Trust's stand at the London Boat Show


The last steam tug to work in the Royal Docks could sail on the Thames again.

A fund-raising campaign to restore the tug Brent was launched at the London Boat Show.

Brent was one of of 182 TID class tugs built for the Admiralty during the Second World War but was not launched until 1945 and was later sold to the PLA. Only three of the vessels survive.

She was saved from a breaker's yard in the 1970s shortly before she was due to be scrapped. Since then she has been mainly on the East Coast, currently at Maldon.

Chairman of the Steam Tug Brent Trust, Richard Albanese, said: " We want to restore the tug to working order. She has reached the point where she needs major surgery. Once that is done we are very keen to bring her back to the London docks.

"So the idea is to raise money to have her boiler taken out and sent away for specialist repair. When completed and she is working again we hope to use her with younger people.

"It will be an educational facility and it would be great to have a lighter tied up alongside to illustrate the work she used to do.

"We would like to offer training for young apprentices in partnership with shipyards and offer facilities for sea cadets and sea scouts. The purpose of restoring the boat is to celebrate the docklands tradition of towage and lighterage on the Thames."

The trust aim is to raise £30,000 though online crowdfunding. Total cost of restoration and establishing the tug as an educational facility is estmaited to be around £1 million.

Link to Steam Tug Brent wenbsite HERE