Daniel Adamson News
Most recent news
DECEMBER 03, 2011
With both crankshafts now fitted it was the turn
of the volunteers to start rebuilding both engines, this was deemed a
priority job so the manning of this task became the focus for the
Tuesday and Thursday working parties. The first part of the
rebuild was to install the connecting rods and piston rods, this
required 8 sets of bearings to be bedded in - the four big end bearings
that connect the con-rods to the crankshafts (two per engine) and the
four crosshead bearings that connect the con-rods to the piston
The first task was to temporally refit the turning
gear to both engines, which allowed the crankshafts to be rotated easily
and safely to give access to the big end journals. Meanwhile our
chippies constructed wooden platforms that rested on the hull frames
under the crankshaft journals to give us a solid and level-working base.
This allowed us to use our large baulk of timber, that just fitted
between the crankshaft webs, to support the big end
bearings during assembly.
The “bedding in” of the big end bearings was done
without the con-rods attached, this made it slightly less arduous and
because of the space restrictions and safety concerns each bearings was
done in turn. The bearing was bolted onto its corresponding journal
using the timber a support for the bottom half whilst the top half of
the bearing together with the two spacers, was placed over the bolts,
pushed down onto the journal and the nuts tightened down.
The Hunslet Steam Co had bored the bearings out to
within a few thou, so the “bedding in” method was similar to the one
used for the crankshafts, using “engineer’s blue” and lead wire.
The procedure for “bedding in” each bearing was: -
1. Blueing the journal
2. Assembling the bearing
3. Rotating 360 degrees on the journal
4. Dismantle the bearing
5. Scraping away the high spots on the bearing indicated by the “blue”
This procedure was repeated until an even coating of
“blue” was visible over the full bearing face.The gap between bearing
and journal was checked by placing lead wire on the journal and bolting
up the bearing again. When the bearing was re-opened the thickness of
the lead wire was measured with a micrometer.
This exercise was repeated for the other three big end bearings before
our attention turned to the crosshead bearings. These bearings only move about 60 degrees on their
journal, 30 degrees each side of the vertical where as the big end
bearings rotate 360 degrees around their journals and consequently the
crosshead bearings are a bit easier to bed in and were done in the
relative comfort of the workshop.The bearing comes in two halves and was
clamped on to the con-rod journal with a G clamp, this allowed the
bearing to be oscillated on the journal imitating the movement when in
operation. Using this motion the bedding in process was the same as the
big end bearings using "engineer’s blue" and lead wire.
Once the "bedding in" was complete the con-rod and
piston rod were connected together with the crosshead bearing, the whole
assembly was then hoisted up vertically to check if the con-rod swung
free on the bearing.
When all four bearings had been checked everything was
dismantled and transported back on board ready for re-assembly. Each
piston rod/ con-rod was assembled in turn, the piston rod pulled up into
the cylinder from below and then held at the top of its travel by wire
strops. The timber support was again used to support the big end
bearings as the con-rod was manoeuvred into place before it was bolted
onto the bearing using the bearing retaining bolts. The piston rod was
then lowered down so the crosshead bearing could be positioned onto the
con-rod journal. All the bearing retaining nuts were flogged up tight
and the slipper guides fitted between the crosshead and the engine
- John Hake
A big end bearing fitted onto its con-rod before being
A big end bearing being bored out at the Hunslet Steam
A bearing being assembled on its journal, the wooden
platform can just be seen, the baulk of timber is just out of view but
it's supporting the lower half of the bearing and the two retaining
The bearing being tightened up
The bearing fully assembled on the crankshaft
The bearing shell showing the "engineers blue"
The lead wire being positioned on the journal to measure
the gap, the baulk of timber supporting the bearing can just be seen.
The thickness of the lead wire being measured with a
A crosshead bearing clamped to its journal on the con-rod
A good coating of "engineers blue" on the bearing
Piston rod with its crosshead bearing secured at the top
of its travel.
A big end bearing fully assembled with the con-rod
HP crosshead block full assembled
LP crosshead block full assembled showing the pump lever
drag link pins.
OCTOBER 05, 2011
DANIEL ADAMSON PRESERVATION SOCIETY - HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND APPLICATION
THE Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS) regrets to announce
that its bid for £2.8m was not approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund
(HLF) trustees at their meeting in London on 27th September. This was in
spite of a two year development process supported by means of
development grants totalling £77,000. The main areas supported focused
on technical specifications, conservation best-practice, future
financial sustainability and education/outreach programmes.
