Page last updated 21-9-2012




including Robert Thomas Tough and Robert Neal Tough.


Funnel; Yellow with two red rings.




Built 1877 by Harvey and Co., Hayle. Iron paddle tug. L62'. B13.4'. D7.3'. 36grt. 30nhp 1cyl 18.5"x16"s lever steam engine by builder. ON96585.


1877 Delivered to Harry Keep, London. 19-1-1881 12.00 [Owners given as Tough and Henderson, London] Struck sunken Cory barge Lowestoft neart Blackwall Point and had to be run ashore to prevent sinking. 15-7-1886 Ran from TemplePier to Richmond to demonstrate to members of the National Smoke Abatement Institute the advantages of the Thompson Smoke Consuming Furnace. 1902 Owners Tough and Henderson,London. 1910 Owner Robert Tough, Blackfriars. 1910 Owner R N Tough, London.22-10-1917 Sold to T A Thompson and Co., Hull. 1921 Transferred to Thompson Towage Co Ltd., Hull.23-10-1926 Sold to United Towing Co Ltd., Hull. 1927 Scrapped.






Photo D Waller colln


Built 1922 by Danziger Werft, Danzig L64.6'. B14.2'. D7.5'. 49grt. 305ihp 2cyl compound steam engine by builder. ON146689.

12-1-1923 delivered to Robert Neal Tough, Blackfriars. 18-2-1930 Owners Tough and Henderson Ltd., London.  22-1-1951 Sank at moorings near BlackfriarsBridge. Salved and returned to service. 7-4-1961 Arrived at  T.W. Ward Ltd., Grays, for scrapping.




 Built 1953 by Cochrane Ltd., Poplar. L46'. B11'. D6.8'. 27grt. 3cyl Crossley diesel engine.

 1953 Delivered to W.J.R. Whitehair Ltd., London named Kenneth G. 196? Sold to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 197? Sold to Cubow Ltd., Woolwich, renamed Cubow. 19?? Sold to Tough & Henderson Ltd., London. 1983 Sold to Hastings Bros., Brentford. 1983 Re-engined 190bhp  RollsRoyce Eagle diesel. 19?? Renamed KG. 2005 Sold to Murphy Marine Services, renamed Kiera G. 2006 Still in existence.





Photo R Albanese/ K.B.P.S. colln.


Rebuilt as diesel tug. Photo K Blair.
HAM august 1975 Photo Tony Atkinson.


Built 1925  by  van Duijvendijk, Lekkerkerk. YN 3. L58.1'. B14.8'. D6.5'. 44grt. 180ihp 2cyl compound steam engine by H K Smits, Kinderdijk. ON148726.


1925 Delivered to Robert Neal Tough, Teddington, named Ham. 1931 Transferred to Tough & Henderson Ltd., London. 1961 Re-engined 240bhp 8cyl Bergius diesel engine. 1966 Owners Clements Tough Ltd.,London. 1969 Acquired by John Dickinson & Co Ltd., London. 1978 Sold to Thames & General Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1979 Sold to Stephen L. Clarke, Queenborough. 197? Sold to W.F. Mayhew, Queenborough. 27-11-1981 Sank off Southend-on-Sea, salved and repaired. 1982 Sold to J.T. Palmer & Sons Ltd., Gravesend, renamed Nipaway. 1988 Sold to Stan Clifford. 2004 Scrapped.



Built 1898 at Berkhampstead. Composite. L64'. B14'. D6.5'. 36grt. Steam engine. ON129104.


1911 Owner Robert Tough, Blackfriars. 1924 Still owned.




Built 1892 by G Napier and Sons,  Southampton. Iron. L62.8'. B13.5'. D7.1'. 37grt. 200ihp 35nhp 2cyl compound steam engine. ON129103.


5-9-1892 Launched. 1892 Delivered to Tough and Henderson, London. 1905 Owner  Robert Tough, Blackfriars. 1910 Owner R. N. Tough, London.  11.9.1917 Sold to T. W. Thompson & Company, Hull.   1921 Transferred to Thompson Towage Company Ltd., Hull.   1921 Sold to Associated Transport Company Ltd., (George R. Nicholson), Liverpool.   1926 Sold to Richard Reynolds, Liverpool.  1930 Sold to Harold Edwards, Liverpool.  1933 No longer listed in Mercantile Navy List.






