The last sailing cargo ship to use the port of Liverpool for trading is set to be dismantled. The De Wadden, a three-masted auxiliary schooner built in 1917, has been dry docked in the city since 1987.
Restoring Attempt Failed
An attempt to rehome the vessel was unsuccessful. Director of National Museums Liverpool, Laura Pye, said decisions like this could not be “taken quickly” and it had been important to have a “particularly rigorous period of consultation, evaluation and self-checking”. “We are immensely proud to share Liverpool’s maritime stories. It is a rich and multi-layered history. De Wadden will continue to have a role within this, whether that’s through digital 3D imagery, the elements of the ship we keep or any personal memories we might collect,” she added.
It has been part of the NML collection since 1984 and is currently dry docked in Canning Graving Docks. The museum will now consider how the vessel can be recorded, looking at what can be kept as part of the Maritime Museum’s collections as well as the option to recycle the ship’s materials. Hannah Cunliffe of National Historic Ships UK said it was “very disappointing that no alternative solution” had been found and the De Wadden “will now sadly be lost from the Liverpool waterfront”.
However, she added she was “pleased that National Museums Liverpool will be working to our guidelines to ensure she is fully recorded and deconstructed in such a way that significant parts can be kept or rehomed, and her story continue being told”.
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