About the Daniel Adamson

For many years the historic Mersey tug-tender Daniel Adamson was laid up in the ship dock at the Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port.

She was built by the Tranmere Bay Development Co. (a fore-runner to the now famous Cammell Lairds) in 1903 for an Ellesmere Port-Liverpool passenger ferry and barge towing service, she was later sold to the Manchester Ship Canal in 1921, as a tug, and with a new art deco double decker saloon she acted as the directors' inspection vessel.

Recorded on the National Register of Historic Vessels, she is a significant historic vessel having the capability to perform both towage duties and carry passengers.
Find out more.

During February 2004, the intention of her owners (the Manchester Ship Canal Company) to break her up became known. This led to the formation of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society the same year, whose aim is to restore her to public service, sailing from Liverpool Cruise Terminal, or the city centre Canning Dock all over the Mersey, Weaver and Ship Canal.

Since 2004 the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS) has made great progress towards reaching its goal of returning the vessel to operation condition. She has been dry docked twice and volunteers have given thousands of hours to the project.

Work has already started at Liverpool's Huskisson Dock, with river trials and public sailings planned once the project is complete.

This Mersey region project page will keep you updated on how the restoration project is progressing.

Heritage Lottery Fund support

In October 2012, DAPS were jubilant to report that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had received initial support for a £3m bid, including development funding of £37,000 to assist the Society's work towards a second-round application in 2013.

Paul Atterbury, DAPS president and Antiques Roadshow expert said: "I am so pleased to hear that the HLF Round One applicatoin has now been approved. This is a major step and the door is now open to the road that, hopefully, will lead to the fulfilment of all our hopes. It brings the dream of seeing 'the Danny' back in service a bit step nearer to reality."

Louise Ellman, Liverpool Riverside MP and Chair of the Transport Select Committee, said: "It is wonderful news to hear the Daniel Adamson's Heritage Lottery Fund bid has been revitalised. Not only will the ship be a piece of living, breathing Merseyside maritime history, but she will become an asset to be used by the whole community."


July 2017 - Daniel Adamson wins Regional Flagship of the Year Award for the North West 

Earlier this month, National Historic Ships UK were pelased to present historic vessel Daniel Adamson with her Regional Flagship of the Year Award.  

Following  eight  successful  years  of  very  different  kinds  of  vessels  from  around  the  UK winning this award, National Historic Ships UK has again  awarded Regional Flagship awards to recgonise the commitment that many vessels give to their home cruisng grounds. 

In announcing the winners Hannah Cunliffe, Director of National Historic Ships UK, said:

“I am delighted that we are able to offer these Awards once more and publicise the range of cruising programmes which these vessels are planning for the coming season.  Our four 2017 Regional Flagships have all shown their enthusiasm for raising the profile of UK maritime heritage at the events they are attending and we look forward to working closely with them in the months ahead.”

The Award criteria requires vessel owners to come forward with seasonal programmes to engage the public through festivals, demonstrations, on-board cruises, quayside visits, educational programmes, participation in races and similar activities. Flagships are expected to promote actively the role of National Historic Ships UK by distributing associated PR material and flying the flag as our ambassadors.

The four Regional Flagships will each receive a grant of £250 to be spent on the vessel, along with a special Regional Flagship Broad Pennant denoting the year in which the award was made.

Daniel Adamson (Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for the North-West) won for her commitment  to  education  and engagement with  the  North-West’s  maritime  heritage involving an intensive series of visits extending to Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, and Lymm. http://www.thedanny.co.uk/.

 November 2016 - Christmas Pop-Up Shops

Historic vessel Daniel Adamson will play host to independent artists for an incredible Christmas pop-up shop.

The Daniel Adamson is a remarkable survivor from the steam age and a most unusual vessel. A small but incredibly powerful canal tug, she was built to tow long strings of barges laden with goods from the inland towns of Cheshire and the Potteries to the great seaport of Liverpool. She made her appearance on the Mersey at a time when old-fashioned sailing ships still jostled for space on the Liverpool waterfront with the great steamships and ocean liners of the Edwardian era.

The restoration campaign was spearheaded by Mersey tug skipper Dan Cross, who formed theDaniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS) with the help of Tony Hirst, a former director of the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum. The Daniel Adamson has been kept afloat quite literally by the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers and the goodwill of scores of companies, and from May 2016 a new generation of enthusiasts will be able to marvel at the her unexpected Art Deco interiors and experience the thrill of steam.

The Daniel Adamson steam ship is now happily located at Liverpool’s iconic Albert Dock by The Pumphouse pub, near to the Maritime Museum until the end of 2016 and is looking for stall holders for some or all available dates in December. The boat is very visible and their volunteers actively encourage passers-by to come aboard for free, so they average approx 300 visitors per day at the weekends.

