The Daniel Adamson 1903 Steam Ship

Members of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS) told the story of the ‘Danny’, a once familiar sight on the Manchester Ship Canal.

We were taken through the tug’s early years when, as the Ralph Brocklebank, she towed barges along inland waterways before being acquired by the Manchester Ship Canal.

It was fascinating to learn that as well as towing duties she was also used to carry VIPs; film clips showed various foreign rulers and dignitaries being proudly shown the Canal and docks.

In 1936 she was renamed the Daniel Adamson. It came as a surprise to learn she was still active as a tug despite the addition of impressive Art Deco interiors, matching those of the new Cunard liners.

One of the speakers, an ex-crewman, gave us an insight into working on the Danny, and fondly reminisced about calling in at local pubs when passing through Cadishead.

Withdrawn from service, the Danny was moved to Ellesmere Boat Museum. Funding cuts eventually led to neglect, decay, and vandalism. Destined for scrap, pictures made us wonder how anyone could think she could be restored.

But restored she was! A campaign began, DAPS was formed, individuals, and businesses came together and through hard work, fund raising, grants and Heritage Lottery Funding the Danny was restored to her former glory.

An inspiring talk.