THE WORLD’S last remaining steamcoaster is set to leave Tilbury docks and make a dramatic return to London’s Royal Docks on 13th July to take her place as a symbol of the area’s transformation in the run up to London 2012.
An irreplaceable icon of Britain’s maritime heritage, SS Robin is one of only three ‘Core Collection’ ships in the capital alongside Cutty Sark and HMS Belfast, and the only one of these famous ships to have been built in London.
The historic ship will be making her first voyage back to the area where she was built over 120 years ago. She’ll be taking up a temporary mooring to complete final conservation work, and may even become a permanent fixture.
Nishani Kampfner, CEO and Co-Founder of SS Robin Trust, said: “SS Robin is the most important maritime symbol of the capital’s trading and economic success.
With a life spanning three centuries, she represents a story of risk, enterprise and endurance – all the qualities of our Victorian forefathers..
This precious and irreplaceable historic ship is now proudly displayed on a new floating pontoon – the only ship in the world to be displayed in this way.
She’s an amazing sight, and representative of Londoners’ spirit of innovation and endeavour. Today’s Londoners will be able to take part in this historic event by watching her arrival from any of the many vantage points along the Royal Albert dockside at 11am on July 13th.’
Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales will welcome SS Robin to the Docks – recently declared one of the country’s largest Enterprise Zones – in a special ceremony as she arrives on July 13th.
Sir Robin says the ship, which was built in 1890 on the nearby River Lea, is a fitting icon for the transformation of East London. The Mayor said: “The mooring of this iconic ship is adding another exciting dimension to the transformation of Newham. London is moving east and there is huge potential here for investment, growth and greater prosperity. The Royals are where London’s future essential economic growth can truly thrive. They used to be the largest enclosed docks in the world, the engine room of Victorian Britain.’
He added: “East London is the future of this great capital and this magnificent and irreplaceable ship is a symbol of the Docks’ powerful resurgence.’
Visitors to the event could also win a digital camera and other great prizes by taking a photo of the ship and entering it in the National Historic Ships photography competition! More details are at http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/pages/photography-competition-2011.html.