HISTORIC THAMES FIREBOAT SET FOR RETURN

Pic: London Fire Brigade

The historic Massey Shaw fireboat is set for a return to the Thames this week.

The boat - which saw wartime service through the Blitz and at Dunkirk – is expected to return by road after an 18 month restoration at Gloucester.

It is the latest stage of a project that has seen enthusiasts save and then restore the vessel.

The plan is for the Massey Shaw to leave Avonmouth on Monday (Nov 25th) to be transported by road to the Port of London  Authority’s yard at Denton on the Thames.

After a final refitting she will sail up the Thames for Royal Victoria Dock.

Plans had been under way for a return by sea. But the Massey Shaw Preservation Trust said: “When she was launched into the water in April several issues came to light that impacted the schedule.

“With such an old vessel, uniquely built, any small omission or problem with parts takes time to rectify as replacements need to be individually designed and built.

"The Massey Shaw was designed and built in the 1930s to serve the Thames where water is calmer than the open sea; she is flat bottomed with a cruising speed of 8-9 knots.

“The reduced time-frame [meant] that it [was] too risky to plan and undertake a return by sea so late in the year.”

Built in 1935, the fireboat served the London Fire Brigade for many years. At Dunkirk she ferried 500 men from the beaches to warships and brought over 100 men back to England.

Story dated Nov 19th 2013

 

 
 
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