My Facebook friends will know that I went to a leaving party on board the PS Tattershall Castle last week, Rocky has taken redundancy, like so many of my other former colleagues. Makes me glad I left when I did, the place just wouldn’t be the same anymore. I was great to see so many people I’d worked with over the years, I really enjoyed it.
It’s not the first time I’ve been aboard this little boat, and I don’t suppose it will be the last, but it is the first time I decided to find out more about the boat. She is currently moored along the Embankment, between Embankment and Temple tube stations. I always think it’s a bit funny having a drink on a boat, you feel as though you’re drunk before you start, with the movement in the water. It never takes me too long to get my “Sea Legs” though, (perhaps I should say my “Thames Legs?”) I even managed to dance at Rocky’s leaving do.
Named after the fifteenth century castle in Lincolnshire, she started life as a passenger ferry on the River Humber for London and North Eastern Railway, travelling between Kingston-upon-Hull and New Holland in Lincolnshire. There had been a ferry service there back as far as Roman times, right up until the Humber Bridge was built.
As with most other boats, during the second world war, she was used to transport troops in the area and to secure barrage balloons. She went on to become part of the Sealink Service after the nationalisation of the railways. She’s a paddle steamer so ideally suited for that kind of work.
The Tattershall Castle first came to London in 1976 and was originally a floating art gallery but she became a pub and restaurant in 1982. It was refitted in 2015 to the tune of a few million pounds! Worth it though, it’s lovely inside now. With all the competition in Central London, even with it’s lovely setting along the Embankment, the boat regularly hosts comedy events, and, as proved by the party I attended, it can be booked for private parties.
© Susan Shirley 2016