It has always been (and remains) the Society's intention to return
the 1903 Birkenhead-built, steam-powered tug tender to fully operational
working order for public use. Therefore many links have been established
with educational bodies, museums, health and social organisations to
promote access to Daniel Adamson and these will be developed in greater
detail once we have a firm time-frame for the completion of restoration
of the vessel.
While this HLF decision is seen as a setback to the progress of the
restoration programme which started in 2004, the Society has resolved to
continue its aims to return Daniel Adamson to service as planned.
To highlight this momentum and demonstrate the support for the
project, the crucial match-funding Full Steam Ahead campaign to raise
£100,000 has today reached £85,000. This includes a £15,000 donation by
Peel Ports Mersey and a £20,000 donation from The Garfield Weston
Foundation. All donations towards the match-funding campaign will be
ring-fenced until such time as a favourable HLF decision is made for the
project. Meanwhile the fund-raising campaign will continue and the
Society will work tirelessly to generate financial support for the
project to reduce the dependence on future HLF funding.
Dan Cross, DAPS chairman, said: "While we are deeply disappointed
with the current outcome, we fully intend to achieve our goals. This is
no more than a temporary set-back. We will shortly restart discussions
with HLF in early November to address its concerns and we remain
confident that its support will eventually be forthcoming. Our loyal
group of volunteers who have already worked over 70,000 hours on the
project and who have already restored all nine steam engines and
associated machinery have said its business as usual for them and I
couldn’t agree more".
Carole Souter, HLF chief executive, said: "Whilst we recognised
Daniel Adamson as an important part of this country’s maritime history,
we had real concerns around the increased costs relating to the
restoration work. This project, run by a number of highly-motivated
volunteers, has great potential but as it currently stands we are not
able to commit such a significant amount of lottery money to plans that
have not been fully developed. We will be holding discussions with the
Society in the coming weeks in order to discuss the way forward."
Rt Hon MP for Halton, Derek Twigg, one of five MP’s who formally
support the project said: "I am very disappointed with the decision.
This is a very important project and would benefit Halton. It is
essential that a way forward is found".
Rachel Mulhearn, Director of the Merseyside Maritime Museum and who
DAPS had been working with to develop a learning programme for when the
vessel will be available in Liverpool commented: ""Daniel Adamson, built
in 1903, is a significant asset to the maritime heritage of the
Liverpool area, and of great national importance. As part of our
National Historic Fleet, it is the only surviving vessel of three steam
tug-tenders acquired by the Manchester Ship Canal Company in 1921.
Thankfully salvaged in 2004, Daniel Adamson is an exquisite example of
high quality construction, engineering and craftsmanship."
DAPS Patron and BBC Antiques Roadshow expert, Paul Atterbury added:
"While the HLF's decision is disappointing, and to me very surprising,
it does not in any way diminish my enthusiasm for the Daniel Adamson
project. This is an exceptional vessel with a remarkable history and the
completion of the restoration project, which I am certain will take
place, will give Liverpool, and the nation, an asset of immense
historical value and contemporary social benefit."
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
DAPS OPEN DAY & AGM 2011
On a rainy Saturday 3rd of September we had our annual
open day where society members, invited guests and a number of members
of the public come and have a look at the "Danny"
This year we limited the number of places available to the general
public because we had a few safety concerns about having large numbers
of people moving around the vessel.
We always like to invite people to our Open Day as a thank you,
especially those who have helped us in some way throughout the year and
others who are supporting our cause. It is a good way to showcase the
workings of our society and they can see at first hand the commitment of
our members to the restoration of our fine vessel.
This year our guests included :-
Rt Hon Lousie Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside
Rt Hon Maria Eagle, MP for Garston & Halewood
Martyn Heighton, Director of National Historic Ships
David Morgan, Chairman of Heritage Afloat
Liverpool Cllr Wendy Simon
Liverpool Cllr Gary Millar
We had about a hundred of our society members attend and I trust that
they were all suitably impressed by the amount of work that has been
carried out by the volunteers over the last 12 months.
The free bus tours of Liverpool docks were put on again because last
year it proved to be very popular as it was this year with the three
trips being full. So it is thanks again to Merseyside Transport Trust
for bringing along two of their ex-Liverpool Corporation buses and
thanks to Stuart Wood, our vice-chairman, for his expert commentary.
