensure her survival. And the good news appears to be that there are a few of us almost on the door,step, so to speak.

Ok, I found a few more snippits out on the web, not new, but may not have been seen by y'all following this thread.

Take a look at these and remember her in better days? Jeezz, it takes me back!
http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/royaliris2/

1991 Video (Scouserdave),. There followed a severe lack of foward thinkin'.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBWy6RnP5I

Gerrysea,

I agree, there are a lot of people getting interested in the state of the vessel now on the other forums linked below. However, you need experienced people at the top of such an organisation; i.e. people with connections into business, councils, trusts and other bodies that may be in a possition to help/obstruct the work. You need organisers, you need marine engineers, you will need accountants to manage the funds going in and out etc. That is not to say that others here could not help as well, nor any criticism of their abilities, or willingness to help. It's just saying that if you setup such an organisation, you would mostly want people that have done this sort of thing before.

I am wondering what practical steps could be taken now. I think any steps would have to be coordinated with James in that he shoud know what actions are propsed, and to ensure that they do not run at cross purposes.

My thinking is that the next step is to get articles published in the local papers on Merseyside to raise the profile of the vessel and to build some backing in the general public. To do that, it would be necessary to convince the editors that this is a news worthy story.

Gerrysea
18th October 2008, 03:09
Gerrysea,

I agree, there are a lot of people getting interested in the state of the vessel now on the other forums linked below. However, you need experienced people at the top of such an organisation; i.e. people with connections into business, councils, trusts and other bodies that may be in a possition to help/obstruct the work. You need organisers, you need marine engineers, you will need accountants to manage the funds going in and out etc. That is not to say that others here could not help as well, nor any criticism of their abilities, or willingness to help. It's just saying that if you setup such an organisation, you would mostly want people that have done this sort of thing before.

I am wondering what practical steps could be taken now. I think any steps would have to be coordinated with James in that he shoud know what actions are propsed, and to ensure that they do not run at cross purposes.

My thinking is that the next step is to get articles published in the local papers on Merseyside to raise the profile of the vessel and to build some backing in the general public. To do that, it would be necessary to convince the editors that this is a news worthy story.

Couldn't agree with you more Magellan. As you said previously, much would perhaps depend on knowin' more about just what James has planned for her, and I'm sure that he does have some plans for her, which could be described as restoration for another purpose. But essentially, even if it does not sound like a "preservation exercise” solely for the purpose of preservation, if the end result is that it keeps her afloat, in some recognisable semblance of her former self, I'm all in favour. And if it means that she’ll be seen back on the Mersey from time to time, then doubly so!

Yes, of course, there could be a need for all of the skills and experience to which you refer, and then some. But of course, that would be dependent to a large extent on how such help and organisation fitted into James’s plans. And as you rightly pointed out, “It is important that James does not come to feeling that people are trying to step on his toes, or tell him what to do. It is his money and effort that is saving the Royal Iris. So any such organisation needs to carefully organised so that it helps by sharing the burden and workload rather than becoming a dog-collar for James.”

Personally, I don’t lay claim to any of the essential specialist skills or experience, I’m plantin’ my flag firmly in the “willing hands as well as willing and able minds” camp. Just be happy to help in whatever way I can!

Your suggestions in recent posts are on the button and appear to be well thought out. I suspect that James may well have many contacts in Media/Publicity, accountancy and the like, as for “people with connections into business, councils, trusts and other bodies that may be in a position to help/obstruct the work, organisers, and marine engineers” he may well have some or all of these amongst his own contacts? If not he would no doubt be glad to hear of such people offering their services as volunteers? But I think at this stage, James needs to know that there’s help available, if it’s needed, then perhaps discuss and agree what form of help and/or organisation may required and how it could be set up and organised.

The Idea of “articles published in the local papers on Merseyside to raise her profile” has great merit, But again I feel it would be dependant on a great deal of input from James, mainly because I suspect that he will have many media contacts of his own and a substantial amount of knowledge and expertise in dealing with Media, and of course, any attempt to do this without his input would be folly, simply raisin’ more questions than answers.

I am expecting to hear from James again in the next week or so, and of course, Wendy will no doubt be in contact with him again in order to pass on the results of her enquiries based on the info so kindly supplied by Chris. So I guess that there could well be two ideal opportunities to begin dialog and hear James’s views.

