Heritage Barge Days at ExCel

Tuesday or Wednesday from 1-7pm
  • Free
  • All Ages

We are celebrating the role of the mighty River Thames by hosting the Thames barge Blue Mermaid in view of the splendid SS Robin outside the ExCel centre in the Royal Docks for visitors to enjoy and find out more about Newham’s maritime heritage.

Thames Barge SB Blue Mermaid at sea. Colne Bay. Image by Richard Titchener.

SB Blue Mermaid is a new built replica of a barge of the same name that was lost to a mine in World War II, and has been built to carry out the barges’ trade as traditionally as possible, with no engine or powered winches. She will be carrying a small cargo of clay from W H Collier’s famous clay pit in Essex and sand from the Thames estuary to be made into bricks by the Brickfield Newham project.

Also stationed in the Docks is the SS Robin is the only remaining Victorian steam coaster, the last left of thousands that were built around the world. She now lives in the Royal Docks as a vessel for public display, less than a mile from where she was built.

Organised by Heritage Maritime Trust, SB Blue Mermaid and the Sea Change Sailing Trust is a charity providing opportunities for disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded young people.

With special thanks to ExCel, Royal Docks Management Authority and Royal Docks Team.

The Thames barge will be available for the public to visit on 25th and 26th May outside ExCel in the Royal Docks.  The crew will be on board the Thames barge to show you the vessel and tell the unique story connected to the Royal Docks.

The SS Robin is currently on a pontoon adjacent to Millennium Mill and visible from the boat dock, a member of the SS Robin trust will be available to talk to visitors.

Thames Barge SB Blue Mermaid at sea. Date unknown early 20th Century.
SS Robin built in the Royal Docks

How to Attend

This is a free event but you must register for a ticket and be aware of social distancing and government guidelines when outside.

Please email rosamond.murdoch@newham.gov.uk for access questions

Parking is available at the ExCel carpark, including Blue Badge holders.

Toilet facilities are available. Please bring a face-covering to wear when using inside facilities.


Register Free

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1 - 31 May 2021