Posted on 10th June 2016 / 846
Industry Type : Maritime, Transport

The Daniel Adamson is believed to be the oldest, operational Mersey-built ship anywhere in the world and was on the brink of being scrapped – so how did they save it??

– The Success story of the Steam Tug Daniel Adamson

The Steam Tug Daniel Adamson is a small, but incredibly powerful canal tug. It was built in 1903 to tow long strings of barges laden with goods from the inland towns of Cheshire and the Potteries to the seaport at Liverpool.

The twin screw, coal-fired steam tug was built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead and is a remarkable survivor from the steam age and a most unusual vessel.

The Danny had been laid-up and neglected with no funding for even basic maintenance since 1984.

Dan Cross was the impetus for the bid to save her. Dan, a skipper of a powerful modern tug currently at Milford Haven and with an interest in many aspects of heritage, canvassed fellow tug enthusiasts and bought the tug for £1.

The Daniel Adamson preservation Society or DAPS, formed in 2004 and it took 12 years to get the tug ship-shape.

The objective of the society is quite simply, “To conserve and restore to full working order, the steam powered tug tender and to operate her in and around the Mersey Estuary for public benefit”.

They started off by getting a free tow out of Ellesmere Port to Liverpool for her restoration there, but how did they secure a suitable berth at Liverpool and the necessary engineering facilities for restoration?

Partly, lucky timing and partly who you know?!

They also got the tug listed as a nationally important vessel by its addition to the coveted National Historic Ships Register. This vital proof shows the potential funders that the ship is special even though it is in a sorry state. Other great names on the register include the SS Great Britain and the Cutty Sark!

Right at the outset the project was supported by some of the biggest corporate organisations in the area which prompted many small companies to also come forward.

Were there any paid staff at this point? Fundraisers? Marketing Managers? Volunteer Coordinators?

The workshop at Sandon Dock used by the engineers includes a machine shop filled with donated equipment and was vital to the project, with training facilities donated by the Llangollen Railway group.

The team at DAPS were very active in their fundraising activity and early in the project were supported by grants from charitable foundations such as Esmee Fairbairn, Garfield Weston and PRISM, which acted as “seed corn” to get the project underway. The much bigger grants came later; from the HLF amounting to close to £4 million and a landfill tax funded grant of £75k via WREN for the art-deco areas.

Wrapped in plastic sheeting and with her paintwork clearly the worse for wear, being in the public eye during the events at Liverpool, she was able to attract 13,000 visitors, who donated £11,000 for her restoration! This helped to provide evidence for the HLF award that the public wanted the vessel to return to operational service.

Being in Plain Sight raises awareness and evidence!

Meanwhile, the big bid to the HLF is worked on. The DAPS application gained the support (in writing) from major museums, MP’s , councils and organisations. It had to prove it was a sustainable investment for the benefit of the community, so revenue streams had to be determined and justified. And then there’s the matter of match funding! DAPS had to raise another £175,000 in matched contributions.

After restoration revenue streams are generated by the pleasure trips, but until then other strategies were implemented, eg the “Danny” ale, a 4.2% hopped bitter, sold throughout the North west paying royalties to the DAPS.

The restoration contract was put out to tender as per protocol and Camel Lairds of Birkenhead were the successful bidders. Once again it was a Svitzer tug that was to be involved in towing her into the Birkenhead dry dock, literally yards from where she was built in 1903!

So the 12 year journey, of endless effort, looks a little like this:

People – the pioneers

Paperwork – obtaining charity status

Proof of Provenance – National Register of Historic Ships

Freebies and Favours by Corporations – essential help, such as, towing and engineering works

Prominent People – profile building and social clout!

Practical People – All hands on deck! Do what you can, but properly!

Paperwork People – The major fundraising campaign – behind the scenes

Plain Sight – being in the public domain provided valuable evidence for grant applications

The HLF and Restoration – Submitting the application and sending the ship away for restoration

Delivering the Dream – operating the vessel and generating revenue

 

See the website of the Daniel Adamson – HERE!

Contact the DAPS – HERE!

To help with the ongoing task of running and maintaining the Daniel Adamson, please contact the DAPS – HERE!

 

Canning Dock, Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside L3, UK

Oh Danny Boy!

