Duke of Lancaster

4th May 2006, 15:34
Is high and dry in a concrete bed in North Wales


Hopefully, she won't go to the breakers anytime soon.

This is the worse I could wish to the manxman

4th May 2006, 17:05
She is not a pleasant sight as you go past her these days.

4th May 2006, 17:07
Totally agree, mentioned her in the ss.Manxman thread yesterday.

I can't see there being any hope for her...she's been left to rot since she was beached there over 20 years ago. They had originally got plans to turn her into a casino and hotel...but didn't have the money, let alone think about planning permission.

I can't see her having much of a future I'm afraid, it'd take a damn sight more loot than the 2.5 million that couldn't be raised for the Manxman.

Perhaps an ideal venture into shipping for our marvellous National Sailing Boat Museum at Falmouth....work for the dockyard, work for the town, a live project for people to get involved in...perhaps they could even put some of the money they're ripping people off for admission back into the community...!


1st November 2006, 08:59
Is she still there? Apparently, her scrap value is used as credit insurance by her owners. How true that is though I couldn't tell you...

2nd November 2006, 01:12
Yep...she's still there...and no-one is allowed near by the owners.

I've made numerous requests for a visit aboard (purely for nautical and nostalgic reasons) and have heard nothing in reply.

It's actually becoming quite difficult to trace the owners...due to many bankruptcy cases etc...surprise...surprise...

Dare one say it, but personally I'd like to see the good old lady sold for scrap and have a semi-dignified end to life.


4th February 2007, 23:17
I think it should be saved and restored to a fully working ship, if it is at all possible. I've been on the bbc website http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northeast/sites/askalocal/pages/gen11.shtml and there is a lot of support in favour of saving it. I think a charity should be formed a bit like for the Manxman to save the Duke, £2.5m may seem like a lot to an individual but between many people and with grants, loans and raising money I'm sure it can be done.

5th February 2007, 22:23
Interesting. I used to see her when I was on my way home on the train from far flung furrin' ports like Aberdeen and Lerwick!

She's gone to the dogs in reality. Which is a great pity as she used to sail from Holyhead so is a part of my own history, so to speak. As for £2.5mn. A Lottery Grant.....ah but she's not a good cause is she? To get a lottery grant you need a good cause and she isn't that - even those of us who know her real value would argue that case that she is but we'd be up against art projects, sports projects, women's groups and so on......

A pity - she is the last of her kind, like the 'Manxman'..........but as a standing exhibit to be restored, that's a good idea. I'm sure any of us would volunteer for the odd weekend working party for that.........wouldn't we?


5th February 2007, 23:04
I think it would need more than the "odd weekend" even from most of the 11300 members on this site to even touch the old Duke now,Jonty even if they all chipped in a weekend each.sorry to be gloomy but I think it's wishfull dreaming that she will ever be saved now!

6th February 2007, 01:03
Why is everyone so negative? Why not have a positive attitude or at least the glass is half full rather than the glass is half empty attitude. No wonder so many treasures get lost!

6th February 2007, 01:25
Forgive me for not saying this but isnt the ship concreted in quite high up out of the water anyway? How much more of the hull is there under there?

6th February 2007, 10:22
There are many recent (December 2006) Duke photos, commentary etc at



6th February 2007, 14:32
I don't think it's being negative, Luke,just realistic.

6th February 2007, 15:41
according to a report on in the seabreezes magazine she will probably be broken up in situ, The council seems to think it is inevertable

6th February 2007, 17:46
Well, if she's broken up we have lost another piece of our maritime heritage.

Like the Historic Warships Trust and the 'Manxman', for an island nation we quickly forget what made Great Britain Great........


9th February 2007, 09:44
>They had originally got plans to turn her into a casino and hotel...but didn't >have the money, let alone think about planning permission.

Another problem I understand was the low head room under the railway bridge leading from the berth to the main road. Too low to allow access by fire services. There is an access track round the back - but is a far from direct route,


9th February 2007, 09:47
[QUOTE=lukejhoward;106526]Forgive me for not saying this but isnt the ship concreted in quite high up out of the water anyway? How much more of the hull is there under there?

Having visited the ship a few months back it appears to be mainly mud - not conrete that is visible. There is an old concrete barge resting against the stern which wedges her in place.


