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Our living history - Daniel Adamson

6 November 2020

Since the article we ran earlier in 2020 on maritime museums, readers have been writing in with information about their own local historic ships around the UK – many of which use the expertise of volunteers from the seafaring community for restoration, maintenance and even operation. Here we have the story of the Daniel Adamson, sent in by Daniel Adamson Preservation Society trustee Les Green

The team managing the 1903-built steamship Daniel Adamson (The 'Danny) are planning for a time when the vessel returns to the River Weaver, offering a public cruising schedule from 7 May-1 October 2021.

The ship, built in Birkenhead for the Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Co. can carry 100 passengers, but wasn't able to operate in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, meaning the 100-strong team of volunteers have been unable to enjoy a timetable of work and cruises this year.

Owned by a charitable trust since 2004, the vessel was saved at the last minute from the scrap yard and needed over 100,000 volunteer hours to restore the engines alone. It is valued at £5million, including £3.8million from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. It was completely restored to its condition in 1936, when it was the Manchester Ship Canal`s opulent corporate hospitality vessel, hosting VIPs and company events such as long service awards. The final restoration was completed in 2016 by Cammell Laird.

The volunteers involved in running the vessel have remained active, bringing the vessel into pristine condition, and look forward to returning to their many roles as a ship's crew operating to MCA standards.

The Danny has proved a favourite venue with both private and corporate customers wishing to celebrate in a unique and welcoming setting, and the volunteers have received heart-warming reviews on TripAdvisor. Commercially, the cruising schedule responds to market trends, and our recently-introduced gin themed cruises have been incredibly popular, hence rum and vodka themes are being introduced in 2021!

Details of the Danny, including its unique history, working life, restoration, volunteering opportunities, hire and how to book can be found on or by emailing


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