We have now received permission from the Liverpool Seafarers Centre to restart our monthly meetings from September 2021 although naturally this is subject to the number of cases of Covid remaining low.
As meetings may be cancelled at short notice, we will email all members a few days before each meeting to confirm whether or not it will take place but visitors planning to attend are asked to contact Dave Crolley either by email or telephone to check. Dave’s contact details are on the programme card.
You will also notice that the door donations at meetings have increased. These donations are given to the Seafarers Centre as the branch committee believes we should support their important work especially as they allow us free use of their premises.
We look forward to seeing everyone again over the coming season.
Mersey Log (Members Only Login)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 58 No 3 Autumn 2023)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 58 No 2 Summer 2023)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 58 No 1 Spring 2023)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 57 No 4 Autumn 2022)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 57 No 3 Summer 2022)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 57 No 2 Spring 2022)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 57 No 1 Winter 2021/2022)
- The Mersey Log (Vol 56 No 3 Summer 2021)
Dave Crolley, 20 Banham Avenue, Wigan WN3 6ET.
Tel 01942 211147.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org 
Branch programme 2023/24
12th September 2023
What a difference a funnel makes
Malcolm McRonald, WSS Member
& Vice-Chairman of Friends of the Ferries
10th October 2023
DUKWs to water
Peter Dyer, author, Southport
The story of the iconic US amphibious vehicle, both in & after WWII
14th November 2023
From the River Mersey to far flung Pacific Islands
Andy Freeman, Wallasey
Andy recounts his experiences of cruising around the world
12th December 2023
British Transport DVD Films
John Luxton, Merseyside Branch
9th January 2024
Note, there will be no meeting this month
13th February 2024
Steamer Nostalgia of the 1970’s including the Isle of Man
Iain Quinn, Coastal Cruising Association
12th March 2024
The Dockers’ Umbrella by Keith Hick followed by
Railways on the Mersey Docks (after the Overhead)
Philip Parker, Merseyside Branch
9th April 2024
Railways at Sea
From the Western Isles to the East Coast
John Hooley, Macclesfield
14th May 2024
Liverpool Shipping Lines
David Hearn, Wallasey
Historic Lines & routes plus the importance of Shipping
to the growth of Liverpool
11th June 2024
Maritime Infrastructures: Looe with St Ives revisited
John Luxton, Merseyside Branch
9th July 2024
Branch AGM followed by members slides or images
13th August 2024
Note new meeting date
More Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd Birkenhead archives
Philip Welsh, Merseyside Branch
Our November 2023 was a very interesting evening given by Andy Freeman of the Wallasey Yacht Club which was titled ‘10 Years of Sailing around the World from little yachts to big yachts’. Andy told us he started sailing dinghies when he was about 6 which led him eventually to sail on the Ocean Youth Club ketch, Francis Drake out of Liverpool. He survived as a Crew member on the tall ship Marques which tragically was lost off Bermuda in the Tall Ships Race in 1984. Then he sailed on the West German training ship, Gorch Fock into Liverpool in 1984, the first Tall Ships event to visit the Port. He crewed on a 57 foot yacht in the 1984/85 Whitbread Round the World Race, now called the Volvo Ocean Race and finally cruised around the South Pacific on a private schooner visiting Pitcairn Island. All the images Andy showed us of his voyages were spectacular and we must thank him for coming to tell us about his marvellous experiences. After the interval Jim Charnock showed us images of visiting Ports such as Southampton, Felixstowe and Hamburg, thanks a lot Jim.
For our October 2023 meeting we were very pleased to welcome Peter Dyer from Southport who gave us a most interesting presentation titled ‘DUKW’s to Water’. He told us that around the late 1990s the last of the red and cream D.U.K.W. Sefton Rescue vehicles was decommissioned. The six-wheel-drive amphibious trucks, used by the Sefton Lifeguards from 1951-1998, were originally designed by the American General Motors Corporation during World War Two to transport goods and troops over land and water. Commonly known as ‘ducks’, the name D.U.K.W. refers to a manufacturer’s code. ‘D’ indicates the model year as 1942, ‘U’ refers to the utility (amphibious) body style, ‘K’ for all-wheel drive, and ‘W’ for dual rear axles. The veteran vehicles dutifully patrolled the beaches of Southport, Ainsdale and Birkdale for five decades. Their crews of Lifeguards and Sea Rangers were guardians of the dangerous beaches and seas of the Sefton coast. The rescue service never lost a victim, never lost a crew member, and though very closes at times, never lost a D.U.K.W. Wanting to show his appreciation of the D.U.K.W. Sefton Rescue Service, Peter wrote a book in 2020 to share their incredible story using archive images and material directly drawn from the experiences of the heroic crews. Thank you Peter for a most interesting evening. After the interval Dave Crolley showed us a DVD about the breaking up of HMS INTREPID at Liverpool in 2008 which was most interesting.