Bill Davies
18th October 2008, 09:50
Used to travel over from Seacombe on these ferries in the early 60s when up for Second Mates & Mates (FG). Always amused at the antics of the office workers who would all walk around the upper deck (all in same direction of course) perhaps a few dozen times in the short time it took to get across.
The same on return in the evening. It was the only exercise these poor souls (office workers) were going to get in the day. The next day the walk would be in the opposite direction. Those who did not favour the exercised always sat or stood in the same place. Remarkable really.

baldyman26
20th October 2008, 16:24
One of the things I have noticed is the desire to bring the boat "home" to Liverpool. Being from the city myself I have read on numerous occasions different groups wanting to bring various vessels back home, a classic being the Manxman, but not one of them have materialised. In my opinion Liverpool City Council and Peel who I believe own most of the Port facilities on Merseyside have absolutely no interest in bringing any of our old Ladies home. I don't like to be negative as I would love to See Royal Iris come home however Unless the owner of the Royal Iris does it all on their own, or has a strong commercial backing I am afraid being realistic that I doubt we will see the old girl sail again.

Magellan
21st October 2008, 01:50
Couldn't agree with you more Magellan. ...

Thanks Gerry.

Your are quite right about getting input from James about any supporting activities. I think any next steps will also depend upon a statement from James as to what his actual plans are.

Magellan
21st October 2008, 01:56
One of the things I have noticed is the desire to bring the boat "home" to Liverpool. Being from the city myself I have read on numerous occasions different groups wanting to bring various vessels back home, a classic being the Manxman, but not one of them have materialised. In my opinion Liverpool City Council and Peel who I believe own most of the Port facilities on Merseyside have absolutely no interest in bringing any of our old Ladies home. I don't like to be negative as I would love to See Royal Iris come home however Unless the owner of the Royal Iris does it all on their own, or has a strong commercial backing I am afraid being realistic that I doubt we will see the old girl sail again.

I agree there is little support coming from Liverpool (or Wirral) Council for saving these vessels, but it is not really within their remit. There should however be support coming from the likes of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Tourist bodies, etc.

The intent of any campaign to raise awareness on Merseyside would be to address this kind of issue and to keep the pressure up on those that could give assistance. It may also be the case that, depending on what James has planned for the Royal Iris, that the aim would be just to get these bodies to remove any obstacles rather than give positive support.

wirralguys
30th October 2008, 03:27
love reading about The Royal Iris and seeing pics of her, have very fond memories of going aboard the grand lady of the mersy as a youngster, my uncle ernie would take me& my sisters, we d get picked up in a big old ford zodiac & dropped off at woodside for great fun & laughs aboard used to get some free eats off jimmy the chef who knew ucle ernie kind regards to all first post

Gerrysea
3rd November 2008, 14:04
Hi wirralguys,

Nice to met you "big old ford zodiac" eh? Brings back almost as many memories as MV Royal Iris? LOL!!

Magellan
26th November 2008, 20:57
...
I am expecting to hear from James again in the next week or so, and of course, Wendy will no doubt be in contact with him again in order to pass on the results of her enquiries based on the info so kindly supplied by Chris. So I guess that there could well be two ideal opportunities to begin dialog and hear James’s views.

Hi Gerrysea,

Hope everything is going well. Did you hear from James?

Gerrysea
2nd December 2008, 00:23
Hi Gerrysea,

Hope everything is going well. Did you hear from James?

Hi Magellan,

Yep, all's fine with me, thanks for your interest.

No, I'm sorry to say that for a third time, after being reassured of his intention to contact me further, he has then not done so? I've also not heard anything more from Wendy either, so I dont know if she and James have had any further contact.

I'll PM you.

Ekkl
5th January 2009, 21:58
Earlier on in this thread I posted about my experience on board the Iris when she was 'The Merseypirate' for ITV kids telly. Found a picture of her from back then.

So. Would anyone be interested in meeting up sometime to go and look at the boat? I would like to get some pictures of her but I don't want to take lots of expensive camera gear with me and also not knowing London too well I think it would be a good idea if anyone wants to meet up sometime.

What do you think?

Gerrysea
6th January 2009, 15:58
Hi Y’all,

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2009.

Found this which doesn’t appear to have been posted previousely in the thread, it gives a glimpse of her in her Wallasey colours leavin’ Birkenhead in 1960’s

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wvLP-CLg3sM

B Wales
1st February 2009, 22:47
Interesting reading about the "Royal Iris" and her current state, I too manage to contact the present owner in 2004 and was informed they plan to operate the "Royal Iris" as a Cruise/Resturant Boat on the Thames, but as I expected they don't have the funding to achive this and I doubt they will ever raise funding for this project on the Thames as that Market is already saturated in that area.

The only way forward, I can see if a Trust Group approach the present owners to either purchase or set up an agreement for the restoration of the vessel.

