The Tower, The Tux, The Tug and the Tranny

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Comments (13)

Yorkshire Sam on February 4, 2012

About the Tux ..TSS Dover, (later the Earl Siward, Sol Express and now the Tuxedo Royale), is a British built turbine steamship. Built in 1965 as a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ferry, she spent much of her later life as a one of the permanently moored Tuxedo floating nightclubs before being stored out of use, latterly on the River Tees in Middlesbrough.

TSS Dover was built on the River Tyne in England by Swan Hunter in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. She was launched on 17 March 1965 and completed by June 1965. In 1977 she was renamed Earl Siward, and again in 1982 as the Sol Express. In 1993 she became the nightclub the Tuxedo Royale. A campaign to take the now sunk Tuxedo Royale home for a multi-million pound restoration project has been launched.

While Teessiders know the vessel as a floating nightclub which has fallen into disuse and disrepair, it remains a popular icon at the Port of Dover.

A Kent organisation has formed the Dover Steam Ship Company to buy and restore the ship they know as the TSS Dover. They aim to purchase the vessel for around £250,000 and then spend £14m in restoration in a decade-long project.

The TSS Dover was the last turbine steam ship to be built at Swan Hunter in Newcastle in 1965 and was taken to Dover to run the route to Calais.

Since then it has taken up routes all over the UK and spent a spell in Cyprus before becoming the Tuxedo Royale, a nightclub on the banks of the River Tyne in 1986, which was then moved to Teesside in 1999.

Richard Moffatt, chairman of Dover Steam Ship Company, has been spearheading a campaign to get the vessel back to their town and turn it into a tourist attraction.

He said: “On the face of it this is a major blow as TS Dover has sunk.

“Hopefully the damage is not too great. We’re still incredibly optimistic that she’ll come home.”

The group’s secretary Andy McLean said: “We are very concerned about the latest development. She is the world’s last surviving steam turbine car ferry, as far as we know, but definitely Europe’s. She is a part of history. We want to bring her back down to Dover in Kent to fully restore her.” He said the ambitious project aimed to “make her into a floating cruise ship and a museum of the cross channel ferry trade.”

He added: “We would like to make the people of the North-east aware she is not derelict and unwanted. She is an important vessel in maritime history and to lose her would be a tragedy.”

The ship is currently being stored on the Tees by Able UK who have found themselves £200,000 out of pocket since owners Absolute Leisure went into administration in 2009. The ownership of the vessel is now in the hands of administrators Begbies Traynor

~oOo~ on February 4, 2012

I very much doubt that there is a better image of the tranny and all her surroundings. I'm not just saying that. This is damn good stuff

~oOo~ on February 4, 2012

The history is quite something, don't you reckon. I think I would like to get some serious shots of her whilst she's like this. And see just what some love, attention and a fat bank account can make of her. I'm thinking there might not be an awful lot of chances left.

Richard Gregory 48 on February 4, 2012

When you look around the photo There's a lot to see, Sam, also I have noticed you have captured a little tiny tugboat going under the bridge. I would have given you a perfect 10 if it had been a little bit bigger. with tongue in cheek..Richard

Yorkshire Sam on February 4, 2012

You know me Si , I am never one hundred percent happy with any image since I can usually see room for improvement which is what drives me but I am delighted to receive such high praise from you for this. Especially so knowing how hard this was to capture and to edit. Considering the changing light and fast moving clouds plus the fact that there was 4 rows of 16 frames to build it and several seperate frames to incorporate things like the moving tug I am just happy it all appears seamless and straight ( eventually :o) )

Cheers fella :o)

Yorkshire Sam on February 4, 2012

Cheers Rich , I'll just have to try it all again now :o). I guess I need radio contact with Svitzer so that I could have them sail a little closer ;O)

At least it kept you busy for a little while having a look around .

best wishes, Sam :O)

Richard Gregory 48 on February 4, 2012

I heard that Miss Gregory, You're Grounded For One Month..Dad

Yorkshire Sam on February 5, 2012

Cheers Denise, looks like he ain't going to live that one down :o).

Aye it was a bit filthy down there but hey a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do :o)

You'll have a pair of sling back wellies haven't you ? :o)

Yorkshire Sam on February 5, 2012

You've just given me agreat idea for a lads out shoot D, how about you go there in them pink wellies and a polka dot bikini for us to capture,

I,m happy to wait for warmer weather of course :o)

Yorkshire Sam on February 5, 2012

PS, I have the Title already.. The Tower, The Tux, The Tranny and a bit of Teesside Totty ;O)

Yorkshire Sam on February 5, 2012

" as for been grounded he was rubbish at that when I lived at home :-p" , Proof if ever it was needed Si at what happens when you spare the rod :-O

~oOo~ on February 5, 2012

Spare the rod, spoil the child... Not good. Little wonder why the world is why it is.

Yorkshire Sam on February 5, 2012

I was tempted to include Temenos Clive but that would have included an ugly green gabtry crane which blocks the view to it anyway and so scrapped that thought instantly. Just as well given the difficulty factor I was already faced with :o). Being so close and using a 70mm lens is just silly but thats what brings in the detail and besides I like the challenge . As for the cold well lots of layers and neoprene gloves keep me reasonably comfy though the icy wind oftem makes my eyes water. Oozy and smelly so my thoughts re the mud are somewhat different to yours though I know where you are coming from.

best wishes.

Sam :o)

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Photo taken in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, Stockton-on-Tees, UK

Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 4, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Yorkshire Sam
    • Camera: NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D80
    • Taken on 2012/02/01 15:46:36
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 70.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/13.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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