North West Ship Show 2023
The North West Ship Show was held again this year sponsored by the WSS Merseyside Branch. This event took place on Saturday 23rd September 2023 at the Old Christ Church at Waterloo, Liverpool. Again it was a very successful event and was attended by over 127 members of the public plus 25 stallholders taking up 61tables. Exhibitors included booksellers, maritime artists, boat clubs and small scale model sellers, postcards and photographs sellers and organisations such as the RNLI was also in attendance. Once again the Catering stall was very busy and well organised by Dot Gibbons, daughter Lindsey and grand daughter Chelsea. Many thanks go to our Committee who spent at lot of time and effort into making this event so successful. Below is a photograph showing the wonderful church building and the typical layout of the tables on the day, photo by Dave Crolley.
For our new season on Tuesday 12th September 2023 we welcomed Malcolm McRonald, Vice Chairman of the Friends of the Ferries Association who gave us two magnificent presentations. The first was entitled ‘What a difference a funnel makes’. Malcolm showed us images of various vessels starting with 5 funnels working down to 1 funnel and eventually none at all. Malcolm’s images and explanations were of great interest and he even showed us vessels some of us had never seen before. After the interval Malcolm gave us a brief presentation on recent Fred Olsen Cruise Ships. Thank you very much Malcolm for a great evening’s entertainment and we hope to see you again very soon.
Tuesday 11th July 2023 brought our Branch AGM hosted by our current Chairman John Luxton. The current Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were all elected to stand for another season as were two other existing committee members. After the interval we all enjoyed a fun Maritime Quiz complied by John Luxton which was enjoyed by all. The joint winners were Adrian Sweeney and John Williams, second was Norman West and third was Peter Purland. Thank you to everyone that attended, it was a great meeting.
For our June 2023 our own Branch Chairman John Luxton gave us a very informative presentation about the Tavistock Canal in Devon, this was No.5 in his Maritime Infrastructure series of talks. John’s talk started at Tavistock and he took us along the canal which ended up at the Port of Morwellham on the River Tamar. John has a vast knowledge of this area so he was able to point out places of interest using images, old and new maps, plaques and signs also describing the many bridges that cross the canal. After the interval John showed us several Historic Ships that have been associated with the area over the years. In his vote of thanks Adrian Sweeney said John had spent a lot of time and effort researching for this presentation. Many thanks again John and we hope to see you again next year
For our May 2023 meeting our own branch member Simon Smith gave us a tremendous presentation of a 70 day trip he took aboard the Container Ship Rickmers Singapore in 2011. His voyage started in Hamburg, Germany and terminated at Kobe, Japan. The areas he visited included The River Elbe, Genoa, The Suez Canal, Oman, U.A.E., Iraq, India, Singapore, lots of Chinese Ports including Shanghai before finally arriving at his final destination of Kobe. The many ships Simon showed us that he saw on this voyage was fascinating including many types of many types of vessels we hadn’t seen before. Thank you very much Simon for a great evening’s entertainment and we will look forward to watching another of your voyages again very soon.
For our April 2023 meeting we were pleased to welcome once again John Hooley from Macclesfield who gave us another fantastic presentation titled ‘From the Firth of Clyde to the land of MacBraynes’. He showed all manner of steamers that had connections to trains and terminals around the Clyde. He started with vessels belonging to the Glasgow and South West Region Railways around the 1800’s, North British Railways, White Funnel vessels and finished up showing images of David MacBraynes Ltd vessels. Once again John also showed us examples of steam trains that once visited many of these ports during that era. A really interesting and entertaining evening John, thank you very much and we hope to see you again next year.
For our March 2023 meeting for the first hour was an illustrated talk by two volunteers from the Talks Team of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society. They described the history of the building of the canal, the people who worked on it, the ships that sailed up it, some of the incidents that occurred and some strange visitors, all contributing to the fascinating and continuing story of this great North West waterway. Many thanks go to Les Green and Chris Ellams for an excellent presentation. After the interval we showed a couple of Manchester Ship Canal DVD’s which showed us a nostalgic record of the canal filmed from its construction up to the present day.