Built 1862 at Millwall. Iron. L56.6'. B12.1'. D6.6'. 27grt. 25nhp 1cyl steam engine. ON44988

1862 Delivered to Samuel Williams,
London. 20-11-1875 Skipper Benjamin Low fined three pounds for towing 13 barges, contrary to by-laws. 1875 Sold to Robert Tough & George Henderson, London. 1903 Scrapped.





Photo K Watson colln.


Built 1888 by Alley & McLellan, Polmadie, Glasgow. L63'. B13.1'. D6'. 25nhp 3cylTE steam engine by builder. ON95485.

1888 Delivered to Robert T. Tough,
London.25-9-1903 Robert Thomas Tough summonsed for creating excessive smoke nuisance. 1908 Owner Robert N. Tough, London.5-8-1916 Req by Admiralty. 23-3-1917 Returned to owner. 1930 Transferred to Tough & Henderson Ltd., London. 1944 Sold to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1944 Sold to Henry D. Lane., London. 1945 Owners James Humphrey & Queenie Lane,London. 1948 Owners Lane Towing Ltd., London. No further trace.





Photo A Hughes colln


Built 1925 by John Chambers, Oulton Broad. L64', B14.9'. D7.6'. 52grt. 43nhp 2cyl 12"x25"x16"s compound Steam engine. 160psi boiler by Ruston and Hornsby, Lincoln. ON148571.


3-1925 Running trials. 1925 Delivered to Tough & Henderson Ltd., Teddington. 28-1-1932 Sailing barge Wilshire, under tow, laden with bricks, holed following collision with sailing barge Valkyrie in Southwark Reach. 1958 Re-engined 300bhp diesel. 7-5-1958 Towed Douglas Fir tree 225 feet long and weighing 37 tons from docks to KewGardens for use as a flagpole. 1966 Owners Clements Tough Ltd., London. 1978 Acquired by Thames & General Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 198? Seen on river at Penryn, Cornwall. 198x: spotted on ChurchBeach on the PenrynRiver at Penryn, Cornwall (GBR), in use as a houseboat, not operational 2005 Seen on Strood buoys.




Built 1896 at Southampton. L71.8'. B14.2'. D5.2'. 49grt. 75nhp steam engine ON144580.


1920 First regd London. 1921 Owner Robert N Tough, London. 1930 Same owner. 




Built 1917 by Tough and Henderson ltd., Teddington. L57.5'. B9.3'. D4.5'. 17grt. 130ihp 2cyl compound steam engine by F J Harker, Stockton. . ON140410.


1917 Delivered to Robert Neal Tough, London.1-5-1918 Req by Admiralty. Possibly served in Egypt.3-9-1919 Returned to owners. 1920 Transferred to Tough and Henderson Ltd., London. 1935 Sold to French owners.



Photo RGR Colln

Built 1949 by Brooke Marine Ltd., Oulton Broad. L26.6'. B8.6'. D4.1'. 6grt. 150bhp 6cyl Thornycroft diesel engine. ON183192.

2-1950 Launched. 1950  Delivered to Tough & Henderson Ltd., Teddington. 1957 Still owned. 19?? Sold to Ted Harris, Brentford. 19?? Sold to P. Walsh. 2006 Still in existence.





Funnel; Black.


The Union Lighterage Company was incorporated in1862. In 1900 Richard Lambert was Company Secretary and Manager, and became Managing Director before his death on 13-3-1928. On a sad note Assistant Manager George Recknell disappeared on 16-10-1901 and his body was recovered from the river on 29-10-1901. In 1922 ChairmanThomas Renshaw Westray. a well known figure in London shipping circles died.
In 1933 the diesel electric tug Lectro was delivered to the company, built specifically to fulfill a contract with Shell and BP Ltd to tow petrol barges between Shell Haven and Fulham. in 1962 Union Lighterage came under the ownership of Wharf Holdings Ltd, but continued trading under its own title along with Butlers and Colonial Wharves Ltd and Lamberts Barge Hire Ltd. On
30-3-1983 a legal notice proposing voluntary liquidation for these three subsidiary companies was published and a final meeting with the liquidator was held on 19-9-1983. Premises owned by Union Lighterage Company over the years included EbnersWharf, Millwall and AnchorBay Slipway, Manor Road Erith.







