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THE PORTWEY 2018 STEAMING PROGRAMME

After a very busy and successful steaming programme in 2017 (see past events below), 2018 promises to be somewhat quieter due to the fact that Portwey will be dry docked in the spring so that the hull can be surveyed and repainted.

This means that our first outing will be River Thames Scenic Trips in July.


River Thames Scenic Trips
13 to 15 July 2018



On Friday 13 July, Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July Portwey will be taking guests for trips on the River Thames between Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier. Each trip will last 2 hours and all sailings are limited to a maximum of 12 passengers. A donation of £35 per person is requested to cover steaming costs (except for the trips departing at 0900, which are £25). Complimentary hot drinks and biscuits will be provided.


Date Depart Return
Friday
13 july
1200
1400
Date Sailing Details Depart Return
Friday
13  July
Working Lock Experience - Portwey will depart West India Dock and steam up river to Tower Bridge. This is an ideal opportunity to experience the working of a lock and view Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast from the river. This trip will return to Mast House Terrace Pier for disembarkation. (Cost £35) 1200 1400
Date Depart Return
Friday
13 July
1400 1600
Date Sailing Details Depart Return
Friday
13  July
Mid Afternoon London - Leave Mast House Terrace Pier and take a leisurely cruise up the Thames to Tower Bridge and see Traitors Gate and Bloody Tower from the river. We then proceed down river towards the Thames Flood Defence Barrier. This trip will return to Mast House Terrace Pier for disembarkation. (Cost £35)

1400

1600

Date Depart Arrive
Friday
13 July
1600 1900
Date Sailing Details Depart Arrive
Friday
13  July
Late Afternoon London - Leave Mast House Terrace Pier and take a leisurely cruise up the Thames to Tower Bridge and see Traitors Gate and Bloody Tower from the river. We then proceed down river towards the Thames Flood Defence Barrier. This trip will return to Mast House Terrace Pier for disembarkation. (Cost £35) 1600 1900
Date Depart Return
Saturday
14 July
0900

1100

1400

1600

1100

1300

1600

1800

Date Sailing Details Depart Return
Saturday
14  July
Lazy Saturday London - Leave Mast House Terrace Pier and take a leisurely cruise up the Thames to Tower Bridge and see Traitors Gate and the Bloody Tower from the river. We turn at HMS Belfast and proceed down river past the historic Greenwich Palace and Cutty Sark towards the 02 Dome and the Thames Flood Defence Barrier. We then return to Mast House Terrace Pier for disembarkation. We offer 4 sailings for this cruise that all follow the same itinerary. (0900 departure costs £25, others each cost £35 0900

1100

1400

1600

1100

1300

1600

1800

Date Depart Return
Sunday
15 July
0900

1100

1300

1100

1300

1500

Date Sailing Details Depart Return
Sunday
15  July
Lazy Sunday London - Leave Mast House Terrace Pier and take a leisurely cruise up the Thames to Tower Bridge and see Traitors Gate and the Bloody Tower from the river. We turn at HMS Belfast and proceed down river past the historic Greenwich Palace and Cutty Sark towards the 02 Dome and the Thames Flood Defence Barrier. We then return to Mast House Terrace Pier for disembarkation. We offer 3 sailings for this cruise that all follow the same itinerary. (0900 departure costs £25, others each cost £35) 0900

1100

1300

1100

1300

1500




Thames Barge Match
Saturday 21 July 2018
Trip from West India Dock to Gravesend on 20 July
Trip from Gravesend to West India Dock on 22 July

Thames Barge Match

On Saturday 21 July Portwey will again be steaming close to these magnificent vessels which make a very impressive sight as they race under full sail down the Thames to Southend and return to Erith.
This will be a full day trip offering unrivalled opportunities for photography at close quarters.
A donation of £80 is requested and a ploughman's lunch will be provided as well as hot drinks throughout the day.

On Friday 20 July Portwey will depart West India Dock and cruise through the Thames Flood Barrier to Gravesend, disembarking at Gravesend Pier. This is a great opportunity to experience a working lock. A donation of £35 per person is requested to cover steaming costs. Complimentary hot drinks and biscuits will be provided.

On Sunday 22 July Portwey will be departing Gravesend Pier at 0900, cruising up river back to West India Dock, through the Thames Flood Defence Barrier and once again experiencing a working lock. A donation of £35 per person is requested to cover steaming costs. Complimentary hot drinks and biscuits will be provided.


