Reports 2022-23

July 2023

Tuesday 11th July 2023 brought our Branch AGM hosted by our current Chairman John Luxton. The current Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer were all elected to stand for another season as were two other existing committee members. After the interval we all enjoyed a fun Maritime Quiz complied by John Luxton which was enjoyed by all. The joint winners were Adrian Sweeney and John Williams, second was Norman West and third was Peter Purland. Thank you to everyone that attended, it was a great meeting. 

June 2023

For our June 2023 our own Branch Chairman John Luxton gave us a very informative presentation about the Tavistock Canal in Devon, this was No.5 in his Maritime Infrastructure series of talks. John’s talk started at Tavistock and he took us along the canal which ended up at the Port of Morwellham on the River Tamar. John has a vast knowledge of this area so he was able to point out places of interest using images, old and new maps, plaques and signs also describing the many bridges that cross the canal. After the interval John showed us several Historic Ships that have been associated with the area over the years. In his vote of thanks Adrian Sweeney said John had spent a lot of time and effort researching for this presentation. Many thanks again John and we hope to see you again next year.

May 2023

For our May 2023 meeting our own branch member Simon Smith gave us a tremendous presentation of a 70 day trip he took aboard the Container Ship Rickmers Singapore in 2011. His voyage started in Hamburg, Germany and terminated at Kobe, Japan. The areas he visited included The River Elbe, Genoa, The Suez Canal, Oman, U.A.E., Iraq, India, Singapore, lots of Chinese Ports including Shanghai before finally arriving at his final destination of Kobe. The many ships Simon showed us that he saw on this voyage was fascinating including many types of many types of vessels we hadn’t seen before. Thank you very much Simon for a great evening’s entertainment and we will look forward to watching another of your voyages again very soon.           

April 2023

For our April 2023 meeting we were pleased to welcome once again John Hooley from Macclesfield who gave us another fantastic presentation titled ‘From the Firth of Clyde to the land of MacBraynes’. He showed all manner of steamers that had connections to trains and terminals around the Clyde. He started with vessels belonging to the Glasgow and South West Region Railways around the 1800’s, North British Railways, White Funnel vessels and finished up showing images of David MacBraynes Ltd vessels. Once again John also showed us examples of steam trains that once visited many of these ports during that era. A really interesting and entertaining evening John, thank you very much and we hope to see you again next year.

March 2023

Our March 2023 meeting for the first hour was an illustrated talk by two volunteers from the Talks Team of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society. They described the history of the building of the canal, the people who worked on it, the ships that sailed up it, some of the incidents that occurred and some strange visitors, all contributing to the fascinating and continuing story of this great North West waterway. Many thanks go to Les Green and Chris Ellams for an excellent presentation. After the interval we showed a couple of Manchester Ship Canal DVD’s which showed us a nostalgic record of the canal filmed from its construction up to the present day.

February 2023

For our February 2023 meeting we once again welcome our old friend Iain Quinn from The Coastal Cruising Association of Glasgow. Our members enjoyed Iain’s presentation that centred on vessels from The Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. that visited mostly ports on the Clyde but also Ireland and Wales as well as here on Merseyside. Iain is a great speaker that is always is very amusing and gives fascinating explanations of each of his wonderful slides. Thank you Iain for coming to visit us and hopefully we will see you again soon.  

January 2023

For our January 2023 meeting 21 members enjoyed Keith Hick’s most interesting account of the saga of the U.S. cargo ship “Flying Enterprise” and “Dancy’s Leap” which took place in January 1952.The ship had been abandoned except for her Captain, Kurt Carlson, after her cargo had shifted in bad weather when she was S.W. of Ireland. The British tug, “Turmoil” was sent to her assistance and the tug’s Mate, Kenneth Dancy, leapt on board the ship and the pair remained on board whilst the “Turmoil” towed her towards Falmouth. Unfortunately the ship capsized on January 10th when only 40 miles from Falmouth – both men being successfully rescued.

A consignment of Zirconium was subsequently salvaged from the wreck by the U.S. Navy. This was needed for the construction of the World’s first Nuclear Submarine U.S.S. Nautilus which was delayed by over a year. The second part of the programme was the presentation Sad Sights complied by Scottish member Maurice Napier and the script was read by Jim Charnock talking about derelict ships in the Falkland Is., Argentina and in breaker’s yards in Canada, Turkey and other locations.

December 2022

Unfortunately we had to cancel our December 2022 meeting due to bad weather and the rail strike both of which was out of our control. The British Transport Films that we were due to watch will be shown at a later date.

November 2022

Our good friend Alan Moorhouse travelled up from Bedford to give us another of his latest Voyages Across the Sea presentations. Alan’s talk was once again fascinating which he split into five sections, Ships lost and new ships in 2022, New Ships in 2022, Ships around Ports in England, Naval Victories in Norway and the Ukraine and finally a tribute to the late H.M Queen Elizabeth II were Alan showed us ships that she had launched during her reign that was most interesting. Thanks a lot Alan, we all thoroughly enjoyed your visit and hopefully we will see you again soon.

October 2022

For our October 2022 meeting we once again welcomed David Booth from the Manchester Branch. David continued from where he left off last season telling us about his life at sea in the mid 1970’s.

He mainly showed us great slides from Hong Kong, Singapore and West Africa. It was most interesting to watch aspects of Cargo Handling that we don’t normally see so his presentation was really fascinating. Thanks a lot David and hopefully we will see you again soon.

North West Ship Show 2022 – September 24, 2022

The North West Ship Show previously organised by Bernard McCall has not run since 2019 due to Covid and Bernard passing away. After a consultation with Bernard’s wife Doreen and son Iain it was decided that the North West Ship Show would be held again this year sponsored by the WSS Merseyside Branch.

This event took place on Saturday 24th September 2022 at the Old Christ Church at Waterloo, Liverpool. It was a very successful event and was attended by over 120 members of the public plus 22 stallholders taking up 52 tables.

Exhibitors included booksellers, maritime artists, boat clubs and small scale model sellers, postcards and photographs sellers and organisations such as the RNLI and the Liverpool Seafarers Centre was also in attendance.

The Catering stall was very busy and well organised by Dot Gibbons, daughter Lindsey and grand daughter Chelsea. Many thanks go to our Committee who spent a lot of time and effort into making this event so successful. Below is a photograph showing the wonderful church building and the layout of the tables on the day, photo by Dave Crolley.

September 2022

Krispen Atkinson travelled from Greenhithe, Kent to talk to us for our September ’22 meeting.

As you might expect from Krispen his presentation was very interesting, professional and entertaining. What he told us about was his 2018 trip to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong, all most interesting as he showed us all manner of vessels that under normal circumstances we would never see, all very colourful and great to watch.

Thanks a lot Krispen for coming to see us and we hope to see you again next year.