The paddle steamer made about eight trips a day carrying up to 1050 passengers in three compartments and on the deck.
Apart from her role as a passenger vessel, the Tattershall Castle had space on board for cars and livestock. Sheep, pigs, cattle and horses could all be tethered or penned for the 40-minute crossing.
More than 1,000,000 passengers were ferried during its 40 years of operation. During the war the Tattershall Castle was commandeered for a short period as a tethering vessel for barrage balloons on the Humber estuary. This role was very short lived. The transportation of the troops and vital munitions and supplies across the Humber proved far too important to allow the Tattershall Castle away from the estuary.
Wartime also saw the Tattershall Castle become the first civil vessel to carry radar. Her radar proved crucial on the foggy Humber. Just after the war during a routine crossing her radar picked up an unidentified floating object on the screen, on investigation the crew found part of one of Britain’s first oil rigs which had broken loose from its moorings during a storm.
After the war it carried on its business as a ferry until 1973 when urgent repair work was required for her boilers. This work was deemed too costly for her to carry on as a ferry and as a result the Tattershall Castle was retired from service.
Since 1981 the Tattershall Castle has been run as a bar & restaurant and has been considered one of the capital’s best venues and has become particularly famous as the destination of choice to celebrate New Year’s Eve due to being directly opposite the London Eye.
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