The unique Thames river floating bar, the PS Tattershall Castle is used to attracting attention, most recently dredging up a suspected unexploded device, and is set to cause a stir again this week as a £1 million move sees it edge closer to Westminster.
The journey on Monday 10thApril, just 150 metres upstream, is one of the river Thames’s most intricate projects, involving an entire crew of marine experts, including the Naval Architect responsible for salvaging shipwrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2015.
Not without incident, the scheduled move is three months later than planned after experts surveying the river bed in January, suspected they’d found an unexploded device which led to an operation by the Royal Navy and Metropolitan police closing down Westminster for a few hours. Extra checks and measures were put in place with the most sophisticated surveillance equipment and it is hoped that the high profile move between midday and 2pm, dependent on high tide, will go ahead without further delay.
In its new location, the 83 year-old, 556 ton paddle steamer will sit almost directly opposite the London Eye and in close proximity to parliament buildings Portcullis House and the House of Commons and House of Lords offering the most stunning Thameside views, from one of London’s most interesting bar, restaurant and events venues. PS Tattershall Castle will rest up for around five years but not before it has a sparkling makeover befitting the needs of London’s locals and visitors alike.
The vessel move is to make way for an equally astounding project to improve the waterworks of London, and for Tideway London to create a new jetty at the boat’s original embankment mooring.
The PS Tattershall Castle, originally in service on the Hull estuary, retired in 1973 and moved to London’s Embankment in 1975 where it was opened by the then Lord Mayor of London as thecapital’s first floating Art Gallery and Conference Centre. It reopened as a popular Londoner and tourist bar and restaurant destination in 1982 and was refurbished in 2014, being tugged all the way to Hull, its birthplace, and returning to site in 2015 following a million pound refit.