Paddle-steamer for sale

PS Lincoln Castle, beached at Hessle (1984)

PS Lincoln Castle, beached at Hessle (1984)

Two of the three of the pre-war paddle-steamers built for the London & North Eastern Railway’s Humber ferry have survived:  the fate of the third, Lincoln Castle, is a particularly sad story.

The first two, Wingfield Castle and Tattershall Castle (both built in 1934), each have safe harbours.  Wingfield Castle is moored at Jackson Dock as part of the Museum of Hartlepool []; Tattershall Castle, though structurally altered, continues to earn her living as a pub-restaurant moored on the Thames Embankment in central London.

Lincoln Castle, however, has had a more chequered career.  Intended as a development of the two 1934 vessels, she was built by A & J Inglis on the Clyde in 1940.  The Heritage Trail website [] tells of the difficulty of moving her from the Clyde to the Humber under the twin threats of bombardment and U-boat operations to begin work in 1941.

The last coal-fired paddle-steamer in regular public service, Lincoln Castle was withdrawn from service in 1978 when the boilers were no longer safe.  She was beached at Hessle in the shadow of the Humber Bridge where she served as a pub from 1981 to 1987.  Then she was towed across the river to Immingham, refitted and taken, not without difficulty, to Grimsby’s Alexandra Dock where she opened as a pub-restaurant in 1989 alongside the Fishing Heritage Centre building and the trawler Ross Tiger [see and].

The Lincoln Castle pub closed in 2006 for renovations and because of concerns about the condition of the hull she was beached in a corner of the dock.  In 2010 she was put up for sale, with the threat that without a buyer she would have to be broken up. Between them, private sponsors, the North East Lincolnshire Council and the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society [] were unable to find a practical solution to the difficulty of preserving a significant example of British maritime history that needed a great deal of expensive work simply to keep her afloat.

The future of the Lincoln Castle rested on a knife-edge:,, and

In the end it was dismantled, and some of the parts rescued for possible reconstruction:

Images of the Lincoln Castle and her sister ships can be found at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *