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LAST - Manned Lightship - Liverpool
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 53° 24.210 W 002° 59.526
30U E 500525 N 5917158
Quick Description: Former Mersey Bar Lightship PLANET and Channel Light Vessel 23
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/6/2008 1:07:25 PM
Waymark Code: WM53T2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 7

Long Description:
Anchored at Canning Dock berth.
LIVERPOOL’S maritime community was celebrating last night after news broke that the historic former Mersey Bar lightship Planet has been saved for the city.

Rumours were rife that Planet, arguably Liverpool’s most famous ship afloat, would be sold abroad after Albert Dock managers rejected giving it a permanent berth.

This anxiety provoked a huge public outcry and a vigorous campaign to ensure that the vessel, which became a key part of the Mersey seascape in 1960, would remain in the city.

Planet’s owner Gary McClarnan has sold Planet to two Liverpool businessmen, Alan Roberts and Tom Surtees, who want to keep the ship in her present Canning Dock berth.

Manchester-based music manager McClarnan received “around the asking price” of £139,000. He bought the lightship for £100,000 and spent a further £100,000 on her partial restoration.

However, a move from Birkenhead into Liverpool, in September, 2006, agreed by British Waterways, caused a lengthy row with Albert Dock Company and its public space managers Gower Street Estates.

Planet was mothballed in a high-profile berth alongside The Strand and, to many Liverpudlians’ despair, sported a “For Sale” sign during the Tall Ships’ Races event.

Yet it was this sign that alerted the new owners while visiting the Tall Ships. They decided to bid for Planet, described by former QE2 Captain Robin Woodall, of Hoylake, as the “lantern on Liverpool’s front door”.

Gary McClarnan says: “I’ve been receiving inquiries every other day over the last month from prospective buyers.

“But Alan and Tom are really enthusiastic and want to work with all the people I was involved with to find a viable use for Planet in Canning Dock.

“I’ve lost a little money and turned down more competitive offers from Kent and abroad, but I preferred this option as Alan and Tom are so keen.

“They’ve got the money and felt like the right people. They hope to open a cafe onboard and let groups like St Paul’s Trust use her as a city base.”

The new owners also asked McClarnan, a consultant at Liverpool’s FACT arts centre, to work as an advisor with them.

Pamela Brown, ex-president of the Mersey Lightvessel Preservation Society, which campaigned to save Planet, says: “I’m absolutely thrilled Planet will stay in Liverpool in spite of all the appalling difficulties that Gary McClarnan suffered trying to preserve her here.”

Type of documentation of superlative status: LAST MANNED LIGHTSHIP

Location of coordinates: ALBERT DOCKS LIVERPOOL

Web Site: [Web Link]

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