A few years ago, I was putting a Project together to plan a Restoration of a old IOW Passenger Ferry and we were (almost) at a stage where several local firms were willing to assist with Materials, the main problem we had and may be with the "Royal Iris" present owners, are not a Charitable Status operations and may have long term plans to "Make Loads of Money" and want others to pay for the Restoration.

ferrypip
2nd February 2009, 00:43
I actually worked on the "Iris". Diesel electric, constant currant system operating at 1000 volts

Cobbydale
8th February 2009, 17:24
Wallasey Ferries add when the ROYAL DAFFODIL II did the cruises

Mike Kemble
25th February 2009, 17:10
Hi Gerry,

Yes, it was me what did it. The corporate colours of the then Owners was Blue & White / Cream, the Buses were that colour too for a while, so really I had to use a combination of those colours. However when the Ferries became Mersey Ferries, they reverted back to the Red & Black Funnel colours of the old Birkenhead Ferries.

They kept the Birkenhead Ferry Boats and sold the Wallasey ones including the Royal Iris.

The Wallasey Ferries Funnel colours and boat colours were always Black & White, except for the Royal Iris of course which was I suppose Buff ( rather than yellow ) and Green.

At some time in the 70s the during all the changes the Funnel colours were Green & Black as well.

I have a picture of the Royal Iris from my collection which was taken just after her makeover in my design in 1970 which is attached.

Chris. The Egremont is now on the south coast, as a floating clubhouse.

History of Wallasey Ferries (http://www.mikekemble.com/mside/wallasey3.html)

Phill
17th April 2009, 20:02
Doesn’t look to good to me,
I spoke to some of the locals who work close by, seeming to think that there is no interest in her at all??? photos taken 17.04.2009
Phill

karbine
17th April 2009, 20:07
Good photos Phill. I pass her everyday on the river and cant stop looking,think how sad it is to see her left to rott. I agree,theres no interest and the last time i saw anyone onboard was last summer in the caravan on the top deck.

With her in this state, it looks like no work is being done and i was interested what the people in the caravan were doing apart from sunbathing on the top deck.

Mike Kemble
17th April 2009, 21:35
She means nothing to the people down there, its on merseyside she is fondly recalled.

forthbridge
17th April 2009, 22:29
Hi Folks,
Just a quick question was there also a Royal Daffodil? Can remember those ferries when I was standing by our ship at Cammell Lairds.
Neil Mac.

When I first went to sea in 1959 there was a Royal Daffodil lying in South West India docks in a pretty decrepit state. Don't know what happened to her though.

Mike Kemble
17th April 2009, 22:44
Royal Daffodil - yes

FERRIES (http://www.mikekemble.com/mside/wallasey4.html)

Pat Kennedy
19th April 2009, 20:23
During the seventies and eighties, the Merseyside Police used to hire the Royal Iris once a year in August for the annual police river swim. A bunch of cops would dive in from the Royal Iris at Seacombe, and swim North to New Brighton, with the ship following along behind, with upwards of a thousand passengers on board getting well and truly hammered.
I was on board for around ten of these shindigs courtesy of a good friend and neighbour who was a mounted police sergeant, competed every year, won once and was second six or seven times. It was a gruelling swim and they were exhausted when they got back on board. after that, there was a presentation for the winners etc and then a cruise out to the Formby mid-channel bouy, and then back in up as far as Eastham channel, then return at around midnight to Seacombe landing stage. I always had a great time,and remember once spilling a full pint down the shirt front of the then Chief Constable, Sir Kenneth Oxford, not a man to trifle with. I got off with a long cold stare, while he calculated if I was one of his or not.
The Royal Iris had dozens of functions on board every year and was extremely popular on Merseyside.
I remember leaving Birkenhead on my first voyage on Christmas Eve 1958, and The Royal Iris was alongside at Seacombe with a very loud party going on, as we sailed past, gloomily stowing the mooring ropes down the forepeak. It made me feel like jumping over the side and swimming for the beach. Home was only a threepenny bus ride away.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

allanjgreen
22nd April 2009, 01:41
i am a new member having seen photographs of royal iris and dafodil iwant to model one of them thank you for photographs on this site i am 70 years old and just starting to use a computor so please excuse allanjgreen

Mike Kemble
22nd April 2009, 01:49
Alan, delighted to see you mate. there is no such thing as too old, or inexperienced, its just one learning curve after another. We are here to help you in any way we can.

Coastie
22nd April 2009, 02:53
Alan! Good to see you on here. Don't worry, the majority of us could be considered as being old fossils as well!!

Good to see you on here and I hope you enjoy the site.

