Recruit becomes GPS Cervia


            Photo by Tanya

M.S.T purchase IBEX

Marine Support Thames are said to have purchased the Solent vessel IBEX and will be renamed PROGRESS

Built: 1993 by Damen
Bollard pull: 7,6 tonnes
Speed free running: 9,2 knots
2 x Volvo Penta. Type: TMD 122 AHD (300hp each)
Length o.a.14,4 m
Breadth mld.4,73 m
Depth mld.2,05 m
Draft max.1,5 m

Photos: J.Deverall / Maritime Journal

Deptford Creek Bridge – New Capital Quay


Enderby Wharf – Cruise Terminal

“It is likely that we will start river works towards the end of 2014, with a view to opening for operations in the second quarter of 2016” 


Dates for the Diary – Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Will be held from September 5th to 9th 2014 and include 50 tall ships and is said to be the biggest for 25 years.

Among the ships confirmed so far are:

Gulden Leeuw, 
The Lady of Avenel,
Queen Galadriel
JR Tolkien

A riverboat shuttle service will enable spectators to visit vessels at the various locations

Tall Ships 1989 – photo by Stefan

A brief history of Harpy Pier

Built in 1901 by Woolwich Royal Dockyard , she was constructed of iron. The structure was designed to accommodate a Surveyor, Examining Officers, eleven Preventive Officers, thirty five Boatmen – soon to be called Preventive Men, and 32 Watchers. It had two decks and was supplied with telephones, mains water and a gas and electricity supply. Gas stoves provided heat for the officers, and the Boatmen and Watchers were given coal for stoves to warm food and boil water.   The cost of the build was £5211.12s.3d 

In 1905 she was given the name ‘Harpy’ . By October 1913 she was seen to be in need of some repairs and a refit of the upper deck accomodation, which was considered be too small, so plans were drawn up to increase the size of the offices.

On 14 May 1969 she was taken for a four month refit at Gravesend which included a new roof, new toilet accommodation and refurbishment of the offices. While she was away, the mooring dolphins were renewed and the ‘brow’ (the bridge from the Custom House quay) was repaired. After nearly a year’s absence, which left a conspicuous gap in the Pool of London, Harpy returned. This combined office block, boarding station and VIP embarkation point was repainted powder blue, which made a pleasant change from the old ‘Ministry of Works Green’.

On 3rd February 1975 she ceased as a customs pier. She was sold to the current owners in 1981 and in 2005 had a major refit.  Featured in the ‘Home’ section of the Sunday Times in September 2009, it had been extensively refurbished, inside and out, and was available to rent at £3500 per week - 67% of its original cost in 1907!

Photo: Taken in 1956

Photo: 1969 leaving for Gravesend under tow by Palmers NIPAROUND

After a major refit by the owners, this is the current interior!

Unique floating house

Sunborn London – Floating Hotel

Opening in Spring 2014 the Sunborn London will be located on the waterfront at the western end of the Royal Victoria Dock, within a short walk of the main entrance of ExCel London.

The 4-Star Deluxe yacht hotel will incorporate 138 spacious guest rooms over 5 floors including several suites, along with an elegant reception area, bar and lounge, fine-dining restaurant, banqueting facilities, auditorium, conference rooms, and a three-level event venue with outdoor terraces facing towards Canary Wharf and the Siemens Crystal

More at

following photos were taken at Tilbury today by Dan Goatham:

Woolwich Ferry gets a makeover

As the John Burns is set to return to London after drydocking, these photos were sent in by Gregg Chalmers showing her brand new livery and a very smart paint job too

GPS Barges 1501 & 1502 – Brief History

The GPS Barges 1501 and 1502 are often a sight being towed up and down the Thames and can often be seen at Instones Wharf but many of you may not even batter an eyelid just thinking they are just another boring old barge.   We’ll infact these two have quite an interesting history!

                                                        Being launched at Woolwich 1965


The pair were built by Harland & Wolff, North Woolwich in 1965 and named Asa Binns and Cyril Kirkpatrick after PLA engineers and were owned by the Port of London Authority .  The Asa Binns is now 1501 and Cryil is 1502

They were propelled by 2 Schottel Units and had Rolls Royce DV8 engines.  The wheelhouse was small with a centre control unit and below that was accommodation.  

The pair were laid up and eventually sold in 1989 to Fife Marine , who although not confirmed are said to have removed the wheelhouses and turned the pair into dumb barges (although still keeping the accommodation section) .  After a brief spell with Fife Marine, they were passed to General Marine who sold them onto GPS Marine who now use them as 1501 and 1502

*It is un-confirmed but various sources state the pair were sold in 1989 to Fekete-Tonsberg in Oslo,Norway but by 1991 the were not registered there which leads me to believe this may not be true

                                                On the slipway at Greenhithe 1984

                                                              photo taken 1965


Seen here at Strood in 2006 owned by GPS , a year later they were seen moved to Chatham 
Ex PLA Asa Binns and Cyril Kirkpatrick


TOW Barge Driving Race 2014

Details have been released for the Barge Driving Race on June 28th starting from Greenwich at Midday and finishing at Westminster approx 1430 – not one to be missed!

Stake Tugs for the 2014 race are:

SWIFTSTONE: allocated x 2 barges

GUNDOG: allocated x 2 barges

HORTON: allocated two barges

BULLDOG: allocated x 2 barges

PLA IMPULSE: allocated x 2 barges

MALAMUTE: Events Co-ordinator support vessel, on standby under the direction of the Events Co-ordinator.



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