A 120-YEAR-OLD steamship is at risk of going bankrupt after being trapped on the River Weaver for two months.

The Daniel Adamson - known as The Danny - has been stuck on the river due to problems with several swing bridges in the area, which chairman of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS), Stuart Wood, says is down to 'poor maintenance'.

The swing bridges are maintained and operated by the Canal and River Trust, which says structural issues were discovered in the Acton, Sutton Weaver and Vale Royal swing bridges.

But these issues have resulted in DAPS, a volunteer-led charity, missing out on around £45,000 in income as it has had to cancel and refund many cruises at the last minute.

Mr Wood said: “This is deadly serious. We are on the edge of bankruptcy, a maritime heritage item of the highest value.

“We are number 15 on the National Ships Historic Register, along with the likes of HMS Great Britain and HMS Belfast, and we are the only one that is operational, not sat in a museum gathering dust.

“Financial losses are severe for the trust, but also for local businesses and the local economy in general.

“The Danny is a national attraction not just a trip boat. People come from all over the UK to experience a trip aboard this 1903 icon.

“We use local suppliers and customers book local hotels, guest houses and visit other local attractions while in the area such as the Anderton Boat Lift.”

Runcorn and Widnes World: The Daniel Adamson at Anderton Boat LiftThe Daniel Adamson at Anderton Boat Lift (Image: NQ)

The Danny arrived back at its base, near Frodsham, at the beginning of June following a trip to Liverpool.

But it became trapped at Sutton Weaver after the faults in the bridges, all of which are nearly 100 years old and based on a Victorian design, were found.

As such, the Danny has been sat facing the wrong way and unable to turn due to its size.

That was until this week, when Carmet Tug Co. offered to send two workboats to tow the ship one and a half miles down the river and turn it around, ready for a trip to Liverpool this weekend.

"We are heavily indebted to Carmet, its generosity is without question,” said Mr Wood.

"This is thousands of pounds worth of work, and it said it was happy to do it to support the Daniel Adamson, as it has done in the past and will continue to do."

The Canal and River Trust explained at Acton and Sutton Weaver, the bridges' swing mechanism is kept in a flotation tank, which is divided into four.

However, due to 'intense rainfall' earlier in the year, run-off from the busy road above has seeped into part of the tank, causing an 'imbalance in the structure'.

This issue was made worse in June by high temperatures, which resulted in the expansion of the metal bridge deck.

"Our engineers believe the small, but potentially catastrophic shift in the alignment of the structure could be corrected by swinging the bridge back and forth several times,” a CRT spokesman said.

"There is no cast-iron guarantee this will work, so we need to carry out this experiment under a formal road closure, in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

"The focus of activities will be initially at Sutton Weaver, followed by a date to be agreed at Acton Bridge."

The Sutton Weaver bridge work will take place overnight from 10pm on Saturday, August 5, to 10am the following morning.