Nagai
23rd April 2009, 17:11
I'll have to try and bring the average age down slightly!(==D)

I'm 34, and have many fond memories of the annual outing on the Iris, with my Nan and brother. She seemed so huge back then, the 3 hour voyage would barely be enough time to cover the distance bewteen bow and stern on every deck! I can remember the smells coming from the doors to below decks, and the heat and noise!
It's so sad to see the state that she is in now, and I can't seeher moving again, to be honest. The guy that owns her seems to be full of hot air about his plans to refurbish her. He stated that he has had engines designed for her. How much will that cost??? He doesn't appear to have the near bottomless pit of money that seems to be needed to get the Iris back on the high seas.
Just for once though, I would love to be proven wrong.

Martyn

allanjgreen
4th May 2009, 02:42
thanks for your welcome guys still waiting for plans for royal iris cannot wait to get started allanjgreen

degsy
6th May 2009, 00:44
A sad sight, certainly conjures up memories of when I was a kid and as a teenager. I can remember her being called the "floating chippy" , and the dance cruises on her. Many a shipboard romance has been seen on her decks. Not quite as regal as the cruise liners of today, yet still, the chill salt tang of the River Mersey, the cry of a lonely gull and the omnipitent throbbing of a stout diesel engine, moonlight's luminescence picking out her wake's phosphrescence has led many a young Liverpool Lass down seduction's wayward path. Oh Jeez give me back my youth(Hippy)

andyp1
11th May 2009, 16:07
Have a somewhat hazy memory of chasing a young lady from IM Marsh College around the top deck armed with a bottle of gin,2 glasses and an ice bucket!(Jester)
Oh for the care free days of a Phase III Eng. Cadet @ Riversdale Tech(Gleam)

allanjgreen
28th May 2009, 01:43
allanjgreen ihave got the plans for dafodil just laying down the keel.should be good fun

jaigee
3rd July 2009, 11:26
Well not exactly! A working model of her at New Brighton model boat pool yesterday. :D

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/184333
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/184334
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/184336
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/184337

Santos
3rd July 2009, 11:37
Brilliant - thanks jaigee.

Chris.

jaigee
5th July 2009, 11:24
Incidentally, while talking to the owner of the model at New Brighton, he said that he had heard that the owner of the real Royal Iris had leased/bought premises at the Albert Dock in Liverpool and intended to open them as a Royal Iris themed bar.

The shocking thing is though that he also intends to fit it out with the original fittings fom the Iris and that work had already started removing them!

I do not know whether this is true or just hearsay, let's hope it's the latter.

White Star
5th October 2009, 14:15
Hi, I am new to the site and feel very passionate about the Iris and would dearly love to see her back home on the Mersey. I have never been on board her but seen her many times on the Mersey whilst on one of the other Ferries. Please bring her home.

KenM
11th December 2009, 19:41
I worked as a deckhand on her in 1970 just for the holidays whilst I was studying to become a Radio Officer. She was painted in the Green and Buff livery at the time. There was a story told about her green hull which went roughly like this
What colour should we paint the hull? The answer was given as "See Greene" (who was the general manager of the ferries at the time) . and so it happened she was painted Sea Green.

I liked the story anyway

karbine
31st January 2010, 19:45
A bit of updated news:

Royal Iris was taking on water from a hole in her stbd quarter this afternoon. Its thought to be nothing major and the PLA plan to check her waterline on low water tomorrow and patch her up i guess?

bazzoh
31st January 2010, 20:53
Hi
some messages from friends with London Fire Brigade connections....

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

Gerrysea
31st January 2010, 21:47
A bit of updated news:

Royal Iris was taking on water from a hole in her stbd quarter this afternoon. Its thought to be nothing major and the PLA plan to check her waterline on low water tomorrow and patch her up i guess?

OMG, so sad but I guess that this is the inevitable consequence of the neglect that she appears to be sufferin'? I had so many hopes for her when James Jeged talked of engines being designed for her, makin' her safe and watertight and havin' her registered as a vessel of historic significance. Sadly it appears to have been fine words and has come to not much more?

Why would "the PLA plan to check her waterline on low water tomorrow and patch her up" Karbine, or do we mean that they'll instruct the owner to patch her up?

Why on earth did he spend good money to rescue her, movin her from Cardif and then leave her to rot like this? Surely it would have been better to simply make a present of her to the city of Liverpool in the hope that funds could then be raised up there, rather than watch her rot here on the Thames?

How long before the PLA insist on her being removed and she goes for scrap?

