Britain’s history as a maritime nation is rich and varied, and the ferry trade is no exception. The Manxman was the last ship of her type left in the British waters; a symbol of a bygone era when shipbuilding drove the British economy. Although her basic design dated back to the 1930’s, she was craftsman built in 1955 for the world’s oldest and most distinguished ferry operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. She survived to be the last traditional steam turbine, passenger-only vessel to operate in European waters, serving the Steam Packet until 1982. As all her sisters and consorts went to the breakers, the Manxman was saved. She had several ‘adventures’: some good, most not so.
Sadly, this wonderful journey looked destined to end in 2010 with the announcement that, despite repeated and passionate attempts to save her, the Manxman was set for the scrap yard.
With the end of this intriguing story insight, we celebrate a ship famed for her elegance and luxury, who when left to rust became a symbol of an industry in decline. This is the tale of her building, career in service, survival and the fight for her restoration. The programme contains archive film, photographs from collectors and contemporary footage from on-board the vessel herself. It also features exclusive interviews with the personalities who shaped the history of the Manxman and the Isle of Man shipping industry.