Daniel Adamson Bridge Woes

Published: 9th Aug

Daniel Adamson Weaver Bridge Woes

The preserved steam ship “Daniel Adamson”, celebrating its 120th Birthday towards the end of August, has finally managed to escape two months of being trapped on a Cheshire river due to failed swing bridges.

The Daniel Adamson, or the “Danny” as she if affectionately known, was enjoying a successful start to its cruising season with healthy ticket sales despite difficult trading conditions that saw the price of coal up by nearly 200%. The Danny undertakes around 35 days of cruising a year to bring in much needed revenue to pay for its upkeep, operation and to support the owning trust’s extensive community-based outreach and education work.  A large percentage of the ship’s cruises take place on the River Weaver in Cheshire, a hidden gem which proves hugely popular with passengers.

Having undertaken their longest public voyage at the beginning of June from Liverpool, all the way to the iconic Anderton Boat lift, and then return to their summer base near Frodsham, both Acton and Sutton Weaver swing bridges were reporting faults and were immediately closed to all river traffic by the Canal & River Trust (CRT).  The Daniel Adamson was now below Sutton Weaver swing bridge but facing upriver and unable to turn.

As CRT investigated the problems with the bridges, the stoppage has remained in place until test swings can finally take place at the beginning of August. This resulted in the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS) having to cancel trips in June, July and early August resulting in lost income of around £45,000, and 100’s of customers cancelling trips and wondering when, and if, to re book a visit to this national attraction.

Stuart Wood, DAPS Chair commented “frustratingly we found ourselves with a perfectly functioning steam ship ready to go but facing the wrong way once the bridges had been declared shut. The Danny can only turn in three places on the River Weaver and the nearest to us was back down stream about 1.5 miles at Marsh Lock where the Weaver enters the Manchester Ship Canal. Financial losses are severe for the trust but also for local businesses and the local economy in general. The Danny is a national attraction not just a trip boat, people come from all over the UK to experience a trip aboard this 1903 icon” Stuart continued. We use local suppliers and customers book local hotels, guest houses and visit other local attractions while in the area such as the Anderton Boat lift.

With trips to and from Liverpool planned for early August, DAPS were determined not to have to cancel them as well, so they reached out to the local tug and workboat community for help. Without hesitation, Wirral based Carmet Tug Co. stepped forward and Managing Director Josh Metcalfe offered two workboats to tow the Danny stern first the 1.5 miles to Marsh Lock and return her to her berth at Sutton Weaver, ready for our sailing on the 5th of August. The planned movement went without a hitch and was also offered without charge as Josh Metcalfe said they were keen to support the Danny.

Stuart Wood went on to comment “We would like to thank Carmet Tug Company, Josh and the team for their prompt, efficient assistance which was vital to our continued operations during these difficult times on the Weaver.”

It is hoped that following test swings and investigations at Sutton Weaver swing bridge on the 5th/ 6th August, and later at Acton Bridge, that we can then resume our somewhat shortened season, but may also add some additional cruises during September and October in an attempt to recoup some of our losses. We hope our customers, supporters and the public in general will continue to support the Danny and the work it does to bring communities together around the River Weaver and the Northwest

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