Last week we were delighted to welcome some very special guests to the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Margaret Hayden, wife of the late Phil Hayden, came along to the museum with her son Matt on a surprise visit to see the model of the MV Derbyshire made by Phil. The model is currently on display in our MV Derbyshire – Search for the Truth exhibition.
Phil, a keen model maker in his spare time, got involved with the Derbyshire Families Association after reading about their plight in a shipping magazine.
Margaret and Matt were joined at the museum by Paul Lambert MBE, Chairman of the Derbyshire Family Association, and Dave Ramwell, author of “A Ship Too Far: The Mystery of the Derbyshire.”
The Derbyshire was the biggest British merchant ship ever lost at sea. She sunk in the South China Sea during a typhoon on 9 September 1980. 44 people were lost, including 17 from Liverpool.
The Derbyshire story is also about a 20+ year long campaign by the families of those that died to uncover the truth about why the ship sank. The Derbyshire Families Association was set up by relatives shortly after the sinking. Their persistence was instrumental in searching for the wreck and re-opening the investigation into the tragedy which ultimately cleared the crew of any blame. They have since played a crucial role in influencing changes to safety at sea, especially for bulk carriers.
Paul is currently trying to raise funds for a permanent memorial at the Pier Head to honour the 44 lives lost in the tragedy.
You can find out more about the MV Derbyshire display here.