You can visit Merseyside Transport Trust website at
The Adamson Military Band provided the musical and marching interludes
The Saturday evening dinner was at the Hillcrest Hotel where our patron,
Paul Atterbury, entertained everybody with his talk on the "Secrets of
the Antique Road Show".
The AGM was also held a the Hillcrest Hotel on Sunday morning, was well
attended with everybody enjoying the interesting presentations.
A word of thanks goes to our Sandon Dock Facilities Manager Kevin Price,
who starts planning for the open day about 6 months before the event,
when he informs United Utilities, Peel Ports and GCA of our plans and
sees if they have any objections. Two months before the event, he starts
the planning in earnest by producing detailed plans, rosters and
We would also like to thank Peel Ports, United Utilities and GCA for
allowing us have our visitors on their sites.
- John Hake
Supporters of our project, Front to
Back, Cllr Gary Miller, DAPS Patron Paul Atterbury, Rt Hon Member for
Liverpool Riverside- Louise Ellman MP, Cllr Wendy Simon, Rt Hon Member
for Speke & Halewood- Maria Eagle MP & DAPS Chairman Dan Cross
Right: DAPS Chairman Dan Cross shows
Maria Eagle MP the saloon. (Far right) Martyn Heighton, Director of
National Historic Ships voices his encouragement for our project.
Louise Ellman MP, adds her welcome support to the
DAPS Patron Paul Atterbury also gives the crowd his view
on why he thinks our project is important.
The Adamson Military Band looking smart as usual.
The catering tent becomes a welcome refuge in the
(left) The Merseyside Transport Trust bus
loads up for another trip round the docks.
(right) DAPS Education & Outreach
officer Dave Brown gives his presentation to the AGM.
JULY 24, 2011
WEB SITE NEW LOOK
Over the past two weekends various maintenance tasks
have been undertaken on the Daniel Adamson web site. However, the most
apparent has occurred this week.
There has been a change in colour scheme. The old blue
/ red scheme was become tired to say the least and was not really
sympathetic to the new style of logo. In fact it clashed somewhat.
Things have been changed to make the site clearer to
read, the heavy blue background has made way for plain white. Much of
the main text which was presented in bold has been changed to normal
font, almost all fonts are not presented as
It is hoped that the new presentation is a noticeable
improvement over what went before.
- John H. Luxton
JULY 03, 2011
TECHNOLOGY HELPS DAPS
RAISE FUNDS & PROFILE
Firstly, as you know, the Daniel
Adamson Preservation Society in addition to our excellent website, now
also has it’s own, well visited “Face Book” page which can be found at:
We try and put short updates on and some photo’s, more in
depth reports of course will still be found on the website.
have however been encouraged to take out a “Twitter” account which for
those who don’t know, is a “micro blogging” website, each message is
restricted to 140 characters. What I does do of course, is encourage
people to “follow you” and also in turn, people can then follow progress
through a different media and in a different way. I intent to try and
update the site a few times a week at least. Just go to
and search for the Danny under the name: @dannyinsteam
Finally, the 21st century and it’s influence
on a 1903 built steam ship doesn’t stop at Facebook and Twitter!
As of today, DAPS are now registered for a TEXT DONATION
service which is run free of charge by Vodafone and JustGiving.
Yes, as from today you can now donate to DAPS directly by
sending a text to:
and enter the code
followed by the amount you wish to donate ie; £5/£10. DAPS get 100% of
the donation and you can also register for gift aid. Simples! Please
spread the word!
- Dan Cross
JUNE 17, 2011
With the crankshafts now safely
aboard, the next job was to get the main crankshaft bearings fitted and
This job was contracted out to Mersey
Heritage Ship Repair Co. of Bromborough, not because we didn't have the
necessary skills, rather we required the job to be completed as soon as
possible so we could start the engine reassembly.
The re-metalled main bearings, three for
each crankshaft, had been machined to size by Hunslet Steam Co. when
they reground the crankshafts. So the first job for Mersey Heritage was
to verify the bore of the bearings and cut oil grooves in the bearing
Once this was done the lower half of the bearings were fitted into their
respective pockets in the engine. The bearing pockets hold the bearings
in position and are an integral part of the engine frame and the
crankshaft sits in these bearings.