Built 1877 by Millwall Docks & Engineering Works Ltd.,  Millwall. Iron. L60.6’. B12.3’. D6.7’. 32grt. 250ihp 1cyl steam engine by builder. ON77018.
1877 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London. 8-6-1885 Barge Iron Horse, under tow, struck and holed the bow of SS Swift off St Katherines Dock entrance. 20-11-1886 Beached barge Clara, holed by prop of SS Osprey, on beach at Tower of London. 1892 Sold to Francis & Richard Lambert, London. 1896 Sold to William Cory & Son Ltd., London. 1898 Sold to Richard Waters, London. 1900 Sold to Robert Forster, Scotswood-on-Tyne. 1920 Sold to Northumberland Shipbuilding Co Ltd., Howden. 1927 Sold to Robert Sword., Newcastle. 1932 Scrapped.





Photo D Asprey colln


Photo RGR colln.

Built 1927 by Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby. YN1007. L77.7'. B21.6'. D11'. 107grt. 650ihp 3cylTE 14"x21.5"x35"x24"s steam engine by Plenty and Son Ltd., Newbury. ON149942.


30-8-1927 Launched. 11-1927 Running trials. 1927 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 26-8-1939 Barge Albion, being towed, collided with pleasure steamer Queen of England in south navigable arch of WaterlooBridge. 1966 Sold to Tsavliris (Salvage & Towage) Co Ltd., Piraeus, renamed Nisos Kalymnos. 19?? Sold to N E Vernicos Shipping Co Ltd., Piraeus renamed Vernicos Katerina. 1981 Scrapped.




Built 1948 by Henry Scarr Ltd.,  Hessle. YN599. L68'. B19.5'. D7.4'. 68grt. 520bhp British Polar diesel engine. ON182895.
1948 Delivered to River Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London. 1965 Sold to W.J.R. Whitehair Ltd., London. 196? Sold to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1971 Sold to A.u.H. Huntemann, Hamburg, renamed Lowe. 1973 Converted for pushing by Schiffswerft Johann Oelkers KG., Hamburg-Neuhof. Re-engined 8cyl, 1080bhp diesel. 1996 Sold to Carl Robert Eckelmann, Hamburg. 2005 Still in service





Photo RW colln.


Built 1921 by Philip & Son Ltd., Dartmouth. YN 610. Designed by James Pollock Ltd., Faversham. Ship No 992. L71'. B17.7'. D9.3'. 69grt. 250ihp 2cyl compound steam engine by builder. ON146536.


1922 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. Cost £9,500. 16-1-1967  Scrapped by T.W. Ward Ltd, Grays.




Photo RGR colln


Built 1914 by Bergenhout, Rotterdam. YN 573. Designed by James Pollock Ltd., London, ship number 573. L75.9'. B20.6'. D10.8'. 100grt. 470ihp 2cyl 17"x36"x24" compound steam engine. Boiler 13'dia x 10'. 140psi.  ON135318.

1914 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London.17-8-1914 Req by  Admiralty. 24-7-1916 Towed captured German submarine UC-5 upriver to TemplePier for public display. 10-3-1919 Returned to owners 18-8-1940 Req by Admiralty as auxiliary patrol vessel. 194? On War Office service. 23-3-1944 On Admiralty service. 28-2-1946 Laid up. 194? Sold to R.G. Odell Ltd., London. No further trace.



Built 1890 by Union Lighterage Co Ltd, Blackwall. Steel screw tug. 56 grt. 69.0 ftx16.2 ftx8.5 ft  C2cyl 15",30"x20" 45nhp by  J Stewart & Sons, Blackwall ON98128

11-7-1890 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd, London. 5-1905 Owner John G Hammond, London. 7-1905 Owner Herbert H Kent, London. 1-1908 Owner Frank A Stone, Erith. 6-1913 Owner The General Wharfage & Supply Co Ltd - mng FA, J & D Stone, Erith. 9-1947 Owner Horace H Barber, Barking. 5-1953 Scrapped.


