Based in London’s docklands is the Portwey, thought to be the UK’s last remaining twin engine steam tug still powered by coal.

It’s going into dry dock in the spring for maintenance works, but will be offering trips along the Thames later this year. Places are limited to 12 people as tugs are small, so this is a chance to take a trip in a historic vessel.

Built by Harland and Wolff on the Clyde in 1927, she was first owned by the Portland and Weymouth Coaling Company (hence the name) and worked along the south coast of England, being based at Portland.

In 1967, destined for the scrap yard at the end of her working life, Portwey was bought by Richard Dobson, and the tug was restored to her former glory.

The tug is now owned by the Maritime Trust and based in London docklands.

Two days of trips are planned for July, on the 13th and 15th July. Tips cost £25-£35 per person, and last 2 hours, taking in the Thames between the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.

The full details of the trips are on their website

If you’re feeling rich, there’s also a special trip out to Southend on 14th July to watch the Thames Barge Match, with fleets of sailing barges. Those all-day trips cost £80.


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