With the bottom bearings in place the
“bedding in” could start, the crankshaft is suspended on chain blocks
above the bearings and the journals coated with "engineers blue". The
crankshaft is then lowered onto the bearings and rotated, the "engineers
blue" is transferred to the bearings where the journal touches. The
crankshaft is then lifted clear and these "high spots" on the bearing,
which are plainly visible, can be carefully scraped away.
This routine of lowering the crankshaft,
rotating it, lifting it and then scraping the bearings is carried on
until all the high spots have been removed, this can be verified by
observing an even coating of blue on all three bearings.
With one crankshaft done the whole procedure is repeated for the other
one and when that’s done it is the turn of the top halves of the
bearings to be checked. This time there should be a small gap between
the journal and the bearing, so the first check with "engineers blue" is
to check that such a gap exists and once this has been confirmed thin
lead wire is used to measure the gap.
Three strips of lead wire are placed over
the top of each journal, one at each end and the other in the middle.
The bearing is then replaced trapping the lead, next the bearing strong
back is also replaced and the four holding down nuts are tightened with
a flogging spanner and finally the crankshaft is rotated. The procedure
is then reversed to release the bearing top, which is removed to expose
the now flattened lead wire. The wire is carefully removed and its
thickness checked with a micrometer. The gap can be adjusted by either
scraping the bearing or adjusting the thickness of the distance piece
that sits between the bearing halves. With the gap correct the journal
is given a generous coating of oil and the bearing top half replaced and
"flogged" down again. This procedure is repeated for the other five
- John Hake
A bearing pocket.
A bearing located in its
Dennis from Mersey
Heritage checks a bearing in its pocket.
A journal coated with
The crankshaft sitting
in the bearings
The crankshaft lifted,
allowing the bearing to be worked on.
Billy from Mersey
Heritage about to start scraping the bearing.
Scraping a bearing
Dennis from Mersey
Heritage doing his share of the scraping.
A finished bearing,
showing an even coating of "blue"
A bearing top half
showing the oil groove
Fitting a top bearing
Fitting the strong back
Flogging the nuts up
A flogging spanner and
its partner, a 2lb engineers hammer.
Rotating the crank,
using a lever (at the far end) and a sling fixed to a chain block.
The port crankshaft all
JUNE 11, 2011
STAGE 2 LOTTERY
It gives me great pleasure and a certain amount of relief
to be able to announce that at 12:30 on Friday 10th June, our Stage 2
Application to the Heritage lottery Fund was formally submitted and
signed papers handed over.
As reported in the local press last week, the application
is for just over £2.8million which as well as shipyard restoration
costs, also includes furnishing of the saloons and other ship’s
equipment, financial support from HLF towards the employment for up to
three years of an Education and Outreach Officer, financial support for
social inclusion and educational cruises, a contribution towards
maintenance for up to five years and various other start-up costs such
as training of volunteer crew, surveyors fees, the appointment of a
Naval Architect to superintend the project while at the shipyard and
other start-up, fitting out and support costs.
The application submitted yesterday has taken some
eighteen months to finalise and complete and has been very complex in
nature. Developing the shipyard specifications which, while intended to
bring the Daniel Adamson back to full, Class V passenger carrying
condition and was produced in agreement with the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency, had to also take into account conservation best practice. For
this we regularly spoke to and consulted with The National Historic
Ships unit in London. This can only be likened to bringing a Grade 1
listed building back to use as a public space such as a hotel or
conference centre. The looks and fabric must be maintained while meeting
modern safety standards.
The main application document runs to approximately 180
pages including the fifteen page application form. The document
Application form submitted to HLF
costs & funding
cash flow – HLF Funding
& maintenance plan
& maintenance cost schedule
Operational budget Years 2 – 7
9. Income &
and market appraisal
table – education & outreach
table – Public
table – Volunteers
In addition to the above, over the last few years,
technical specifications for naval architecture and marine engineering,
saloon restoration, electrical and boiler specs have been produced “in
house” and approved externally. This main “shipyard Spec” runs to over
Also, our earlier produced Conservation Management Plan,
Audience Development Plan and Access Appraisal along with other
documents form part of the overall “project package”.