Photog unknown

Built 1902 by Lobnitz & Co Ltd., Renfrew. YN 554. Designed by James Pollock, London. Ship No 105. L71'. B17.1'. D9.4'. 250hp 2cyl 14"x30"x22" compound steam engine by builder. ON115909.
1902 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London.22-11-1912 Barge Ellen under tow with five other barges collided with SS Umona in Erith Roads. Ellen heavily damaged and had to be beached to prevent sinking and her cargo of tea ruined. 1936 Sold to T. Scholey & Co (Thames) Ltd., London. 11-1940 Req by Admiralty for auxiliary patrol service. 27-11-1945 Returned to owner. 1947  Sold to Lane Towing Ltd, London. 1949 Sold to James & Alfred White, Erith, Kent. 1953 Owners Sarah, James & Alfred White, Erith. 1957 Owners W E White & Sons (Towing) Ltd, Erith 1962.




Photog unknown


Built 1930 by Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby. YN 1094. L77.6'. B21.6'. D11.3'. 109grt. 600ihp 3cylTE 13"x23"x37"x26"s oil fired steam engine by C D Holmes Ltd., Hull. ON162507.


25-9-1930 Launched. 1930 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1940 In collision with tug Irande off ConvoysWharf. In danger of sinking she was beached by Irande at Millwall. 1953 Sold to Walter  Pigott, Grimsby.11-8-1953 Renamed Lady Alma. 1954 Owners re-incorporated as J. H. Pigott & Son Ltd. 1965 Renamed Lady Biddy. 1965 Sold to Tsavliris (Towage & Salvage) Ltd., Piraeus, renamed Nisos Milos. 1973 Sold to N.E. Vernicos Shipping Company, Piraeus, renamed Vernicos Sophia. 1977 Scrapped at Lalrion by S Karidis.


Photo A Hughes colln.


Photo RW colln.


Built 1952 by Philip & Son Ltd., Dartmouth. YN 1241. L81.3'. B20.1'. D8.3'. 80grt. 560bhp 7cyl Ruston Hornsby diesel engine. BP5.7t. ON184757.


1952 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1971 Sold to S.B. Towage Ltd., Gravesend. 197? Sold to Greenhithe Salvage Company, Greenhithe. 1976 Owners S. B. Towage Ltd., Gravesend. 1979 Sold to Frank Pearce (Tugs) Ltd.,  Poole, renamed Pullwell Zulu. 1980 Crankshaft broken, laid up for spares. 1982 Scrapped.



Photog unknown

Built 1898 by Union Lighterage Co Ltd., Blackwall. Designed by James Pollock Ltd., London, ship number 90. Steel screw tug. L74.6'. B18.7'. D10.9'. 83grt. 67nhp 2cyl 16"x35"x24" compound Boiler 12'dia x 10'. 130psi. Steam engine. ON110091.


3-1899 Completed and delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.Philpot Lane, London.  1932 Owners W J R Whitehair Ltd.,15, Seething  Lane, London. 195? Owners Alpha Towage Ltd, London. 195? Scrapped.





For details see under William Cory and Son [2]






Photo B Hunt colln


Built 1902 by Lobnitz & Co Ltd., Renfrew. YN 553. Designed by James Pollock, London. Ship No 104. L71'. B17.1'. D10'. 66grt. 250ihp 2cyl 14"x30"x22"s compound steam engine by builder.  Boiler 10'6"dia x 9'6". 120psi. ON 115898.
1902 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London named Juno. 1933 Sold to  Arthur Heather., Margate. 1948 Sold to Harrisons (London) Ltd.,  London. 1-6-1948 Renamed Birchrock. 1- 1949 Sold for £2000 to The Ridley Steam Tug Co Ltd., Newcastle, renamed Mildred II. 1955 Owners Ridley Tugs Ltd., Newcastle.  9-1955 Laid up. 11-1956  Offered for sale for £2000. 6-1957 Scrapped at Gateshead by C W Dorkin Ltd.



Photo R W Colln.


