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Author Topic: Manxman..... sad news  (Read 6027 times)

funtimefrankie

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Manxman..... sad news
« on: February 24, 2008, 02:09:33 PM »

Just heard this.......


No Merseyside welcome for Manxman

In view of recent decisions the Manxman Trust has concluded, obviously with
great regret, that the envisaged project cannot be progressed.

1. In early 2007 Manxman's owners agreed to a temporary delay in their
planned scrapping of the ship at the Sunderland yard and an independent
report indicated the viability of the restored Manxman to become a
profitable operation based at Birkenhead.
2. A very well attended public meeting in Liverpool was held in May
2007 and more recently the success of the 'Adopt a Rivet Campaign' have each
demonstrated the level of support at the individual level.
3. However, in the background has been the unknown impact of the Mersey
Docks and Harbour Company having been taken over by Peel Holdings, who have
spent some time exploring their options and developing plans for major
capital investment within both Liverpool and Birkenhead dock systems, these
have now been published.
4. However the Trust was amazed to be advised by Peel Holdings who,
having taken over the Mersey Docks Company are developing plans for both
Birkenhead and Liverpool dock estates, that "their project will undoubtedly
involve some form of major visitor attraction...but certainly we would have
to say that the Manxman would not be appropriate". The local authorities
have made it clear that they are unable to intervene on our behalf.
5. Clearly without any prospect of securing a Mersey- based berth as a
permanent home, the project loses its raison d'etre and funding could never
be secured in these circumstances.
6. The Trust acknowledges the enormous help and encouragement which
individuals and organisations have given to this major project, without
which the wide range of major successes would not have been achieved.

More details on our web site at www.ssmanxman.co.uk


Bill Ogle Chairman, Manxman Steamship Company

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Bryan Young

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2008, 04:40:07 PM »

Saw a similar thing on "Medway Queen" (?) the other day. They want £2.5 million (!) to restore her. Crikey. You can build a new one for that. If we had a shipyard.
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funtimefrankie

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Colin Bishop

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 07:49:46 PM »

They are actually building a new Medway Queen - well, the hull anyway!

Colin
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 08:28:05 PM »

They are actually building a new Medway Queen - well, the hull anyway!

Colin
not much consolation to Manxman fans :((
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gondolier88

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 11:16:43 PM »

At the risk of sounding more than a little insensitive to the wishes and good intentions of those trying to save her and her fans- Manxman is a wonderful example of her type, she performed outstandingly when in service and would be more than of just slight interest to any budding marine historian/nostalgia junkie/ship fan/engineer/wedding parties etc.

However(!), she is not unique- ok maybe her exact design is and she has slight modifications here and there- but she's nothing special. She was designed to work by the packet for as long as possible, make a profit, and then be scrapped- it's a wonder she is still here at all. She was not designed as a luxury yacht, a cruiser or pleasure craft, she hasn't got the facilities to fulfill that role- and if so fitted would then not be a restoration but a rebuild and I doubt whether she would ever be profitable after having that much money spent on her.

Last, and perhaps most importantly- there are many 'last of her kind' ships in Britain, each with ever more elaborate reasons why they should be saved- but Manxman doesn't have a reason- she just wouldn't benefit Britain's economy or preservation movement in any way other than being another asset, she doesn't hold a thouroughbred, she isn't the first or the last of that design, she isn't unconventional in any way, other than being a IoMSP ship.

Is that enough o merit saving her, personally I don't think so.

Greg
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 02:10:51 AM »

so Greg tell us what the differenc is between the two.


http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=21515.msg214085#msg214085

the manxman was the last IOM stem ferry and your boat is the last Edwardian steam boat on the lakes.

different people like different boats.

Peter
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2010, 08:59:27 AM »

You could also argue that HMS Victory was designed and built as a disposable  item, and therefore not worth conserving.....

