View Full Version : MV Iron Horse

Andy Kelly
6th June 2012, 04:13 PM
Hi guys,

I provide guided tours on the Edmund Gardner Pilot ship based at Canning dock in Liverpool and part of my tour requires me to explain about the only serious incident she had in her service career which was with the MV Iron Horse in 1963. If anybody has any information on the incident or on the Iron Horse herself I would love to hear from you!

Many Thanks

Andy Kelly

Keith at Tregenna
6th June 2012, 04:25 PM
The Edmund Gardner, built in 1953, could accommodate up to 32 pilots and served Mersey shipping for nearly 30 years before being replaced by high-speed launches. She has been a popular attraction at the Historic Quaysides for many years.

In 1963 she had a lucky escape when involved in a collision with the ore carrier Iron Horse. After a steering gear failure in the Mersey the Iron Horse hit the Edmund Gardner on the starboard side, rolling the ship over heavily and damaging the bridge deck and hull plating. Fortunately there were no injuries to the crew and no serious damage below the water line, although the resultant repairs are apparent.

LINK 1: Liverpool museums - The history of the Edmund Gardner (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/collections/edmundgardner/history.aspx)

LINK 2: Liverpool museums - Edmund Gardner, Liverpool pilot cutter number 2, 1953 (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/collections/edmundgardner/)


Andy Kelly
6th June 2012, 04:30 PM
Many Thanks Keith

I have browsed the museum's website and despite what is written apparently it is not known whether a steering gear failure caused the accident. I would very much be interested in anything else to do with the Iron Horse as I've heard she was a rather troubled ore carrier during her service before her scrapping in 1980

Cheers Keith


6th June 2012, 05:04 PM
m.v. IRON HORSE (Official No. 186907) ore carrier completed 9/60 as Yard No.682 at Scotts SB ,Greenock. For Vallum Sg Co,Newcastle-upon-Tyne.(Common Brothers Ship Managers)
Gross Tons 11,128
Deadweight Tons 15,892
Length Overall 518 .0ft.
Beam 69ft.1
Single screw Diesel 12 knots

1970 Sold to Greek Owners.Renamed ASPIDOFOROS
29/11/84 Broken Up at Aliaga,Turkey

CLYDEBUILT SITE (http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=19347)

Keith at Tregenna
6th June 2012, 05:22 PM
Will keep looking but the museum may hold more ?

Log Books - 1953 - 1981
Bridge (Wheelhouse) Records - c1960 - 1980
Bridge (Radio Room) Records - c1960 - 1980
Chief Engineer's Cabin Records - c1950 - 1980
Liverpool Pilotage Authority - c1960 - 1980
Staff Records - c1960 - 1980
Photographs - c1950
Poster - 1963
Navigational Records - 1969 - 1981
Plans - 1949 - 981


LINK: Liverpool museums - Maritime Archives and Library (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/archive/info-sheet.aspx?sheetId=68)

Records of the Edmund Gardner Liverpool pilot boat (number 2)

The Edmund Gardner was one of the last pilot boats to be used by the Liverpool Pilot Service, and was built in 1953 by Philip & Son Ltd, Dartmouth. She operated as Pilot Boat number 2 of a fleet of four pilot vessels introduced into the service between 1937 and 1958. The other three were the Sir Thomas Brocklebank (number 1), the Arnet Robinson (number 3) and the William M Clarke (number 4). Items regarding these vessels are included in this collection, along with records relating to the Puffin and Petrel, two launches introduced into the Pilotage Service in October 1962.


6th June 2012, 05:37 PM
I found the following by Ships Nostalgia member Ted Harrison (Oct.2009)

"I sailed on the Iron Ore (Jan 61 to Dec 61) then the 'Horse' from feb 62 to Dec 63. (Including the deep sea tow, first to Greenock then to Wallsend for repairs, following a collision with the Mersey pilot boat outward bound for Sept Isles then two days later, a broken crankshaft & crankcase fire).

I then did a 6mth spell on the North Devon to China as 3rd Eng in 64 followed by a few months on the coast with Stephenson Clarke. My last ship was the Iron Barque in 1965.
It would be great to hear from anyone who sailed on these ships at the same time as me, particular Billy Newton from Sunderland who was 2/eng on both the Ore and Horse.

6th June 2012, 05:58 PM
With reference to 'Iron Horse' and Ted Harrison,I notice he is also a member on this site(as you have found out).
I see he was last active on site in December 2011,but you can e-mail or Private Message him by clicking on his name HERE. (http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/members/ted-harrison.html) When page opens,scroll down options column on left side)

Andy Kelly
6th June 2012, 09:46 PM
Many thanks for your input guys, it has been really helpful. Rumour has it that the operational logs for the Edmund Gardner around the time of the accident went missing and there are two theories as to the cause: First was that there was a steering gear failure on the Edmund Gardner and she was unable to get out of the way. Secondly was that human error caused the accident but we're unsure of whether the blame lay on the Edmund Gardner or the Iron Horse.

Thankfully all the damage was above the water line and she was barely in dry dock a week before heading back out to the Mersey bar.

Thanks again folks, if there's any information on the Edmund Gardner you would like to know please get in touch

All the best


tim hudson
28th March 2014, 12:02 PM
Iron Horse was a really good and reliable ship, keep in excellent condition and did not have a bad name at all. I served many months aboard her in 1969, my first ship in Common Brothers after leaving Ellerman Lines. Fine ship.