Santos
31st January 2010, 22:11
Words fail me really (Sad)

Chris

Gerrysea
31st January 2010, 22:33
Words fail me really (Sad)

Chris

Sadly, this would appear to be the realization of our worst fears, from 4 1/2 years ago, when we first started to discuss her plight Chris! (Cloud)

Santos
31st January 2010, 23:34
Gerry,

Like you I did hold out a little hope when the owner and his friend spoke of doing something with her but obvisously nothing has been done.

I too dont know why people buy vessels and then let them go to ruin finally to be scrapped and they lose all their money, very strange.

Chris.

karbine
2nd February 2010, 20:27
Taken on water and not floating today. Very sad!
Lets hope something is done. Does anyone actually live onboard? Ive seen the odd person in the summertime using the caravan but assumed it maybe squatters or something?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4052/4323042456_d941d3723b_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2790/4322213877_10cbdea0c7_b.jpg

Santos
2nd February 2010, 21:58
That really is a very sad sight, I would think that this must be the end of her. All the fine talk came to nothing as usual. I feel somewhat conned after being asked and giving advice on the re-painting and renovation to her original colours.

I would rather of seen her taken for breaking when she finished as a restaurant - coupled with the sight of the Manxman rotting away too, its a very sad time and all so unnecessary.

Chris.

karbine
5th February 2010, 02:45
Found an interesting but very sad video of the afternoon she sank 31/1/10
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/4357/royaliris.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eu7eYj9jEQ

I passed her tonight and although still on the bottom, her stern is nowhere near as low as shown in the video. The water level was lapping her rubbing band

Santos
5th February 2010, 11:11
Thanks Ben for keeping us informed.

Chris.

SN NewsCaster
6th February 2010, 14:10
The Royal Iris, used to cross the River Mersey for 42 years, is disappearing from sight as it becomes submerged in mud and water.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/8501897.stm)

Magellan
8th February 2010, 01:21
Sad fate of Mersey ferry Royal Iris exposed as she lies rotting in the Thames
http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/4933369.Sad_fate_of_Mersey_ferry_Royal_Iris_expose d_as_she_lies_rotting_in_the_Thames/

Sue Cartwright
9th February 2010, 00:06
Hi Everyone,
I, like yourselves are appalled at the way they have let the Iris go to ruin, how can the powers that be see fit to pay millions for mechanical spiders penguins, clowns and other err...'art' as it is called. BUT they do not see fit to bring home a boat that holds so many memories for the merseyside people. Take a look at the site i have created on face book http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=291068027297&ref=nf
lets see if we can bring her home somehow. xx

bammo2010
9th February 2010, 00:24
Hi all, new member to your forum, inspired by this sad news of the Royal Iris. All this has caused a bit of a stir back here on Merseyside, and Im sure everyone up here would love to see her returned to her rightful home, her place of birth. Please, if any of you have a Facebook account, or know anyone who does, click on the link above left by Sue and take a look at the locals comments. If anyone on here knows how to contact the owner of the Iris, or has any useful information, please let us know. Thank you...Colin

Nagai
10th February 2010, 22:04
This is so sad. I was in London over the New Year and had to go and look at the sad state of the Iris. I'm glad I got to see her before she disappears forever.
I'm traveling down to London this coming weekend and will definitely go and have another look at her.
This is absolutely devastating. It's nothing short of vandalism what the person who owns the old girl has done.

Mr N.

xl391
12th February 2010, 03:02
It's so sad to see but if it wasn't for her current owner, we may have been having this discussion about 7/8 years ago. I, for one, hope she won't meet her fate at the hands of the cutters torch but, as it says on Wikepedia, she seems to have dodged the scrapman since 1991...

Unless anyone with major disposable income comes to the rescue, even to get her to static status, she's finished, much as it pains me to say it. Reading a report from the Wirral Globe from 2001 when a spokesman for Mersey Ferries said, upon questioning, was asked what it would need to make her seaworthy again. He said between 6-7 milion pounds would be required. He also stated that the reason she was retired in the first place was due to the fact that she 'needed a new power plant and a new hull.' Not pocket money you'll agree...

Thats another Story
12th February 2010, 07:49
Shame i had many a good nights fun on her? the girls all had mini skirts on them days.(Hippy)

Pat Kennedy
12th February 2010, 20:52
A story in tonight's 'Liverpool Echo' states that the Merseyside Maritime Museum are looking to acquire some artefacts from the Royal Iris, such as lifebelts, or even the wheel, to put on display so that at least something of the ship survives.
Better than nothing I suppose.
Pat

John Dryden
12th February 2010, 21:06
It amazes me the that the Royal iris has been there for so long,sureley someone must have paid(or not paid] the berthing fees or is it just another river-side development on the Thames?

john1788
12th February 2010, 23:13
It amazes me the that the Royal iris has been there for so long,sureley someone must have paid(or not paid] the berthing fees or is it just another river-side development on the Thames?

by all acounts he hasn't paid mooring fees for a couple of years and is infact squatting at the birth,if you click the facebook link above some intresting up to date news and picsyou could also join.