Built 1933 by Henry Robb Ltd., Leith. YN 197. Diesel-electric tug. L86.4'. B22.1'. D9.6'. 120grt. 2x 360bhp 4SCSA 6cyl 12.5"x19" Mirrlees-Bickerton-Day diesels driving BTH 580hp electric motor. ON163390


m,21-9-1933 Launched by Lady Linlithgow. 10-1933 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1972 Owners Lambert Barge Hire Ltd., London. 1995 Deleted LR 'existence in doubt'. [197? Believed scrapped at Wouldham, Kent]




Built 1893 by Richardson Duck, Thornaby-on-Tees. YN414. L70.3'. B16'. D8.4'. 56grt. 30nhp 2cyl compound steam engine. ON101997.
17-4-1893 Launched. 5-1893 Delivered to Commercial Lighterage Co Ltd, London. 1911 Owners  Union Lighterage Co Ltd, London. 1920 Owners R G Odell Ltd, London. 1939 Still owned by Odell.



Photo RW Colln.


Built 1964 by J. Bolson & Son Ltd., Poole. YN 547.  L82.3’. B20’. D9’. 83grt. 627bhp National diesel engine. ON306097.


1964 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,  London, named Lingo. 1971 Sold to Lambert Barge Hire Co Ltd, chartered to Cory Lighterage Ltd., London. 1974 Sold to Cory Lighterage Ltd.,  London, renamed Merit. 1983 Transferred to Cory Waste Management Ltd., London. 1990 Transferred to Cory Environmental Ltd., London. 1993 Re-engined 1196bhp  Mirrlees-Blackstone ESL6 diesel, BP11tons. 2006 Still in service.


RIO [1]



Built 1934 by Henry Robb Ltd, Leith. YN 201. L75.3'. B20.1'. D7.3'. 80grt. 310bhp 6cyl 4SCSA Ruston Hornsby diesel engine. 18bhp Lister auxiliary engine. ON163553.

 1934 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1971 Sold for scrapping at Sheerness. 8-1974 Arrived at  T W Ward Ltd., Grays for scrapping



RIO [2]


 Built 1935 by T. van Duijvendijk's Scheepswerf, Lekkerkerk. YN 18. 80grt. 60bhp Bolinder diesel engine.
1935 Delivered to Greenhithe Lighterage Co Ltd., Greenhithe, named Calliope. 1959 [by] Reengined
Gardner diesel. 198? Privately owned. 198? Sold to General Port Services Ltd., London, renamed Rio. 19?? Sold to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London.12-9-1998 Seen at Canary Wharf. 2007 Still in existence at Hoo Marina.




Photog unknown

 Built 1924 by James Pollock Sons & Co Ltd.,  Faversham. YN 1140. L55.6'. B14.5'. D6'. 37grt. 120bhp Gardner diesel engine ON148524.
12-1924 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London.26-4-1941 Req by Admiralty  for skid towing M/S duties. 2-10-1944 Returned to owners. 1971 Sold for Scrapping. 8-1974 Arrived at  T.W. Ward Ltd., Grays, fro scrapping.





Built 1908 by Union Lighterage Co Ltd., Blackwall. Designed by James Pollock Ltd., London. Ship No 177. L71.5'. B17.6'. D9.5'. 87grt. 46nhp 2cyl 14"x30"x22"s compound steam engine. Boiler 10.5'x9.5' 130psi. ON125674.
1908 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London named Toro.  1934[post] Sold to B. Jacob & Sons Ltd.,  London.28-6-1944 Damaged by flying bomb off Rotherhithe. 1951 Sold to W.R. Cunis Ltd., London. 1956 Reengined 537bhp 2x Blackstone diesels driving two in/one out Brevo gearbox, renamed William  Ryan. 197? Sold to Redland Ltd., London. 198? Owners Cleanaway Ltd., London. 2000 Sold to Paul Williams and Colin Bullock for private use. 12-2009 Advertised for sale at Hoo, Kent.




Photo RW colln.


Built 1950 by Philip & Son Ltd., Dartmouth. YN1212. L81.3'. B20.1'. D7.8'. 77grt. 480bhp 6cyl Ruston Hornsby diesel engine. ON183294.

 1950 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1970 Sold to Electro-Marine Engineering Co Ltd, Gravesend. 1971 Scrapped.





Photog unknown


Built 1924 by J. Cran & Somerville Ltd., Leith. YN 132. Designed by James Pollock and Sons Ltd., Faversham, ship no 1094. L83.6'. B21.7'. D11.5'. 112grt. 600ihp 3cylTE 14"x21.5"x35"x24"s oil fired steam engine by builder. Boiler 13'6"dia x 14'. 150psi. ON148496.

