Previous names

  • 1893 - 1956 T.B. Heathorn
Certificate no 2051
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Tug
Location Barking Creek
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Watson, J S (Gainsborough) Ltd, Gainsborough
Built in 1893
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
16.00 feet (4.88 m)
9.00 feet (2.75 m)
Length: Overall
75.00 feet (22.88 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


BRITANNIA was built in 1893 at the yard of J S Watson (Gainsborough) Limited. She is a tug of iron riveted construction. She was powered by steam until 1957 and then converted to a National diesel engine 360 bhp. Her first name was T.B. HEATHORN. She was delivered to the Gas Light & Coke Company London in 1893 and worked in the gas industry until 1949. She was renamed BRITANNIA in 1956 and sold to the Greenhithe Lighterage Company. At one time she was the standby tug at Tower Bridge and, as such, would have been a much photographed landmark. After further changes in ownership she was laid up in a poor state in Barking Creek. She is currently under renovation being converted to a houseboat on the River Roding in Essex.

Key dates

  • 1893

    Built by J S Watsom Gainsborough

  • 1957

    Re-engined with a National Diesel 360BHP/268KW engine

  • 1982

    Acquired by Atlas Transport in London

  • 1983

    Acquired by Greenhithe Salvage Services in Greenhithe

  • 1987

    Acquired by Douglas Steven and Partners for preservation at Butlers Wharf, London

  • 1990s

    Acquired by new owner for fishing trips

  • 2000

    Vessel sunk

  • 2002

    Vessel laid back

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