Put together, this all equates to over 1100 pages of
The application has as you can see, been a culmination of
many years work and a large part of our plans to restore the Daniel
Adamson back to her “former Glory” is obviously centred around a
successful application. Of course we must remember that we are by no
means guaranteed a positive response but we must remain optimistic and
confident in the society’s ability to deliver a project that will be
more than worthy of the financial cost, not forgetting the HUGE efforts
of volunteers who, over the last seven and half years, have expended
nearly 70,000 hours on the project. Without the efforts of volunteers
right back to February 2004, the Daniel Adamson would already be but a
Amongst the application, we have also included excellent
letters of support from the following:
Rt Hon Louise
Ellman MP for Liverpool Riverside and Chair of the House of Commons
Transport select committee
Rt Hon Maria
Eagle MP for Garston and Halewood and shadow Transport Secretary.
Rt Hon Derek
Twigg MP for Halton
Rt Hon Graham
Evans MP for Weaver Vale
Anderson, Leader, Liverpool City Council
Fleming, Director – National Museums Liverpool
Also expression of support from Rt Hon Frank Field MP for
Match funding remains vital and is now our No 1
priority. The decision from HLF (North West) in Manchester is due on 12
September and if passed to national level in London is due on Tuesday
27th September and I am also doing my utmost to raise the society’s
profile nationally which is vital in the bid to raise awareness.
PLEASE remember that if we are indeed successful in
September, we would not be able to begin work on the HLF project until
the necessary “match funding” is in place.
All donations will be treated as donations towards the
“Full Ahead” campaign and as such, will form part of the match funds.
All money donated will be placed into our bank account and only used to
match fund a potential grant from HLF. In effect the donations will be
securely “ring fenced”.
Donations should be sent to George Robinson, Treasurer,
Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Southwood Cottage, 79 Southwood
Road, Cottingham, HU16 5AJ with cheques made payable to ‘Daniel Adamson
Alternatively you can donate on line at our website with
credit/ debit cards, just click on the “donate” button.
Finally a big thank you to all the volunteers both aboard
the vessel, helping promote the project at shows and the many involved
in getting the application ready and to a standard we are very content
and pleased with.
To coin an age old phrase……..fingers crossed!
- Dan Cross
MAY 03, 2011
AHEAD CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Approximately six weeks since the launch of our ambitious
“Full Steam Campaign” to our members and recently to the general public,
we are delighted to announce that the response has been super and today
we passed the mile stone of reaching £15,000 raised so far, primarily
form members of the society. Thank you.
National media such as magazines and local papers are now
carrying the story of the campaign launch and we hope to build on this
early and fantastic start.
Also many, many application packages have now been
dispatched to potential corporate sponsors and grant giving
organisations and trusts seeking grants towards our campaign to raise up
to £200,000 as match funding towards our application for approximately
£2.8million which should be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
in June for a decision by the National Trustees of the fund in London by
September this year.
Although we hope to be successful with our HLF
application, if we are indeed successful, we would not be able to draw
on an awarded grant until all match funds are in place, making the “Full
Steam Ahead” campaign especially important in the bid to restore the
1903 built Steam Tug-Tender “Daniel Adamson” back to full, passenger
carrying, steam powered condition.
For those wishing to donate,
their contribution will be ring fenced and used for the purpose of match
funding. You can go to
and donate on line using the “donate” button using credit/ debit cards
or alternatively Donations should be sent to George Robinson, Treasurer,
Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Southwood Cottage , 79 Southwood
Road, Cottingham, HU16 5AJ with cheques made payable to ‘Daniel Adamson
- Dan Cross
APRIL 25, 2011
On the "Danny" the rudder is moved by
a rod and chain system, chain is used from the steering engine in the
wheelhouse over a series of pulleys down to the scuppers on the port and
starboard sides. The rods are then connected to the chains and they run
on rollers in the scuppers.
Near the stern, the rods are replaced by chains where they run round
another series of pulleys until they get to the steering quadrant, the
port & starboard chains run round the quadrant in opposite directions
and are shackled to their opposing sides.
The steering quadrant is bolted to the
tiller arm, which in turn is connected to the rudder stock, when the
quadrant is pulled either way by the chains the rudder will move
Our original steering quadrant was rusted and really beyond repair, so
it was decided that a new one was the best option.
Hunslet Steam Co. offered to manufacture a new one for us, the old one
was sent down as a pattern so they could make an exact replica.
The new one they made is an excellent
piece of work and it comes fully riveted just as the original was.
