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LAMB BANANA'S 

2007 HUMOUR, RUMOUR & GOSSIP PAGE

Taking a look at the lighter side of Unsubstantiated  Maritime News, Gossip, Humour and Rumour!
EMERAUDE FRANCE DOPPELGANGER IN LAIRDS?

December 05

Regular visitors to the excellent AIS LIVERPOOL web site over the past few days will have noticed that EMERAUDE FRANCE has apparently appeared in Cammell Lairds - along with SEA EXPRESS I! Strange when EMERAUDE FRANCE is back a Tilbury! Probably an AIS unit was borrowed from SEA EXPRESS I and has since been returned to the vessel and switched on!
SUPERSEACAT DAY TRIPS TO LIVERPOOL IN DECEMBER ?

December 01

Despite a recent statement that SUPERSEACAT TWO will not operate again until the spring due to the problems of operating the vessel in the winter weather conditions on the Irish Sea, scuttlebutt from two different sources suggest that she is being made ready for service again and will operate day trips from Douglas to Liverpool on December 08 and 15.

Perhaps it may be wishful thinking on the part of the Manx - but this information appears to be coming from Merseyside - only time will tell!

BEN-MY-CHREE TO BIRKENHEAD

October 05

Rumours are circulating that the BEN-MY-CHREE will operate sailings to Merseyside for an extended period this winter as well as operating on the Heysham route. A freighter being chartered to provide extra freight cover between Heysham and Douglas as and when required. SUPERSEACAT TWO will be available on stand-by should the BEN suffer technical problems.

NORTH CHANNEL PIPE DREAM

August 29
Several years ago there proposals were suggested in the media concerning a Holyhead to Dublin railway tunnel. A proposal for  a slightly more achievable goal has now been suggested - a tunnel running under the North Channel linking the north of Ireland with Scotland.

The following item appeared on the BBC web site last week.  However, with IE & NIR trains running on broad gauge tracks (5ft 3in) and British trains running on standard gauge (4ft 8.5in) tracks the proposal does not suggest how the break of gauge will be dealt with! It is doubtful the shipping companies serving the north channel routes have much to fear from these proposals!

From Twinbrook to the Trevi Fountain

It may appear to be a pipe dream to some, but the prospect of boarding a train in Belfast and waking up in Rome may only be a few years away. A lobby group, the Centre for Cross Border Studies, has held discussions about a plan to build a bridge or tunnel from Northern Ireland to Scotland.

A project costing up to £3.5bn could connect the Antrim coast to Galloway, 21 miles away in south-west Scotland, according to the Irish News newspaper.

It would see trains originating in Dublin travelling through Belfast, across the proposed bridge or tunnel, down through Britain and across the English channel.

Track upgrades would mean trains would be able to reach speeds of almost 200mph.

In a document, the Centre for Cross Border Studies, which has offices in Armagh and Dublin, outlined the pros and cons of the link, which it believes could be in place by 2030.

The major consideration would be the high costs and low density populations in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

A similar size project, at 22.5 miles across, is the road bridge being built between Shanghai and Ningbo in east China.

The bridge, which will have six lanes and allow traffic to travel at 100km/h, will shorten the distance between China's commercial capital, Shanghai, and the major industrial port of Ningbo by 120km.

Officials plan to open the structure next year, once feeder roads and toll booths have been completed.

CRUISE TERMINAL - A TEMPORARY APPEARANCE?

AUGUST 19

On Friday August 17 your web master was at Monk's Ferry in the company of other contributors to the web site observing the departure of the first section of the cruise terminal stage following its recent post completion repairs at Cammell Laird.

An other observer commented that after the September the cruise and naval visits were over the sections of the stage would be returned to dry dock for further work.

At first these comments were thought improbable - however information received on Friday evening may suggest otherwise!

One thing is for certain the design of the new stage does allow for each of the sections to be easily released and floated free from the supporting dolphins unlike the traditional means of anchoring previous landing stages through shore based  booms and chains.

LIVERPOOL CAPITAL OF STUPID IDEAS - DRAIN SALTHOUSE DOCK FOR 2008

JULY 26

Those of us who live in Liverpool are often amazed at some of the scatty ideas that are devised to spoil the waterfront. Strangely shaped museums, an unwanted canal, destruction of a classic art deco garage building.

Below you will find details of latest "idea" for Capital of Culture year as revealed by the Liverpool Echo today. Those who value our waterfront must hope that this totally ludicrous plan ends up where it deserves to be - in the waste paper basket!

A Liverpool dock could be drained to create the city’s biggest concert venue for 2008. The Salthouse Dock would seat 25,000 people, more than twice the capacity of the Liverpool ECHO Arena.

The dock is the open-air venue of choice for the Liverpool Sound concert, one of the major highlights of Capital of Culture year. The scheme involves draining the dock, which is between the Albert Dock and Wapping, and then building a stage and tiers of seating.

Event organisers hope to then refill the basin so the stage appears to be floating on the water. Culture Company chief executive Jason Harborow said: “We want to make this one of the key events of 2008.

“It will be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion celebrating the music of Liverpool in a unique location. ”Negotiations with a host of organisations are still going on to turn the proposals into a reality.

Full details are not likely to be revealed before the announcement of the full 2008 programme this autumn. Capital of Culture officials were also remaining tight-lipped about the concert’s line-up.

They hope the showcase event next May will attract global coverage, and Sir Paul McCartney has been widely touted as the headline act.

But the rumours have so far been denied by a spokesman for the former Beatle.

The music legend was also approached to perform at the Liverpool Number One Project concert in the Liverpool ECHO Arena on January 19, but has not yet confirmed whether he will play at either event.

