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