- John Hake
The old quadrant
unbolted from the tiller arm looking worse for wear.
The new quadrant being
moved, (L-R) Steve, Jack & Gordon supply the manpower while Graham
checks all is OK.
This new quadrant is a
heavy piece of kit.
With Graham satisfied
they are doing it right the lads trundle it across to the quay.
The quadrant being
manhandled back onboard
The chains run in the
curved channels at the bottom and one chain is shackled to the flange on
the left hand side, the other flange is on the other side but
underneath, the two rivets that hold it can be seen.
This is the tiller bar
that the quadrant is bolted to, the rounded end will be at the top and
the V shaped bit will be nearest the camera. The ropes are just to keep
the rudder in check and stop it swinging back and forth.
MARCH 21, 2011
EASY DOES IT
In November last we
reached another milestone in the restoration project, after 32 months
and a few trials and tribulations we have finally got the two
crankshafts back on board the vessel.
As a quick recap, the
crankshafts and associated bearings were removed in March 2008, the
bearings were delivered to J. H. Richards in Birmingham for re-metalling
and the cranks, together with other bits, were taken to Industrial
Crankshafts in Walsall.
J. H. Richards
completed the re-metalling and passed the bearings onto Industrial
crack tested the crankshafts in May 2008 but then the job seemed to
stall. After numerous enquiries asking how the job was progressing we
heard rumours in early 2009 that the company was in difficulties, by
March we were told that they were going into voluntary liquidation.
After some frantic
phone calls and a trip down to Walsall we eventually got the crankshafts
and all the other parts back in May.
Crankshaft episode lost us about £2800 and over 18 months in time.
We re-started the
process by getting quotes to regrind the crankshafts and machine the
bearings, a job that was given to Hunslet Steam Co. who gave us a very
competitive quote. The cranks and bearings were dispatched to them in
March 2010 and returned to us in November.
The job of lifting and
shifting the crankshafts back onboard was again left to the
professionals and the lads from Cammell Laird's made the whole job look
The following set of
images show the two crankshafts being returned from Hunslet Steam Co.
and being off loaded from the transport, with the help of a passing fork
lift, to a temporary storage area, then the starboard crank being craned
aboard and put in place between the engine columns.
MARCH 20, 2011
DANIEL ADAMSON PRESERVATION SOCIETY DOCK
& RIVER CRUISE
Saturday 30th July.
Full Steam Ahead on the Daniel Adamson River and Dock Cruise.
10:00, Liverpool 10:10 and Woodside 10:20.
After a short river
cruise, The ferry will lock into and travel the full length of the
operational North docks with expert on-board commentary from our Vice
Chairman, Stuart Wood who will be accompanied by Andy Ball from BBC
The cruise will
extend as far as Sandon Half-tide Basin, enabling those on board to get
excellent views of the `Daniel Adamson from the water rather than the
Tickets will be just £20 each for the four hour cruise and are available
from the three Mersey Ferries terminals.
Alternatively if you
live away and will be travelling in on the day, limited tickets are
available from Mr Kevin Price, 21 Lawson Close, Woolston, Warrington,
All proceeds from the cruise will go to the Society and go towards our
"Full Steam Ahead" campaign to raise match funding for our Heritage
Lottery Fund application.
A Press release regarding the "Full Steam Ahead" campaign which has just
been launched to the membership with a great reception, will be issued
in the coming week.
Keep the 30th July free! Should be an excellent day out.
FEBRUARY 21, 2011
7 YEARS TODAY!
Well the 21st February 2011 marks the seventh
anniversary of the calling of the inaugural meeting of what was to
become the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society. Don’t for one second
think that preservation is all pre-planned and well-rehearsed. News of
the Daniel Adamson’s imminent scrapping broke at the 11th
hour. The best way to give web site visitors a flavour of what it was
like back in 2004 is to read the following few paragraphs taken from the
recently published book by DAPS, “Daniel
Adamson- A Unique Survivor”:
The next three days saw me making and receiving literally
dozens of phone calls, trying to post messages posted on chat groups,
other specialist websites and old friends re-contacted. It all
culminated on Friday 20th February and the clock well and
truly ticking. To preserve peoples modesty at this point, I will say
that it is amazing how Humankind can throw up some heroes from unlikely
places. Needless to say, by 4pm on the Friday afternoon, I was sitting
in front of the Chief Engineer and Director of the Manchester Ship Canal
Co in Bridgewater house, Runcorn. Somehow, maybe just being bloody
minded I am not sure, I had just managed with the aid of a letter,
outlining the offer from Svitzer, to secure the Daniel Adamson for
preservation, subject to a few conditions for £1.
