mv Egremont - 30 years back home.!

rushie
20th June 2006, 15:18
Here's an article that I wrote for the regional newspaper to celebrate the Egremont's 30th anniversary back home -

30th Anniversary for Mersey maritime survivor back home in South Devon


June 16th 2006 marks the 30th anniversary of the ex Mersey ferry the Egremont returning to South Devon, where she was built.

Tucked quietly away in the waters between Salcombe and Kingsbridge lies a piece of South Devon maritime history. The ferry vessel the Egremont was built at the once famous shipyard of Phillip and Son at Dartmouth during 1951 and launched in 1952. The cost of building her was £144,500. She and her sister ship Leasowe were built for the extensively used passenger crossings of the River Mersey. Before the Mersey tunnel was built the ferries were the only means for many people to cross the river. Some of these crossings were in atrocious weather conditions and proved how sturdy the vessels had been built. The Mersey ferries had a reputation of carrying on operating whatever the conditions that nature could test them with. It is remarkable to think that ships of their size had passenger licences to carry 1475 people!

Today the Egremont is the headquarters and accommodation vessel of the Island Cruising Club who are a recognised RYA Training Centre, providing a wide range of Sailing courses for both children and adults from beginner level up to Instructor and are an activity provider for The Island Trust, a charity who provide funding for disadvantaged school children from all over the country to go sailing.

The Leasowe led a totally different life on departure from the Mersey. She was bought by an island community to provide ferry services between the Greek island of Simi and the resorts of Rhodes. Her appearance was changed drastically and she was virtually unrecognisable as to how she appeared in her previous role.

The Egremont was bought by the Island Cruising Club as a replacement for their two previous vessels. After withdrawal from service on the Mersey crossings she was stored at Birkenhead awaiting a prospective buyer. Whilst in negotiation of sale to a buyer she suffered flooding which rendered her engines and mechanical equipment useless. This was an advantageous twist of fate for the Island Cruising Club, as they had no need to keep the engines in the vessel, and so the Egremont became their own.

After a period of dry-docking, the engines were removed and the Egremont was made ready for the move to her new home at Salcombe. She left the Mersey for the last time on June 15th 1976 in tow of the tug Sea Bristolian and arrived at Salcombe on June 17th 1976, being the centre of attention to the hordes of people who had come to watch her arrival.

Apart from the removal of the engines, she remained virtually untouched from the day she was withdrawn from service. Considerable work was required in developing the ship into a HQ and to provide a high standard of accommodation for her visitors. The majority of the work was carried out by the club members.

Externally, she now appears different as a new accommodation block was built on her upper deck, but she still maintains most of her recognisable features. Internally the passenger saloons have been adapted to create a classroom, restaurant and storage areas, accommodation cabins have been built, and the engine room has become the Pugwash Bar. Many of her original fixtures and fittings still remain aboard, such as benches, signs and windows, and she still retains her original decking. During the years of her stay major improvements have been made to her facilities and she now has direct water and electricity supplies from the shore.

The Egremont leaves Salcombe every five or six years for dry-docking and refitting. These usually take place in one of the south west shipyards such as Falmouth and Penzance. Her next refit is due to take place in around two years time and on her return this will ensure she will be in excellent condition heading up towards her 40th anniversary of being back home in South Devon.

It is testimony to the fine engineering of the old Dartmouth based shipyard, now sadly closed, who built various other well known and loved vessels that the Egremont still survives. It also highlights the much care, love and attention that the Island Cruising Club has given to their pride and joy over the years that she’s been with them. May she be a part of South Devon for many future years.

Cheers Rushie

John_F
20th June 2006, 17:26
Rushie,
Couple of photos attached of the Egremont. She was launched on December 12 1951 & sailed for Liverpool on March 31 1952.
Photos from Philip & Son Ltd., Shipbuilders & Engineers.
Very interesting book if you haven't read it already.
Kind regards,
John.

rushie
20th June 2006, 19:16
Thanks John,

Have my copy in local Teignmouth book shop waiting to be picked up.!

I'll put a couple of photos on the site later to show her launch.

There are some fantastic artifacts aboard the Egremont, such as a 1973 log book, original plans, letters etc. Not forgetting original decking, seats, windows etc. Her original plans show was designed with a gun deck.!

If you fancy a visit aboard her whilst down in the West Country (and that offer has been kindly extended to all by the people on her) then let me know, and I can arrange it.

Cheers,

Rushie

Santos
20th June 2006, 22:56
Thanks Rushie for posting the article. As I have said in previous threads, I knew her very well and sailed on her more times than I care to remember.

I actually commuted on her whilst on my Second Mates course in Liverpool, also whilst taking my Lifeboat Certificate and on numerous times returning from Foreign Going trips.

I am so pleased she is so well looked after, I wish someone would accord the same care to the poor old Royal Iris rusting away on the Thames.

Chris.

Aldinga
21st June 2006, 00:53
"Ferry Across The Mersey" Egremont in her very early years of service.