1924 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd.,
London. 4-1940 Req for War Office service. 28-11-1945 Returned to owner. 1951 Sold to Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons Ltd., London. 1954 Sold to J.H. Pigott & Son Ltd., Grimsby.8-9-1954 Renamed Lady Constance. 1965 Renamed Lady Dora. 1965 Sold to Tsavliris (Towage & Salvage) Ltd., Piraeus, renamed Nisos Naxos. 1975 Sold to Nicholas E. Vernicos Shipping Co Ltd., Piraeus, renamed Vernicos Marina II. 26-3-1984 Arrived Perama for scrapping by Kyriazis Brothers. 1985 Demolition commenced.




Photo RGR colln.

Photog unknown


Built 1927 by J.S. Watson (Gainsborough) Ltd., Gainsborough. YN 1244. L58.3'. B15.6'. D7'. 51grt. 200bhp Gardner diesel engine. ON149950.

 1927 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1971 Sold to J.T. Palmer & Sons, Gravesend,22-7-2013 Towed from Denton to Northfleet for scrapping. 1-2014 Scrapped at Northfleet





Built 1880 at Blackwall. L59.8'. B13.7'. D7.1'. 40grt. 30nhp steam engine. ON82814


1880 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London?? named Union.  18?? Sold to D Radford and Co., London, renamed Lydford. 1896 Acquired by William Cory and Son Ltd., London. 1914 Sold to General Wharfage and Supply Co Ltd., Erith. 1939 Owner Samuel H Hallett, Park Place, Greenwich. 1942 Scrapped.





Built 1895 by Union Lighterage Co Ltd., Blackwall. YN 63. Designed by James Pollock Ltd., London, ship number 61. L64.5'. B15'. D7.6'. 48grt. 190ihp 2cyl 13"x26"x20" compound steam engine by Evans and Sons Ltd., Poplar. Boiler 9'6"dia x 9'. ON104899.
1895 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London named Union. 1924 Sold to Trafalgar Towing Co (1920) Ltd., London. 1934 Owner Richard G. Odell, London. 1953 Re-engined 305bhp  Widdop EMB6 diesel.  1972 Owner R.G. Odell Ltd., London. 1973 Sold to Richard Henderson & Andrew Birthright, Greenhithe. 1973 Re-engined  300bhp Widdop diesel. 1976 Sold to Frank Pearce (Tugs) Ltd., Poole. 1980 Sold to Laxey Towing Co Ltd., Douglas, Isle of Man. 1984 Sold to Offshore Workboats Ltd., Renfrew. 198? Sold to Divemex Ltd., Barmouth. 198? Sold to Pounds Shipbreakers Ltd., Portsmouth. 5-1987 Still in use. 198? Sold for conversion to yacht, laid up Tilbury. 1990 Scrapped by PLA.





Built 1939 by Rowhedge Ironworks Co Ltd., Rowhedge. YN 569. L40.3'. B13.1'. D4.9'. 17grt. Diesel engine. ON167167.

 1939 Delivered to Union Lighterage Co Ltd., London. 1976 Owners Lambert Barge Hire Ltd., London. 19?? Possibly sold to W J Whitehair Ltd., London. 19?? Owned by Mr B Birthright, Gravesend. No further trace.



Also owners of the small river and coastal tankers:-


Astro; Banco; BP Spirit; Hero; Shell Spirit 1; Shell Spirit 2; Toro; Ulco; Uno.






Funnel; Dark Blue with Red 'V' on White disc.






Built 1883 by Thames Iron Works, Blackwall. Iron. L67'. B13.3'. D8'. 45grt  40nhp 1cyl steam engine by T A Young, London. ON91930.
1883 Delivered to unknown owner. 1886 Owners Vokins & Co Ltd, London. 1893 Reengined 195ihp 2cyl compound steam engine by Plenty. 1916 Owners Clements Knowling & Co Ltd. 16-4-1923 Skipper Richard Lewis fined £10 for navigating at a speed likely to endanger the public. He had overturned a rowing eight near Richmond. 1949 Scrapped.


