SHE brought joy to millions. Now campaigners battling to save one of our best-loved ships are urging those people to buy a stake in wonderful memories of yesteryear.
The idea is for everyone to adopt a £1 rivet in the steamer Manxman to raise £100,000 and help return her to the Mersey, in a scheme backed by the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.
The Earl and Countess of Derby have already bulk-ordered 1,000 rivets at £1 each to launch the campaign in style, as the Derbys were formerly Lords of Mann.
The money from the £1-a-rivet campaign is desperately needed to match-fund the offer of a £100,000 donation from Liverpool City Council by Cllr Mike Storey, executive member for special initiatives for 2008.
Manxman is the last traditional steam-turbine powered, passenger-only, cross-channel ferry in Europe, and was the last classic steamer operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet.
Two million passengers sailed on Manxman between Liverpool and Douglas, plus cruises to Llandudno, from her completion by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, in 1955, until withdrawal in 1982.
Presently, Manxman is derelict in Pallion Shipyard’s dry dock, Sunderland, under threat of being scrapped by her Greek owners.
Manxman Steamship Co charitable trust propose to tow Manxman from the River Wear to the Mersey either as a hulk or aboard a pontoon barge.
The plan is to restore Manxman as a floating static conference centre and Merseyside merchant navy museum. Ken Dodd has been also invited to put his comedy museum archive on board.
A public meeting in Liverpool last month was attended by more than 100 people, keen to see Manxman saved.
TO MAKE a donation, please make cheques payable to Manxman Steamship Co, and send to Bill Ogle, Chairman, Manxman Steamship Co, c/o 153 Mather Avenue, Liverpool. If you are a taxpayer, please complete a gift aid form as this will increase your donation by 28%. See website www.ssmanxman.co.uk (in Friends of Manxman section ).
Should this bid to save Manxman be unsuccessful, residual monies will be paid to other appropriate maritime charities.