28 June—2 November 2014

Mayflower trips

Explore the harbour aboard the world’s oldest steam tug, built in Bristol in 1861.

Dates
Saturday 12 July – Sunday 13 July CANCELLED
Saturday 16 August – Sunday 17 August
Saturday 13 September – Sunday 14 September
Saturday 25 October and Sunday 26 October
Saturday 1 November and Sunday 2 November

The little steam tug Mayflower was launched from a shipyard at what is now Pooles Wharf on 18 May, 1861. She went to work on the ship canal between Sharpness and Gloucester and managed a working life of over 100 years.

Mayflower then spent 15 years narrowly avoiding the scrap yard before she came back to her birthplace in 1981 to be restored by staff and volunteers from Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives.

Since then, Mayflower has been a familiar sight in the harbour, running regular weekend trips for those who enjoy the peace and serenity of steam-powered ships.

Read more about Mayflower over on the Working Exhibits section.

Find out running times for Pyronaut
Find out running times for John King

Find out running times for the Cranes
Find out running times for the Harbour Railway

Image credit: Neil Phillips

 

As a working boat the Mayflower has changed a lot over the years – but she’s still coal-fired, rather than diesel,” explains Andy, who, you gather, is rather proud of his old tug.
Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/probably-oldest-surviving-tug-boat-world/story-11305252-detail/story.html#5YqBrIbU794yVUKX.99

She was launched in 1861 – 18 years after the ss Great Britain – by Stotherts, pioneers in iron shipbuilding who had a yard along the Hotwell Road (now the Poole’s Wharf housing development).

After trials showed just how much more efficient steam tugs were than horses, the Mayflower (and her sister tug, Moss Rose) were put to work on the Sharpness Canal and the River Severn.

Mayflower started out by towing trains of small sailing vessels – trows and ketches – and later, when new docks at Sharpness had been completed, larger steamers.

Then, in 1899, as the most seaworthy tug in the fleet, she was fitted with a new engine, boiler, funnel, propeller and shafting to make her more suitable for robust work in the Bristol Channel.

Previously behind the funnel, the steering position was also moved forward, and a waist-high iron steering shelter added to give the skipper some comfort. Once these changes had been made, the Mayflower was put back into service, this time outside Sharpness, towing sailing ships through dangerous stretches of the River Severn to Portishead and back.
Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/probably-oldest-surviving-tug-boat-world/story-11305252-detail/story.html#5YqBrIbU794yVUKX.99

She was launched in 1861 – 18 years after the ss Great Britain – by Stotherts, pioneers in iron shipbuilding who had a yard along the Hotwell Road (now the Poole’s Wharf housing development).

After trials showed just how much more efficient steam tugs were than horses, the Mayflower (and her sister tug, Moss Rose) were put to work on the Sharpness Canal and the River Severn.

Mayflower started out by towing trains of small sailing vessels – trows and ketches – and later, when new docks at Sharpness had been completed, larger steamers.

Then, in 1899, as the most seaworthy tug in the fleet, she was fitted with a new engine, boiler, funnel, propeller and shafting to make her more suitable for robust work in the Bristol Channel.

Previously behind the funnel, the steering position was also moved forward, and a waist-high iron steering shelter added to give the skipper some comfort. Once these changes had been made, the Mayflower was put back into service, this time outside Sharpness, towing sailing ships through dangerous stretches of the River Severn to Portishead and back.
Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/probably-oldest-surviving-tug-boat-world/story-11305252-detail/story.html#5YqBrIbU794yVUKX.99