SHIPS OF THE MERSEY is the latest title from the Wirral based photographer and author Ian Collard. Some early publicity covers released and featured on the Amazon web site (right) show the book carrying the title "Mersey Shipping" therefore some may think this is a reissue of one of Ian's early works.
This is not so - it is a completely new publication and as with Ian's other shipping books comprises a cornucopia of photographs and publicity material extracts.
One can marvel at the many passenger sailing opportunities once available from the Mersey on scheduled, cruise ship and freighter sailings and what appears to be their apparently low cost when compared to today's earnings.
Author: Ian Collard
Published by: Amberley Books, Cirencester Road, Chalford, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 8PE
An 18 day cruise on the ARANDORA STAR in 1938 had a starting price of just 32 guineas ( £33.60). An amount which is around the price of a foot passenger day trip on the Liverpool to Douglas route today! However, in reality fares in 1938 were probably only affordable by a lucky few rather than the masses who take cruise vacations today.
The book is broken down into three sections The Liners (pp 9 - 64); Cargo Vessels (pp 65 - 106) and Mersey Ferries, Coastal Vessels, Tugs and Dredgers (pp107 - 160) with many interesting photographs including a number of aerial views of the dock system. The photographs span the period between the late 19th Century and min 1980s; the majority are accompanied by detailed and informative captions on each ship.
Of particular note something which caught my attention is an excellent, and probably the best photograph of the few I have ever seen, of the former Wallasey Ferry ROYAL DAFFODIL II following conversion to ro-pax configuration during her post Mersey Ferries career in Greece.