KEITH SEVILLE
13th February 2010, 08:09
Pleased to read that some artefacts from Royal Iris are likely to be transferred to Merseyside Maritime Museum for preservation and display.
When I heard rumours, I thought maybe they were going to restore her and bring her back to the Mersey where she belongs.
It is a disgrace that she's been left to rot away on the Thames with no intention of doing anything about her. In these circumstances it would have been more fitting if she had been broken up as nobody could find the capital to preserve her.

Regards
Keith

nick olass
14th February 2010, 01:12
I was just one of many, many thousands, that can recall wonderful times on board that lovely little lady. She was not the best looking craft that you ever saw, but for sheer nostalgia, that boat held special memories for several generations. It has been mentioned that artifacts of the 'Iris' will now find their way into the 'Maritime Museum', for me, the artifacts that should have been preserved for Merseyside and the UK, should have been the 'Iris' complete.

Thats another Story
14th February 2010, 08:22
I was just one of many, many thousands, that can recall wonderful times on board that lovely little lady. She was not the best looking craft that you ever saw, but for sheer nostalgia, that boat held special memories for several generations. It has been mentioned that artifacts of the 'Iris' will now find their way into the 'Maritime Museum', for me, the artifacts that should have been preserved for Merseyside and the UK, should have been the 'Iris' complete.

it should take pride of place nick. the old FISH AND CHIP boat very good times back then(Hippy)

A.J.McMahon
14th February 2010, 15:29
(Hippy) it should take pride of place nick. the old FISH AND CHIP boat very good times back then(Hippy)

If I recall correctly, (fish n chips) Booze, Birds, and a DANCE. So everyone should be Happy!!

Thats another Story
15th February 2010, 18:09
Mersey ferries earn £34.000 000 for the region some of that should go towards bringing the iris back to the mersey.

Coastie
15th February 2010, 19:07
The owner probably doesn't care, the water hasn't reached his caravan yet!

nick olass
16th February 2010, 18:32
(Hippy)

If I recall correctly, (fish n chips) Booze, Birds, and a DANCE. So everyone should be Happy!!

There is the problem, the people in power would say,"Well, she wasn't anything special, just a place for working folk to eat fish and chips, have a few drinks and a dance, so what is all the hullabaloo about"?

If the 'Iris' was a larger, more prestigious vessel, frequented by the gentry, there would be an outcry from those in high office, and, if she was deemed to be unseaworthy, then a place for the public to come and visit her would already be in place.(Thumb)

karbine
17th February 2010, 00:48
Dave wood has taken some fantastic,yet sad photos onboard her 13/1/10 some in HDR:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4013/4354304810_494524bc54_o.jpg - STERN
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2719/4353559011_c93374041c_o.jpg - BOW
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2664/4354304424_5ee6ae0895_o.jpg - MUDDY DECK
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2791/4354304414_f72b484993_o.jpg - TELEGRAPH
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4354304412_a56bce0192_o.jpg - INTERIOR

Santos
21st February 2010, 13:47
From the Liverpool Echo Saturday 20th February 2010 :-

A BUSINESSMAN has revealed he is in negotiations with the owner of the Royal Iris to buy the much-loved historic former ferry.

Known as the “fish and chip” boat, the Royal Iris has lain derelict on the Thames for the last eight years.

The ECHO revealed how she had become flooded on high tides and was in a sorry state.

But the Wirral businessman – who wishes to remain anonymous while negotiations continue – said he hoped to bring the boat back to the Mersey.

He said: “It is not a selfish thing and if others want to become involved they are welcome – but I have spent several years trying to convince the owner of the Royal Iris to sell her to me.

“I visited her again last week and some people had actually repaired the hull so she does not take on water during the high tides.

“As far as I know, they have not been paid for the work, but just did it because they had heard about the state of the vessel.

“Structurally, internally, she is relatively sound, but externally the years have taken their toll.

“I have had quotes for repairing her and towing her to the Mersey, and there are others who would help in this.”

He said if the Royal Iris can be brought back, he hopes to set up a not-for-profit organisation to oversee repairing the boat and allowing her to cruise the Mersey again.

The one-time Mersey ferry is in a perilous state on a mud bank in the Thames and had been taking in water.