Surely all ships are built for a purpose, and not with the idea of being preserved for ever.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010, 09:37:01 AM »

Usually it just comes down to money. Once a ship has been allowed to deteriorate it is a mammoth task to restore her even to a static condition let alone a working one. And when ships are taken out of service they do deteriorate - very quickly!

Even if it is possible to get the vessel back up to scratch with a fundraising drive you need a constant income stream to keep her that way and it is very, very difficult to achieve that. Even Waverley barely pays her way, if that, and she has the whole of the UK to draw upon.

Most of the ships that are preserved are on a knife edge financially. Even places like Portsmouth and Chatham Historic Dockyards face an uphill struggle to get enough visitors through the gates to maintain their attractions. Much of the maintenance on the various vessels is done free of charge by volunteers. Many of these are not in the first flush of youth either.

The sad fact is that the country as a whole does not place a great deal of value on its maritime heritage these days.

There are business models which can be made to work, such as the Swiss lake steamers which are an integral part of the country's transport system while in the UK some preserved railways are linking up with the main network to provide proper services but the scope for doing that with pleasure steamers is almost non existent.

Colin
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gondolier88

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 10:34:58 AM »

so Greg tell us what the differenc is between the two.


http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=21515.msg214085#msg214085

the manxman was the last IOM stem ferry and your boat is the last Edwardian steam boat on the lakes.

different people like different boats.

Peter

Hi HS93,

OK I will tell you the difference if your asking;

SY Gondola is a truly unique vessel- she was designed by a railway designer in the mid 1850's (making her victorian by the way) to a beautiful blend of Royal Venician Gondola- the Burkiello making her one of the most graceful private steam yachts ever designed. She is also the only one of her type ever made making her a rare and precious part of Coniston's, Cumbria's and Britain's heritage.

Most importantly, as Colin has pointed out, money is the deciding factor in these things- and although Gondola had a huge claim to be rebuilt she struggled to get funding and if it wasn't for the National Trust and their fundraising capabilities and ongoing maintainence we give her she would not exist.

The argument I was putting forward was not that Manxman wasn't worthy of rebuilding, what I said was that I thought that the point she is at now, along with the fact she isn't of special interest and ecomically unviable  means that she isn't worth the effort- whereas there are many ships in the UK that are and are not getting the same amount of publicity.

What I meant by her being the last of her design was not that she was the last IoMSP ship- she was- but her specifics are that she was built as a Counter Stern, Raked Stem classic shaped passenger ferry with standard bridge design and cabins- of that TYPE of vessel she was not, is not, the last.

Greg
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 10:47:42 AM »

Ok Greg great, but the link was about Shamrock !  what  made that Boat special and as I have seen a lot of similar boats about..


Peter

http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=21515.msg214085#msg214085
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gondolier88

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2010, 11:26:41 AM »

Ah, sorry- when you said 'your boat' I thought you meant Gondola! %%

Shamrock isn't unique- she has a sister ship, she is a type of Windermere launch that is still being built.

However- she is the only one in private ownership, she is A1 restored- unless you see her in the flesh you can't tell how well Roger Mallinson has restored her and kept her as original as possible. She has also been one of the flagships of the National Historic Ships register for the past couple of years, she is 105 years old and has a wonderful history- being built for a private wool merchant, acquired after the war for public service as part of the now Windermere Cruisers Co., laid up in the late sixties after being converted to TVO power, then Diesel power. She went quickly down the drain until the Company decided to sell the hull before it became a liability.

Roger came forward after being pushed by his family to buy a steamboat- the Company knowing Roger as a local steam engineer knew he would look after the boat and keep her on Windermere and chose to accept his modest sealed bid- Roger never knew what the other bids were.

He restored her along with his late twin brother, Miles. They found once they had stripped the wood back to bare under all the oil and grime and moss that the full teak hull and oak keel and frames were in extremely good condition and Roger realised he had a good chance of restoring her properly.

