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Wales

TSS Duke Of Lancaster: The Abandoned Fun ship

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TSS Duke of Lancaster (A.K.A Mostyn Funship) is currently docked at Llanerch-y-Mor Dock in Mostyn, North Wales.

Post code: CH8 9DT

The TSS Duke of Lancaster history

The Duke of Lancaster was a former railway steamer passenger ship that operated from 1956 to 1979, before being docked at Llanerch-y-Mor Dock, in August 1979. The plan, once docked, was for the ship to become ‘The Funship’, that did open until 1984. However, due to a legal battle with the council the owners eventually felt they had no choice but to walk away from the ship in 2004, and it has been sat there ever since.

Furthermore, the main issue to ‘Mostyn Fun Ship’ operating was the access to the ship for emergency services. This is because the road leading up to the ship is extremely tight and the other access points have low bridges that unfortunately wouldn’t allow emergency services through.

The former ‘Mostyn Funship’

The Fun Ship used to have bars, arcade rooms, a cinema, restaurants and apparently it even had a zoo! As you can probably imagine, it was one of the most popular attractions in North Wales back in it’s prime. Though, since 2021 there has been talks of restoring the ship, to become open to the public again in some form. In the meantime, you can visit and walk around the nearby area of the ship to see how big it really is!

Where to park to visit TSS The Duke of Lancaster

The post code for the ship (CH8 9DT) will take you on the narrow, gravel road. This leads straight to the ship. Then you will have to walk down a path on one side of the ship, to the main road. Then, back up the other side of the river, to get a good view of the ship. However, there is a car park at Abakhan Stores (CH8 9DX) that brings you out further along the same path. This makes it a shorter walk to the other side of the ship. There are also toilet facilities, a cafe, shops and a play park for children here.

For more things to do in this area visit our 3-day itinerary in Prestatyn blog.


Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed it and found somewhere new to explore! If you have been here, let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you. :)

Lu & Ad x


YOUTUBE


If you enjoyed this blog, head to our Vlog version below to see us finding our way to the Abandoned Ship…

2 Comments

  • Ashley Gardner

    Great video! I’ve been involved with the ship for the past 15 years or so, fighting to get her a future that she so deserves. Basically the ship arrived in August 1979, after discussions with the the local authority for 12 months prior to finally bringing her here. The Council were very much in favour of the venture, however, when she arrived they seemed to change their tune and attacked the venture from then on in. They refused planning permission on the basis that emergency vehicles couldn’t access the ship because of the low height railway bridge. The only access road was by travelling down the Cob Road, to the rear of the ship (which is the road you went down) To get to the Cob Road it meant having to cross the Glan-Y-Don railway bridge, which the Council claimed was too weak to carry fire engines, restricted to 10 tonne. Fire engines weight in excess of 12 tonne. Fortunately they were able to find alternative access further down the Coast Road. It put extra time on the response, but at least the ship could finally open to the public (which it did) That access has now gone.
    Even though the Funship was very popular and becoming the third most popular tourist attraction in North Wales, the Council still attacked the venture, from the refusal of bar licenses to even sabotaging a Government grant for land scaping purposes, serving 13 Enforcement Notices, 11 of which were thrown out, claiming monopoly rights on the Funship market because it was within a six mile radius of the Council’s own market, therefore had to close, serving an interlocutory injunction forcing the ship to close. It was because of these attacks that the owners decided to close the Funship themselves and concentrate on other businesses. They always vowed to return one day in the hope that the animosity may have subsided. They did. but unfortunately it hadn’t.
    When they returned the access that they used bypassing the weak bridge was gone leaving the weak bridge the only option. That’s where I came in. Long and short of it, after numerous discussions with various bodies and taking approximately 3 years, we discovered the bridge is NOT a weak bridge and in fact, can carry in excess of 40 tonne and always has done. (I think you may recall the ’10 tonne’ signs that are still on the bridge today?)
    Two years ago we finally got to open the dock and held a food festival and Christmas market, which were very successful. There has been a tremendous amount of work getting the dock up to scratch and it is now available for events and festivals. Any revenue gained will go into restoring the ship and getting her open to the public once again. She is the last steam turbine passenger ship left in existence, so for that reason, should be saved.

    • Lu and Ad

      Hi Ashley, thank you so much for watching the video, glad you enjoyed it. Also thanks for all the extra information to add for any readers! Very interesting and we are so glad that the ship is being used and getting restored. Thanks again! Lu & Ad x

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