Up the Thames without a paddle

I was invited to a party aboard the Tattershall Castle yesterday. If you’re not familiar with this place, it’s a floating bar and nightclub converted from an old paddle steamer.

The Tattershall Castle was built in 1934 for the London and North Eastern Railway Company and acted as a ferry from Hull to New Holland until 1973, when the boiler was condemned. She was then towed to London, where she was turned into a floating art gallery. This went bust and in 1981 she was turned into a bar and restaurant. 2003 saw a massive refit, when the owners apparently thought, “Hey, I know what would improve this ship – completely rebuilding it to destroy most of the original features!” It now looks something like a floating office block, and to this day is one of London’s premier venues for inept pole-dancing.img_0142

Plus the food is rubbish. A good photo of the pre-refit vessel appears on page 43 of Kevin McCormack’s Lost London in Colour.

The sister vessels, Wingfield Castle and Lincoln Castle, survive at Hartlepool and Grimsby respectively, having undergone far more sympathetic restorations.

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Filed under 20th Century, Booze, Food, History, London, Thames, Transport

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