His work began when he came back from a 6 month navy tour and he chose to start looking for a suitable steam engine- she originally had been fitted with a triple expansion Sissons engine of around 28hp- a rare engine and the best examples now reach around the £35-40000 mark! Roger couldn't find, nor afford one back then. So he decided to use his skills to make a suitable engine.

While in the Navy he had gotten contacts and one told him of a scrapyard at Faslane Naval Base in Scotland- he travelled up and found an alladin's cave of steam machinery- most too large and the others too ugly to go in a launch of Shamrock's calibre. He spied a Duplex steam pump with really well designed steam cylinders and a compact and efficient valve gear. He took this engine and a few weeks later after substituting the water cylinders for a crankshaft and building suitable columns etc he had a twin high pressure steam engine and it looked great too.

He battled on getting the hull ready with help from his family and finally by spring 1978 Shamrock was ready.

Since then he has kept her in the best condition- all with his own labour and money- and has attended all the rallies on Windermere, hosted his own rallies every year in autumn, he has rescued more than once the big 'steamers' on Windermere when they have had problems- Shamrock being the only boat they don't own that is powerful enough to tow them.

She stands for one mans efforts to rescue one of the best examples of her type, she is the flagship of the SBA and provided the inspiration to many- me included- to get into steamboating both full size and models.

In many peoples eyes she is the best preserved and prettiest of all the launches on Windermere and as such when she had her original cabin destroyed in the floods Roger was gutted- after all his efforts he no longer has the energy or the money to do the work hmself and so didn't know what to do - hence why we have rallied round to help get her back to her beautiful self.

Perhaps you could explain to the other mayhemmers and myself why Manxman means so much to people and deserves to be preserved over the other ships that are asking for help?

Greg
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garston1

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2010, 04:27:30 PM »

These are my photos that have been in the mayhem gallery for a while, they might be of interest

  http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Gallery/Manxman/index.htm
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 06:48:04 PM »

I think the point is that Manxman is not going to be preserved. The fight was lost a couple of years ago when Peel Ports said it would be inappropriate to berth her in Birkenhead.
If you read the reports she is to be dismantled in the next few months.
So there is nothing to argue about.
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Positive

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2010, 07:07:31 PM »

I really don't think the general public in the UK have any great interest in ships of any type!    Most of them will simply refer to anything that floats as a "boat" even if it is quarter of a million tons!

Just saw the very dilapidated MANXMAN on the local news tonight -  What a mess!

Anyway, it reminded me of when the MANXMAN first came to what was meant to be a permanent home in Preston, Lancs.     I took this photograph just before they painted her white and put zigzags round the funnel.       I made the model in the early 90s.    It is a miniature and the hull length is about 14 inches.   Can't remember the scale exactly after all this time.

For me, preserved ships loose a lot of their character and I prefer to remember them as they were.     These photographs should revive happier memories.

Bob

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Colin Bishop

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2010, 07:47:23 PM »

I think you are right Bob, a good model does preserve the essence of the original ship in an accessible and economic way. It is difficult to imagine any scenario whereby a preserved Manxman could ever pay its way.

One encouraging initiative is the transfer of the Imperial War Museum and National Maritime Museum reserve model collections to purpose adapted storage at Chatham Historic Dockyard. The NMM in particular have withdrawn their model displays in favour of interactive exhibits (aka dumbing down) and the transfer of the models to Chatham should make them more accessible to serious researchers and modellers.

I am currently corresponding with the people responsible for the Chatham initiative with a view to giving this comprehensive coverage in Model Boats magazine over the coming months. They are very keen to co operate in publicising the new facilities and the way in which they will operate.

Maybe sometimes you do win!

Colin
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2010, 09:02:25 PM »

Luckily the shipping gallery in the Science Museum in London is still intact, and not dumbed down yet.
But don't hold your breath, when I was there a month ago there were only a couple of people there, compared to hoards in the button pushing areas.


