After ferrying countless commuters and tourists across the Mersey Royal Daffodil came out of service in 2013 and was left decaying in Birkenhead docklands. Tony McDonough reports
Mersey Ferry Royal Daffodil that had been left to decay in Birkenhead’s docklands, and was destined for the breaker’s yard, is to be given a new lease of life after being acquired by a leisure operator.
The vessel worked as one of the world-famous Mersey Ferries, taking commuters and tourists on a ‘Ferry Across the Mersey’ for more than half a century until she came out of service in 2013.
Since then she had been moored in Duke Street Docks in Birkenhead. Now Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram says he has struck a deal to sell Royal Daffodil to a local company, Liverpool City Sights.
The company plans to refurbish the vessel move it to Canning Dock next to the Albert Dock where it will be used as a leisure attraction. The deal will save the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority £40,000 a year.
Mr Rotheram said: “I wanted to ensure Royal Daffodil was saved from the breaker’s yard, so I made a final call for expressions of interest from commercial organisations and interested parties in June 2018 and I am very pleased to be able to make this announcement today.
“The Mersey Ferries have a special place in all our hearts and this deal should give Royal Daffodil a new lease of life which I know people will be pleased to hear.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region, added: “It is good news that we have secured new owners for one of our beloved Mersey Ferries in a deal that is hoped will provide a sustainable future for her right here in the city region.”
A procurement process for a new Mersey Ferry is currently underway with announcements expected in the coming months, as part of a 20 year strategy to secure their future for generations to come.