Next Saturday marks (possibly) the very last time that the current Woolwich Ferry will pass through Tower Bridge.
Although they are normally shuttling motor vehicles and a handful of passengers across the Thames at Woolwich, occasionally one will venture further inland to pay a visit to Tower Bridge.
These are community events, where the ferry service offers special trips for local people, and the ferry service holds an annual charity day in July for several hundred disabled children.
On Saturday 7th July, the James Newman will pass though Tower Bridge at 2:30pm, and head back to out again at 3pm.
The reason it’s probably the last time the boats will be able to make the trip is that they are about to be scrapped and replaced with brand new boats. The brand new boats will still make occasional visits to Tower Bridge, but if you want to give the old girls a decent send off, then next Saturday is your chance.
While the new boats will be lovely, there’s still something a bit nostalgic about the older ferries, which were built at a time when the docks were busier and they have loads of passenger space below deck that is now eerily empty.
You have a few months left to take a trip in the old ferry before they stop serving the local community, probably this October.
The Woolwich Ferry service itself will be closed from October to December for upgrade works to the piers ahead of the arrival of the new boats.
The two new boats are being named Dame Vera Lynn, and Ben Woollacot, a deckhand who died in 2011 after falling from the ferry.