For our February 2023 meeting we once again welcome our old friend Iain Quinn from The Coastal Cruising Association of Glasgow. Our members enjoyed Iain’s presentation that centred on vessels from The Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. that visited mostly ports on the Clyde but also Ireland and Wales as well as here on Merseyside. Iain is a great speaker that is always is very amusing and gives fascinating explanations of each of his wonderful slides. Thank you Iain for coming to visit us and hopefully we will see you again soon.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our December 2022 meeting due to bad weather and the train strike both of which was out of our control. The British Transport Films that we were due to watch will be shown at a later date.
MERSEYSIDE: Our good friend Alan Moorhouse travelled up from Bedford to give us another of his latest Voyages of the Sea presentations. Alan’s talk was once again fascinating which he split into five sections, Ships lost and new ships in 2022, New Ships in 2022, Ships around Ports in England, Naval Victories in
Norway and the Ukraine and finally a tribute to the late H.M Queen Elizabeth II were Alan showed us ships that she had launched during her reign that was most interesting. Thanks a lot Alan, we all though ally enjoyed your visit and hopefully we will see you again soon.
For our October 2022 meeting we once again welcomed David Booth from the Manchester Branch. David continued from where he left off last season telling us about his life at sea in the mid 1970’s. He mainly showed us great slides from Hong Kong, Singapore and West Africa. It was most interesting to watch aspects of Cargo Handling that we don’t normally see so his presentation was really fascinating. Thanks a lot David and hopefully we will see you again soon.
Manchester Branch member Frank Purser passed away suddenly on Sunday 18th September 2022. It was a great shock to all his family friends and fellow branch members as he attended the Manchester Branch meetings only 3 days earlier. Frank was well known in Maritime circles and was also a member of the Coastal Cruising Association and Friends of the Ferries Society at Liverpool. He was very active in everything he undertook such as daily long walks along local Manchester canals, maybe sailing on the many pleasure boats that frequent the area. For many years Frank worked for Manchester Liners supervising cargo stowage which entailed him visiting the Manchester Liners that was about to sail mainly to Canada. He lived in the Urmston area of Manchester in his flat surrounded by all manner of maritime objects such as ships models, photographs and paintings. Our sincere condolences go to out to Frank’s family, he will be sadly missed by us all.
September 2022 (The North West Ship Show)
The North West Ship Show that Bernard McCall used to hold hasn’t run since 2019 due to Covid problems and Bernard passing away. After a consultation with Bernard’s wife Doreen and son Iain it was decided that the North West Ship Show would be held again this year sponsored by the WSS Merseyside Branch. This event took place on Saturday 24th September 2022 at the Old Christ Church at Waterloo, Liverpool. It was a very successful event and was attended by over 120 members of the public plus 22 stallholders taking up 52 tables. Exhibitors included booksellers, maritime artists, boat clubs and small scale model sellers, postcards and photographs sellers and organisations such as the RNLI and the Liverpool Seafarers Centre was also in attendance. The Catering stall was very busy and well organised by Dot Gibbons, daughter Lindsey and grand daughter Chelsea. Many thanks go to our Committee who spent at lot of time and effort into making this event so successful. Below is a photograph showing the wonderful church building and the layout of the tables on the day, photo by Dave Crolley.
Krispen Atkinson travelled from Greenhithe, Kent to talk to us for our September ’22 meeting. As you might expect from Krispen his presentation was very interesting, professional and entertaining. What he told us about was his 2018 trip to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong, all most interesting as he showed us all manner of vessels that under normal circumstances we would never see, all very colourful and great to watch. Thanks a lot Krispen for coming to see us and we hope to see you again next year.
July 12th brought our Branch AGM hosted by our current Chairman John Luxton. The current Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were all elected to stand for another season as were two other existing committee members. After the interval we were shown images and slides from John Luxton, Peter Evans, Geoff Holmes, Dave Crolley and Jim Charnock. Thank you to you all for a great members evening.
Our June 2022 meeting was brilliant, it was decided that we would reshow a programme called 50 Years of Merseyside Shipping (1948 to 98) that a few of our members produced in 1990. We realised that many of our current members wouldn’t have seen this presentation before so it was received with great enthusiasm and interest. The show started by showing shipping in the South Docks and proceeded up thought the Pier Head areas and continuing through the Central Docks up into the Gladstone Dock area. After the interlude we crossed over to the Wirral side of the river to look all around Birkenhead Docks, then the Cammell Laird Shipyard and Tranmere Oil Terminal. To finish off we then took at look at the Royal Seaforth Dock which had been opened in 1971. A very good evening was had by all and great thanks must go to the members who produced this excellent programme.
