Portwey Events 2012

Queens Diamond Jubilee Pageant
3 June 2012

Portwey was vessel number 957 in the pageant and allocated a mooring in the 'Avenue Of Sail' as she has too big a draft and too tall a funnel to be included in the moving flotilla.

On Friday 1st June Portwey steamed up the Thames to take up her mooring just astern of HMS BELFAST for the pageant. The event itself on Sunday 3rd June was a great success despite the weather which quickly deteriorated into cold, driving rain.

As the royal barge swept by,Portwey was acknowledged with a wave from the Queen and Prince Harry requested the whistle be blown.

Unfortunately most of the television coverage either just missed Portwey or showed her in the distance. However the crowds on the south embankment had a very good view of the tug and experienced her very loud whistle.

It was good to see old friends such as BARKING, KENT and VIC 56.

Harwich Sea Festival
22 July 2012

Attendance at this festival involved quite a lot of planning of crew rosters and navigation to ensure a safe passage.

In the event the weather was good and Portwey left South Quay early on Friday 20th July. The voyage went smoothly despite some clinkering of the coal reducing boiler pressure towards the end and the three 'steam experience' guests enjoyed their long day taking turns in the boiler room,engine room and wheelhouse.

The sea festival on Sunday 22nd July was successful despite a late start due to our allocated berth being occupied. A system for showing small groups of visitors around was devised to avoid congestion and many people including children were shown around the tug on a gloriously sunny and warm afternoon.

Portwey was not allowed back to South Quay for a week due to the arrival of many superyachts for the Olympic Games but this was to prove a blessing in disguise as many visitors came aboard each day when the tide permitted, most giving generous donations.

The passage back went well, despite a few thunderstorms, and Portwey arrived back at South Quay to find the dock crammed full of superyachts, tall ships and even the Danish royal yacht.

Due to the enforced delay in returning from the festival, Portwey was unable to attend the Thames Barge Match in 2012.

footnote:– Portwey used approximately 10 tonnes of coal during this event at a cost of £300 per tonne.

Mayor of London's Thames Festival
8th & 9th September 2012

The Thames Festival weekend was a great success helped by perfect weather.

Cake presentationCake presentation
On the Saturday Portwey carried many guests between Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier before proceeding to St Katharines dock. One of the highlights of the day was a presentation by the crew of a cake, decorated with a picture of Portwey, to the grand daughter of one of the early skippers of the tug.

The following day was spent moored in St Katharines dock along with many other historic vessels and a constant stream of people queued patiently to come aboard in the afternoon.

St Katherines Dock

So much interest was generated that, despite an early start, six guests joined us for the short trip back to South Quay on the Monday.