Brief history: The demise of Gaselee & Knight

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By 1965 the Gaselee fleet (apart from the launch tugs) was down to six tugs , these were:

TAYRA (broken up 1968)

ABOMA (broken up 1968)
GNAT (sold off the Thames 1968, broken up early 70s)
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MAMBA (broken up 1974)

AGAMA (broken up 1970)
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NAJA (broken up 1973)
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Now J.P Knight (London) Ltd was like Gaselee in lots of ways, a family company established in the 19th century with a tug fleet roughly the size of that of Gaselees, they too were struggling with economic change.     In the face of the decline of the lighterage industry it made sense for the two firms to join forces and on 30th August 1966 they become Gaselee and Knight Ltd.    The four directors at the time were Auriol (chairman) and Dick of Gaselees and Chris Knight and L.A Groom of Knights.

In 1970 Gaselees sold their share to Knights and withdrew from barge towage on the Thames after 91 years.     Gaselee and Knight continued as a company until August 1973.   Something else also ended in the early 1970s and that was the contract for a Tower Bridge tug and after having a tug stationed there since the 1890s, the final tug to carry out that duty was Knights KAWARA.

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Hopes were pinned on the new LASH Barge concept and as a last ditch attempt Gaselee and Knight together with Vokins got the contract for handling the lighters however they later lost this to London & Rochester Trading Co Ltd and the company was finally wound up


SS Robin planning application – East India Dock

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The proposal seeks to relocate the historic vessel SS Robin from its current location in the Royal Victoria Docks (London Borough of Newham) to the East India Dock
Basin where it would occupy an elevated position on the east side of the Lockentrance beside the River Thames, within the Lee Valley Regional Park.

The SS Robin is of historic importance both nationally and globally. The ship is considered to be the world’s oldest cargo steamer to retain original engines and
machinery and the only surviving complete cargo steamer of a type which dominated British and Continental trade during the late 19th and early 20th century. The SS
Robin was built in 1890 by MacKenzie, McAlpine & Co. of Orchard House Yard,
Hercules Wharf, Blackwall, approximately 100 metres from the proposed location of the vessel.

The vessel would be supported on a cradle and chocks so that it is elevated 1.5 meters above the paving surface, clear of the existing historic bollards and capstan,and also avoiding the grills covering the old lock machinery pits. The cradles would be black-painted steel, while oak blocks would be at 6 meter intervals supporting the keel. The underside of the hull of the vessel would therefore be entirely exposed to public view, in a similar fashion to the Cutty Sark at Greenwich. This elevated position would also increase visibility of the vessel from the land and water.





Cory acquire Gravesend slipway

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Cory Riverside Energy (“Cory”) announces that it has acquired Thames Ship Repair Service, an established shipping maintenance company and its slipway in Gravesend, Kent.

With this acquisition Cory will take in-house the ability to maintain its fleet of barges and tugs, as well as continuing the provision of third party services, which realised revenues of £1.2m in 2017.

The acquisition, which includes two slipways off the River Thames, will enable Cory to accommodate the expansion of its existing 55 barge and vessel fleet.


Cody Dock – Corlea and River Princess

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Two vessels that can be found at Cody Dock on the River Lea are River Princess and the ex Thames tug Corlea.      Cody Dock is run by a charity Gasworks Docks Partnerships and they plan to bring the old dock back to use and life with the following:

  • Visitor centre & café
  • Exhibition space
  • Industrial heritage archive and museum
  • International artist and respite hosting suites
  • Studios and workshop space
  • Live/work moorings
  • Visitor moorings
  • Dry dock facilitiesYou can read more about them here :

    Two vessels that have been lifted out of the water at Cody Dock are :


    The River Princess was built by Dobsons of Shardlow in 1985 as Class V passenger cruiser for operation on the River Thames but was in fact sold to Bill at Weaver Valley Cruises, who lovingly ran her as a pleasure craft from their base at Acton Bridge in Cheshire.  The boat was purchased by the Charity in 2011 and used for trips around the Royal Docks.    The boat was later lifted out at Cody Dock to be drydocked and volunteers have been working hard last year repainting and refitting the boat to operate on the lower river lea. Whilst the vessel was out of the water she was used as a cafe and tea room.  She has a class V ticket for approx 80 passengers.


  • 20170612_13451820170612_141933
  • CodyDockLine-49The other vessel is the CORLEA

    CORLEA History

    Built 1933 by Harland & Wolff Ltd., North Woolwich. YN 246. L49’. B13.3’. D4.6’. 21grt. 100bhp Petter diesel engine. ON163344.

    1933 Delivered to Cory Lighterage Ltd., London. [Built to handle barges to Hackney Power Station on River Lea]
    1942:Req by Admiralty
    1945 Returned to owners
    1959 Sold to Metal Recoveries (Newhaven) Ltd., Newhaven
    1963 Sold to Lowestoft Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Lowestoft
    1963 Re-engined 111bhp Ruston diesel 1971 Sold to Boston Deep Sea Fisheries Ltd., Hull.
    1984[by] Owners Pentode Ltd., Hull.
    198x Owners Riverway Developments Ltd., London
    199x House boat, berthed at Nine Elms Reach, River Thames.
    200x sold to Dominique Rivoal, moored at Barking Mill pool on the River Roding.
    2012 Moved to Cody Dock on the River Lea/Bow Creek for dry docking


    10th April 2015Royal Horticultural Society brings hundreds of flowers to 140 year old Cody Dock in East London as it launches 'Greener Streets: Better Lives, a new national gardening campaign which aims to turn six thousand grey concrete spaces green over the next three years. London. REX FEATURES/BBZ

    boat as it iscory-lighterage

Second push tug for S.Walsh

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S.Walsh have purchased the push tug NORTHTRANS DB from Rotterdam, Holland and will be renaming the vessel SWS NORFOLK upon its arrival in early January.

The vessel built in 1971 is 17m x 8m with a 1.8m draught and top speed of 10knots



photo: Peter Beentjes


Photos by M.Robinson


TENNAHERDHYA sold to Thames owners

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The 1966 former BARGARTH of Cory Towage renamed in 2009 to TENNAHERDHYA is to soon be arriving on the Thames next month.    New owners T.T.M.S (Brian Allen) have purchased the tug and plan to keep her in her black and white livery with changes to the funnel livery with new logos etc.

You can read further details and specs on the tug here

Photo: Jim
Lister Blackstone ETS8 850BHP




Photos by Mike Nash during renaming to TENNAHERDHYA in 2009

Could HMS President be returning?

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Her future had been uncertain due to spiralling maintenance costs and the loss of her original mooring but a HMS President owners said to BBC news that a  new spot near London Bridge has been secured, subject to planning permission being granted.

They hope the ship will be restored and open in time to mark her centenary in November 2018.