PRINCES LANDING STAGE CRUISE TERMINAL EXTENSION

July 25

Irish Sea Shipping has been received information from two sources which suggests that the already behind schedule installation of the extension to Prince's Landing Stage has been further delayed.

Apparently one of the sections, now afloat in Canada #3 branch dock,  has required attention due to problems created through the failure of the concrete used in its construction to set properly.

It has been suggested in the media that the revised date for the stage sections to be installed on the river would be during the week beginning July 23. As yet nothing has happened.

It has been originally intended that the stage would be usable on July 29, for the arrival of the Carnival-HAL MASSDAM. However, the original installation date during the last week of June was missed.

CLIPPER GROUP (SEATRUCK) BUY CELTIC LINK DUBLIN ROUTE

July 17

Increasingly strong rumours suggest that Clipper Group - owners of Seatruck Ferries have bought the Dublin to Liverpool service for €6 million from Celtic Link Ferries. Clipper Group have made no secret of their intentions to run a service to the Irish capital, though it is possible that the UK terminal could well be Mostyn rather than Liverpool as berthing trials were carried out at the Welsh port last December.

SEA EXPRESS I TO BE RENAMED SEACAT ISLE OF MAN?

July 16

With the MAIB report into the collision with ALASKA RAINBOW having gone to the consultation stage and likely to be published this autumn; rumours are circulating that should SEA EXPRESS I be repaired and re-enter service with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company she will be renamed SEACAT ISLE OF MAN once again as passengers may associate the old name with the mishap.

Another rumour suggests that the Steam Packet might just buy EMERAUDE FRANCE from her owners Maritime Charter Sales at the end of this season's charter.

QUEEN MARY 2 - MERSEY BOUND IN 2009?

July 11
Irish Sea Shipping has received information that Carnival have been making enquiries about bringing the Queen Mary 2 to Merseyside. Presumably this would not be until at least 2009 or later as next year's sailing details have been posted on the internet.

What is more unusual is that it is suggested that due to the ship's size she would not be berthed at the new cruise terminal extension to Prince's Landing Stage but at the Tranmere Oil Terminal with passengers tendered by Mersey Ferry to Liverpool.

The idea of berthing a passenger ship at an oil terminal does appear improbable especially with worries about security these days!

If anyone has any further information Irish Sea Shipping would be delighted to hear from them.

NEW BF SHIP FOR PLYMOUTH - CORK - ROSCOFF - SANTANDER?

June 17

Rumours are circulating that Brittany Ferries may soon announce a new build replacement for the PONT-AVEN operating services from Plymouth on the Roscoff, Santander and Cork routes.

It is claimed that the new vessel will be of different design to the PONT- AVEN. The rumour suggests that the PONT-AVEN will be moved "up channel".

DO NOT FEED THE PILOTS!

June 11
With the ever increasing range of fences and other security features appearing at ports often makes passengers feel as though they are animals. Obviously this feeling has spread to the Liverpool Pilots!

Some "wit" either in the Liverpool Pilotage Service or with the IoMSPCo has entered into the spirit of the occasion and affixed a "Do Not Feed" sign on the recently relocated Pilots' Cabin Compound.

The cabin has recently been moved to allow for the extension of the stage northwards.

DAWN MERCHANT TO RETURN TO THE UK?

June 02

An unconfirmed rumour is doing the rounds that the fomer DAWN MERCHANT (PAU CASALS) may be chartered to P&O Ferries this autumn following her replacement by the BORJA DOS.

P&O are rumoured to be wanting to use her as a fleet stand-in and may see service at Dover, Hull, Liverpool and Larne to cover refits.

It is also rumoured that NORCAPE will transfer to Larne - Troon in October with EUROPEAN MARINER moving to P&O Marine Services at Tilbury

VIRGIN GROUP TO BUY P&O FERRIES?

March 31

A rumour is doing the rounds that P&O Ferries is to be acquired from Dubai Ports World by the Virgin group. If anyone can confirm or deny this rumour please contact Irish Sea Shipping.

Until further news information is obtained the usual caveats apply. One should remember that some years ago someone spotted Richard Branson at Holyhead and that started a rumour running that his Virgin Group was about to buy Stena Line!

P&O's  EXPRESS - SHORT TERM REPLACEMENT FOR SEA EXPRESS I?

February 10

Gossip on the waterfront suggests that EXPRESS, currently refitting at A&P Falmouth, is rumoured to be the vessel likely to provide some short term cover for the collision damaged SEA EXPRESS I before SUPERSEACAT TWO re-enters service. EXPRESS is not scheduled to commence regular service on her own routes to Troon and Cairnryan until  March 16 - she is scheduled to make rugby special sailings between Larne and Troon on March 09 and 11.
PRINCE'S LANDING STAGE EXTENSION

February 03

Irish Sea Shipping has received information which suggests that the extension to Prince's Landing Stage which is currently under construction in Canada Dock is behind schedule.

It is believed that water entered Canada Dry Dock where the stage is currently under construction during the Christmas period.

DUKE OF LANCASTER

January 27

There is a rumour doing the rounds that a group - "The Friends of the Duke of Lancaster" has been formed to preserve the former British Railways turbine steamer which currently resides on a mud berth at Llanerch-y-Mor.

The group is believed to be supported by Lancaster and Barrow Councils who would look to bring the ship to Barrow for preservation.

Has anyone heard anything?

One must question if the ship may survive extrication having sat on her bottom for so long.

A recent post to the BBC Wales message board concerning the sale of the ship for scrap is a "done job"

 

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