Merseyside Branch

Meets: The Liverpool Seafarers Centre, 20 Crosby Road South, Liverpool, L22 1RQ, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, September to July, at 7:00 pm. Members £1, Visitors £2.

 

Dave Crolley, 20 Banham Avenue, Wigan WN3 6ET.

Tel 01942 211147.

email: davec.ships@gmail.com [08.2018]

 

On the Horizon: our forthcoming meetings.

2018/19

Please see the list of full events here 

WSS Merseyside Programme 2018-19 [149KB]

Merseyside Branch activities

November 2018: With great regret we announce the passing of branch member George Makin who was a long standing member of the branch having been three times Chairman, George will be sadly missed. Bill Mayes from Thames Valley Branch came to talk to us for our November meeting to show us images of the cruise he went on in 1981 aboard ORPHEUS which was the 1948 built B&I Liverpool to Dublin ferry MUNSTER. Bill visited most ports in the Eastern Mediterranean and it was interesting to see how they were in those days. It was a very good night’s entertainment and thanks for Bill coming to see us. Also we were granted a visit aboard the Peaceboat OCEAN DREAM that was very entertaining.

October 2018: A very good friend of our branch Alan Moorhouse from Bedford came to talk to us for our October meeting. His talk was entitled ‘Voyagers across the Sea’ which Alan took us on several recent Cruises. First we were shown images aboard MAJESTIC PRINCESS on her maiden voyage from Civitavecchia, Kotor to Corfu. Then we were of aboard DIAMOND PRINCESS on a Grand Asia Cruise. This section called at Ports such in Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, China and Japan. After the interval we were treated to a cruise onboard MSC MERAVIGUA from Barcelona to Palma. Finally Alan showed us film shot on the Manchester Ship Canal in his childhood. A great night Alan, thank you for coming to see us.

September 2018: For our September meeting we had a wonderful start to our new season when Branch member Philip Parker gave a presentation entitled ‘Mersey Memories, 1970 to 1985. These were archive slides donated to us by Gerald Drought of St Helens who is a well known local Ship and Railway photographer. Philip gave us a wonderful show picking out the best of Gerald’s photographs. The areas covered where Liverpool Docks, the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. Philip had gone to great lengths to research all the histories of the vessels shown that were well known to us all so we thank him very much for his magnificent performance.

Summer 2018: Due to summer holidays there is no branch meeting this month. However it is interesting to report we held our Annual Branch day out when we hired a coach to visit Lake Windermere. We sailed on all three of the Steamers SWAN, TERN and TEAL starting from Lakeside and calling at Bowness and Ambleside. Also some members chose to take the train to Haverthwaite. Although it rained for most of the day we all enjoyed the day out very much. Thanks to our contact at Fred Olsen three members visited the BLACK WATCH for a Travel Agents/Groups presentation and tour which was most enjoyable.  

July 2018:  This month brough our Branch AGM hosted by our current Chairman Adrian Sweeney. Most of our current Committee was re-elected en-bloc for the forthcoming season with new member David Pointon joining the committee. Also Geoff Holmes has retired and Dave Crolley was elected as the new Secretary. After the interval Phil Welsh showed slides of the launch of the 1938 Cunard Liner Mauretania from the Cammell Laird Shipyard at Birkenhead and Adrian Sweeney showed us his first 20 slides from his new show about British Ferries. Thanks to Phil and Adrian who both gave us very good presentations.

June 2018: For our June meeting we welcomed branch member David Shore who gave an excellent presentation entitled ’Ships built on the East Coast of England, 1960’s to 1990’s’. With slides taken by himself and his Father Barry, David gave us a history of Shipbuilders between the Humber and the Tweed. We saw many examples of vessels built at famous yards such as Yorkshire Dry Dock, tugs at Hessle, John Harker at Knottingley, Swan Hunters, Sunderland Shipbuilders and Smiths Dock at Middlesbrough all accomplied by histories researched by David. Unfortunately most of these yards and vessels are all gone now. Thank you David for a great night’s entertainment.