For our May 2022 meeting our own branch member Adrian Sweeney gave us a most interesting presentation entitled ‘Annoying Greta, a Smokey presentation’. This referred to the Archivist Greta Thunberg who obviously wouldn’t like Smokey funnels emitting lots of black smoke. Adrian showed us lots of these examples from the early 1900’s to present day on the subject of Ferries, Cargo Ships, Coasters Liners, Warships, Paddles Steamers and Tugs, most of the vessels we all recognised . The research in finding all these most fascinating ships must have taken a lot of time and effort so we thank you very much Adrian for your excellent presentation.
For our April 2022 meeting we were pleased to welcome once again John Hooley from Macclesfield who gave us another fantastic presentation North towards Scottish Waters continuing Railway Steamers theme. This time he showed all manner of Steamers ranging from the Bristol Channel, South Wales, around the Lake District, over to Ireland and eventually visiting Scottish ports at Stranraer and on the Rive Clyde. As usual with John, he showed us examples of 1960’s steam trains that once visited many of these ports during that era. A really interesting and entertaining evening John, thank you very much and we hope to see you again next year.
Our own branch member Simon Smith gave us a brilliant presentation for our March 2022 meeting which was about various visits he had made to Istanbul and the Bosporus between 2002 and 2019. Simon’s colour images and explanations of the area were excellent. He showed us vessels that we all recognised but mainly it was the unusual foreign flagged vessels that were of great interest. His knowledge of the area and knowing the best ferries to go on to get great photos was very useful. A great night Simon, thanks a lot for everything you showed us.
For our February 2022 meeting we were very pleased to once again welcome our old friend Iain Quinn from the Coastal Cruising Association who had travelled down from Glasgow to visit us. Iain’s presentation was most interesting as it told us of the life and seagoing career of Captain John E. Cameron who was the first Master of the 1899 built P.S. WAVERLEY. He served with this vessel until she lost at Dunkirk on 29th May 1940. John and most of his crew survived and he went on to become Master of the second P.S. WAVERLEY built in 1946 that we all know of today. The evening was packed with many images of all this period taken mainly on the River Clyde. Iain finished the evening by showing a brilliant never been seen before 1930’s film of shipping on the Clyde which was fascinating. Thank you Iain for coming to see us, it was a great evening.
Due to Covid-19 problems at our usual meeting venue we unfortunately had to cancel our January 2022 meeting. We were due to show members a couple of archive British Transport Shipping films which would have been most interesting so these now will be saved and shown at a later date.
December 2021 Meeting
For our December meeting our own branch member Philip Parker gave us an excellent presentation about Liverpool and Birkenhead docks in the 1960’s era. Philip showed us mainly his own black and white images that were wonderful. As you might expect Phil showed us examples of Liverpool owned vessels from Canadian Pacific, Cunard, Blue Funnel plus many other most interesting images. It was a great evening and thank you Phil your presentation of Merseyside Shipping nostalgia, we all enjoyed it very much.
November 2021 Meeting
For our November 2021 meeting we were very pleased to welcome once again Alan Moorhouse from the Bedford Branch. Alan gave us a most interesting presentation covering problems that cruise ships have had during the Covid -19 lockdown. He split his talk into several sections, Covid Casualties, new Ships built during Covid, Ships laid-up because of Covid and finally Alan’s encounters looking at Naval Ships during the lockdown. All this made a fascinating talk that was full of brilliant images and information. Thank you Alan for a great night and we all hope that it won’t be too long before you come and visit us again soon.
October 2021 Meeting
We started our October 2021 with a Branch AGM to fill in for the two meetings that we had lost because of Covid-19. Items discussed were the Chairman’s and Treasurers reports, Branch subscriptions and Election of Officers, all approved by the members present. However our main speaker for the evening was David Booth from the Manchester Branch who gave us a most interesting presentation about his life at sea during between 1960 to 1980. David not only showed us slides of rare Cargo vessels and Tankers he served aboard but also the different cargoes that was loaded and discharged in ports ranging from West Africa, Middle and the Far East particularly in Hong Kong. It was a fascinating evening and thank you David, we hope you will come to talk to us again soon.
