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Report - MV Royal Iris - London - August 2014


28DL Regular User
Regular User
The MV Royal Iris is a twin screw, diesel-electric, former Mersey Ferry. The vessel was built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton (Yard No. 1448) and launched in December 1950, costing £256,000.

Her engines were produced by Ruston & Hornsby Metropolitan-Vickers. Propulsion: 4 oil 4SA, each six cylinders driving four generators, each 300 kW/300v DC-connected to two electric motors, each 730shp and 2 shafts. Her maximum speed is 12 knots. Her weight is 1,234 gross tonnes. She is 159 feet long and 48 feet wide, with a draught of 9 feet. At least during the first decade of her life, the ship's diesel-electric propulsion made her more economical to run than the other vessels in the fleet.


The Royal Iris ran her trials on the Skelmorlie Mile on the River Clyde on 24 April 1951. Arriving in the River Mersey on 28 April 1951, she was initially owned and operated by Wallasey Corporation and carried the Borough coat of arms on the front of her superstructure. Upon entering service on 5 May 1951, she was licensed to carry 2,296 passengers on normal ferry duties, or 1,000 for cruising. Originally painted in a green and cream livery, the ship was distinctive in having a forward dummy funnel near her bridge and two exhaust stacks amidships, on both sides. Onboard amenities included a dancefloor and stage, tea room, buffet, cocktail bar, even a fish and chip saloon. The latter likely affording the Royal Iris the nickname "the fish and chip boat".

On Friday 7 September 1951 the battleship HMS Duke of York was under tow on her way to being broken up at Gareloch when she collided with the Royal Iris off Gladstone Dock. The Royal Iris was temporarily out of control and the floodtide carried her against the warship. The ferry was approaching the end of a cruise organised by the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Some people were hospitalised as a result of the accident.

During the 1960s numerous acts associated with the Merseybeat scene performed on the ferry, such as The Beatles and Gerry & The Pacemakers.


Here are the Beatles performing 'love me do' aboard the royal iris.

I rarely post reports these days as I'm just too lazy, even less of shitty derps but i thought this was a little different to the usual so hell, why not? I was actually checking something else in the area and found this by mistake, and wanted to play on something more than the slide at the Thames Barrier Park. Visited with a non member. Enjoy.













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Armchair warrior
28DL Full Member
Thanks Gabe that's cracking. Fond memories of the Iris. I had no idea she was in London. Full story on wikiP here. Cheers

professor frink

Reppin Bumbaclaat
28DL Full Member
Nice one, like OliverT I saw this,put it on my list and forgot about it!

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