Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibility

The Duke of Lancaster is a railway steamer passenger ship that operated in Europe from 1956 to 1979, and is currently beached near Mostyn Docks, on the River Deenorth-east Wales.

The Lancaster was sold to Liverpool based company Empirewise Ltd, who intended her to be used as a static leisure centre and market. She arrived at her new home at Llanerch-y-Mor, near Mostyn, on 10 August 1979. The ship was beached and the hull was sealed — not in concrete, as is commonly thought, but surrounded by a large tonnage of sand pulled out of the Dee estuary. Known as “The Fun Ship”, it was also possible to visit her bridge and engine room. Conversion for use as a 300-room hotel did not appear to go beyond the preliminary planning stage. Its use as “The Fun Ship” was relatively short-lived and it was subsequently closed to the public because access to the ship is via a bridge under the North Wales railway line, which is too low for emergency vehicles. Over time, the vessel has become increasingly derelict.

The ship was later used as a warehouse by its owners Solitaire Liverpool Ltd, a clothing company registered to the same address as Empirewise Ltd. Despite rumours that the ship would be scrapped, the company stated that they have no plans either to sell it or to restore it and its current use is uncertain.

Despite having large amounts of its exterior paint work covered in red-leading, the interior of the ship is supposedly in very good condition.

So with the interior still intact and the ship only encased in sand rather than concrete, what do you think is the possibility that this ship will ever sail again?

Should you wish to visit the Duke of Lancaster to photograph it there are two paths either side of the river. Take the right-hand side path as you face the ship. The left-hand path leads down to high gates and lots of razor wire.


32 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibility

  1. Mike Hardisty October 14, 2011 / 19:39

    I’ve just noticed, somewhere between me saving this image and uploading it to WordPress the focus has gone very soft…..


  2. nuvofelt October 14, 2011 / 20:15

    I know this ship well, but have never seen it from this side. Thanks for the hint about the path, next time we are nearby I will definitely visit.

    It is such a shock to see it for the first time, as it seems to be miles inland. It’s a lovely photograph, and ideal for this challenge.

    All my pics this time are from Wales – but a little further south around Barmouth.


  3. jakesprinter October 14, 2011 / 21:28

    Great architecture of photo nice post 🙂


  4. Robin October 14, 2011 / 22:32

    Again a wonderful story to go with the photo. You keep broadening my horizons!


  5. stephenransome October 14, 2011 / 23:12

    Hiyah Mike

    The upload might have softened the shot, I think it still looks good though. I think it may have done you a favour….I think it looks really good. See ya Sunday



  6. Cheryl October 14, 2011 / 23:45

    Stunning image. Thanks for the ‘nod’ Mike.


  7. joybound October 15, 2011 / 00:50

    Love the colors on this one 🙂


  8. Vic October 15, 2011 / 04:34

    There are so many things I like about this photo: the angle, which gives the ship that “larger than life” feel to it; the various textures of the rocks, the clouds, the rust on the boat; the hues in the skies & the bits of waters you can see – just a truly great photo and to know the history behind it enriches it even moreso. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Zoya October 15, 2011 / 04:34

    An interesting take on a ship that appears abandoned. But maybe not?!


  10. Jo Bryant October 15, 2011 / 04:46

    great photo and love the post


  11. frizztext October 15, 2011 / 09:36

    don’t sail again – but install a café or a music pub, dance floor – maritime library …


  12. rutheh October 15, 2011 / 10:24

    Cool shot and an interesting interpretation of the WPC.


  13. yi-ching lin October 15, 2011 / 13:38

    amazing photo. so beautiful and full of possibilities, anchored.


  14. dorisrudddesigns October 15, 2011 / 18:16

    Love the point of view and the angle shot. Very cool ship. Wish it were in my area. I’d love to take one of the paths you suggested and shoot it myself. I’d vote the possibility of the ship sailing is – not likely. I hope I’m wrong.


  15. mellifluousmurmurs October 15, 2011 / 20:54

    Great interpretation of the challenge. Grand picture and curious ending!


  16. Mizz October 16, 2011 / 05:59



  17. Patti Kuche October 17, 2011 / 16:02

    This is fascinating but I should find it so difficult being on the outside knowing that the interior is till in good nick – I would have to find a way in! Is this possible? The angle, the colours and texture in this shot are so beautiful!


  18. Just Ramblin' Pier October 18, 2011 / 03:05

    Stunning photo. Great interpretation of the challenge. : )


  19. spidersworkshop October 18, 2011 / 18:03

    With the dark, looming sky, it reminds me of a ghost ship that will continue it’s journey when no one is looking.


  20. nantuckettiechic October 19, 2011 / 13:29

    Your perspective gives a sleepy feel to all that mass. Would love to see the inside. Derelict ship. Hmmm. There’s a Nantucket lightship which visits here in the summer and is rented out for parties and overnights. Seems odd but at least it’s still floating.


  21. nelson RN October 20, 2011 / 08:01

    Wow! very impressive photograph!


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