The best part of this already marvellous story? Stalls are offered for free but they would appreciate a donation. You can have a stall for one day or as many as you like, you just need to book a space in advance by emailing them. The stalls are available 11.30am to 3pm Dec 3rd to Dec 18th and some evenings will also be available when the new light displays are on at the docks which promises to be a great tourist attraction.

Contact them here.

Source: Independent Liverpool, 15th November 2016

October 2016 - National Historic Ships UK Marsh Volunteer Awards

The 1903 Steam Ship Daniel Adamson engineers were given the title of Marsh Volunteer Awards from National Historic Ships UK on board HQS Wellington on London’s Victoria Embankment. 

National Historic Ships UK’s (NHS-UK) annual awards ceremony is a celebration of the UK’s maritime heritage and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with historic vessels through photography, volunteering, or by operating them and encouraging the public to go on board at festivals and events held around the UK coasts, lakes, and rivers.

Now in its sixth year, the Marsh Volunteer Awards recognise outstanding volunteers in the conservation or operation of historic vessels in the UK.

The Marsh Team Volunteer Award was presented to the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society - Engineering Department for their efforts in operating and maintaining SS Daniel Adamson.  The team received a prize of £1,000.

Martyn Heighton, Director, National Historic Ships UK said; "The story of the rescue of DANIEL ADAMSON from the breaker's yard, and bringing her back to her former glory with help from The Heritage Lottery, is an outstanding example of courage, commitment and sheer bloody-minded Scouse determination to succeed. Today's success is down to the remarkable volunteers - of whom the Engineers are a vital group - who banded together to secure this ship's future, I am over the Moon that the hard work and true value of the engineers, some of whom are sadly no longer with us, has been so publicly recognised and rewarded through this Marsh Award."

Chairman of The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Dan Cross said: ““I’m absolutely delighted to have been able to accept this award in London along with two key members of our engineering team, Joe Butler our retiring Superintendent and Graham Dean our long serving and now retired working party co-ordinator. The range of skills we had amongst our membership and their willingness to not only take on the full mechanical restoration but to share these skills with others is one of the finest examples of volunteering and team work you will ever whiteness. No job left them defeated, they had a solution for every problem and don’t forget, there is no “Haines Manual” for the Danny, every part had to be made and every solution was home grown. Now the Danny is finally back in steam, seeing her superb performance on the water is testament to the quality of the workmanship carried out over the last few years by the engineering volunteers.”

The Daniel Adamson, or The Danny, as it is affectionately known is now a floating and cruising visitor attraction moored at Liverpool’s iconic Albert Dock until the end of December 2016 and is open to the public for guided tours Thursday to Sunday 11am to 5pm. The ship will then travel to Ellesmere Port and Salford Quays. The Danny is available for private hire.

Volunteers worked hard for more than 15 years towards gaining £3.8 Million  from The Heritage Lottery to save and restore The Daniel Adamson.  For more details and background on its story go to www.thedanny.co.uk

September 2016 - Weaver Cruise Success 

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Sep 30th and Oct 3rd on our very special River Weaver Cruises. The day proved to be a wonderful experience and hundreds of people were able to see The Danny for the first time since her restoration at The Acton Bridge Steam Fair.

Thank you to all for their support and we hope to see you all again soon. We were also very pleased to be featured in The Times And Telegraph Newspaper as well as Towpath Talk.

July 2016 - The Daniel Adamson under steam once again!

Stuart Wood and volunteers of The Daniel Adamson have filmed the momentous occasion when The Danny steams for the first time in more than 30 years. Footage of the event from Martin McQuade can now be viewed online here

The day was one to be remembered and now the team move forward with more trials and testing.

May 2016Changing lives: finding kindness on board the Daniel Adamson

After his wife died, Dave Lowles went down to Albert Dock on Liverpool’s waterfront most days.

“I needed to get out of the house which seemed so empty after I lost Elaine,” he says. Like many Liverpool men of his generation, he had been to sea, and the waterfront felt like a second home to him.

One day, as he was walking past a rusty old tug tied up in the dock, he heard voices. Something drew him up the gangway, where he got talking to a couple of the ex-crew who were on board.

The tug was the Daniel Adamson, or “the Danny” as she is affectionately known, a steam-powered tug tender built in 1903 to tow barges and carry passengers across the River Mersey. Later 'the Danny' worked on the Manchester Ship Canal, but she hadn’t sailed since 1984.

The Danny had been rescued from the breaker’s yard with days to spare and a restoration project was underway, thanks to a £3.8million grant from HLF. This week, the Daniel Adamson will re-launch in Liverpool, fully restored and gleaming.

The HLF grant was awarded in recognition of the Danny’s importance in Britain’s maritime heritage as the last surviving Mersey-built steam tug still in operation. She is also unique in having 1930s Art Deco saloons, which have also been restored.

The Danny had been vandalised and left to rot but miraculously the 1903 engines were intact. The ex-crew members Colin and George had been deckhands on the tug and were working to bring her back into peak condition. “I asked if they needed any volunteers,” says Dave. “They said yes, and I took off my coat there and then and got to work.”

