SS Robin arrives at Tilbury
SS Robin leaves Lowestoft; tied up at Tilbury; in her glory days
The SS Robin has arrived at her temporary berth at the Port of Tilbury after the trading port stepped in to offer the newly restored ship a home.
After delays due to bad weather, on Friday she left Lowestoft, where she has undergone two years of conservation and conversion works to create a floating museum for London funded by the Crossrail project, and arrived at Tilbury on Saturday 18 September having celebrated her 120th birthday last week.
SS Robin is one of only three Historic Ships Register core collection ships based in London, and is our last remaining steam coaster. For more posts on the SS Robin, click here; also see the project website here.
Project manager David Kampfner said the floating museum would display the entire ship to the world for the first time, and that he and his colleagues were very excited to finally bring the important historic vessel back to the Thames.
Port of Tilbury MD Perry Glading added that it was a a great opportunity for the port to play its part in ensuring the SS Robin can bring the history of merchant shipping alive for future generations. The Port of Tilbury opened in 1886, just four years before the SS Robin was launched.
PS – We’ve also heard that the 1938 pilot vessel MV Bembridge has been taken to Poland to be restored and used as a shipping company office. Sailors will know her as the vessel that until a short while ago was the floating club house of the Essex Yacht Club. There’s more about her at the Ships Nostalgia forum.
PPS – We have also received an appeal for help in restoring the SS Kyle, built on the Tyne, England, in 1913. The appeal came from Libby Earle, daughter of the ship’s last skipper, Captain Guy Earle – for the past 43 years the vessel herself has lain on a mussel bed at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, where she arrived after colliding with an iceberg.
If you’re interested in British coasters, at the time of writing Amazon has three copies of Charles V Waine’s book Steam Coasters and Short Sea Traders.