Built 1865 by J Dudgeon, Cubitt Town, London Iron screw tug. 30grt 11nrt, 58.6 x 12.2 x 7.1ft 25nhp 1 cyl steam engine. ON56819
1865 Completed. 12-7-1867 Owner William Vokins, London. 1885 Owner James Grieg, London. 1885 Owner James Grieg, London 1893 Owner George W Looker and others, Poplar. 1895 George W Looker, Poplar
1899 George W Looker and George T Lookerc. 1903 George T Looker and others, Poplar 1914 Owner Sarah M Looker and others (mng William Looker), Poplar 1917 Owner Charles D Etheredge and others, London. 1922 Owners Rotifer Towing Co Ltd (mng Henry D Lane), Rotherhithe 25-1-1929 Registry closed  "broken up".


Photog unknown

Built 1867 at Bow. Iron screw tug. L62.4’. B13.1’. D7.3’.  42grt 24nhp 2cyl compound steam engine. ON56820

1867 Delivered to William Vokins, London. 1882[by] Owner George Spicer, Gravesend. 1889 Owner John W. Spicer. 1891 Owner Joseph Constant, London. 1892 Owner Charles E. Gaselee, London . 1897 Owner Phillip Margetts, Canning Town, London. 1898 Owner George Margetts, Canning Town, renamed Klondyke. 1900 Owner George & Phillip Margetts, Canning Town. 1903 Owner Phillip Margetts, Canning Town. 1906 Owner William & Sarah Margetts, Canning Town. 1913 Owner Ernest Lawrence Brown, Bristol. 1921 Owner William H. Slocombe, Cardiff. 1923 Owner John Smith & William Union, Cardiff. 1929 Owner William Union, Cardiff. 1936 Scrapped at Cardiff.



Built 1866 by John Dudgeon, Cubitt Town. Iron screw tug. 33grt 10nrt, 56.2 x 11.8 x 7.2ft 25nhp 2cyl 25nhp steam engine by J & N Dudgeon, Cubitt Town. ON63521

1866 Delivered to unknown owner, possibly William Vokins, London 29-10-1869 Owners Edward & John Shelbourne, Limehouse. 9-1876 Owner Robert Miller, Battersea 2-1878 Owners William J Cante, William Martin, George Beckett and John Johnson, London 9-1882 Owners William Martin, George Beckett, Charles Grubb and William McNeale, London 5-1883 Owner Daniel Radford, Exeter 6-6-1891 Owner James Watkins, London 8-6-1891 Owner David Sime, Blackwall 3-1893 Owner Herbert H Kent, London 4-1894 Owner David Sime, Blackwall 29-11-1905 Registry closed  "broken up".




Photo G. Staden colln.


Built 1957 by Vokins & Co Ltd., Brentford. diesel engine.
1957 Delivered to Vokins & Co Ltd., Brentford named Valkyrie. 1975 Sold to Thames & General Lighterage Co Ltd., London , renamed Thames II. 1980 Acquired by William Cory Ltd and laid up for sale.19?? Sold to General Marine Services, London, renamed Major. 200? Sold to John Read, Brentford. 2007 Sold to M&J Marine Services, Richmond.



Photo G Staden colln
No details known
ex Cemarco. [ APCM]  19?? Acquired by Thames and General Lighterage Co Ltd., London, renamed Thames III. 1980 Acquired by William Cory Ltd., London and laid up for sale.





Photo J Tiley colln.


Built 1937 by Richard Dunston Ltd., Thorne. L66'. B17.6'. D6.8'. 58grt. 390bhp diesel engine. ON165584.
1937 Delivered to Vokins & Co Ltd., London, named Vanoc.1975 Sold to Thames & General Lighterage Co Ltd., London, renamed General I. 1983 Sold to Ron Livett,  London, renamed Warrior. 1984 owners Thames & Medway Towage Ltd., London. 19?? Re-engined 860bhp Diesel. 5-2013 Reported as 'about to be scrapped'.




Photo J Tiley.


Built 1937 by James Pollock Sons and Co Ltd. Faversham, YN 1581. L38.4'. B10.5'. D4.2'. 13grt. 60bhp 2cyl  Widdop diesel engine. ON165490.