Ron

rob15
22nd June 2006, 13:09
nice to nere about the vessel Egremont,i live just out side a village in Cumbria called Egremont smart vessel

rushie
23rd June 2006, 07:55
Hi Rob,

The name Egremont comes from your village.

The people who bought the land at Wallasey and started the ferry were a rich family from Cumbria, and it was a traditional name for the vessels.

Rushie

doremi495
1st July 2008, 23:28
Hi, I'm new to this so apologies if I ramble. I live in Seacombe, Wallasey where the Egremont was based and I have had over a hundred trips on her. Seeing her again brings back memories I can tell you. Can any one advise me on how to get plans of the Egremont as I would love to build a model of her. Thanks in advance.

Pat Kennedy
2nd July 2008, 11:15
Hi Rob,

The name Egremont comes from your village.

The people who bought the land at Wallasey and started the ferry were a rich family from Cumbria, and it was a traditional name for the vessels.

Rushie

I believe that most of the Mersey ferries were named after districts on the Wirral. eg Leasowe, Liscard, Woodchurch,Mountwood, Storeton, and of course, Egremont, which is the area between Seacombe and New Brighton, and where I was born and bred.
The exceptions were the Royal Iris, Snowdrop etc.
Regards,
Pat

medway
2nd August 2008, 09:26
"Have my copy in local Teignmouth book shop waiting to be picked up."

Can you tell me the book's title etc please?

Bill Davies
2nd August 2008, 09:42
Never took much notice which ferry I travelled on but in the Summer of 61 it was always the 08:20hrs across to Liverpool whilst studying for Second Mates (FG). A little aside. The Captain of the Royal Iris (McCormack) had a son in the prep school (Redcourt) when I was in St.Anselm's. He did not follow in his fathers footsteps but did enter the priesthood.

John_F
2nd August 2008, 11:44
"Can you tell me the book's title etc please?"

Medway,
The full title of the book is:
Philip & Son Ltd., Shipbuilders & Engineers
Author: Derek Blackhurst
ISBN: 1-901703-42-8
Published in the UK by
Ships in Focus Publications,
18 Franklands, Longton
Preston PR4 5PD
The price in 2001 was £21.00.
Kind regards,
John.

Pat Kennedy
2nd August 2008, 12:09
Never took much notice which ferry I travelled on but in the Summer of 61 it was always the 08:20hrs across to Liverpool whilst studying for Second Mates (FG). A little aside. The Captain of the Royal Iris (McCormack) had a son in the prep school (Redcourt) when I was in St.Anselm's. He did not follow in his fathers footsteps but did enter the priesthood.

Bill,
There were two McCormack brothers at St Anselm's when I was there, the older a very tall chap whose name I forget, and his brother Brendan, same year as me, who has become a very accomplished guitarist and appears regularly at concerts around the area. both of them very pleasant friendly people.As I recall they lived in Westminster Rd in Liscard.
a good friend of my father was Captain Sonny Lewis who was senior captain, you might say Commodore, on the Wallasey ferries, and he kitted me out with a couple of sea jerseys, adorned with " Wallasey Ferries" across the front.They were the subject of much ribald comment from the rest of the crowd on the Achilles, and I soon mothballed them.
Regards,
Pat

Bill Davies
2nd August 2008, 14:52
Pat,
Capt McCormacks son was Kevin. Probably a class or two below you. They lived in Pendennis Road (off Canterbury). Sonny Lewis was a great friend of Paddy Proctor and they used to drink in the Ferry Hotel Seacombe. They used to have me absorbed with their War Time MOD stories.

Brgds

Bill

Keith Adams
3rd August 2008, 01:05
A big 'HELLO' to Pat Kennedy, doremi495 and Bill Davies ! Great to read your comments back and forth - sort of funny how the "Egremont" operated out of Seacombe and ended up at Salcombe - anyway, what impressed me most about the ferries was their ability to manoeuvre alongside in any weather and in the minimum of space - twin rudders and screws - made lots of trips on them all, including the earlier goods ferries (lorries, cars and horse-n-carts) "Leasowe" and "Liscard" - happy days, despite the War ! Keith

k.e.mccormack
9th April 2009, 16:28
Never took much notice which ferry I travelled on but in the Summer of 61 it was always the 08:20hrs across to Liverpool whilst studying for Second Mates (FG). A little aside. The Captain of the Royal Iris (McCormack) had a son in the prep school (Redcourt) when I was in St.Anselm's. He did not follow in his fathers footsteps but did enter the priesthood.

