TSS MANXMAN’s Final Hour? — Updated

MANXMAN at the South King Edward VIII Pier, Douglas, Isle of Man. Photo courtesy S.S MANXMAN restoration, photo by Dave Worth

British Turbine Steam Ship MANXMAN is reportedly soon to be demolished.  MANXMAN was launched from the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, February  8, 1955. She was the last vessel in her class of six similar ships ordered by the Isle of Man Steam Packet.  Her sisters KING ORRY, MONA’S QUEEN, TYNWALD, SNAEFELL and MONA’S ISLE were all scrapped from 1974 onward.  MANXMAN remains laid up in Sunderland but with the threat of being scrapped very soon.

MANXMAN at Douglas, Isle of Man circa 1981/82. Nigel Robinson Collection

TSS MANXMAN’s maiden voyage took place May 21, 1955, from Douglas, Isle of Man to Liverpool. Her regular route saw her sailing from North West England and North Wales to the Isle of Man and Ireland. In 1982 it was announced that the service would be withdrawn. In the Autumn of 1982 the ship’s future looked bleak until she was bought to be converted into a floating museum and visitor center at Preston Docks, however, this venture was not successful, and the ship was subsequently opened as a floating nightclub and restaurant. Later dock development forced the relocation of the ship and she was towed to Liverpool in 1991 and once again opened as a floating nightclub in the Trafalgar Docks area. In 1993 MANXMAN was towed to Hull, being moored in the disused dry dock. In August 1997 a fire  broke out seriously damaging ships interior, she was then moved to the yard of Pallion Engineering Company Ltd. on the River Wear in Sunderland, close to the Queen Alexandra Bridge, where MANXMAN remains today.

A preservation group, The Manxman Steamship Company formed with the aim of securing the ship. Then a new Trust emerged to save the ship, The SOS Manxman Co charity, however in March 2010 it was announced  that the S.S. MANXMAN was to be dismantled in the Pallion shipyard.

A facebook page has been formed with links to petitions, news and photographs
Please visit: S.S MANXMAN. The OFFICIAL group supporting restoration of the Manxman

SS MANXMAN in the Pallion shipyard, Sunderland. Photo by Tom Phillip, Feb 2010

For further reading check out  www.shipsofmann.org.uk

Special thanks to Nigel Robinson, Mark Sven Woodford, Daniel Craig, Dave Worth, Tom Phillips and the SS MANXMAN facebook page

Martin Cox

Martin Cox

MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland.Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.
Martin Cox
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