September 2021 Meeting
We are very pleased to say that on 14th September 2021 we were able to restart our meetings again. Due to Covid-19 problems at our usual Seafarers venue we managed to arrange a temporary venue at The Old Christ Church just around the corner. It was an afternoon event and the speaker was our own branch member Philip Welsh who showed us wonderful black and white images of shipbuilding at the Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead. The period he discussed was from 1978 to 1965 but unfortunately time beat us before Philip had finished. Thank you very much Philip for a very professional presentation and hopefully you may be able to talk to us again in the near future.
Previous Merseyside Branch activities
March 2020: Our own Branch Chairman Adrian Sweeney gave us an excellent presentation for our March meetings entitled ‘It can’t be over 20 years ago’ showing us his last days of taking 35mm slide photography. As expected from Adrian he showed us many examples of his sailings aboard ferries around the Irish Sea on vessels of the IOMSP, P&O, Seatruck and Stena Lines. Also Adrian showed us other types of vessels around Ports such as Liverpool, Douglas, Heysham, Dublin and Fleetwood. It is amazing how time flies by. Adrian said it seemed like yesterday when he took all these photographs. Thanks a lot Adrian.
February 2020: We must thank Iain Quinn of the Coastal Cruising Association very much for travelling from Glasgow to fight Storm Ciara to be with us for our February meeting. As expected from Iain once again his presentation was excellent. It was entitled ‘A musical passage around the Clyde’ and that is exactly what we received. Iain’s slides were very colourful, his commentary was most interesting and informative, wonderful humour and of course all this was accomplied by enjoyable Scottish music. A great evening’s entertainment again Iain and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
January 2020: For our meeting we had a Maritime DVD evening and showed two presentations. The first was titled ‘Super Liners, the end of an era’ which featured Cunard’s QUEEN ELIZABETH II and QUEEN MARY and other liners such as the French Line NORMANDIE. The second DVD we showed was a Snowbow Production titled ‘The Great Liners, Cargo Ships of the World’. This film featured voyages on a Federal Line tanker KENT, sailing to the Middle East to load Crude Oil and the New Zealand Shipping Co. cargo ship OTAIO sailing to New Zealand via the Suez Canal. We all enjoyed watching ships from bygone days.
December 2019: Our own branch member and well known author of Maritime Books Ian Collard who gave us a very interesting presentation on The Port of Liverpool in the 1960’s and 70’s. This as you might except from Ian this presentation showed us most of the well known vessels that visited the Port in that era. Ian spoke a lot about the Cunard Passenger Liners and of course we saw many of the local cargo ships such as Ellerman Line, Harrison Line and many other favourites. A very entertaining evening and we thank Ian very much for your comprehensive talk.
November 2019: Our own branch member Peter Purland gave us a very interesting presentation on a cruise he recently took along the Panama Canal. Starting at the Southern end of the Canal he told us a brief history about her construction and then proceeded to show us sightings of the Miraflores Locks and Gatun Locks. On the way Peter showed us images of bridges and monuments as well as a whole host of vessels of every kind that he saw on his journey. A very entertaining evening and we thank Peter very much for his comprehensive talk.
October 2019: Our own branch member Geoff Holmes gave us a very comprehensive talk about Ships that served West Africa for our October meeting. We were shown examples of vessels from Companies such as Elder Dempster, Palm Line and Guinea Gulf Line/John Holt & Co. Despite overcoming computer problems Geoff gave us histories and stories about these great ships. Thanks a lot Geoff for all your research and hard work to produce this presentation. Congratulations must go to The Liverpool Seafarers Centre where we have the privilege to meet that has been voted ’The Best Seafarers Centre in the World’. Well done to John Wilson and all his team.
September 2019: Krispen Atkinson visited us from Greenhithe on the River Thames to open our new season and his talk was the first of his Krispen’s Travels series entitled 30 days in September 2016. As expected from Krispen, who is a well know World Wide Traveller, this was a spectacular presentation. He showed us images from cruising around Europe on the AIDA Prima to visiting faraway places such as Dubai, Singapore and Indonesia. Of course we saw a whole range of different types of vessels plus ships that we had never seen before. A magnificent evening and we hope Krispen you enjoyed visiting Merseyside as much as we did having you here, thank you very much.
