Welcome to The Liverpool Beat website, chronicling the history of UK Rock music from the golden era of Merseyside music of the 50s and 60s to the present day. Some say the roots of Rock 'n ' Roll lie purely in the deep south of the USA. That maybe true, but Liverpool in the 50s/60s was the centre of the new wave of music which formed the basis of "garage" and even heavy metal. Liverpool Beat takes you on a journey from those heady days of The Beatles into the 21st century with news, reviews and exclusive articles from the real world of rock music.
The Boat unfortunately is now rotting away in a dock in London. Dave Wood of Liverpool Pictorial set up a petition page in 2010, in order to try and convince the current owner to bring it back to Liverpool. To date (16th July 2012) there are 2848 signatures. In attempt to drum up support for this worthy cause, we'd like to hear your stories about The Royal Iris' link to Merseybeat, in researching this article, I couldn't find much about what went on! Please contact us if you have something to relate that might be of interest, maybe it'd help to show the importance of preserving this lady for generations to come.
About the Royal Iris
The MV Royal Iris was built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton and launched in 1950, it cost £256,000. She arrived on the River Mersey on 28th April 1951, she was licensed to carry 2,296 people on normal ferry duties and 1,000 for cruising. She was initially operated by the Wallasey Corporation as a "ferry across the Mersey". She boasted onboard facilities such as a dancefloor and stage, buffet and cocktail bar. She boasted a fish and chip saloon, which led to her being monicered "The fish and chip boat". In 1969 she was transferred to the combined fleet of the newly formed "Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive" and after a refit in 1971-72 she was used exclusively as a cruise vessel. The Iris left Liverpool in 1985, on a 1500 mile trip to London that took her via Land's End, up the River Thames and under Tower Bridge to be docked adjacent HMS Belfast. She returned to Liverpool and was in service up to 1991.
She was sold to Hertfordshire based Parkway Leisure and towed to a berth on the River Thames and left the Mersey for the last time on Thursday 12th August, 1993 - after being towed to the Pier Head for a final goodbye. Over the next few years, various funding projects were set up to turn The Iris into a floating night club, a restaurant and a conference centre. But all came to nothing and she is now rotting away in her berth on the River Thames.
If you have any interesting stories about the Royal Iris or information about bands that played on the Royal Iris, please contact us.
- ^ Royal Iris Petition Page http://www.royaliris.co.uk/phpPETITION/index.php
- ^ Picture by permission of Dave Wood, The Liverpool Pictorial
- ^ Liverpool Pictorial http://liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/index.htm
- ^ Wikipedia, extracted 16/07/2012
- ^ Mr Jegede speaks to Radio Merseyside, 9th March 2010