Tower Belle

Cardiff, United Kingdom

Tower Belle

Tower Belle is a passenger boat based in Bristol Harbour in England. The vessel is operated by the Bristol Packet Boat Trips company on pleasure and educational trips in the City Docks, on the River Avon to the Chequers Inn at Hanham Lock and Beese's Tea Gardens at Conham. Tower Belle was built in 1920 in Newcastle upon Tyne by Armstrong Whitworth, originally known as Wincomblee. In the 1950s and 1960s she worked in London, finally coming to Bristol in 1976.

Originally known as Wincomblee after a place in the Walker district of Newcastle, details of her early history are not known. She was operated by the Armstrong Whitworth company that built her, either as an executive launch or a company ferry for shipyard workers. In 1939 she was transferred to Newcastle City Council and was likely used as a ferry on the River Tyne during the Second World War. In 1946 she was moved to London and then commenced passenger services on the River Thames from Westminster Pier, downriver to Greenwich and up to Hampton Court. A single screw powered by diesel engine replaced the original steam powered twin screw arrangement. Her operators on the Thames were H G Hastings (1947–45), Thames Launches (1955–59) and, renamed Tower Belle, W R Witham (1960–76).

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