Passenger steamer Belle, which sailed on the Thames until recently, is under threat,

The vessel built in 1894, once operated from Maidenhead, is ashore in Hull and in danger of being scrapped unless a new owner can be found.

Pix: Courtesy National Historic Ships

Its present owners bought the Kingston-built vessel intending to run passenger trips on the River Ouse in York. But difficulties in getting the go-ahead resulted in the boat being laid up.

It is now up for sale for £12,000.

Speaking for the owner, Jessica Sellers said: "Belle really does need a new home. The boat is not in a bad condition but does need some renovation. We are now in a position where we need to sell. If we can't find a new owner we will have to make a decision on het future.

"We will be very reluctant to let her go for scrap but it may come to that."

Martyn Heighton, Director of National Historic Ships UK, said:" “I will be very disheartened if no purchaser is found for S I Belle. Built in Kingston-upon-Thames in the 1890’s she is a beautiful and elegant example of a river pleasure boat and we demonstrated how much we value her by awarding a grant to help with repairs.

" When we heard she was up for sale we put notices on our website to draw attention to the need to find her a new home, and also canvassed individuals who we know to be interested in this type of vessel. It will be a tragedy if a new owner who will cherish her as much as those in the past cannot be found “

Lots more pictures of SL Belle

More details on National Historic Ships website

Story dated Sept 19th 2013