If you have personal memories of the Daniel Adamson and
would like to share them, please forward by email to
email@example.com with the subject
heading "Daniel Adamson Memories"
Daniel Adamson Memories from Alan Buckley
(May 06, 2012)
have just been on your fund raising trip round Garston Docks and I thought
it would be good to share a few memories of the Danny.
was employed on the Traffic Tugs between 1966 - 1982. And went on her as
crew on numerous occasions first as lad (number 2 deckhand) then
later deckhand and then mate. There was no regular crew aboard her during
the season only the Skipper. I can remember Tommy Kelly and Reg Hallwood
but the names of others escape me. The Chief Engineer in the late 70’s was
Eric Boardman who was responsible for painting the large cartoon Minnie
Mouse warning visitors to ‘Mind Their Heads’ in the passageway between the
engines and the boilers and Brian Owen was second engineer.
Trips (or inspections as they were called) usually took place on a Thursday
which meant the crew for that trip would come aboard at about on the Wednesday morning. As soon as steam was up we would
head off for Manchester. It
wouldn’t take long to get steam up as the engineers would have been on board
the day before to fire her up. With luck the Skipper would take most of the
‘tricks’ up to Manchester allowing the deck crew to scrub of all the decks
with a hot solutions of soda, and paint anything that didn’t move grease,
anything that did, and polish up all the brasses. We would usually berth
her at the end of 6 dock and carry on cleaning until everything was
gleaming, it was then a shower via an improvised shower in the boiler house,
changed and then off into Manchester
for a very drunken night out.
next morning we would finish off the cleaning with a very bad hangover. For
some reason I use to end up cleaning the brass whistle, not easy with a
hangover as it was very high up and very hot due to the steam having been
remember one time I was cleaning the brass name on the bow by standing on
the belting, I slipped off and was hanging off the bulwarks trying to decide
which was the best thing to do, shout for help and loose face or drop into
the water, I’ll call it water but in those days you could flick your ciggie
into the water and it didn’t go out. Luckily while I was deciding the lad
came along saw me and helped me back aboard.
Later the caterers would arrive and we would help get all the drink and
food on board (making sure enough went into the crew's cabin) to last us for
the trip. Then it was time to wait for your guests to arrive and set off
down the canal
The ‘inspection’ would always start well touring around all the docks and
then off down the canal but with liberal amounts of free drink being served
and must people not being use to it, by the time we got to Latchford there
were usually some ‘not very well’ guests. The crew had their moments too.
You would try very hard not to bump when entering a lock so as not to
disturb the deck golf or spill any drinks but just as you got her lined up
the engineer would speed up one engine and slow the other, and just as you
counter that he would swap it round, you would look round to see a laughing
face popping up from the engine room. Another trick was the engineer
setting fire to a piece of oily waste in the blow pipe up to the wheelhouse,
filling the wheelhouse with smoke and shouting that there’s a fire in the
boilers. I got my own back though by blowing down to the engine room,
giving them time to put their ear to it and pour a cup of water down and
shout were sinking. What would H&S make of that now.?
would stop at Bridgewater House while the guests went for dinner and usually
a dinner was brought down for the crew to enjoy on board. After the dinner
the guests would come back and we would continue onto Easham with lots of
sleeping passengers who would then disembark onto their coach to return
The Danny would then make her way slowly back to Old Quay as we wanted to
loose her steam pressure by the time we got back to Runcorn to make it
easier to shut down.
have some very happy memories of The Danny and the pay wasn’t bad as from
17:00 you went onto time and a half then from midnight to 19:00ish when you
finished you were on double time so it was well worth missing a shift on
your normal tug
They were really happy days and I would like to wish you every success in
restoring The Danny to her former glory.
have seen your website and all the hard work you are doing to restore this
magnificent steam tug. So I thought I would share my childhood memories with
was a docker on the Runcorn docks. How this came about I’m not too sure, but
he became caretaker of Bridgewater House in 1978. Part of his duties was to
get the house ready for the MSCC functions. I remember as a child (I was 8 at
the time) looking through the cellar window over the gardens at the Daniel
Adamson sailing up the canal and tooting the steam whistle before mooring at
the bottom of the garden where all the company officials would disembark and
enter the house.
where I used to escape and wonder down for a nosey. I got talking to the
very nice captain who would let me come aboard and he showed me around. I
was fascinated with all the brass and wood panelling that led to the
downstairs room, where again there was wall to wall wood. I also remember
the mini bar that was under the staircase leading down. I used to play on the
promenade where I would look out of the windows back up the garden to our
this had happened a few times I was allowed to go for a sail up the canal
whilst all the guests were being entertained in the “Big House”. I remember
standing in the wheel house next to the captain with the biggest grin on my
face. When we turned round to sail back to the house I was passed the wheel
as we went passed Runcorn docks. Although it was only for about a minute I
can still remember this today. I used to look forward to the summers and the
Daniel Adamson and can still hear the whistle.
the boat museum with my wife in 1999 and was gutted to see it in such a
state! I am so pleased to hear that you have salvaged the tug and look
forward to seeing it restored. I have pictures of the tug in service and I
will dig them out and email them to you.
I worked a
great deal on this vessel when I was serving my time at the Manchester Dry Dock
Co, Ellesmere Port, I worked as a apprentice shipwright then finished my time
as a joiner before going to sea as a chippy.
I was involved through out the full refit of the vessel in readiness for the
Queen's opening of the Eastham oil terminal in the 1950s. We also worked
alongside Heaton Tabs the cabinet manufacturer co who carried out the fitting
out of the saloon and the lower deck lounge.
I am 68 now but remember quite a lot about that time, a couple of years after
the refit my first real job in my final year as an apprentice was to make by
myself one of the wheel house carriage windows and fit it,
One job I was given was to make and fit the telegraph trunking from the
wheelhouse to the engine & boiler room, working with Chadburns who supplied the
chain pulleys and operating gear
Good luck with the restoration, I saw her a few years ago in the basin at
Ellesmere Port she looked a sorry sight, but seeing on the TV today [BBC North
West - August 23] she looks great.