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 http://www.keynvormorlift.co.uk/vessels-equipment/tennaherdhya
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.
Today i took a few photographs onboard KNOCKER WHITE moored and preserved at Trinity Buoy Wharf
The Knocker White passed from the Museum of Docklands to new owner Eric Reynolds at Trinity Buoy Wharf last year and whilst the M.O.D kept the exterior of the vessel painted and hull in good condition, the museum never had the funding to restore the vessel to working order or renovate her interior and engine room. The two petter engines are sadly incomplete and have missing parts as a result of having been sent to the breakers yard before the M.O.D stepped in to save her in 1982.
Trinity Buoy Wharf hopes to restore the tug and perhaps even return her to working order so one day she could get underway on the river once again.
Various modifications have taken place over the years from her early steam days to the fitting of her diesel engines in 1960. These include hatch changes, coal bunkers blocked over and so on.
Two of the most noticeable changes are to the wheelhouse and casing itself
Almost 2 months after PLASHY towed the oldest surviving Thames tug BRITANNIA to Erith to face her sad fate, the same tug has today towed her away again after being saved for hopeful restoration.
Jake Oliver of MSO Marine at Brentford has bought the tug with hopes that she can be restored to her former glory again.
Today the Britannia was towed from Erith to Silvertown, she will continue the journey to Brentford tomorrow.
You can watch a video about MSO Marines work by clicking Here
I have been informed today that the oldest surviving Thames tug BRITANNIA ex T.B. HEATHORN (built 1893) is currently taking on water and sinking in Barking creek and has been sold by her owners for scrap and will be towed from Barking Creek at high water on Tuesday 3rd October to E.R.M at Erith by Plashy / General VIII. A very sad end to one of the finest looking tugs to operate on the Thames. A great pity that people buy these historic vessels and simply have no intention of looking after them.
I will document and photograph her journey on Tuesday
HISTORY OF THE BRITANNIA
T.B. Heathorn was a steam tug built by Watsons Shipyard in 1893 and believed to be one of the oldest tugs in Britain. She was built of riveted iron construction for the South Metropolitan Gas Light & Coke Company as a coal fired steam powered lighterage tug, 68ft x 15ft 6in with 60HP. She was used by the Gas Company and its successors to tow coal and coke barges and to attend craft around the premises. In 1956 it was sold to Greenhithe Lighterage Co. who rebuilt and converted her to diesel over a period of 18 months, the new 7 cylinder diesel engine giving her 365HP
She was renamed BRITANNIA by Greenhithe lighterage in 1956 and continued to operate commercially until 1986 with her final operaters being Greenhithe Salvage Services. In 1987 she was sold to Douglas Steven & Partners (for preservation at Butlers Wharf) and found to be in excellent condition considering her age. She was later sold on to Mr. Tears at Rainham (GBR) for fishing trips.
During the late 1990s she was sold as a houseboat in Barking Creek and in 2001 sank on her moorings. She was raised in 2002 and forced to move due to developers building in the area and up until 2010 stayed in her original layout unchanged since 1956. Although the hull needing work, being in such original condition and layout, she would of been an ideal vessel to preserve around this time.
In 2010 she was sold to a new owner who rather criminally removed the wheelhouse and bulwarks and stuck two ugly wooden living areas on the deck and that is how she remained until now
The oil/chemical tanker ARSLAND grounded at Broadness this evening and was towed clear a few hours later by tugs.
According to her AIS track and PLA departures list the ARSLAND departed Jurgens Jetty at Purfleet at 17:28 and at 17:47 come to a halt. At 19:00 tugs SVITZER LONDON , SVITZER MADELEINE and SVITZER BOOTLE pulled her clear and she is currently heading past Tilbury dock with tugs down river at 20:45 this evening
The Denny D2-002 was built in 1963 by Denny Hovercraft Ltd, Dumbarton , she was powered by 800 hp diesel engines,a top speed of 25knots and carried 70 passengers. The vessel operated by Thames Launches under the name HUMMING BIRD on a new £1 a time service from Westminster to Tower although the service was short lived and she was withdrawn and taken back to Dumbarton. One source states that in July 1968 she went to Fleetwood Hovercraft. In the 1970s she went to Jamaica Hovercraft and operated from Kingston to Palisados. Her fate is unknown but one source states she ended up as a houseboat in Florida
You can watch a great (sadly silent) film about her building and trip from Dunbarton to the Thames here https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/6005