Date Depart Return
Friday
20 July
1500
1800
Date Sailing Details Depart Arrive
Friday
20  July
Trip to Gravesend - Working Lock Experience - Portwey will depart West India Dock and steam down river to Gravesend. past the the 02 Dome, Cutty Sark, the historic Greenwich Palace and through the Thames Flood Barrier. This is an ideal opportunity to experience the working of a lock. This trip disembarks at Gravesend Pier. (Cost £35) 1500 1800
Date Depart Return
Saturday
21 July
0800 to 0830 Disembark
1500 to 1700
Date Sailing Details Depart Return
Saturday
21  July
The 2018 Thames Sailing Barge Match -Join Portwey at Gravesend and steam with us to witness the spectacle of Thames Barges under full sail racing each other down the Thames to Southend and back to the finish line at Gravesend. There will be great photo opportunities at close quarters. (Cost £80) 0800 to 0830 Disembark 1500 to 1700
Date Depart Arrive
Sunday
22 July

0900

1200 to 1300
Date Sailing Details Depart Return
Sunday
22  July
Trip Gravesend to West India Dock - Working Lock Experience - Leave Gravesend Pier and take a cruise up the Thames through the Thames Flood Barrier past the historic Greenwich Palace, Cutty Sark and the 02 Dome,. This is an ideal opportunity to experience the working of a lock. This trip disembarks at West India Dock. (Cost £35)
0900
1200 to 1300



St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival
Weekend 7,8,9 September 2018

Working Lock Experience
6 and 10 September 2018

This is an annual event and part of the River Thames Festival. It is planned to steam Portwey to St Katharine Docks and berth her there for the festivities as we did last year.

Guests are invited to join us for the trip from West India Dock disembarking at St Katharine Docks on Thursday 6 September. A donation of £25 per person is requested to cover steaming costs.

Guided tours of up to 8 people will be run by crew members and will take in all parts of the vessel. Portwey will be in steam making the tours that much more interesting. (see reports of last year's events below).

The donation requested for a guided tour is £3 per person.

Guests are invited to join us for the trip from St Katharine Docks disembarking at West India Dock on Monday 10 September. A donation of £25 per person is requested to cover steaming costs.


Date Depart Arrive
Thursday
6 Sep
0930 1130
Date Sailing Details Depart Arrive
Thursday
6 Sep
Working Lock Experience - Portwey will depart West India Dock and steam up river to St Katharine Docks. This is an ideal opportunity to experience the working of a lock and view Tower Bridge, disembarking at St Katharine Docks. 0930 1130

Date Opens Closes
Weekend
7,8,9 Sept
1100 1800
Date Details Opens Closes
Weekend
7,8,9 Sep
St. Katharine Classic Boat Festival - Visit Portwey in St. Katharine Docks for a guided tour of the tug including engine and boiler room, bridge and forward cabin. 1100 1700
Date Depart Arrive
Monday
10 Sep
1400 1600

Date Sailing Details Depart Arrive
Monday
10 Sep
Working Lock Experience - Portwey will depart St Katharine Docks and steam down river to West India Dock. This is an ideal opportunity to experience the working of a lock and view Tower Bridge, disembarking at St Katharine Docks. 1400 1600




Past Events 2017

Tall Ships Festival
14 to 16 April 2017

The first steaming of the year coincided with the gathering of the Tall Ships at Greenwich for the 2017 Tall Ships Festival. This meant that Portwey had to be prepared for steaming rather earlier in the year than usual but with so many of these magnificent sailing vessels gathered together the opportunity for seeing them close up from the river could not be missed.

A lot of work had been done on the tug over the winter so before venturing out it was decided to test run the main engines and ancillary equipment. Eight tonnes of coal was loaded, the water tanks filled, fires lit, steam raised, and all tests completed successfully.

Loading coal for the Tall Ships event

On Wednesday 12 April the fires were lit again and on Friday 14 April PORTWEY headed out into the Thames with guests aboard for their working lock experience trip.

The road bridge being raised during the "Working Lock Experience"

A total of eight 2 hour trips were made over the long weekend and as expected the Tall Ships proved a major attraction as did Portwey judging by the waving from people ashore, on other vessels, Tower Bridge etc.

A handsome Tall Ship

After the weekend the Tall Ships took part in the Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta to Quebec, Canada.


Thames Barge Match
Saturday 15 July 2017
Scenic Trips on 14 & 16 July

The second steaming weekend coincided with the 2017 River Thames Sailing Barge Match.