It is a miniature and the hull length is about 14 inches.   Can't remember the scale exactly after all this time.....about 1:300??
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2010, 09:08:41 PM »

There are never many people in the excellent shipping gallery in the Science Museum so I guess it's only a matter of time...

Originally the Science Museum was associated with the Chatham project but seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Colin
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Positive

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2010, 06:30:24 AM »

#16
I have just looked up my records for the above MANXMAN model.
25'=1" (1:300).   Hull length 13 inches.   Completed in October 1996.
Building time 53 hours.
Bob
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Mr Andy

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2010, 01:51:42 PM »

Give her to the Dutch, they know how to look after their old boat's/ships, sadly this country appears not to do so.

Andy.  :(( :((
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andywright

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2010, 08:09:26 PM »

Sadly there are too many projects trying to be saved and unfortunately we cannot save them all, there just is not enough money to go around, I wonder how we manage to maintain all our historic buildings, but we cannot hold on to every thing from the past, unfortunately some have to go, and some go because the modern health and safety regs cannot be adhered to after the restorations.
Andy
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dave301bounty

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2010, 08:33:22 PM »

there is a part of men in a coach of sorts going up to the place in a few months .big wallets needed ,contact the man .tommy mckenna
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nsa66

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Re: Manxman..... sad news
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2010, 08:47:04 PM »





As a lifelong devotee of the ships of the Isle of Man Steam Packet, and especially the “King Orry Class” ships of which Manxman was the ultimate development, I have to confess to having mixed feelings about her demise. Having seen her at Preston, Liverpool and Hull during her sad decline, I felt little connection between the dilapidated ship and my memories of her on a bustling August weekend on Douglas’s Victoria Pier. Way back in 1976 I saw my personal favourite, King Orry (iv), at Glasson Dock and, despite her being only recently retired and still in Steam Packet livery, there was the same sense of desolation about her – she was, quite simply, dead.

Almost thirty years of neglect separate Manxman from the days when she encapsulated the style of the classic fast turbine steamer. Any restoration which attempted to fully re-create her original appearance would be a difficult and expensive undertaking, particularly given the loss of so much of her original interior. Unfortunately, I can’t envisage any role which Manxman could fulfil that would make such a project viable. Even if she were to find use as, say, a floating conference centre (and she would be a very high maintenance venue for such events), operational and safety considerations would reduce her accommodation to a shell. Yes, it probably would be possible to open up the bridge, machinery spaces etc., but a cold, silent engine room reveals very little. Had the Channel Four “Big Boat” project come to fruition, then that would have been a very different proposition. A working ship gives a much more fascinating insight into the maritime world, a fact amply exemplified by Waverley  or the Solent Steam Packet’s SS Shieldhall, which surely offers the most comprehensive experience of steamship operation. Please don’t think that I am indifferent to the fate of Manxman. I would much rather see her restored, even cosmetically, than reduced to scrap. However, I would have to question the long term viability of such an endeavour as would anyone who has ever seen the sadly decrepit Duke of Lancaster rusting at her “berth” on the Dee estuary. I would rather see Manxman scuttled as a diving wreck than suffering this ultimate humiliation.

I have to agree with some previous postings that, regrettable as it might be, to anyone without a particular sympathy for our maritime traditions (and, unfortunately, that probably describes a large proportion of the public), the fact that Manxman was the last of the passenger turbine steamers is of little interest – probably even less than it was in 1982 when, I believe, an organisation such as the Manxman Steamship Company, would have had a better chance of winning over the interests of relevant parties.

Perhaps it is here that we marine modellers can shine a ray of light. Seeing my own model of the King Orry sailing into view can lift the spirits and revive memories of the procession of ships appearing over the horizon off Douglas Head in the early seventies. We possibly represent the first point of contact between many a young person and our maritime heritage and I believe we have a significant role to play in ensuring that the future is not as gloomy as it may appear.

Apologies for the length of this essay. Obviously the old ships still have some power to inspire. Long may we continue to maintain that inspiration.




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