Inside eerie ghost ship built by company who made Titanic left frozen in time

Eerie pictures have been captured inside the abandoned TSS Duke of Lancaster described as a "ghost ship frozen in time."

Only echoes remain of the vessel's past when the 1950s cruise ship treated passengers to silver service as they sailed from Ireland, Scotland and Europe. The first-class quarters were called "the best around" during its first decade on the sea.

However the ship took its final voyage in 1978 before it was sold to a company based in Liverpool who wanted to reuse it as a dry-docked attraction. In 1979 the ship was then beached at Llanerch-y-Mor in Flintshire, North Wales with plans to turn it into a floating leisure and retail park called The Fun Ship.

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Back then flyers were printed and there were big plans for a hotel conversion along with several other attractions. But while the Fun Ship had a few happy years, the dream to turn it into one of the region's top tourist attractions never came to pass due to a long-running legal wrangle between the council and the owner.

By the mid-1980s, the ship was abandoned and remains so over 40 years on. While its hulking frame is a well-known feature along the Dee Estuary, what is inside has always fascinated many.

Earlier this week, urban explorers from Dark Explores UK found their way in and took a look around the ghostly interior, which they branded "frozen in time."

They found the ship's original bar with tables and ashtrays and communal dining areas where passengers would have enjoyed their meals. Glasswear still takes pride of place in elaborate cabinets and cosy snugs with plush red chairs have long been deserted.

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A mould-infested mattress and sink could have been where passengers or crew got some rest while other pictures show the engine room and gloomy dark corridors in a state of decay.

For years, a treasure trove of arcade machines from the "golden area" were locked inside the ship but have since been removed. A cinema lies eerily empty with seats not sat in for decades.

Reacting to the pictures, one person said: "This ship has always creeped me out and these pictures are amazing, even if I had anxiety looking through them."

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Another said: "It's lovely to see inside this old ship again. I was a child when I went on it at the end of the 70's…Since then the Duke has sat there frozen in time.

"It wasn't that long ago the amusement arcade was unloaded off it. I saw pictures of old Space Invaders machines being removed. It would be great to see it brought back to life again."

The ship's owner John Rowley spent 30 years trying restore it, but he eventually allowed street artists to leave their stamp on the vessel in 2012. Their art was later covered over with black paint which is how it remains to this day.

Since then, plenty of other ideas, including a zombie survival event and a new bar and restaurant, have been mooted to resurrect the Duke of Lancaster, but emergency services have long raised concerns over access to the ship with a low bridge leading to it being the biggest sticking point.

The ship was made by Belfast-company Harland & Wolff – the same builders as the Titanic and is listed on the register of National Historic Ships.

It weighed 11,460 tons and was 114 meters in length.

Several campaigns and petitions have been launched to raise money to restore it. But for now, the vessel still looms over the estuary waiting to be brought back from the dead.

To see more from Dark Explores UK, click here.

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