The businessman said the vessel’s scrap value is minimal, but it was now a case of convincing the owner to sell the boat so it could be restored.

The Port of London Authority’s spokesman Martin Garside said there had not been “any significant change to the status of the vessel”, but in the long term it would be “lovely to see it resolved”.

Lets sincerely hope something comes of all this and it is not just another false dawn.

Chris.

KEITH SEVILLE
22nd February 2010, 17:42
Chris

I hope he succeeds in bringing her back to her rightful place the Mersey.
It is very frustrating to see her rusting away and sinking on the Thames.
This vessel has given so much pleasure to us Merseysiders over the years.
I agree lets hope its not another false dawn.

Regards
Keith

Pat Kennedy
22nd February 2010, 20:08
He was on Radio Merseyside at Lunchtime talking about his plans. I only caught the tail end of it but he did sound convincing.
A cynic might say that they all sound convincing.
Pat

tapdnalop
24th February 2010, 17:58
Hi, i work for Mersey Ferries joined in 97 the Iris was sold in 91, talking to the lads who sailed on her they said it would have cost 4 million then to do her up, so he will have to have deep pockets.

Pat

Thats another Story
24th February 2010, 18:37
worth every penny.

treeve
25th February 2010, 04:07
Apparently the current owner did not turn up at the meeting to discuss the offer made by 'The Businessman' who is reported to be 'absolutely disgusted'. Other options (actions) are being considered.

davewood
26th February 2010, 12:21
Hi Folks,
Just going through the thread and it makes very sad reading from Gerrysea's optimistic posts when James contacted him to the sad news of her taking on water earlier this month. Some of my image links from 2006 and 2009 are already posted here and I'll post a few shots of her here later today.

The main reason I'm here is to ask you to please sign a petition to bring the Royal Iris back to Merseyside. You can sign up at http://www.royaliris.co.uk . I'll be giving the petition to James Jegede and also Greenwich Council who I think cover this part of Woolwich (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Here's the preamble from the petition website:
"As you are aware, the Royal Iris is in a perilous state, rotting away on the River Thames. She took on a load of water in February and the Port of London Authority is now concerned she may break up and create a hazard for the River Thames shipping traffic.

The Royal Iris is not loved in London and that's understandable. She is an eyesore and has no part in London's maritime heritage. She needs to be back on Merseyside where people care for her and recall the happy days when she sailed up and down the River Mersey."

Cheers,
Dave

Santos
26th February 2010, 21:39
Hi Dave,

Signed up - hope it helps. Thanks very much for your interest and work for her.

Chris.

KEITH SEVILLE
27th February 2010, 07:56
Dave

Have also signed the petition and hope that many more will do the same.
It's a shame ,if she cant be restored and brought back to her home port Liverpool.

Regards
Keith

jimini35
27th February 2010, 23:11
Hi all, Just joined up,to lend my support in any way I can.
My dad and my granddad where with the ferries in the
fifties and sixties.(I do have some great photos of the crew).
I'm working at cabot square on Wednesday morning and intend
to cross the river to have a look at the boat after work (noonish)
I do hope something can be done to save her.
I went to Earlston library today to look at the model of the boat
and it just cracked me up.
fingers crossed for her!

Thats another Story
27th February 2010, 23:22
is it true she was at dunkirk bringing the troops off the beach?

Santos
27th February 2010, 23:57
is it true she was at dunkirk bringing the troops off the beach?

No John she wasnt launched till 1951.

The original Iris which was awarded the Royal prefix along with the Daffodil was awarded it because of her and Daffodils' role at Zeebrugge on 23 April 1918.She went to Dublin in 1932, in 1939 she moved to Cork and, in 1947, was renamed Blarney.

Chris.

Thats another Story
28th February 2010, 00:00
thanks santos i thought it did?

davewood
1st March 2010, 09:59
Thanks for signing the petition folks. Santos, that's my wife's maiden name :¬)

I've been visiting her since she first berthed at Woolwich in 2002 it's been sad recording her deterioration, culminating with her taking on water in February. One positive is that she still retains her bridge telegraphs. If you haven't yet, could you please pass on the petition link (http://www.royaliris.co.uk) to any interested parties.
Thanks, Dave(Thumb)

Here's a few of my recent shots to show what states she's in.

