Enjoy a unique steamship experience along the Weaver Navigation
- Credit: Archant
Ambitious maritime volunteer led project needs your support
The Daniel Adamson is a 1903 Steamship with a crew of over 75 dedicated volunteers who are from areas all over Cheshire and Merseyside. The hardworking team of volunteers keep 'The Danny', as she is affectionately known, maintained and operational for passengers to enjoy the picturesque cruises along The Weaver Navigation giving unique views of the stunning waterway.
The Danny was heroically saved from being scrapped more than 15 years ago by maverick volunteers who then gathered more power, more volunteers and the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund who recognising her historic status (No 15 on the National Historic Fleet) awarded the project £3.8 Million to be fully restored at Cammell Lairds in 2015.
Since then the Danny has had a new lease of life, undertaking a variety of cruises, but the most successful and popular of these have been on The Weaver Navigation, cruising from Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge to the magnificent Anderton Boat Lift.
Operating and preserving this remarkable survivor from the steam age is no mean feat, with operating costs such as coal, dry docking, maintenance, licences, insurance, advertising and training means every year the Society face a huge task to raise the £250k to continue their much loved project, you can help to keep the Danny operational for years to come by supporting her and booking a cruise in 2020.
Some volunteers, with an average age over 60, give up to 30 hours a week on The Danny and turn up come rain or shine, determined to keep her in steam and cruising, but obviously that amount of time commitment is not possible for everyone, and our team of volunteers give as much of their time as works for them. During the summer months The Danny will be crewed every day by the team in their roles of Skippers, Deckhands, Engineers, Trimmers, Firemen, Stewards and Galley crew. During the recent floods the volunteers have been manning a 24hour watch on their beloved Danny.
Behind the scenes a Fundraising Team work tirelessly, visiting societies such as Probus, WI, U3A and Historical Societies to give their highly praised Talks on the Danny's history and restoration to raise awareness and, importantly, donations for the project. Happily, many groups then come and enjoy a cruise on The Danny or hire her for private celebrations whilst she is moored at Sutton Weaver, but there will always be a need to continually seek out supporters, volunteers, passengers, visitors and donations to keep their project alive for future generations.
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The volunteers also give back to the Cheshire communities and schools. They offer workshops and cruises for local primary schools and placement opportunities for young engineers from Riverside College.
The team will be celebrating local heritage at a showcase event for local history groups as well as working with Cheshire Autism Practical Support (CHAPS), offering structured activities for families of children with autism in school holidays. Also working with Canal and River Trust to offer wellbeing and music events for all ages, and with scout, guide, cadet and youth groups to introduce more young people to the Danny's story.
The Danny is always looking for more volunteers to join her, with or without relevant skills as there is a role for everyone and training is given to all new recruits. We even manage a couple of social events each year, so it's not all work!
Chairman, Keith Levin, who is himself a volunteer after a career as a solicitor, said: "The Danny is a social project with high aspirations. It does much more than offer a service to the public, it provides a community for the people involved which gives people confidence, friendship and is important to the people who choose to volunteer.
" Cheshire is lucky to have such a unique project (voted Attraction of the Year in 2019 by Frodsham) which offers a hobby for many people who may have found it difficult to find something so enriching after their careers have finished, or for people who are younger and want to learn new skills, the project offers a lot for many people."
Throughout 2020 the Danny will also be open for visitors whilst she is moored at Sutton Weaver, Acton Bridge or Anderton Boat Lift, where in return for a small donation the volunteer crew will happily give you guided tours, sharing their passion in their telling of her history and restoration.
The 2020 timetable for cruises along The Weaver Navigation - May to October - is now published with cruises starting from just £22 per person. Bookings and further information can be found online at www.thedanny.co.uk. In addition to the hugely popular Gin Cruises, 2020 will include for the first time a selection of evening Vodka & Rum cruises - perfect as celebration events for friends and families. Groups can also reserve places by filling in a booking form and paying a deposit, for more information on booking a group or hiring the Danny for your special event please email firstname.lastname@example.org