May 2018: Our May meeting speaker was our old friend Bernard McCall who travelled from Bristol to give us a great presentation about visiting Ports around coast of Scotland. He started at Alloa and finished at Stornoway. This was a great talk and Bernard gave us most interesting explanations of the places he visited. We all learned a lot but unfortunately time ran out so hopefully we are now looking forward to your return next year to complete your tour of rest of the West coast that we never got to see. Thank you Bernard for coming to talk to us.

April 2018: We were very pleased to welcome members from the Cobh branch who came to visit us for our April meeting, we hope you all enjoyed being on Merseyside. John Hooley from Macclesfield was our guest speaker and he continued his magnificent account of Railways at Sea incorporating South and West Coast Railway Ships up to Sealink in 1984. He started this talk at Newhaven and we saw ferries and trains in Ports all along the coast to Cardiff. It was another great evening so thanks John for coming to talk to us and we look forward to Part 3 next year.

March 2018: We welcomed well known book author Paul Boot to our March meeting and the title of his presentation was ‘Strangers on the River, unusual visitors to the Mersey’ and this is exactly what we got. It was an incredible evening coupled with Paul’s extreme talent in taking photographs and his explanations of the ships he showed us. These ranged from a lot of Liverpool ships that had re-appeared in different guises to ships we hadn’t seen before. Thank you a lot Paul for coming to talk to us and we hope we see you again very soon. 

February 2018: Our February meeting exceptional when we had the pleasure of welcoming Iain Quinn from the Coastal Cruising Association. Iain’s presentation was ‘In the wake of the Queen Mary from Glasgow to the Sea’. The evening was fantastic showing us a photographic tour of the River Clyde, typical ships and buildings that the Queen Mary would have passed. These slides showed us spectacular vessels that have long gone now, too many to list here. All the members agreed that this presentation was one of the best Iain had given. Thanks a lot Iain and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

January 2018:  For our January meeting we held a Maritime DVD evening. The first DVD was presented by Peter Head who showed us an Imperial War Museum production ‘Shipyard and Docks at War. This was made up of five sections titled ‘A Tyneside Story’, ‘From the Seven Seas’, ‘Steel goes to Sea’, ‘Clyde built’ and ‘Shipbuilders’, very interesting and most entertaining. After the interval John Williams showed us a Snowbow production in the Great Liners Series, Part 8 titled ‘Echo’s of the Mersey’. This was also very interesting where we saw many ships that graced the Mersey over the years. Thanks to Peter and John and also John Luxton for his projection skills.  

December 2017: Our own branch member John Luxton solved several PC/Projector problems to present his latest Seatube 4 series of videos from the Internet for our December meeting. The highlights included old footage of HMS HERMES and HMS GLAMORGAN plus videos from the German Navy. Also a video of Merseyside Shipping from 1941 was excellent plus other Maritime Mishaps that were quite amusing especially one showing a canal boat stuck under a bridge. Thanks a lot John for another good Seatube presentation and we look forward to another show next year. Thanks also must go to Dot Gibbons for presenting us with another of her delicious Christmas Cakes which we all enjoyed.

November 2017: We were honoured to welcome to our branch for our November meeting Roy Cressey from the Yorkshire Ship Enthusiasts Society who showed us fabulous images of previous competition winners taken by the members over several years. The standard of photography was extremely high and all Roy’s members should be congratulated on their remarkable achievements. We were shown all manner of vessels, large and small, seen not only in the U.K. but in many other countries as well. Thank you Roy for travelling from Leeds to see us and hopefully it won’t be too long before we see you again.
  

October 2017: We were very privileged to be granted a visit by Atlantic Container Line to their new ‘G4’ Ro/Ro/Container Ship ATLANTIC STAR. Visits Secretary Dave Crolley presented Captain Jakub Miszczyszynwith a WSS Varnished Plaque which was mounted on the wall in their Conference Room. Then we were given a very comprehensive and interesting tour of the ship by 2nd Officer Rodel Server. Thanks to Phil Parker for arranging this unique visit. Our October speaker was Jim Charnock who showed us slides from the collection of Captain Eric Askew. Everything he showed us was taken from the bridge of the MANCHESTER COMMERCE which Eric was Master of. We saw ships of every variety taken in the 1970’s era from all parts of the world but mainly on the St Lawrence Seaway were Eric’s shots of ice bound ships was spectacular. Thanks Jim for a great presentation.
  