2006
http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost2006.jpg

Some recent shots after she had the water pumped out. Excuse the first 2. I've over processed them to make a couple of dramatic prints.
http://www.liverpoolictorial.co.uk/nost2010a.jpg (http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost2010a.jpg)
http://www.liverpoolictorial.co.uk/nost2010b.jpg (http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost2010b.jpg)

The silt and mud from the Thames are still evident in the next two
http://www.liverpoolictorial.co.uk/nost001.jpg (http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost001.jpg)

http://www.liverpoolictorial.co.uk/nost002.jpg (http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost002.jpg)

The upper deck/ballroom. Reasonbable condition, despite the bird poo.
http://www.liverpoolictorial.co.uk/nost003.jpg (http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost003.jpg)

The bridge
http://www.liverpoolictorial.co.uk/nost004.jpg (http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/nost004.jpg)

PS
I took this short video in 1991. You can catch a few glimpses of her in it. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have lingered on her a little longer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUBWy6RnP5I

vortex
1st March 2010, 10:56
I wonder why this James character won't just sell her and cut his losses.

If she is worth so little as scrap, surely he would want to gain something rather than lose what he paid.

He clearly has no interest or finance to even begin the job of making her viable again. What a loser.

El.

jennywiom
1st March 2010, 14:08
It's true, if preserved, she should be on Merseyside. Merseyside are not, however, friendly towards their shipping heritage. Birkenhead has thrown out a selection of historic warships, Albert Dock does not seem to like historic ships, and Manxman has been denied space in the area where she was built and spent much of her life.

What are the chances of a space being made available for Royal Iris?

Thats another Story
1st March 2010, 14:27
seems there is no money in heritage? councils would sooner sell off the waterfront for offices that will never be filled ?shame just greed on thier part. john

Billieboy
1st March 2010, 15:27
seems there is no money in heritage? councils would sooner sell off the waterfront for offices that will never be filled ?shame just greed on thier part. john

I agree John, Barry Dock #1 dock, is a prime example, yuppie flats for dinkys, and the rest can go whistle. It's not a case of tunnel vision, it's the $$$ signs blinding the whole council, of Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan.

vortex
1st March 2010, 17:20
Merseyside are not, however, friendly towards their shipping heritage.

This is very true, as can also be seen by the hostility of the Albert Dock to the Planet lightship.

But, the Royal Iris is small enough and practical enough and, if restored, mobile enough to offer the possibility of paying her way with little permanent impact, ie. she will not be a static fixture.

With her capacity and Liverpool heritage I would have thought thousands of tourists would ride the 'Beatle Boat' and pay for the priveledge, especially with the New Pier Head, Museum of Liverpool and Beatles Museum right at the front. It seems like a business oportunity, but with a big initial outlay. Surely it would qualify for some Heritage Lottery Funding.

El

nick olass
1st March 2010, 23:15
It's ironic that the waterfronts of our ports were strewn with warehouses, granaries and docks, filthy and rat infested, where ordinary people had to work to make a living, now, since these places have been converted into posh dwelling places, for the more well-off sector, ordinary folk are no longer welcome.
So, it really comes as no surprise, that the people with lots of loot to spare, don't have any real interest in a working man's pleasure vessel.

WallyMalcolm
2nd March 2010, 13:39
This is very true, as can also be seen by the hostility of the Albert Dock to the Planet lightship.

But, the Royal Iris is small enough and practical enough and, if restored, mobile enough to offer the possibility of paying her way with little permanent impact, ie. she will not be a static fixture.

With her capacity and Liverpool heritage I would have thought thousands of tourists would ride the 'Beatle Boat' and pay for the priveledge, especially with the New Pier Head, Museum of Liverpool and Beatles Museum right at the front. It seems like a business oportunity, but with a big initial outlay. Surely it would qualify for some Heritage Lottery Funding.

El

My Dad says it is a difficult boat to steer never went the way you wanted it to.

I always think it is a pity no one has ever interviewed him about it as he is 85 now.

Mike Kemble
2nd March 2010, 14:52
Hi all, Just joined up,to lend my support in any way I can.
My dad and my granddad where with the ferries in the
fifties and sixties.(I do have some great photos of the crew).
I'm working at cabot square on Wednesday morning and intend
to cross the river to have a look at the boat after work (noonish)
I do hope something can be done to save her.
I went to Earlston library today to look at the model of the boat
and it just cracked me up.
fingers crossed for her!


can you scan and send me some 60s images? I will add them to my Wallasey Ferries History Page on my own site.

Mike Kemble
2nd March 2010, 14:53
My Dad says it is a difficult boat to steer never went the way you wanted it to.

I always think it is a pity no one has ever interviewed him about it as he is 85 now.

If it is in writing, I can add his story to my ferries history.

WallyMalcolm
2nd March 2010, 15:57
If it is in writing, I can add his story to my ferries history.

Not sure he is always making notes:)