I have only just joined this forum. I am Kevin McCormack and although I went from Redcourt to St Josephs Ledsham, I decided secular life was better. My Father Captain E.H. McCormack died in 1982 at the age of 80. He joined the Wallasey ferries in 1916 aged 14 and became the youngest master at the age of 23. What I would like to find out is, does anyone have info ref: the filming of a Wilfred Pickles show that took place on the Royal Iris

WallyMalcolm
12th April 2009, 15:08
I have only just joined this forum. I am Kevin McCormack and although I went from Redcourt to St Josephs Ledsham, I decided secular life was better. My Father Captain E.H. McCormack died in 1982 at the age of 80. He joined the Wallasey ferries in 1916 aged 14 and became the youngest master at the age of 23. What I would like to find out is, does anyone have info ref: the filming of a Wilfred Pickles show that took place on the Royal Iris


My Dad Is Wally Garbutt he says hi he served his time with your Dad.

WallyMalcolm
12th April 2009, 15:12
My Dad asked are you the Kevin who was the captain of the Warren Golf club:)

Cobbydale
19th April 2009, 18:51
My Dad Is Wally Garbutt he says hi he served his time with your Dad.

Ask your dad if he remembers 'buck' hughes ( my Dad) 41 years on the ferries.
cheers
Alan Hughes.

Franktheboat
28th April 2009, 13:42
when the egremont was sold me and my mate Tommy bridges made here readry for sea ,
by battening her down and sealing all openings , and away she sailed


franktheboat

Franktheboat
28th April 2009, 13:47
also my ex boss was a member of the salcombe yacht club his name is michael allsop


frankthe boat

WallyMalcolm
2nd March 2010, 15:03
Ask your dad if he remembers 'buck' hughes ( my Dad) 41 years on the ferries.
cheers
Alan Hughes.

My Dad remembers him he was mate when Bill was skipper on the Leasowe.

He remembers a bump when the engineer was not at controls ie hit the Isle of man boat

Cobbydale
3rd March 2010, 18:02
My Dad remembers him he was mate when Bill was skipper on the Leasowe.

He remembers a bump when the engineer was not at controls ie hit the Isle of man boat

He will remember me then...Bill crossed over the Bar back in 1993, give Wally my best wishes too.

WallyMalcolm
3rd March 2010, 19:33
He will remember me then...Bill crossed over the Bar back in 1993, give Wally my best wishes too.

I did and he does remember you too :)

Lesl Clegg
13th April 2010, 11:35
I have only just joined this forum. I am Kevin McCormack and although I went from Redcourt to St Josephs Ledsham, I decided secular life was better. My Father Captain E.H. McCormack died in 1982 at the age of 80. He joined the Wallasey ferries in 1916 aged 14 and became the youngest master at the age of 23. What I would like to find out is, does anyone have info ref: the filming of a Wilfred Pickles show that took place on the Royal Iris

Kevin, I served with your Dad and was Interviewed by Wilfred Pickles on the Bridge, I do have some photos, I will look them out once we have moved house, My Dad was also a Captain on the Wallasey Ferries and he served over 40 years, [Norman Clegg] it was good to read your article
Best Wishes and regards to everyone who remembers us.

Les Clegg

Cobbydale
23rd April 2010, 23:54
Kevin, I served with your Dad and was Interviewed by Wilfred Pickles on the Bridge, I do have some photos, I will look them out once we have moved house, My Dad was also a Captain on the Wallasey Ferries and he served over 40 years, [Norman Clegg] it was good to read your article
Best Wishes and regards to everyone who remembers us.

Les Clegg

Hi Les, you might remember me as young buck,was on the boats back in 1957/58, WALLASEY ,MARLOWE and the little boats etc.My Dad was also on the ferries at the same time as yours, and think he lived round the corner from us in Hamstead Road.?
Alan.

Lesl Clegg
5th May 2010, 11:45
Hi Les, you might remember me as young buck,was on the boats back in 1957/58, WALLASEY ,MARLOWE and the little boats etc.My Dad was also on the ferries at the same time as yours, and think he lived round the corner from us in Hamstead Road.?
Alan.

Just found the photo I promised you taken on the Bridge of the Royal Iris, the mates name is Dave ? I can not remember the name of the lad at the wheel. Attached Photo
Best Wishes regards to everyone
Les

Mike Kemble
20th May 2010, 14:15
I believe that most of the Mersey ferries were named after districts on the Wirral. eg Leasowe, Liscard, Woodchurch,Mountwood, Storeton, and of course, Egremont, which is the area between Seacombe and New Brighton, and where I was born and bred.
The exceptions were the Royal Iris, Snowdrop etc.
Regards,
Pat

My history of the Wallasey Ferries (http://www.mikekemble.com/mside/ferries.html)

Mike Kemble
20th May 2010, 14:20
Just found the photo I promised you taken on the Bridge of the Royal Iris, the mates name is Dave ? I can not remember the name of the lad at the wheel. Attached Photo
Best Wishes regards to everyone
Les his name is listed, isn't it? Barber?

john1788
8th October 2012, 23:16
On the top of the bridge on the Egremont in its early days picks show 3 pods / ducts 1 above each wing bridge and the center but they were not there in lates photos,any ideas as to what they where,thanks for any Info.

Mike Kemble
9th October 2012, 15:27
binnacles!! The Egremont & The Leasowe had them and, at some stage, they were removed.