In the background, Bruce Biddulph was arranging to come
down to Ellesmere Port the following day to take a look at the tug and
see if he could help. An impromptu meeting was called for 10:30 on the
Saturday morning but the meeting was only called at 5pm on the Friday
afternoon. The hastily arranged meeting was arranged with the management
at the Boat Museum who appeared to be pleased the news had broken and
something was being done, albeit without them taking an active role. Now
of course the major problem was trying to ensure I was not going to be
the sole attendee at such a meeting. I phoned a few contacts and emailed
a few people. Details of the meeting were quickly posted on websites
including Tugtalk, John Luxton’s Irish Sea Shipping news website, a
couple of discussion groups and on a news discussion sight set up by
the National Historic Ships Committee as it then was. The Boat Museum
Society or BMS were, on the Friday night holding their AGM and an
announcement was made there.
So Saturday 21st came and a meeting arranged
in around eighteen hours, publicised mainly by the World Wide Web but
with the intention of saving a 1903 built masterpiece. By 11:00 that
morning, twenty one people were in attendance to see what could be done.
From Anglesey in N Wales, Skipton in Yorkshire, the Midlands and all
over Merseyside, Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire, people who nearly
all did not know each other had responded to the call. Bruce Biddulph
was still in a hire car after his car had broken down and was on the M6
heading in our direction, not to be put off by mere mechanical failure!
The first thing to do after an initial discussion was to
inspect the vessel, a chance for us all to see what we were trying to
save. An hour or more was then spent by prospective members,
investigating the various spaces and taking a look inside the boiler
room, engine room and saloon, all of which had been opened up by the
Museum for us.
Very quickly the extent of the damage many years of
neglect and vandalism had on the vessel. I suppose at this point it
would have been easy to just walk away but all of us there that day
appreciated just how close the scrapping was if nothing was done. The
crews quarters were indistinguishable and the saloons were anything but
“grand”. The boiler room and engine room were full of broken glass and
debris, there was and remains one, very important factor in all of this
and I maintain this has been a key to our success so far. That is that
the Daniel Adamson is a manageable size. She is not to big and on the
face of it, she is not to small either. Large enough to carry passengers
again and with that will come revenue. With revenue comes the chance of
a future. This is vitally important.
Retiring back to a meeting after inspecting the vessel,
several people offered advice and we discussed the options open to us.
We eventually agreed that the establishing of a registered company,
limited by guarantee and having no share capital was the first step in
the direction so as to reduce the risk to prospective members. The
company would be constituted like many museums and our Memorandum and
Articles would reflect that of a charitable organisation with a specific
objective, based around a single object.
By the end of that momentous day in February, twenty two
people, most of whom had not met before had agreed a way forward and
furthermore had appointed five officers to take the project forward.
These included Tony Hirst as Chairman, Tony already being very well
acquainted with the vessel and its history as he was the former Director
of the Boat Museum. Tony’s museum background certainly helped us a great
deal in the process of establishing the trust, what was to become the
Daniel Adamson Preservation Society and after only a few months a
registered charity. Tony initially offered to be Chairman for twelve
months but eventually stood down in September 2009 and has been given
the honorary title of Life President of the society. Tony continues to
assist with fund raising and grant application including applications to
the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Alan Hughes, a former Mersey Tugboat
man and later to own and operate his own passenger boat business on the
Leeds & Liverpool canal became Treasurer. Pat Crecraft, a lifelong canal
enthusiast and long standing member of the Boat Museum Society (BMS)
became Secretary with the un-enviable task of recruiting and keeping
track of memberships. John Luxton, a teacher, I.T. guru and owner of the
excellent shipping news website –
www.irishseashipping.co.uk was appointed to create a website for us
and produce a magazine for members along with general publicity. Dan
Cross (that’s me) was to become Vice-Chairman and general fixer and
generally coordinating the initial actions which lead up to the
dry-docking in Liverpool.