On Friday 14 July Portwey left South Quay for a 2 hour "Working Lock Experience" trip followed by one more 2 hour trip between Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier before heading down river to Gravesend to be ready for the Sailing Barge Match the following day.

The crew were up early to raise steam on race day and after guests were boarded Portwey set off in pursuit of the race. It was a splendid day, if a little cloudy, with perfect conditions for the sailing barges and Portwey was able to get right in amongst the racing vessels for some superb filming which took place from aboard the tug and from a rigid inflatable boat especially chartered for the occasion.

PORTWEY (Aged 90) and EDME (AGED 119) in close company
Photo courtesy of J Hargreaves


EDME and REMINDER Romping home in the Lower Hope.
Photo courtesy of J Hargreaves


NIAGRA at full speed in the Lower Hope.
Photo courtesy of J Hargreaves

After the race finished Portwey made her way back up river to be ready for more 2 hour scenic trips the next day.


Portwey's 90th Birthday Celebration
at Gravesend’s Something for The Weekend
5 & 6 August 2017


London to Gravesend Trip
Friday 4 August 2017

The third steaming weekend was all about celebrating Portwey's 90th birthday. The celebrations began with a trip up river to HMS President, just below Tower Bridge, where Royal Navy personnel and members of the press awaited.

On arrival Portwey was saluted by the commodore in recognition of her wartime service.

PORTWEY being saluted at HMS PRESIDENT

During the 40 minute stay alongside much filming and interviewing was carried out. As Portwey left she was saluted again, a tight 180 degree turn was made just before Tower Bridge, and as Portwey started to head down river smoke was produced at the request of film crews.

PORTWEY making smoke

A swift journey with the tide was then made down to Gravesend to join other vessels for the "Something For The Weekend" event. Over the next two days Portwey was visited by large numbers of the public despite two heavy thunderstorms during the weekend. Demonstrations of Portwey's firefighting capabilities were also held each day.

PORTWEY fire fighting demonstration


Alongside Gravesend Pier

Fundraising was helped by a group of Royal Navy Sea Cadets who were positioned strategically on the pier and supplied with information leaflets and collection boxes. They were rewarded with a trip on Portwey back up river to South Quay.

Sea Cadets at the helm

St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Rally
Weekend 9/10 September 2017
Working Lock Experience
Thursday 7 September 2017

Hermitage Pier
Weekend 16/17 September 2017

Our final steaming events of the year were held over two consecutive weekends in September. Portwey participated as usual in the Classic Boat Rally at St Katharine Docks followed by a very short journey down river to Hermitage Pier for their Charity Open Weekend. Both events were held in cooler weather conditions than last year but visitor numbers were only slightly down.

Classic Boat Rally 2017 in St Katharine Docks


PORTWEY and MASSEY SHAW at Hermitage Pier

Portwey made the trip back to South Quay with the "Massey Shaw" and winter maintenance has begun.

PORTWEY and MASSEY SHAW heading for home




Steam Experience Days

Book a whole day on Portwey and be part of the crew, as a Steam Experience volunteer on any of our steaming days.

Join a crew member in the engine room, boiler room or on the bridge of our unique Vessel.

Firebox

In the engine room you will have the opportunity to lubricate all of the seven steam engines on board, respond to telegraph instruction from the bridge to change speed or direction of the vessel and support the crew on watch.

In the boiler room you will add coal to our twin furnace boiler as directed to maintain boiler pressure between 100 and 135 psi, keep the water level within working limits by using the GS pump to add water and de-ash the grates as required.

On the Bridge

On the bridge you will be under the supervision of the skipper and will steer the ship to maintain a given course. Use the telegraph to communicate with the engine room to change speed or reverse the ship and assist in keeping a record of course and speed.

On deck, this is your opportunity to view the seascape, help the deck crew tidy away ropes etc. and maintain a tidy ship.


The day costs £250 pp including:
one years membership of the Steam Tug Portwey Trust
plus ploughmans lunch and refreshments.

See information booklet and booking form.

Information and Bookings: stportweyevents@hotmail.co.uk
07833 411160


Filming and Corporate Days Out

Portwey is available for Filming and Corporate Days out in and around Canary Wharf, London -
Information and Bookings: stportweyevents@hotmail.co.uk
07833 411160

Did you know that part of the Channel 4 series TITANIC was filmed aboard Portwey?


Past Events