Len lets off steam for his 100th birthday on board CMV’s Columbus in Tilbury

CRUISE and Maritime Voyages (CMV) www.cruiseandmaritime.com was very active last week at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury when TV personality Angela Rippon CBE named its latest fleet addition Columbus on Thursday.

Len 2

CMV Len

On Saturday, it was another big day for local Thurrock resident Len Yale, a former steam train driver, who celebrated his 100th Birthday on board the beautiful 64,000 tonnes vessel that will sail locally from Tilbury year round.

Len, in the photo with CMV’s Columbus hotel director Daniel Reiter, used to drive the steam train that travelled from London Fenchurch Street to the then Tilbury Riverside station which served the growth of the steamship business from the port. It was ‘memory lane’ time for Len who can recall the Riverside station when it was part of the London Cruise Terminal. The Riverside station closed in 1992. It is now a community space and is used as an indoor exhibition area and as part of the baggage reclaim area for cruise ships. Today cruise passengers not using the special car park close by, can now travel by train to Tilbury Town, and take the connecting bus to the ferry landing stage next to the Cruise Terminal.

Pam Atkinson a former neighbour and friend who organised the celebration said “We decided, with 36 friends and relatives, that having lunch on board a ship at Tilbury would be a something different. Len loves ships and has always enjoyed visiting the terminal and seeing them. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves on Saturday, and all the CMV staff looking after us were lovely.

Mike Hall, Head of Marketing at CMV said “These special events, where the public can take lunch or dinner with the opportunity to stay onbord overnight are extremely popular and a good alternative for a celebration. The next opportunity to join an on board event in Tilbury will be on CMV’s sister ship Magellan in December when there are four days set aside.”

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