A MUCH-LOVED historic vessel is due to be scrapped next week after falling victim to a bitter feud between National Museums Liverpool (NML) and its members.
The preserved coastal cargo ship, Wincham, was moved from the Albert Dock a few weeks ago and is now on a slipway at a ship repair yard in Bromborough, where she will be broken up after being sold to a scrap dealer for around ?5,000.
This is despite extensive restoration work being carried out following a ?47,500 Lottery grant in 2001.
The Wincham has already been stripped of movable fittings and is now only a bare hulk.
The decision to scrap her was condemned by conservationists as ?an unbelievable state of affairs?.
The estuarial coaster was owned by the Wincham Preservation Society, which was affiliated to and received most of its funding from the Friends of National Museums Liverpool.
But, when the 1,700-strong Friends group was disbanded in January, after relations between it and NML director Dr David Fleming broke down, the preservation society also lost its main source of income.
The society sold the Wincham for scrap after an annual survey found she would need ?40,000 spent on her for essential repairs and maintenance, and to meet the cost of dry-docking facilities.
Discussions between the group and NML about converting the ship?s large hold into an educational ?floating classroom? came to nothing.
A spokeswoman for the Friends said the ship?s fate showed that the consequences of the fall-out between the group and NML?s management were much bigger than originally thought. continues