Daniel Adamson: the old steamship that cost only 1 pound returns to its original splendour

A captain from Liverpool won the Merchant Navy Medal for having restored an old steamship he got for only 1 pound

17 September 2022 | by Redazione

Captain Dan Cross worked for nearly 12 years to restore a truly singular steamship. Although this old English boat was in very bad shape, the captain, originally from Liverpool, decided to take care of it and restored it from top to bottom. After all, buying it and saving it from being destroyed cost only 1 pound.

After having pulled together a team of over 100 volunteers, including some young sailor apprentices, captain Dan Cross was able to bring the Daniel Adamson back to its original splendour. Its renovation was based on its previous look, in full Art Deco style.

As recognition for this incredible initiative, Dan was awarded the Merchant Navy Medal. This medal is awarded to those who have given significant contributions and shown exceptional devotion to the maritime industry.


The Daniel Adamson has a rich and colourful history. Its story starts at the beginning of the 1900s, in 1903 to be exact. In that year the boat, under the name of Ralph Brocklebank, lifted anchor for the first time along the Manchester Ship Canal. At that time, steam transport was common in the maritime industry, especially in England. The Ralph Brockleback was used for towing barges full of merchandise from Cheshire to the big port in Liverpool.

In its travels, the Ralph Brocklebank had the honour of transporting important people who needed to reach the city of Liverpool. It is said that the boat transported the King of Egypt and Prince George of Denmark. During the first world war, it was also used by the Royal Navy as a patrol vessel along the Mersey River and the coast.

After the war, traffic in the canals reduced. In 1936 the “Ralph Brocklebank” underwent a complete refit and its name was changed to the founding father of the canal, Daniel Adamson. After over 80 years of sailing, the boat, also known as The Danny, spent a long time in a museum. In 2004, only a few days before it was scheduled to be demolished, captain Dan Cross accepted the challenge to bring The Danny back. In May 2016 the steamship went back into service like 100 years ago, travelling along northwest England, offering its passengers an unforgettable experience.


Photo source: The Danny



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