A much loved historic steam ship with strong links to Ellesmere Port is to host a rare reunion for former Manchester Ship Canal workers.
The Daniel Adamson, known as the Danny, which predates the Titanic, will be berthed at Sutton Weaver swing bridge near Frodsham for the event on Sunday, May 20.
The reunion is planned to bring ex-colleagues from all over the north west together to share stories, photographs and to remember a past time which will probably never been seen again.
The ‘glorious years’ of the Manchester Ship Canal in the 1950s when record tonnages were shipped along its length are said to be long gone but many of the former workers from that time are still with us.
The team from The Danny, the ship canal’s former VIP passenger vessel, say they want to bring more ex-workers together and capture their memories and experiences.
The vessel, originally a powerful tug, has recently been restored following a £3.8m grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund.
Many volunteers from the Danny are also ex-workers and often reminisce about their days on the canal. They say they would like to open up their ship and meet more ex-workers who are all invited to also bring along any memorabilia.
A film crew will be on board to record the event and some of those who want to tell of their experiences. Refreshments will also be available.
The Danny’s Art Deco saloons, once a sumptuous venue for the rich and famous, will be open so former workmates can chat over a drink and talk about old times.
Cathriona Bourke, from the Danny team, said: “These former workers helped make Manchester in its heyday the third largest port in Great Britain and to date we have no knowledge of any attempt to bring them back in any sort of reunion.
“The team at the Danny want both to bring old workmates together and record as many of their experiences as time will allow before these are lost forever.”
The event will run from 2-4pm on May 20. Parking at the berth is limited so it is recommended that former workers have a lift or arrive by public transport.
The Danny was originally built for service on the ship canal initially to tow barges from Ellesmere Port to Liverpool and carry up to 100 passengers.
She operated as a normal traffic tug for the canal from 1922 but was adapted as the corporate hospitality/inspection vessel for the ship canal company in 1936 when a major refit included art-deco furnished lounges similar to Cunard`s Queen Mary.
In addition to the £3.8m from the Heritage Lottery and further fund raising combined with over 100,000 volunteer hours the trust says the restoration has been a £5m project. The Danny is currently offering cruises on the ship canal, the River Weaver and the Mersey estuary.