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Bleak future for SB Wilfred on the Thames

The SB Wilfred sunk at her moorings at Temple Pier on Victoria Embankment, London on 4 January 2024 and is now facing an uncertain future. Over the next week plans were put in place to refloat her.

The lifting operation began on Sunday 14 January and involved teams of divers, tugs, and cranes working with the Port of London Authority.

Wilfred was built by J Piper of East Greenwich in 1926 as a Thames sailing barge. From 1926 to 1949, she worked in the sand and ballast trade out of Dawson Wharf, Greenwich.

She was converted into a motor barge in 1938.  In 1953, she was re-named Stargate and sold to Rochester Trading Co. In 1970, she passed into private ownership. 

In 1983 her name was changed back to Wilfred and she was refurbished in 1991 to start a new life as El Barco Latino, a static restaurant ship moored at Temple Pier.  During this time she also became the home to Penya Blaugrana London, a supporters club for fans of Barcelona FC. 

A decision has yet to be taken as to whether or not this is the end for Wilfred, only two years away from reaching her centenary in 2026.

Ships Montly - January 2024

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