A couple of new caches since our last post:
GCACYNA 9 Usual Suspects Visit a Wreck by 9 Usual Suspects D1/T5
When: Saturday 2nd September 2023
Where: Wallasey Beach, New Brighton, Wirral
For any one who would like to walk out to the wreck as part of a group we’ll be meeting in the corner of the Wallasey beach car park, N 53° 25.888 W 003° 04.748. We will be starting our walk to the wreck around 6.50pm. Let’s hope for a lovely dry evening…….
The Demise of the SS Denham
The SS Denham, a 103-ton survey vessel, had left Liverpool landing stage between 8am and 8.30am on the morning of July 18th 1946 to make a survey in Liverpool Bay. The vessel was heading back to Liverpool after completing its survey between 1pm and 2pm when it struck a German mine that was still hidden in the waters off New Brighton despite the bay having been swept for such devices. The explosion tore the vessel apart, killing eight members of the crew and left only one survivor, FC Whitby, who was thrown unconscious into the water by the force of the blast.
The inquest found the German mine had lain undetected on the bed of the river after being dropped during an air raid. A crater was later found underneath the wrecked vessel containing fragments of the detonated mine.
The inquest heard from a witness who upon hearing the boat had struck a mine, left Liverpool landing stage by motor boat to try and aid the stricken vessel. On arrival he heard Mr Whitby had been rescued, and spotted the SS Denham. It had sunk in 18 feet of water just over a mile from St. Nicholas’s Church. The tide was ebbing and as soon as the wheelhouse was uncovered he boarded the wreck with a diver. After the tide had fallen further and they had removed a considerable amount of wreckage they recovered the body of ship’s master, Kennedy, from the wheelhouse. He was found alongside the wheel. They searched the engine room and found MacDonald. The weather began to deteriorate, and they discontinued the search when all the bodies but those of Campbell, Roscoe, and Haldane had been found. They searched again on July 20, and these last three were found. He added that the SS Denham was so damaged as to be a total loss.
Later the wreck’s wheelhouse and funnel were removed so as not to cause a hazard to shipping.
Crew on board SS Denham killed in the explosion
- CAMPBELL, WALTER JAMES (59), First Engineer Officer, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- COLLINS, WILLIAM (37), Able Seaman, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- GIBBONS, GILBERT ERNEST (61), Principal Surveyor, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- HALDANE, WILLIAM HENRY JAMES (56), Steward, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- KENNEDY, MALCOLM (43), Master, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- MACDONALD, ROBERT (37), Fireman, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- RICHARDSON, JOHN EDWARD (28), Seaman, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
- THOMAS ATKINSON (31), Mate, Denham SS, Lighthouse and Pilotage Authorities
New Section of Coastal Path from Aberogwen to Porth Penrhyn
The new section of the Wales Coast Path between the Spinnies Nature Reserve, Aberogwen and Porth Penrhyn, Bangor was opened to the public on the 31 July 2023.
Back in May 2021 Gwynedd Council issued a ‘Public Footpath Creation Order’ to establish a public footpath through the Spinnies Nature Reserve and the Penrhyn Estate. After successful negotiations between Gwynedd Council, Penrhyn Estate and North Wales Wildlife Trust the new route was agreed. The new path will be accessed through the Spinnies main gate, then follow the estate wall crossing over Afon Ogwen via the old estate bridge.
The new section follows the coast on the edge of Penrhyn Estate with stunning views of the Menai Straits, Anglesey and Penrhyn Docks. This is the most significant re-alignment project since the opening of the Wales Coast Path in 2012.
The path has been developed sensitively to ensure that the unique intertidal habitat of the Menai Strait is protected. Work have been taken to reduce any negative impact including screening the path from the beach roosting birds, erecting bat and bird boxes to mitigate the effects of creating the new path through a semi ancient woodland.
Please note, you will not be able to access the Penrhyn Castle from the path.