9th February 2007, 09:53
I think it would need more than the "odd weekend" even from most of the 11300 members on this site to even touch the old Duke now,Jonty even if they all chipped in a weekend each.sorry to be gloomy but I think it's wishfull dreaming that she will ever be saved now!

I am currently involved with the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society which is working to restore Britain's last surviving steam-tug tender. (www.danieladamson.co.uk) to working order.

This is a small vessel which weighs in at under under 200 tons and which was sadly neglected whilst at the Boat Museum, EllesmerePort.

Whilst i look after the IT and web site support for the project I am aware of the thousands of man hours put into the project by those working on board since it began in April 2004.

Restoring a ship involves much more than raising a few pounds and getting like minded people together.

Large ships like the Duke could prove to be a bottomless pit for any volunteer group. They would certainly need external support and funding.


9th February 2007, 11:52
You guys are probably sick of hearing from me and i'm sorry but i've started a petition to save the duke:


9th February 2007, 22:17
You obviously feel strongly about this ship, Lukejhoward, so I don't think anyone will condemn you for acting the way you are. Don't think anyone is sick of hearing from you at all.

10th February 2007, 16:48
Well said Coastie, after all this is Ships Nostalgia and this old girl must hold nostalgic memories for many of us. I know she does for me.

10th February 2007, 21:44
What, Tmac? Don't tell me you built her?? Was it a "lunchtime foreigner"?? LOL

11th February 2007, 01:35
Having been there and looked at the Duke some 8 years ago. I de recall being struck with amazement at how she became to be there. How on earth did they manage to shove her to where she now rests?. even with a very high tide i find it hard to believe she was actualy floated there given her draught. she must have been scraping the bottom the whole way in. even if the "magic fairy" came along with the money, I doubt if she could get of there now with the build up of silt over the years.
Think to be realistic it a matter of "Rest in peace Duke"

17th February 2007, 22:58
Hello guys
I might have never met any of the Heysham Dukes, as they are often reffered to, but I admire those ships as much as you can't imagine. Even though I live faraway, in Greece, I have read a lot over the internet, and it would be a shame losing the last Duke... Of course should we take in mind that not only feelings and memories can save it. Capital and a strong will could do something....

In the near future, I plan to write an article about the 3 Noble Dukes, in the Greek Shpiing Magazine "Efoplistis". Since many here in Greece might remember one of them (Duke Of Argyll), why not know the other 2??


19th February 2007, 12:09
yippie! upto 39 on my petition now, crap aint it. lol

29th June 2007, 21:44
The last time I heard she had been sold for scrap, I will try and get pictures on Sunday as I will be in the area.

30th June 2007, 11:52
yeah I'd love to see pics of how the ship is doing. I can check on weather it's been sold via the Land Registry. I'm upto 118 on my petition by the way! Slowly creeping up...

6th July 2007, 21:42
Did you see the photos I posted of the Duke last Sunday?


20th August 2007, 18:41
I know there is a thread covering this boat but a gentleman on my home forum has just supplied us wih this. http://www.irishseashipping.com/heritage/wales/dukeoflancaster170807/dukeoflancaster170707.htm

Im sure this can be moved to join the original thread.


K urgess
20th August 2007, 18:48
Merged threads, Andrew.


20th August 2007, 23:03
A little info I have been told, what truth there is in it is anyones guess. A friend of mine has been told that the Duke is to be bought by North Wales Fire and Rescue for training purposes, can anyone verify this?


18th September 2007, 10:05
Possible good news for the "Mostyn Fun Ship" It might not be scrapped afterall, not at least in the near future!
I've had a reply from the daughter of the owner of Empirewise & Solitaire (LIVERPOOL) Ltd. and she says this:
"my father has no plans to scrap the ship. he's not really sure what to do with it. Any good ideas will be gratefully received.It would be nice to see it back to its best, but that would cost a lot of money! We have seen the petitions and read the comments. Its been a suprise, but still very nice to know, how much people love the ship."
But still not good news with nothing being done to it! How can someone own something like that and not know what to do with it!?!

captain fish
22nd September 2011, 18:58
The Duke is not in concrete, she sits on sand. You all would benefit from visiting the dukeoflancaster.net and read its history. You will be quite shocked at the realty. Also take time to read John Rowley's ( the owner) personal account....fascinating stuff!