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September 2017: For our first meeting of the new season in September our guest speaker was our own committee member Phillip Parker who gave us a most interesting presentation entitled ‘50 Years of the Atlantic Container Line’ which this year is celebrating their Anniversary. We were very privileged to see previously unseen images taken from over the years starting with ACL’s first ship ATLANTIC SPAN at Baltimore in 1967. Philip showed us the whole fleet right up to date including the new G4 class ships that have only recently been introduced. A very good evening Philip, thank you very much.
  

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July 2017: Brought our Branch AGM when our current Chairman Dave Crolley stood down as he had served his three years in office. The newly elected Chairman is now Adrian Sweeney. Our current Committee was re-elected en-bloc for the forthcoming season. The future of our branch library was discussed. After the interval we all enjoyed slides from Jim Charnock of the Manchester Branch who showed us some interesting photographs from Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Kiel Canal, Hamburg and Rotterdam. Thanks Jim for entertaining us.
  

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June 2017: Our own branch member Geoff Holmes was our guest speaker for our June meeting who gave us a great presentation about Liverpool’s South Docks. Geoff showed us some very interesting images of vessels that entered the system from famous shipping lines such as Booth Line, Elder Dempster and the Guinea Gulf Line. What made Geoff’s presentation great were his stories about these vessels as he had sailed on most of the ships he showed us. Thanks a lot Geoff. On June 16thwe all had a fabulous day on the re-built 1903 M.S.C. tender Daniel Adamson for a trip from Ellesmere Port to Acton Bridge and onto the Anderton Lift by bus, a great day out. I’m sad to report branch member Dave Roberts had passed away after a long illness.  

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May 2017: Our own branch member John Luxton was our guest speaker for our May meeting who gave us Part 4 of his Maritime Infrastructure presentations showing us Industrial Archaeology of more Irish Sea Ports. This was a most interesting evening where John started by showing us examples of maritime buildings around Douglas Harbour on The Isle of Man both past and present. After the interval we visited Piers at Llandudno, Beaumaris, Menai Bridge and ended up at Bangor. A most enjoyable evening from John, we thank you very much and look forward to Part 5 next year. 

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April 2017 : John Hooley from Macclesfield was our guest speaker for April and he gave us a magnificent account of Railways at Sea including East and South Coast Railway Ships up to Sealink in 1984. He started on the Humber showing us ferries from 1885 running out of Hull. Then it was down to Harwich, Dover, Folkestone, Newhaven, Southampton and ending us showing some Channel Island Ferries. John also showed us many rare images of old British Railways Steam locomotives hauling trains such as the Golden Arrow, most interesting. It was a great evening John so thanks for coming to talk to us and we look forward to Part 2 next year.  

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March 2017 : Our March meeting brought our good friend Iain Quinn from the Clyde River Steamer Club. It is always a special evening when Iain comes to see us and this meeting was no exception. On this occasion his subject was Paddle Steamers of the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s and what a fabulous presentation it was. Iain started by showing us vessels from the South Coast, the Bristol Channel, then on to the East Coast, ending with vessels on Scottish waters. As expected Iain slides were of a very high standard showing rare vessels coupled with great scenery and of course Iain always tells amusing stories to go with his commentary. Thank you Iain for a great evening and we look forward to seeing you again next year.    

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February 2017 : We decided to hold a Maritime DVD presentation for our February meeting which was most entertaining. The first film we showed was about Humber Shipping but mostly featured the ferries that crossed from Hull to New Holland showing the last ferries in service, namely Tattershall, Winfield and Lincoln Castle’s. Also there was an interview with one of the Captains that served for 25 years on the route. After the interval we were treated to one of the Snowboat Maritime series entitled ‘The Great Liners, Mersey Bound’. This DVD was very good as it showed many of the Liners that we all love that served Liverpool over the past decade.  A great evening was had by all.

