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Chair's Letter April 2017

Dear Member,

Our late Easter has’nt provided the warmer temperatures we may have hoped for, but at least the Saturday gave us plenty of sun, although tempered by a fresh breeze. So, enjoy the river with Mersey Ferries – the first trip up to Manchester has already run!

The Royal Iris has had a long sojourn in dock after the grounding incident off Eastham last summer. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report is currently the subject of consultation with the main parties. Initially, the vessel seemed only to suffer hull damage, but after repair, transmission damage was found, requiring a further lay-up. Once the Royal Iris was back on the river, the Snowdrop was taken off service for a mandatory annual survey, so for a long period the ferry service has been down to one vessel. Some services have had to be cancelled due to breakdowns. This must have particularly dented the confidence of commuters - and just before Easter, the Royal Iris suffered more mechanical problems, again resulting in no ferry service for several days, and this at a time when Mersey Ferries need to demonstrate a reliable service to woo more passengers during the congestion arising from the Loop Line closures. There is sadly no further news on the re-commissioning of the Royal Daffodil, whose engines we learn from Mersey Ferries are in good order. We continue to consider this vessel as an operational asset in the burgeoning Mersey visitor economy, although a Preservation Trust wishes to save her as a static heritage attraction.

Elsewhere on the Mersey, the new Peel Ports Liverpool 2 Dock in the open river has been partly commissioned. No regular services have yet been started, but new schedules may take time, due partly perhaps to major reorganizations within the shipping world. Internet reports suggest that additional cranes are still due, and that some parts of the dock require modification. Little sister Garston Docks has also been receiving a range of investments, including the “largest type of hydraulic crane in the world”, costing £1.8 million. The Finnish crane is mobile, and has versatile tools to help deal with 500,000 tons per year of cargoes including metals, forest products, and aggregates. Finally, designs are currently being invited for a new Cruise Liner Terminal 300
metres north of the present one at the Pier Head (10 years old this year). Passenger capacity will be 3,600, twice the existing.

Please don’t forget to renew your annual subscription for 2017/8, now due from April 1st (see the slip below).

Our Annual Dock and River Cruise takes place on Saturday 27th May, starting at 12.00 noon from Seacombe, then
picking-up at Pier Head and Woodside. Andy Ball and Stuart Wood will give the commentary. Please make every effort to advertise it to your friends, neighbours and local activity groups. We can send an email poster to people or organizations if you advise us. Tickets bookable below, or from the three ferry terminals. Meanwhile, I may see you at our AGM on Monday
8th May at Birkenhead YMCA, when Adrian Sweeney (World Ship Society, and editor of Ships of Mann), will speak to us.

Yours sincerely,

Hon. Chairman     

 

Sales items may be obtained from Joan Roberts 10 Bayswater Gardens Wallasey Wirral CH45 8LB Tel.0151 639 1435.

For full sales list send SAE. Cheques for SALES ITEMS PAYABLE to Joan Roberts please.

Colour postcards of the three current ferries, plus 1951 Royal Iris (18p); some black and white cards of historic ferries (10p).

Friends of the Ferries retractable biros (30p); SAE please.

Don Woods DVD’s: Mersey Cruise; Wallasey Past and Present; Liverpool; £8.50 each; CD Songs of the River £7.50; all incl. p&p.

Also, some Norman Colbourne paintings printed as cards, with envelopes (6”x 8”) suitable for greetings or framing:The Old Routine passengers walking around the deck of J.Farley, and Evening Boat with Egremont approaching Seacombe, plus famous past liners at Pier Head with ship history on back: £1 each plus postage (1/2 cards 56p; up to 9 £1.22; over 9 £1.58).

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SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL and CRUISE BOOKING (subscription receipts will be sent with Nov. Newsletter).

To: Friends of the Ferries                                                                          From:...........................................................             

c/o 7 Foxcovers Road Bebington Wirral CH63 3EQ                                       ...........................................................                

I enclose PAYMENT TO FRIENDS OF THE FERRIES to cover:                         ...........................................................

My own subscription renewal for 2017/8                                              £2.00             ...........................................................

...... subscription renewals for other members@ £2 each (please list)  £......              Postcode..........................

..... Adult cruise tickets @ £26.00 each (Saturday 27th May)             £......             

..... Child cruise tickets @ £13.00 each                                                 £.....                                                                                               

Please enclose s.a.e. for Cruise tickets              Total enclosed            £........            Signed ...............................     Date.............