A Royal Navy ship, HMS Severn is arriving in London on Friday and passing through Tower Bridge.

What shows up as an unnamed vessel on Tower Bridge’s lift times page will arrive at 5:15pm 6:15pm on Friday 27th August. The vessel will then stay in the Pool of London until it departs at 9:15am on Wednesday 1st September

Now what the vessel is I am unsure of, it’s been confirmed that the visitor is HMS Severn but 99% of the time, when the Tower Bridge’s lifts times page simply says “vessel” then it’s a naval ship of some sort or other.

It may be Royal Navy or a visitor from a friendly nation on a goodwill visit, and if it is a naval ship, then it will be likely moored up alongside HMS Belfast for the duration of the visit.

So if in the area on Friday evening, keep a lookout, as a photo of a naval ship passing through Tower Bridge may mean something else also happens – the bascules are sometimes raised to their full height as a mark of respect to a naval ship.

UPDATE – been informed that the visiting ship is HMS Severn, which is coming into London for a recommissioning ceremony. That makes the visit a bit more interesting, as HMS Severn recently reverted to a historic painting scheme, so it’s not a plain grey boat.

Ahead of her recommissioning ceremony in London on Saturday, the ship has received the ‘Western Approaches’ livery – as applied to U-boat killers through much of World War 2.

HMS Severn is the first vessel to receive the paint job since World War 2 and while radar makes the use of maritime camouflage largely irrelevant, it is a tribute to sailors of the Battle of the Atlantic who operated in the same waters Severn regularly ploughs.


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  1. Daniel Farnes says:

    I assume it is paying constable’s dues at the Tower?

  2. Mack says:

    Thank you for sharing this info – am about to take myself for a walk up to the river and watch the ship come in. I wouldn’t have known about this without your blog, and the additional context info is marvellous. Thank you!

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