Friday, 27 April 2012
46: The Ellan Vannin Tragedy
A song written in 1961 by Hughie Jones of Liverpool folk group The Spinners. (Hughie Jones is, of course, still an active part of the Liverpool folk scene; he runs the Everyman Folk Club, which due to the refurbishment of the Everyman met for a while in the Fly and the Loaf but has now moved to a new venue on the corner of Oldham Street and Roscoe Street.) This song commemorates the loss of the SS Ellan Vannin, which sank in 1909.
The SS Ellan Vannin was an iron paddle steamer with the Isle of Man Steam Packet company, and was built in Glasgow in 1860. In the early hours of 3 December 1909, the Ellan Vannin set sail from Ramsey for Liverpool with passengers, cargo, and mail, but during the journey weather conditions deteriorated. By the time Ellan Vannin had reached the Mersey Bar lightship, the waves were over 25 feet high, with winds of 80 miles per hour. The ship sank, and all 21 crew members and 15 passengers drowned.
The image above is a depiction of the disaster drawn by Arthur Burgess and printed in The Graphic newspaper of December 25 1909 - I found it on The Wreck Site, an online database of shipwrecks.
Posted by robotforaday at 23:06