1937 Delivered to Vokins & Co Ltd.,  London. 26-10-1942 Req by  Admiralty for  fire-fighting service. 5-3-1946 Returned to owner. 1971 Sold to Albert Coffey, Ilford. 198? Acquired for preservation by Museum of London in Docklands. 2009: still in existence




Photo A Hughes colln


Built 1938 by James Pollock Sons & Co Ltd.,  Faversham. YN 1684. L38.2'. B10.5'. D4'. 13grt. 60bhp 2cyl Widdop diesel engine. ON165519.

1938 Delivered to Vokins & Co Ltd., London. 1975 Sold to Thames & General Lighterage Ltd., London. 1980 Acquired by  The Mercantile Lighterage Co Ltd, London. 1982 Owners J Darling (Import & Export Services Ltd, London. 1982 Sold to General Marine Services,  London, renamed Vassel. 6-2012 Advertised for sale, £10,000, engineless, in West Yorkshire, as Vassell.




Built 1898 by Rennie,  Greenwich. L70'. B16.2'. D8.3'. 60grt. 55nhp 275ihp C2cyl 15"x29"x18" steam engine by S Young and Son, Blackwall. . ON108384.


4-1898 Launched. 1898 Delivered to Vokins & Co Ltd., London. 28-3-1911 Barge Ribble under tow collided with tug Kennet in Bow Creek off Great Eastern Railway Wharf. 9-1918 Req for Admiralty service. 1-1920 returned to owner. 15-4-1924 Owners Clements Knowling Ltd., Brentford.





Built 1899 at Greenwich. L70.1'. B16.7'. D8.9'. 63grt. 80nhp steam engine. ON112651.
1899 Delivered to Vokins Ltd., London. 1947 Sold to Clements Knowling Ltd., London. 195? Scrapped.





Photo's A Hughes colln
Photog unknown


Built 1940 by Richard Dunston Ltd., Thorne. L68.9'. B18'. D7.4'. 71grt. 420bhp British Polar diesel engine. ON167613.
1940 Delivered to Vokins and Co Ltd., London, named Vista. 1975 Sold to Thames & General Lighterage Co Ltd., London, renamed General IX. 1980 Acquired by Cory Lighterage Ltd., London. 1982 Sold to Hastings Bros., London. 198? Sold to John Reed. 199? Sold to Bill Blake, Barking. 199? Sold to Thames and Medway Towing Company, Gravesend. 2010 Owned by Mr D Birthright [Medtow Marine].


Photo Ben @ liquid highway.






Photo D Asprey colln 


Built 1910 by  G Rennie & Co, Greenwich. L70'. B17.3'. D8.8'. 68grt. 375ihp 2cyl compound steam engine. ON129194.
1910 Delivered to Vokins & Co Ltd, London. 1924 Owner Vokins Ltd. 21-12-1937 Collided with and sank motor barge Dee off Butlers Wharf. 1934[post] Sold to  Clements Knowling & Co Ltd, Brentford 12-1940 Req by Admiralty for patrol service. 23-8-1945 Returned to owners. 1957 Scrapped by T W Ward Ltd., Grays.




Photog unknown



photog unknown
Photo Rays colln
Photo W Armstrong


Built 1929 by Crabtree and Co Ltd., Gt. Yarmouth. YN186. L69'. B17.1'. D8.3'. 64grt. 22hp 2cyl compound steam engine. ON161271
1929 Delivered to General Steam Navigation Co Ltd., London. Named Gull. 10-7-1940 Req for Admiralty service. 30-1-1946 Returned to owner. 195? Sold to Vokins & Co Ltd., London, renamed Voracious. 1960 Rebuilt, re-engined 500bhp diesel. 1972 Sold to Michael J. Batty, Singapore and shipped as deck cargo from Hamburg to Singapore. Departed Thames 2-8-1972].  Renamed Gregory B. 1976 Believed sold to Persian owners. No further trace.




Photog unknown 

Photo Rays colln


Built 1947 by Henry Scarr Ltd., Hessle. YN510. L70.8'. B19.1'. D8.3'. 77grt. 465bhp Diesel engine. ON181810.
1947 Delivered to APCM Ltd.,
London named Snowcem. 1962 Sold to Vokins Ltd., London renamed Vortex. 1975 Sold to Thames & General Lighterage Ltd., London renamed General III. 1980 Taken over by Cory Lighterage Ltd., London. 198? Owners General Marine Services Ltd., London. 1992 Register closed. 200? Converted to houseboat moored at Hoo,Kent.