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P.S. Wingfield Castle

Details about P.s. Wingfield Castle

In its 89-year existence the West Hartlepool shipyard of William Gray & Company launched more than a thousand ships – incredibly, just two of the ships were paddle steamers, and even more remarkably, today, in 2018, both ships are still afloat.

One, the Tattershall Castle, is now a floating restaurant moored on the River Thames; the other, the Wingfield Castle, has come home and now lies alongside the very slipway she was launched from back on September the 24th, 1934.

The two sisters were built for the London & North Eastern Railway primarily to operate as passenger ferries on the River Humber between Hull and New Holland, but also running local excursion trips.

They were very reliable and popular vessels, regularly crossing the Humber for forty years, before the construction of the Humber Bridge made both ships redundant.

For the next 12 years she was the centre of various ownership wrangles and a succession of failed conversion attempts, which left her in a very dilapidated condition. In 1986, Hartlepool Borough Council rescued her from certain destruction and brought her back to the port to be restored.

Today, she forms the Museum of Hartlepool’s largest and most impressive exhibit, featuring a café and a range of educational facilities.

However, like all ships she requires constant maintenance and repair. In 2009 it was discovered that a number of her hull plates needed to be replaced and she temporarily swopped places with another restored vessel, HMS Tincomalee, in the adjacent drydock berth.

The opportunity was also taken to refurbish the First and Third Class Saloons, and convert them into educational suites for use by local and visiting school groups.


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