August 2019 : Due to the holidays we do not meet during August but we did hold a 70th Branch Anniversary day out. Our coach took us to Sutton Weaver where we all boarded the 1903 built Tender DANIEL ADAMSON for a two and half hour cruise along the River Weaver to Acton Bridge. We then travelled to the Anderton Lift Bridge for a 2 hour stop over before proceeding to the Hazel Pear Pub for a buffet and drinks. Adrian Sweeney gave us a talk on the history of our branch and then presented Paul McFerran with a plaque for outstanding services. 55 members enjoyed this great occasion but none of it would have been possible without the legacies of the late Marion McFerran and Don MacArthur, many thanks.
July 2019 : This month brought our Branch AGM hosted by our current Chairman Adrian Sweeney. The current Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were all elected to stand for another season as were two other existing committee members. After the interval we were shown images from Simon Smith visiting Genoa, the Suez Canal, the Gulf of Oman and Singapore. Dave Crolley showed us scenes from the River Mersey over the last 12 months. Jim Charnock showed us more of his latest visit to Hamburg and Adrian Sweeney showed views of Southampton in the 1960’s. Thanks to all for a great show.
June 2019: Philip Simons from the South Coast Branch came to visit, showing us many excellent images of the WSS AGM 2018 meeting at Felixstowe. These included very large Container Ships such as EVER GOLDEN and MSC SVEVA to very small vessels that Philip’s is interested in. We also were shown ships at Harwich and also on the River Thames that he saw on that weekend. Thanks a lot Philip and we hope to see you again sometime in the near future.
May 2019: It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Janette Funks has passed away after a short illness. Janette was a member of our branch for many years and was a lovely lady. She will be very much missed at our meetings. Our condolences go to Peter Head and all Janette’s family. For our May meeting Jim Charnock gave another great presentation on Capt Eric Askew’s slides. As expected everything we saw was taken by Eric from the bridge of a Manchester Liner and included unusual ships seen in Sydney, Australia, the Great Lakes in Canada and unidentified Ports in the Philippines. Thank you Jim and we look forward to the next presentation.
April 2019: John Hooley from Macclesfield was our guest speaker and he continued his magnificent account of Railways at Sea incorporating Railway Ships up to Sealink in 1984. He started his talk this time at Fishguard and we saw ferries and trains in Ports along the coast to Holyhead, Isle of Man and Heysham. It was another great evening so thank you John for coming to talk to us and we look forward to Part 4 next year which will cover the Lake District and Ports on the River Clyde.
March 2019: Our speaker was our old friend Bernard McCall who traveled from Bristol to give us Part 2 of his presentation about visiting Ports around the coast of Scotland. This time he was talking about the West Coast where he started at the Kyle of Lochalsh travelling south to Fort William, Oban, Loch Etive, Bute and Loch Striven and finished up on the Holy Loch. Once again Bernard gave us most interesting explanations of the unusual ports and quaysides he visited, some of which most of had never heard of. We saw great scenery with a lot of vessels that we recognised. It was a very good presentation again and thank you Bernard for coming to talk to us.
February 2019: As it was February we once again welcomed our old friend Iain Quinn who had traveled down from Glasgow to visit us. As expected from Iain it was a tremendous evening’s entertainment, this time he spoke about his favourite River Clyde Steamers. These included amongst many others JEANIE DEANS, DUTCHESS OF HAMILTON, KING GEORGE V, QUEEN MARY II and of course his beloved WAVERLEY. As you may expect Iain’s slides, knowledge of his subject and humour were all first class. Thank you for your visit Iain, the evening as always is the highlight of our season and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
January 2019: Despite having P.C. technical difficulties we managed to have a good Maritime DVD evening for our January meeting. First up Philip Parker showed us a ‘Monster Movies’ DVD about Atlantic Container Line moving two A4 locomotives from Montreal and Green Bay, Canada via Halifax N.S. to the National Rail Museum at York. The locos involved were 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower and 60010 Dominion of Canada, a magnificent achievement. After the interval Adrian Sweeney showed us a Liners and Launches DVD all about vessels connected to Merseyside. This also was really interesting so we all enjoyed the evening very much.
December 2018: Our own branch member John Luxton gave us a very entertaining evening for our December meeting on the last of his Seatube series of presentations. These showed videos of Ship Launches, Ferries around the Irish Sea and examples of failed Cargo Handling. During the interval we all enjoyed a Christmas cake made by Dot Gibbons which we all enjoyed, thank you Dot. After the interval John went on to show us videos on Ships Fashions, Ferries across the Channel and Heritage Ships. This all must have taken a lot of time by John to produce so we thank him very much for his efforts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Branch has recently taken part in the 2016 North West Ship Show. This was successful. Please see attached photos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.