A luxury liner interior

Art Deco SaloonsA luxury liner interior

Our modest Danny, has an interior worth boasting about within its luxury Art Deco Saloons which also have an interesting history.

Hire our Saloons for a celebration or event - click here for details - photographs of our saloon interiors are below.

Art Deco Saloons
Art Deco Saloons
Art Deco Saloons


Today our saloons have been restored to exactly how they would have been in 1936, with opulant wood panels said to have been originally intended for the Oceanic luxury liners, but as they were never used, somehow they found their way to The Danny and now create a sense of finery aboard the proud ship.

All our saloon seating has been finished with fabrics copied from the original photographs of the interior, as well as the carpets and the tables which also include hidden ash tray holders - a sign of the times!

The saloon also includes a small Art Deco bar.

Saloon History - The Society vessel 1936-1984

In 1936 the Ralph Brocklebank was chosen as the official director’s launch. Early that summer she was given a radical refit and her name changed to that of the ship canal’s founding father and first MSCC chairman, Daniel Adamson.

Her technical upgrade was a straightforward case of making her ‘fit for purpose’. The wheelhouse and bridge were raised and she acquired a new upper deck and two saloons, making her taller and more ‘top heavy’ than the other tugs. The story of the renovation of the interiors, however, is more intriguing. The directors had requested a ‘roomy and artistic effect’ and local companies were invited to come up with designs for the remodelling.

Furniture makers Waring & Gillow of Bold Street, Liverpool, were consulted about the interior design and decor. But in the end the contract went to rival Bold Street firm Heaton Tabb & Co. This company was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Belfast shipbuilders Harland & Wolff Ltd, and as such had experience of fitting out the interiors of some of the grandest Atlantic liners in the world.

The proposed new interiors had the languid lines and pastel colours of the early 20th century art nouveau style, in keeping with many of the popular liners of the day. However, when the refitted tug was revealed in May 1936, the Heaton Tabb interiors were startlingly different from the original proposals.

The art nouveau design was never created. Instead, the newly renovated Ralph Brocklebank boasted the clean bold lines, geometric patterns and block colours of the unapologetically modern Art Deco style. The interior of the tug was now a miniature version of one of the newer generation of Atlantic liners, such as the stylish French ocean liner SS Normandie or Liverpool’s own magnificent Cunard-White Star flagship RMS Queen Mary. Somewhere along the line there had been a sudden change of heart, and thoroughly modern Art Deco had well and truly supplanted the pleasing but somewhat passé art nouveau style.

After a trial run to Runcorn in the middle of May 1936, the Ralph Brocklebank was officially renamed the Daniel Adamson. Visitors were now protected from the elements and in the snug but stylish lower saloon perhaps even able to imagine themselves in the cocktail bar of a glamorous ocean liner.

WW2 brought economic and social changes, and steam power was being slowly superseded by diesel. The stalwart tug sailed on in her dual role through the post-war years, entertaining more distinguished guests, including military leades, princes and premiers, but by the 1960s her towing duties became less frequent.

Though still in demand for hospitality, she was now seen as a valued tradition rather than an integral part of the working life of the ship canal. The Daniel Adamson’s decline also mirrored the ship canal’s demise: the new generation of supertankers could not easily or quickly reach Manchester Docks. Once containerisation became widespread, Manchester Docks could not compete and they closed in 1982.

The octogenarian tug was nearing the end of her era. In late 1984 the MSCC decided to withdraw her from service. She overwintered at Runcorn, her future uncertain until arrangements were made to move her to Ellesmere Port Boat Museum. Eventually, on 5th March 1986, the MSCC tug Victory towed the venerable Daniel Adamson to Ellesmere Port, the very place where she had started her working life eighty-three years before.

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