History was both restored and made last week when River Murray icon the PW Mayflower returned to the water for business.
The Mannum Dock Museum (MDM), who have spent the past two years re-commissioning the steamer, announced it would be the first heritage vessel to offer weekly cruises on the River Murray for many years in South Australia.
In 1884, Mannum became the birthplace of the PW Mayflower and 133 years later, its history will be shared with passengers.
MDM Chairman Rob Bowring OAM said there had been demand for the PW Mayflower’s return to the water.
“Mannum visitors regularly enquire as to where they can cruise on a heritage paddle wheeler and the Mayflower will fill this gap in the market,” he said.
The Mayflower has changed her use many times over the past 130 years from a ‘bottle-oh’ with the notorious Daniel ‘Black’ Alexander’ in Echuca, a professional fishing vessel with the renowned Creager family of Renmark and as a passenger vessel in the mid 50’s in Mildura with the late Captain Alby Pointon.
Mr Bowring said the Mayflower’s history was filled with so many interesting stories.
“Like authorities literally chasing Black Alexander down the river after he stole it back from the local banking institution who had seized the Mayflower for unpaid debts,” he said.
He said the PW Mayflower would offer weekly 1.5 hour cruises on Tuesday and Thursdays and the first Sunday of the month to coincide with the Mannum Riverside Markets.
“We restored her to the 1913 era when the Creager Fishing Family owned her who built the second storey due to growing size of their family,” he said. “The Mayflower is a beautiful boat and once you cruise on her, you will absolutely become mesmerized by her magic.”
Private charters will also available and the vessel is ideal for groups of 25 people with a captain and crew.
The PW Mayflower will cruise at 10.30am and 1.00pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first Sunday of the month.
- For further info visit www.mannum.org.au or www.pwmayflower.com