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Princess Marina

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Princess Marina

On 24th April 1934, Princess Marina, with Mayor Cllr J. A. Drew at the wheel, sailed into the bay. Princess Marina had arrived in the town six weeks earlier and was Bridlington's latest pleasure boat.

With skipper Richard E. Crawford at his side, the Mayor steered the launch into the bay for a 15-minute trip. The vessel was decorated with flags and created a great deal of interest.

Formerly named Brit, she was owned by Mr A. Butler, of Whitkirk, Leeds, and arrived in Bridlington from Yarmouth, where she was built by Fellows in mid-March 1928. She had sailed from South Coast resorts before arriving in Bridlington and she was powered by two Kelvin engines, using paraffin. She was over 18 metres long, and had a 4.5m beam. She was also fireproof.

As Brit, her official number was 144157 and yard number 322. She was owned from 1928 to 1935 by E. W. & S. H. D. Longfield, running cruises from Britannia Pier and Hall Quay, in Great Yarmouth. In 1935 she was replaced by a vessel of the same name, being sold to Albert Butler and renamed Princess Marina.

After being sold to Sea Cruises (Whitby) Ltd. in the period 1948 to 1952, she served the next eight years on the Thames, owned by Thorns Launches of Twickenham.

From 1960 to 1976, she was owned by Alfred Crouch of London, and then sold to George Wheeler to be withdrawn from service. Then in the ownership of Thames Rivercruise at Caversham, Reading, she was sold to F. & B. Boat Co. of Kingston prior to 1984. R. J. Turk & Sons of Kingston then bought her in 1987.

She was then bought by Thames Rivercruise in 1989. She was restored over two years and re-engined with six-cylinder Ford diesels and a large amount of the steel hull plating was replaced. She was also further enclosed to accommodate a dance floor, a full galley, bar, toilets and passenger area. She also had a rich mahogany interior, and carried up to 50 passengers up and down the Thames in the summer.

Article By Mike Wilson 

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