Prospective DAPS members inspect the vessel on Saturday February 21,
2004 (above and below)
George Pennington, Neil Marsden and Daniel Cross in the upper saloon
Vandalism - February 2004
Daniel Adamson forward saloon - February 2004.
Please check the what’s new section for further “blasts
from the past” and more importantly news about our “Full Steam Ahead”
- Dan Cross - February 21,
FEBRUARY 05, 2011
PLAYING WITH FIRE
Seeing that winter has us in its grip,
come with me and we'll take a trip to where the climes are a little
warmer, inside the boiler. Our boiler is a single ended marine scotch
boiler with three Morrison corrugated furnaces, it is approximately 14'
in diameter and 10' deep. It was manufactured by John G Kincaid, Marine
Engineers & Boilermakers of Greenock, Scotland and was fitted as new in
1953 when the Danny had her last major refit.
The refit was carried out at the small
ship repair yard on the banks of the ship canal at Ellesmere Port and
which was known locally as "The Pontoon".
The smoke box was removed in 2006 because it was rusted through in
places and was in danger of falling off, this was due to the funnel
cover being removed during its stay at Ellesmere Port and many years of
rain down the funnel ends up in the smoke box.
The majority of the boiler tubes were also removed in 2006, a few stay
tubes were left in place to act as supports to the boiler front and
- John Hake
The way into the boiler,
it can be a bit of a tight fit being only 16"x 12".
The first view once
inside, looking aft to the boiler front with the boiler stays running
fore and aft.
This is the scum pan
it’s for removing floating impurities from the surface of the water
inside the boiler.
Looking up to the
boiler crown, that's the dry pipe up there.
The dry pipe is part
of the main steam take off and is used to try and limit the moisture
content of the steam.
The steam enters the
dry pipe via the slots in its top surface.
Boiler feed water
pipe enters the boiler on the port side.
The feed pipe sweeps
round the inside of the boiler ending up in the middle of the boiler
just below the water level. The feed water is ejected into the boiler
through the series of small holes, this is to reduce the thermal shock
of cooler feed water being pumped into a hot boiler.
Dropping down through
the stays we land on the top of the centre furnace and this shot is of
the riveted gooseneck joint between the furnace and the combustion
chamber. The holes in the combustion chamber are where the tubes have
This is the port wing
furnace and combustion chamber, the pitting can clearly be seen on the
top half of the furnace, the underneath looks to be in good order.
This is a close up of
the pitting on the furnace tops
chambers route the hot gasses from the furnace through the tubes, the
majority of ours have been removed, to the tube plate at the front of
the boiler and into the smoke box and up the funnel.
The chambers are held
in place with stays, this shows the stays at the rear of the chambers
that go into the boiler back plate.
This shot shows the
stays between the chambers and also the riveted lap joint of the
combustion chamber shell.
This is the top of
one of the combustion chambers, the vertical plates are the combustion
chamber girder plates and give added support to the top of the chamber.
Another view of the
combustion chamber girder plates.
The boiler stays
going into the back plate.
The way out
JANUARY 29, 2011
Apologies for the delay with the edition that was due
with you by the end of the year. We are glad to report that the latest,
information packed edition is now in the post and should be with all the
members by the middle of next week. This edition also includes a
competition to win a new DVD produced by the Daily Post and written and
presented by our very own Peter Elson, entitled “Liverpool Liners”. An
excellent DVD and features some fascinating footage including interviews
conducted aboard the Daniel Adamson last year.
DAPS are now also on face book and some interesting
video’s and a small selection (so far) of images have been added. Just
search for “Daniel Adamson Preservation Society” . One such video was
taken of the Daniel Adamson’s departure from the Manchester Ship Canal
under tow back in May 2004 and can be viewed on the Facebook page. [click
Chairman Dan Cross will be giving a talk to the P.S.P.S. (Paddle Steamer
Preservation Society) on Saturday 19th February at 2 p.m. at
the Manchester Museum of Transport, Boyle Street, Manchester, M8 8UW
about the Daniel Adamson. The talk will accompany his recent book about
the Adamson which we are pleased to say is selling well with all
proceeds to DAPS. You can download an order form here
Download Order Form [PDF]
Next month it will be seven years since DAPS was founded
on Saturday 21st February 2004 with the Daniel Adamson just
days away from being towed to the breakers. We will be celebrating the
anniversary next month with some new photographs from the time the
society was created and took ownership of the Daniel Adamson.