The plan…

I am Helen. Or rather, Captain Symonds.


On Friday 13 September 2013 (how ominous) I became the proud owner of the Beta III, a former Thames fire boat. She is past her best and in need of some serious TLC. I am looking to lift her out of the water and refurbish her, hopefully to provide a great home and to keep a piece of London history afloat.

photo-7 H and G

I hold my hands up to having no experience of boats, or boat refurbishment, but I am keen to learn. Its basically just a big, moveable flat with potentially huge plumbing problems, right?

Have a look around…

I hope that this blog will provide a record of the process as well as a scrapbook for all the things I learn about the boat’s history. A recap of the work suggests we have come quite some way; to read from the very beginning click here.



9 thoughts on “The plan…

  1. Matt Woodham

    We hate you. You ruined our tender dreams as future thinking university students. We just found this boat on a website and fell in love with it. We just sent an email to enquire visiting the boat.. and after doing a quick google search to find out more about this wonderful boat we found your blog alerting us to the fact is has already been snatched from our hands. Me and my girlfriend were incredibly excited and fantasising about all we could do with the BETA III. Kevin McCloud would like us more. Your dogs are average. We had better ideas. Hope it sinks… (No we don’t).

    Resentful Regards,
    Matthew & Martha-Mabel

  2. maria Johnson

    My grand dad was bob balcomb and he had her for a long time if you have face book add me as a friend and I can send you some pictures of what she looked like when our family had her and more information about her

  3. Tom

    Hi Helen, Tom from Massey Shaw Education Trust, we own sister ship Massey Shaw. Great to see the original outline still in tact. Good luck with the project!


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