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Deck Prisms on the Daniel Adamson
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Daniel Adamson

Built: 1903
Length: 110'
Breadth: 24½'
Draught: 8 2/3'
Gross Tonnage: 173

Boiler: Scotch type, 3 furnace, coal fired, 120 PSI.
Steam Engines: 2 × twin-cylinder compound, 250 IHP each.
Speed:
11.5 knots @ 150 RPM
10.0 knots @ 125 RPM.

Deck prism of the Daniel Adamson

Deck prisms of the Daniel Adamson

Deck prisms of the Daniel Adamson

Steam-powered tug-tender Daniel Adamson The Daniel Adamson is an historic vessel, one of only two surviving tug-tenders in the U.K., and the only one that's steam-powered.

The Daniel Adamson is of particular interest to this site because of its usual deck prisms: unlike the hexagonal or rectangular forms normally seen, Haywards-style single-pendant pavement lights were used (see pictures at left). Orange-juicer style deck lights were also used, but vandalism has taken its toll and only one specimen remains.

A tug-tender performs two functions: towage (the normal duties of a tug), and also passenger carrying. In this case, passengers were carried in style: a final refit in 1936 of the passenger accommodations resulted in a posh art-deco interior much like that of the great ocean liners.
"The Daniel Adamson is a steam powered, twin engine, twin screw tug-tender built by the Tranmere Bay Development Company at Birkenhead for the Shropshire Union Canal and Railway Company in 1903. Originally named Ralph Brocklebank, the vessel was purchased by the Manchester Ship Canal Company in 1921 and renamed. In 1935, Daniel Adamson was fitted out as the company's hospitality tender carrying guests and dignitaries on official tours of the canal as well as performing towage duties until retired in 1984."
The Daniel Adamson is currently undergoing complete restoration! After being operated until 1984, she was berthed at The Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port. After 20 years of subsequent decline and sad vandalism, the owners decided in early 2004 to break her up. Local tug man Dan Cross found out, and after fast work and considerable effort, was able to save her: instead of one last trip to the breaker's yard at Garston to be salvaged, she was towed by the Svitzer tug Ashgarth to Clarence Graving Dock for the first step in restoration (hull work), to begin a new life.

The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society was formed to bring this boat back to its former glory. If you are interested in helping, they are actively looking for support and new members: there is much work to be done. If you want to volunteer, or find out more about this historic vessel, or just want to watch the progress (the site has regular updates and photos), please visit the Society's web site, danieladamson.co.uk, and also the Irish Sea Shipping site.

Information and quotes on this page are from the Society's own web site. Photos are courtesy Neil Marsden of the Society, who has been very generous with his time and information.