Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

The Mersey's famous Royal Iris seen decaying on the Thames

The MV Royal Iris sits in a dilapidated state whilst moored on the south side of the River Thames near to the Thames Barrier. Credit: Press Association.

Once an impressive Mersey ferry, the Royal Iris has hosted the Queen and Sir Paul McCartney but now it stands decaying on the River Thames.

New images show the dramatic decline of the once-famous vessel, which was a prominent feature on the River Mersey for more than 40 years.

The ferry, which carried the Queen and Prince Philip on Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee in 1977, was decommissioned in the early 1990s because of rising repair costs.

The MV Royal Iris sits in a dilapidated state whilst moored on the south side of the River Thames near to the Thames Barrier. Credit: Press Association.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the twin screw ferry was then taken to Cardiff but no offers were made to modernise her so she was taken to Woolwich, south London in 2002, where she stands deteriorating today.

The images reveal the extent of the rust on the exterior and show the dirt and grime which have taken over the once up-market interior of the boat which ex-Beatle Paul McCartney travelled on in 1979.

A spokesman from Merseytravel, the original owners of the Royal Iris, said: "Merseytravel is not in a position to consider bringing this former vessel back to Liverpool.

"Like all public sector bodies our resources are becoming ever more squeezed and a project of this nature would be difficult to justify.

"Not only would it would require significant investment to return it to Liverpool, but there would be additional costs to both locate and maintain her."

The Liverpool-based public transport body added that if a commercial organisation was prepared to fund a renovation of the ferry, "it would be nice to see."

The Queen and Prince Philip aboard the Royal Iris on the Mersey in 1977. Credit: Press Association.