DANIEL ADAMSON is a significant historic vessel being constructed as a tug –
tender having the capability to both perform towage duties as well as carrying
passengers. She is one of only two
surviving tug tenders in the
U.K. and the only surviving steam powered tug tender.
Propulsion being via
two 2 cylinder compound condensing 500 ihp engines provide
The DANIEL ADAMSON was constructed as the “Ralph Brocklebank” for the
and Railway Company in 1903 by the Tranmere Bay
Development Company. She was one of three new tug-tenders built in the first
decade of the 20th Century to operate the S.U.C. & R. Co. barge
towing service between
. The passenger carrying capability of the tug-tenders
facilitated the provision of a scheduled cross-river passenger service
something which the Shropshire Union company had provided on previous vessels
since the 1880s.
The combined passenger carrying and towage service continued until 1915. From
then until 1921 the “Ralph Brocklebank” and her two sisters “W.E.
Dorrington” and “Lord Stalbridge” operated as tugs only. The Manchester
Ship Canal Company acquired the three vessels in 1921.
Whilst primarily used as tugs by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, the new
owners made use of the tugs’ passenger accommodation again. Cruises from
to Eastham were offered for 7/6d [37.5p] inclusive of
lunch and a return by train from
Following the scrapping of the MSC’s original tug-tender “Charles
Galloway” in 1929 the company further enhanced the passenger facilities by
providing removable awnings fitted to the bridge and stern decks.
In 1936 further modifications were made to the “Ralph Brocklebank” with
the bridge being raised to its present level. The passenger accommodation was
also upgraded, with the interior being furnished in wood laminates and light
fittings in the then contemporary art-deco style.
Following the 1936 refit the vessel was renamed “DANIEL ADAMSON” in honour
of the Manchester Ship Canal Company’s first chairman.
Though the activity of vandals over the past twenty years has served to remove
some of the splendour of the passenger accommodation, the fine interior of the
main and lower deck passenger saloons is still apparent being more akin to
that offered by liners of the period.
From 1936 to 1984 the DANIEL ADAMSON operated both as a tug and as the company
directors’ inspection vessel and a venue for corporate hospitality
functions; the two sister vessels “W.E. Dorrington” and “Lord
Stalbridge” having been disposed of by the Manchester Ship Canal Company in
1937 and 1946.
1986 DANIEL ADAMSON was laid up and berthed in the ship
dock at The Boat Museum,
In mid February 2004 local tug man Dan Cross discovered that the DANIEL ADAMSON
was about to be scrapped. Following a hastily arranged meeting and
considerable efforts made by Dan the DANIEL ADAMSON cheated her appointment
with the breakers.
Instead of crossing the River Mersey to the breaker’s
yard at Garston DANIEL ADAMSON departed the Ship Canal bound for
Clarence Graving Dock on
Saturday April 10, 2004
propelled by the Svitzer tug ASHGARTH.
2004 the society has made great strides towards reaching its goal of
returning the Daniel Adamson to operation condition.
period there have been two dry dockings and all hazardous material has been
removed by specialist contractors.
have given thousands of hours to the project and you are invited to browse
through the web site and see for yourself what has been achieved in such a
short time scale.
date, a large amount of good will has been shown towards the project by many
companies and individuals.
is usual with projects of this nature, the society is hopeful of attracting
further support from companies, organisations and individuals who can bring to
the project skills, materials etc.
The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society would welcome YOUR support!