It’s no exaggeration to say that volunteering has changed his life, he says. “I’ve made so many new friends. My week ahead is now planned. The phone is always ringing and we meet up regularly for a pint and an update on the Danny’s progress. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t walked up that gangplank.”

Read more about Dave's exerience at Heritage Lottery Fund

Source: Heritage Lottery Fund, 9th May 2016


May 2016 - All aboard: The SS Daniel Adamson is afloat again

The historic Daniel Adamson steam boat made its return to Liverpool’s Albert Dock after a £3.8m restoration.

Now fully restored it will be open to the public for the first time in over 30 years.

For the last year, a team of volunteers and shipbuilders at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead have been lovingly restoring the ship which was built more than 100 years ago in 1903.

The restoration work, part of a £3.8m Heritage Lottery Fund award and with support from the Mayor of Liverpool, included refurbishing all the brass work and intricate woodwork including returning the saloons to the 1930s styles.

The Daniel Adamson will have a new life as a moving visitor and museum attraction, based near the Merseyside Maritime Museum, as well as offering cruises on the River Mersey.

Discover more of the SS Daniel Adamson at thedanny.co.uk

Source: Liverpool Echo, 3 May 2016


February 2015 - £3.8m Heritage Lottery Grant awarded to SS Daniel Adamson

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have awarded £3.8million to restore and open to the public the historic North West vessel the Daniel Adamson, the last-surviving Steam Tug-Tender in the UK.

Coming over 30 years after the vessel was taken out of service and 11 years since she was saved from the scrapyard by local campaigners, HLF’s investment will help restore the Daniel Adamson to full working order so that she can once again carry passengers across the North West’s famous waters.

Currently moored at Liverpool’s Albert Docks and in urgent need of repair, the Daniel Adamson will now be towed to a dry dock, allowing work to begin on a repair and restoration programme, set to be completed during 2015 and entering service in spring 2016.

- See more at: http://www.shipshapenetwork.org.uk/news.php/427/3.8m-heritage-lottery-fund-grant-to-restore-historic-steam-tug-tender#sthash.vbYqu1hr.dpuf

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have awarded £3.8million to restore and open to the public the historic North West vessel the Daniel Adamson, the last-surviving Steam Tug-Tender in the UK.

Coming over 30 years after the vessel was taken out of service and 11 years since she was saved from the scrapyard by local campaigners, HLF’s investment will help restore the Daniel Adamson to full working order so that she can once again carry passengers across the North West’s famous waters.

Currently moored at Liverpool’s Albert Docks and in urgent need of repair, the Daniel Adamson will now be towed to a dry dock, allowing work to begin on a repair and restoration programme, set to be completed during 2015 and entering service in spring 2016.

See Granada ITV news report.


May 2014 - SS Daniel Adamson returns to Liverpool’s Albert Dock

The historic Merseyside ship SS Daniel Adamson is to go on public display for the first time ever in Liverpool as a top attraction at the city's river festival in June.

The 111-year-old SS Daniel Adamson, the UK's last steam tug tender, is expected at Albert Dock this week.

There will be free admission to the ship from the end of May until autumn with a prime place at the enlarged International Mersey River Festival on June 13-15.

The “Danny” will also be open during the International Festival for Business and commemorations for the First World War.

The ship’s move into Albert Dock will be the first time in 90 years she will have visited the city’s central docks.

Extract taken from the Liverpool Echo, 26 May 2014.  Image by Andy Mahon.

Read more on this story here.

For more great photos, take a look at the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society website.


Feb 2014 - The Preservation Society welcomes VIPs on its 10th anniversary

The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society hosted its first VIP open day, with a visit from The Earl of Derby as guest of honour.  The event coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Society's formation.

The successful day also helped to publicise the Society's bid for a major Lottery grant to help restore the historic vessel.

See more on this story here.



Aug 2013 - Visit by apprentices from Cammell Lairds and Peel Ports

Engineering apprentices from Peel Ports will off their skills and support to be part of a restoration team for the Daniel Adamson 

The chief operating officer of the Peel Ports Group, which owns the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, said the apprentices working on the Daniel Adamson will learn about the future of the port as well as its history. The historic vessel spent much of her working life towing ships up and down the Manchester Ship Canal as far as the Salford Quays.

The port's apprentices follow a four-year course in either mechanical or electrical engineering, including one year full time at college with a subsequent three years training on the job supplemented by further college study.

See the Granda ITV news video, here.



Region news headlines

Last chance for a cruise in 2017

Daniel Adamson's very last cruise happening in October 2017

ss Freshspring open to the public 7-10 Sept

Historic vessel taking part in Heritage Open Days

Historic Ellesmere Port steam ship declared Regional Flagship of the Year for the North West

Daniel Adamson presented with Regional Flagship pennant

Read all our news »

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