MV Wincham

17th May 2009, 01:13
Has anyone heard about this vessel?

I bought a copy of "Private Eye" yesterday and one of their regular features is the "Nooks and Corners" column which usually lists buildings of architectural interest that are being ignored or destroyed, but this week it mentions the Wincham.

According to the "Eye", Wincham was a coaster which had operated on "the Mersey, the Waever and the Manchester Ship Canal". It was rescued by a preservation society and awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The ship was restored and given a "permenant berth in the Albert Dock".

The ship has however now seemingly been sold for 5000 GBP for scrap as the preservation group was broke and could not raise the 40,000 GBP needed for repairs/maintenance.

The "Eye" states that until recently the preservation group received most of its funding from the Friends of National Museums Liverpool as the Wincham was deemed suitable for exhibition in the Albert Dock, home of the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The Firends however were disbanded last year after (allegedly!) having a disagreement with the powers that be of National Museums Liverpool.

Private Eye then points out that considering Liverpool was last year's European City of Culture, the town's history and the Wincham history, the Maritime Museum might have been expected to rescue to ship. But this has not happened and the Lottery Fund now want thier money back as well!

The article also notes that the man in charge is also in charge of the new 72 million GBP Museum of Liverpool which is "disfiguring" the Pierhead.

If this is true it is indeed a sad storey and yet again shows how little the powers that be in Merseyside seem to care about their heritage - maritime or otherwise.

This article could of course be a biased or indeed wrong - any thoughts?


17th May 2009, 11:05

....I have many thoughts because Wincham is not the only example of Merseyside's positive attitude to Maritime Heritage:
1. Historic Warships failed at Birkenhead because their berth was required by the developer and there was no suitable alternative.
2. Manxman (for more info pl join ssmanxman at Yahoo Groups), and in spite of active support from Channel 4 TV who were looking to make a 10 x 1 hour series surrounding her refurbishment, failed because the provisional offer of a berth was withdrawn.
3. The former World War 2 U-boat which seems to have been involved in a kind of "pass the parcel" game since arriving on the Mersey, has now been cut into 3 sections to improve access. Call me old fashioned but 3 pieces do not look the same as a whole!
4. The former Bar lightship "Planet" has again had a very shaky recent life, but has recently changed ownership and the situation may improve
5. The project to return the former HMS Whimbrel, a unique classic from World War 2 has now failed. I understand this is largely because negotiations in Egypt (her current location) failed; but I don't think Liverpool's lukewarm response could have helped.

One result in all of this is that the exiting Battle of the Atlantic HQ could have been supplemented by a German U-boat and a British corvette, both of which saw active service in that conflict saw active service - but no one seemed to see the connections!!What a world class display that would have meant!!

You can judge for yourselves