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Cammell Laird ‘dazzles’ Mersey Ferry in Sir Peter Blake design

World famous Liverpool City Region (UK) shipyard and marine engineering services company Cammell Laird has completed painting a Mersey ferry in a ‘dazzle’ design by British pop artist Sir Peter Blake, as part of the events to mark the centenary of World War One.

Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW: the First World War Centenary Art Commissions, and Tate Liverpool commissioned Sir Peter to ‘dazzle’ the Mersey ferry Snowdrop in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool (See notes to editors). Sir Peter’s design entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle covers the passenger vessel with a distinctive pattern that can be seen for the next two years as the ferry continues its service. It will launch in April 2015 and is the first of the Dazzle Ship commissions to be a working vessel.

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret, CBE, said the company is immensely proud to ‘dazzle’ a second vessel after it also painted Liverpool pilot boat the Edmund Gardner, in a dazzle design by renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, in 2014. The Edmund Gardner is situated in dry dock adjacent to Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

Mr Syvret said: “Cammell Laird is steeped in naval history and played a key role in the First World War (see notes to editors). We feel honoured to help commemorate the centenary by ‘dazzling’ another vessel. The project provides a meaningful way for Cammell Laird to reflect on the significant contribution the company made to the country during the war years.

“Our painters are also very pleased to be undertaking a design by Sir Peter Blake who has such a connection with Merseyside through his Beatles work (Blake designed the Sgt Pepper Album cover). We are further proud to support the Liverpool Biennial in its efforts to encourage visitors and investment to the region.”

The painting of the Snowdrop marks a busy period of ferry work for Cammell Laird. During 2013 and 2014 Cammell Laird repaired, built and converted almost 500,000 gross tons of ferry and Ro-Ro ships for a wide range of owners. Already in 2015 it has docked and repaired ferries of 150,000 gross tons. Ferries worked on include both conventional and high speed vessels in steel and aluminium.

Customers include Caledonian MacBrayne, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Irish Ferries, Mersey Ferries, NorthLink Ferries, Orkney Ferries, P&O Ferries, Seatruck Ferries and Stena Line.

In February Cammell Laird announced it had been awarded a new multi million pound contract to build a new new car and passenger ferry for the Northern Ireland Executive to replace the existing MV Strangford operating between Strangford and Portaferry in County Down, Northern Ireland. The new ferry is due to be delivered by August 2016.