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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Manxman in Sunderland two years ago
An historic Steam Packet vessel will finally sail into oblivion later this year as all rescue attempts have been exhausted.
The Manxman had a capacity of 2,300 passengers and a cruising speed of 21 knots. She was built in 1955 for the Steam Packet and is the last steam-powered passenger vessel built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead.
The boat featured in a number of films: in 1980 as the rescuing liner Carpathia in SOS Titanic; in 1981 as a cross-channel ferry in Chariots of Fire (although it was Mona’s Isle that provided the on-board scenes); and in 1982 she was an emigrant carrier in the Barbra Streisand film Yentl. Even in 2006, while, at Sunderland, she was used in the Granada TV documentary The Building of Titanic.
Plans during the 1990s for the Manxman to become part of a new dockland development in Preston almost came to fruition, but after this and other rescue attempts failed, age, vandalism and general deterioration mean the boat was no longer viable to save.
The historic Manxman, which ended her 28 years of service with the company in 1982, inspired hundreds to join in a desperate bid to save her, but despite sterling efforts by a team who even formed a charitable trust the ship will soon be dismantled.
Now, courtesy of the Pallion Ship Yard in Sunderland where she has been in dry dock for the past 14 years, fans of the ship can buy a lasting memento.
Items up for sale include the logo badge, lifeboats and davits, original panelling, wooden decking, handrails, portholes, windows and many more.
She was based on a design originating in 1936 when two steamers, Fenella and Tynwald, were built at Barrow for the service. Both were lost during the Second World War. Post-war replacements and updating of the fleet began with King Orry in April 1946, Mona’s Queen in June, Tynwald in 1947, Snaefell in 1948, Mona’s Isle in 1951 and Manxman in May 1955.
All the subsequent ships designed for the Steam Packet were car ferries.
Enquiries to buy mementos can be made by email to email@example.com or by calling 0191 5640404 and speaking to Julie Robson.