Today has been a bit of a break through in finding out more about the history of Beta III post fire brigade.
Through the Massey Shaw site, Ben got in touch. He works on the Thames and runs the Liquid Highway site that collates images of and information about boats working on the Thames.
Here is Ben’s email…
I was over the moon to see the site and she was saved. I saw her in deptford creek myself a few times and then for sale last year and sighed at the sight she had been left in .
I’m a captain on passenger boats on the River Thames and so is my father, He told me about beta III and the photos were found online and the slipway ones were sent by her owner in the 80s. She operated for a time Thames Barrier trips where she can be seen white in the photo.
If you like I can post onto my Facebook page at Facebook.com/liquidhighway which I update with historic photos daily. Many of the members are also thames captains or crew and will no doubt know what her career was as a passenger boat
Do you plan to restore her like Massey Shaw to a fireboat state?
This is what I have myself on her
BETA III – Fireboat
Built: 1925 by Merryweather & Sons of Greenwich
Engine: Twin Screw 6cyl
Converted 1960 Single Screw Gardner 6LB
Length: 67ft 2in
R.F Jackson (1951-1958)
Thompson Launches (1959-1978)
F&B Boats,Kingston (1979-198x)
Spotted as a houseboat in Deptford Creek (2007)
Keep up the good work!”
And now for the photos. These are from the 1970s when the boat was working in the Kingston area for F&P boats (more on that later).
Ben has put the feelers out through Liquid Highway, so hopefully I may get a bit more info in.
He is part of the swiftstone trust helping to preserve a thames tug boat so seems to be an old hand at dealing with rusty old boats!
Seen here http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/register/2620/swiftstone