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January 2017: Our own Branch member Adrian Sweeney gave us for our January meeting an excellent presentation entitled ‘Fading Memories and Hazy Perceptions’ which he showed us images taken from the first camera he owned as a boy of 10. The photos he showed were taken mostly around the River, The Landing Stage and Birkenhead Docks. Also as you would expect from Adrian he also showed quite a few shots taken on trips to Douglas, Isle of Man. Thank you Adrian, it was a very good evening’s entertainment and we hope you can show us more of your archives again soon.

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November 2016 : As it was 1990 when we released our own Merseyside Branch Slide Show for showing to all branches so we decided it was time to look at it again for our November meeting. This programme brought back memories of great ships such ships such as the Britannic, Reina Del Pacifico, Carinthia, Empress of England and the 1951 built Mersey Ferry Royal Iris. Also we looked at the Overhead Railway and Mersey Tunnel. Each dock area was featured from the South Docks up to Seaforth in the North plus docks areas at Birkenhead were also seen. Thanks to Phil Welsh for operating the equipment so that we could all enjoy a fabulous evening.

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The Branch has recently taken part in the 2016 North West Ship Show. This was successful. Please see attached photos.

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For our October meeting our own branch member Philip Parker was fortunate gain access via Peel Ports Management to show us many very old photographs of the MD&HB archives that could easily have been lost. They had been found in a cupboard that nobody had looked into for many years. They all were superb b/w images from the early 1900 showing river views, all the dock areas and most interestingly the constructions of the MD&HB Building at the Pier Head plus fascinating shots of Gladstone Dock under construction before water had been let in. Thank you very much Phil for allowing us to see these images, it was an amazing evening.

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September 2016. We are sad to announce that two of our most respected members have died, Donald MacArthur and Ken Lawrence. Both these fine gentlemen will be greatly missed by our branch. To start off our new season we were visited by Jimmy Poole who gave us an account of the vessels he saw during his April 2015 cruise aboard NORWEGIAN JADE. The ports he called at were Civitavecchia, passed through the Messina Strait, Katakolon, Piraeus, Kusadasi, Istanbul and Naples. As expected from Jimmy this was a very interesting and amusing presentation. Thanks a lot Jimmy for coming to see us.

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July 12th brought our Branch AGM when Dave Crolley was re-elected to serve as Chairman for another year and our Committee was re-elected en-bloc for the forthcoming season. After the AGM we were all enjoyed slides and images from Philip Welsh who showed us some interesting launches at Cammell Lairds, Phil Parker, P&O’s Strath class Cargo ships, Dave Crolley on his visit to Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Jon Godsell showed images old and new of Naval vessels mainly around Birkenhead. Thanks to you all for giving us great presentations.

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Our June meeting was a lovely evening with Harry Spong from the Bristol Branch who gave us a delightful presentation about the History of Bristol Docks. As expected from Harry this was a most enjoyable, interesting and very amusing presentation, exactly what you may expect from Harry. Most of the images we saw were old black and photographs from many years ago showing the Port from its early day’s right up to present day. A great night Harry, thank you for visiting us and hopefully we will see you again soon.

Maritime Infrastructure Part 3 was the theme for our April 2016 meeting presented by our own branch member John Luxton. As in previous shows John didn’t disappoint us and his talk that was most interesting covering such places as Hayle and Newlyn in Cornwall and after the interval we were shown what buildings were still in existence from the old Aust Ferry on the River Severn. To finish off we then looked at the village of Portskewett in Wales. Thanks John, another great evening and we look forward to another show next year. A small group of members visited HMS BULWARK which was a very informative and enjoyable occasion.

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The Branch took part in the first North West Ship Show (2015). This was successful. Please see attached photos.

We have also helped to organise the Merchant Ship Day. This was held on November 7th at the Liverpool Seafarers' Centre. Again, a very interesting and enjoyable day.

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