Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company

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Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company
Industry Excursion & ship charter operator
Founded 1890
Headquarters Liverpool
Products Liverpool-Holyhead-Llandudno-Menai Straits-Whitehaven-Bangor-Ramsey-Dun Laoghaire-Fleetwood

The Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company (LNWSSC) is a pleasure cruise company, based in Liverpool.[1] The company currently operate three vessels, all of which are from a core heritage fleet, offering a unique heritage experience.

Foundation[edit]

In 1890, the Glasgow-based Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company had formed the New North Wales Steamship Company (NNWSS).[1] The pleasure cruiser market was quickly changing, and bigger boats meant cheaper prices, and hence higher profits. The NNWSS operated its first season with the new Fairfield-built St Tudno, far bigger than any rival vessel on that run.[1][2]

Resultantly, in 1891 the NNWSS took over the rival Liverpool, Llandudno and Welsh Coast Steam Boat Company (LL&WC) to form the LNWSC. The original St Tudno was sold to Germany, but along with the older and smaller LL&WC steamers was replaced by the brand new St Tudno, which became the first ship to run under LNWSSC colours.[1][2]

The flag of the LNWSSC is a white swallowtail, bearing a blue cross throughout, with three gold-coloured ostrich feathers in the form of the Fleur-de-Lys in the centre.[3]

In 1899, the company took over the smaller Snowdon Passenger Steamboat Company (SPSC), which had started in 1892.[1]

Operations[edit]

The company's main route's as described in their name: Liverpool, Holyhead, Llandudno, the Menai Straits piers and Bangor.[1][2][4] The companies largest ship operates this route.[1][2] They also operate services north to Fleetwood, Whitehaven, west to Ramsey on the Isle of Man, and around the Isle of Anglesey.[1] The company are currently in talks to include a seasonal service to Dun Laoghaire in the Republic of Ireland.

Fleet[edit]

The fleet was supplied direct from the Govan yards of Fairfield,[5] where vessels had either been freshly built or heavily refurbished, and where winter maintenance was also undertaken.[1]

The paddle steamer St Elvies was introduced in 1896, mainly deployed on excursions on the Isle of Man route. After the purchase of the SPSC in 1899, she was joined by their paddle steamer Snowdon. In the 1904 season, the expensive La Marguerite was transferred from the Thames Estuary services, operating from Liverpool on the main route until the end of the 1925 season.[1][2]

After this point, steam turbine vessels began to be deployed. The first steam turbine vessel to be built for the LNWSC was 1914s St Seiriol, but she was lost during World War I, when all commercial services had been suspended. Hence the St Tudno in 1925 became the first turbine vessel, with a second similar but smaller version also called St Seiriol joining in 1931. In the mid-1930s the small diesel-powered St Silio joined the fleet, renamed St Trillo after World War II, again when commercial services were suspended.[1][2]

The current vessels operated by the company is the TSMV Endeavour, a 1958 former Baltic Sea cruise ferry which is currently undergoing refurbishment in Liverpool. Two smaller craft are also operated, named MV Morse & MV Lewis. The vessels carry the new livery of the LNWSSC and are due to enter service in 2019. Unlike the name suggests, the current vessels now run on Diesel & Biofuels.

Cessation 1962 - 2016[edit]

Along with other pleasure steamer companies, the LNWSC suffered from the excursion market’s decline starting in the 1950s, due to competition from the motor bus and later the motor car.[1][2]

The company went into voluntary liquidation at the end of the 1962 season. The receiver immediately sold the St Seiriol for scrap in November 1962, followed by St Tudno in April 1963.[1][2] The St Trillo was sold to rival P and A Campbell, who continued to run excursions from Llandudno until the 1970s.[1][2]

Rebirth - October 2016[edit]

Following the reincorporation of the Liverpool & North Wales Steam Ship Company Ltd in October 2016, The company aims to reintroduce the former pleasure steamer market to the public, while also offering their vessels for functions & charter services. With their fleet of heritage vessels, the company aims to recreate travel in the 1950s to the 1980s and offer a range of excursions and scheduled services around the Irish Sea & River Mersey.

The company has the former Habicht II cruise ferry of 1958 as its flagship, on a 99-year bare boat charter agreement with the vessels owners, and are refurbishing the vessel for its new role with a dedicated group of volunteers and crew.

Fleet Details[edit]

Name Builder GWT Built Entered Service Disposed Notes
Paris 1875 1890 1892 Originally NNWSS
Bonnie Princess 1882 1882 1895
St Tudno Fairfield 1,146 long tons (1,164 t) 1889 1890 1921 Sold to Ballin company in Hamburg, Germany. Renamed PS Cobra, served with Hapag
St Tudno Fairfield 1891 1891 1912
PS St Elvies 1896 1931
PS Snowdon 1892 1899 1931
La Marguerite Fairfield 1,554 long tons (1,579 t) 1894 1904 1925 Moved from English Channel service
St Elian Barclay Curle 203 long tons (206 t) 1872 1907 1915
St Trillo Barclay Curle 1909 1921
St Seiriol 1,586 long tons (1,611 t) 1909 1914 1915 Never joined the fleet, sunk during World War I
St Tudno 2,500 long tons (2,500 t) 1909 1925 1963
St Seiriol 2,500 long tons (2,500 t) 1925 1931 1963
TSMV Endeavour 1935 1935 1963 Later renamed St Trillo, sold to rival P and A Campbell
TSMV Endeavour Schlichting & Co. Travemünde 1160 GRT 1958 2016 In Service

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • John Shepherd (2006). The Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company. Ships in Focus Publications. ISBN 1-901703-68-1. 
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n John Shepherd (2006). The Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company. Ships in Focus Publications. ISBN 1-901703-68-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". simplonpc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Flag of the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". crwflags.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  4. ^ "Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". Anglesey Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company". paddlesteamers.info. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 

External links[edit]