The TSS Duke of Lancaster was a railway steamer passenger ship that operated in Europe from 1956 to 1979. It is currently beached near Mostyn Docks, on the River Dee, north-east Wales.
Duke of Lancaster was owned from 1955 to 1963 by British Transport Commission, 1963 to 1979 by Sealink and 1979 to the present by Empirewise.
The Duke of Lancaster arrived in Llanerch-y-Mor, North Wales, in August 1979 where she was turned into a floating leisure and retail complex called "the Fun Ship".
Town Council refused numerous applications to her owners including bar licenses, over a lack of sufficient fire escapes and other issues. Council then claimed monopoly rights because the Fun Ship Market was within a 6-mile radius of Holywell Market and was in direct competition, forcing the Fun Ship to close. Beaten down by the Council with and endless stream of legal filings, the business finally closed in 2004.
John Rowley, from Romania currently owns the Fun Ship and permitted artists to paint grafitti on the ship.
Numerous artists have decorated the outside of fun ship with artwork, turning into a free gallery of sorts. Dan Kitchener, a London and South East based artist painted Opening the Can of Worms. Dale Grimshaw, a gallery artist originally from Lancashire painted the artwork, When two worlds meet. Artist Spacehop painted a portrait of captain John 'Jack' Irwin, an exact reproduction of one taken on board the cruise liner he commanded. Bristol artist Snub23 painted a blue futuristic robot figure titled, 'Your Time is Up, The Future is Here'.
In early 2012, several local arcade game collectors made a deal with Solitaire Liverpool Ltd and were able to purchase the game machines left inside the Fun Ship when it closed. Over 50 classic arcade machines which were inside, were removed for resale after sitting dead on the cruise ship for 30 years.
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