Friends of the Ferries
Dear Member, November 2016
Although we have had a very reasonable summer, followed by dry and warm weather extending into November, Mersey Ferries has had a miserable time. This was due to the May closure of the Ship Canal by a fallen bridge, a July accident to the Royal Iris off Eastham Locks requiring five months of repairs, and an October breakdown of the Snowdrop immediately prior to its annual refit.. Consequently, there have been few Canal trips this summer, and no ferry service this Autumn for nearly a month. Mersey Ferries and Merseytravel have argued in recent years that operations can be maintained with only two vessels – a policy which we have consistently rejected. We have written to the Chair of Merseytravel, again urging that the Royal Daffodil be brought out of lay-up to provide a back-up facility, funded by revenues generated by off-peak charter work in our booming tourist and conference market for which she is admirably suited.
Redoubled efforts are required by the marketing department of Mersey Ferries to restore confidence and win back disappointed customers. An opportunity will arise between 3rd January - 12th February and 30th May - 18th June, when the cross-river Merseyrail system will be shut down. As Wirral rail service between 13th February - 29th May will only operate 6 car trains at a reduced frequency to
Our Cruise this year was very well supported and plenty of shipping movements were observed in both the river and dock system. In fact, the Gladstone and Langton Locks were so busy that for the first time in about 30 years we were unable to enter Seaforth Dock. We also passed the new
On other river news, it was pleasing to see Sir David Attenborough, the naturalist, carry-out the keel-laying ceremony at Cammell Laird on 17th October of the British Antarctic Survey vessel to be named after him. The £200 million vessel (hull no.1390), to be completed in 2019, is reported to be the largest commercial shipbuilding project in the country in 30 years. More recently, Princess Anne named the container ship
Please find enclosed our Newsletter by Geoff Holmes, and tickets for our ever-popular Christmas Draw run by Gordon Ditchfield. Membership receipts or reminders are also enclosed. Joan Roberts continues to attend local events and fairs with her sales stall - see some items below for Christmas presents!
Very best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year!