Former British Rail ferry, Llannerch-y-Môr
This ship was beached near Mostyn in 1979 by entrepreneurs who opened a shopping and leisure complex inside the vessel the following year. The venture was dogged by disputes over planning rules. The Funship, as it became known, closed in 1986 because the only road access, under the nearby railway bridge, was too low for emergency vehicles to reach the ship if required.
The ship was built as a steam-turbine passenger ferry for British Railways in 1956 by Harland & Wolff of Belfast, the makers of RMS Titanic. The ferry was named Duke of Lancaster and fitted out internally to a higher specification than normal for ferries. This enabled the ship to provide cruises around Scotland and as far afield as Norway. It was normally deployed on the ferry route between Belfast and Heysham. It could carry c.1,800 passengers on each sailing.
In 1970 British Rail (as the nationalised railway and ferry undertaking was known by then) converted Duke of Lancaster to enable it to carry road vehicles as well as foot passengers. From the mid-1970s the ferry operated as a relief vessel between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire until its withdrawal in 1978.
Postcode: CH8 9DX