Whenever Blackburn people reminisce about our old Victorian railway station, they very often talk about the old 'ship in a glass case'' which used to sit on Platform 2, just by the ramp that took you down to the entrance hall / booking office.
The ship was actually the S. S. Viking and was one of the passenger ships operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Ltd.
From what I can gather (off the internet), she was built in 1905, was then sold to the Admiralty in 1915 and converted into a seaplane carrier, then bought back by the IofMSPCo in 1919, used during the years of the Second World War as a troop ship and then scrapped in 1954.
I can't remember when the model in the glass case was removed from the railway station, but I'm pretty sure it disappeared long before the station was modernised a few years ago. I can remember seeing a similar ship in a case at Lancaster railway station, during my busking days (so kind of 1987 - 1989 ish). Whether it was the Viking or another ship, I wouldn't like to say. Maybe someone out there could confirm?.
Top photograph courtesy of Blackburn Library Services - Reference Dept.
Postcard courtesy of the CP collection.
Bottom image courtesy of artist John L Chapman
Interesting, I know someone who is a a keen Isle of Man sailor and might have the answer to your question. I'll send him the link.ReplyDelete
It was there on Tuesday 5th July 1983: I took a couple of photographs of it.ReplyDelete
A similar ship is on display here:ReplyDelete
Would like to know where the Victorian platform clocks are now. Read they were moved to Manchester Piccadilly but I can't see them there.
I just had a look at the ship in your link. I thought it was the one from our station, but it's not.
One of station clocks ended up on Manchester Piccadilly. A guy on the Blackburn Past Facebook group uploaded a photo of it about 2 years ago. I don't know where the others went to (I think there were 3 in total).
There were four of these cantilever clocks, two on each side of the buildings on the up and down platforms. The 2 clocks on the Preston platform were smashed up when the platforms were shortened around 1974. I personally supervised the careful removal of the remaining clocks from the main island platform during the demolition of 1999. It was hoped to re-fit the clocks on the new station buildings, but the wall thicknesses wold not have supported the weight. Besides, they would have been easy targets for products of the new world order, who damned near wrecked the model of the SS Viking. One of the clocks, as stated correctly above, was sent to Manchester Picalilly, and the other was sold to a private collector for around £3,000. I have no idea where this clock is. For three years, both clocks lay on the floor of the old lurrry shed, which opens out onto the boulevard, or what was the boulevard before the bomb was dropped. Scaffolding and other builder's items were stacked on top of the clocks, and I brought this sorry state of affairs to the attention of Railtrack at Manchester. SS Viking was removed from the station at my request as she was vulnerable to attack from the above -mentioned junkies, winos and future M.P.'s. This handywork was bound to occur when the station was without staff from midnight to 06.00 a.m. She was transported, complete with case, to the basement of Blackburn museum, around 1994/95 (around the time of privatisation). About 12 months later, a van came over from the IOM and took her away, along with the model at Lancaster and one other, back to the Steam Packet museum in Douglas. I have made enquiries about the exact location of her whereabouts without much success.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the info on the sad fate of these Blackburn icons. Have you seen the clock at Manchester Piccadilly? The one above the 2nd floor shops looks too modern.Delete
Thanks for taking the time to type all that Bob, I appreciate it, as I'm sure others will.ReplyDelete
Well at least we now know the fate of the clocks (and the SS Viking).
I'd just like to add my appreciation for this information along with Colin's. I've got fond memories of the SS Viking on the platform from my younger days as a train spotter.........Colin don't you dare say ow't about my confession to being a 10 year old anorak.ReplyDelete
In that I mean that I was 10 year old NOT the anorak ;-)
The clock that was sold was shipped to America along with the cast iron railings around the ramps courtesy of an antique dealer in Accrington near the Abbey pub.ReplyDelete
For reference, I had this reply from Steam Packet in 2011.ReplyDelete
"Whilst I do not know the full history of the model can confirm that there is a large model of the Viking in a glass case which is on display in the board room of our Imperial Buildings office here in Douglas. I feel sure that it is the same one as you describe in your e mail."
Thanks Richard. It probably is the same one. I can't see there being two and if you read the long comment above from Bob, that is its last known location.ReplyDelete