The Daniel Adamson is believed to be the oldest, operational Mersey-built ship anywhere in the world and was on the brink of being scrapped – so how did they save it??

– The Success story of the Steam Tug Daniel Adamson

The Steam Tug Daniel Adamson is a small, but incredibly powerful canal tug. It was built in 1903 to tow long strings of barges laden with goods from the inland towns of Cheshire and the Potteries to the seaport at Liverpool.

The twin screw, coal-fired steam tug was built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead and is a remarkable survivor from the steam age and a most unusual vessel.

The Danny had been laid-up and neglected with no funding for even basic maintenance since 1984.

Dan Cross was the impetus for the bid to save her. Dan, a skipper of a powerful modern tug currently at Milford Haven and with an interest in many aspects of heritage, canvassed fellow tug enthusiasts and bought the tug for £1.

The Daniel Adamson preservation Society or DAPS, formed in 2004 and it took 12 years to get the tug ship-shape.

The objective of the society is quite simply, “To conserve and restore to full working order, the steam powered tug tender and to operate her in and around the Mersey Estuary for public benefit”.

They started off by getting a free tow out of Ellesmere Port to Liverpool for her restoration there, but how did they secure a suitable berth at Liverpool and the necessary engineering facilities for restoration?

Partly, lucky timing and partly who you know?!

They also got the tug listed as a nationally important vessel by its addition to the coveted National Historic Ships Register. This vital proof shows the potential funders that the ship is special even though it is in a sorry state. Other great names on the register include the SS Great Britain and the Cutty Sark!

Right at the outset the project was supported by some of the biggest corporate organisations in the area which prompted many small companies to also come forward.

Were there any paid staff at this point? Fundraisers? Marketing Managers? Volunteer Coordinators?

The workshop at Sandon Dock used by the engineers includes a machine shop filled with donated equipment and was vital to the project, with training facilities donated by the Llangollen Railway group.

The team at DAPS were very active in their fundraising activity and early in the project were supported by grants from charitable foundations such as Esmee Fairbairn, Garfield Weston and PRISM, which acted as “seed corn” to get the project underway. The much bigger grants came later; from the HLF amounting to close to £4 million and a landfill tax funded grant of £75k via WREN for the art-deco areas.

Wrapped in plastic sheeting and with her paintwork clearly the worse for wear, being in the public eye during the events at Liverpool, she was able to attract 13,000 visitors, who donated £11,000 for her restoration! This helped to provide evidence for the HLF award that the public wanted the vessel to return to operational service.

Being in Plain Sight raises awareness and evidence!

Meanwhile, the big bid to the HLF is worked on. The DAPS application gained the support (in writing) from major museums, MP’s , councils and organisations. It had to prove it was a sustainable investment for the benefit of the community, so revenue streams had to be determined and justified. And then there’s the matter of match funding! DAPS had to raise another £175,000 in matched contributions.

After restoration revenue streams are generated by the pleasure trips, but until then other strategies were implemented, eg the “Danny” ale, a 4.2% hopped bitter, sold throughout the North west paying royalties to the DAPS.

The restoration contract was put out to tender as per protocol and Camel Lairds of Birkenhead were the successful bidders. Once again it was a Svitzer tug that was to be involved in towing her into the Birkenhead dry dock, literally yards from where she was built in 1903!

So the 12 year journey, of endless effort, looks a little like this:

People – the pioneers

Paperwork – obtaining charity status

Proof of Provenance – National Register of Historic Ships

Freebies and Favours by Corporations – essential help, such as, towing and engineering works

Prominent People – profile building and social clout!

Practical People – All hands on deck! Do what you can, but properly!

Paperwork People – The major fundraising campaign – behind the scenes

Plain Sight – being in the public domain provided valuable evidence for grant applications

The HLF and Restoration – Submitting the application and sending the ship away for restoration

Delivering the Dream – operating the vessel and generating revenue

 

See the website of the Daniel Adamson – HERE!

Contact the DAPS – HERE!

To help with the ongoing task of running and maintaining the Daniel Adamson, please contact the DAPS – HERE!

 

Canning Dock, Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside L3, UK

Oh Danny Boy!
Industry Type : Maritime, Transport
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