FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A christening on the Thames

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on October 26, 2012

Throughout the years Tower Bridge has seen an incredible variety of ships passing through. The most interesting visitors tend to be the warships, cruise liners and tall ships that occasionally stop off in London. This morning, at around 8.30am, we were given a more unusual sight – a Ro-Ro freight ferry by the name of MS Adeline.

MS Adeline passes under Tower Bridge

MS Adeline was constructed by the Kyokuyo Shipyard Corporation in Shimonoseki, Japan (with an additional deck fitted at Chengxi Shipyard, China) and launched in 2012. The ferry has joined the CLdN/Cobelfret fleet and will ply the route between Purfleet and Zeebrugge. Today’s unusual trip further up the Thames took the MS Adeline to a berth alongside the HMS Belfast where she was to be christened by the British Ambassador to Luxembourg (with a traditional bottle of Champagne against the hull).

The Adeline certainly cut a strange sight this morning arriving backwards, assisted by tugs, under pretty murky skies. The ferry is among the largest of vessels to have made her way under Tower Bridge, much larger than the warships and cruise liners that we have been accustomed to seeing of late. MS Adeline’s stay in London was relatively short at just four hours. At the time of writing, in late evening, she was approaching Zeebrugge.

You can read more about the christening in the PLA news release New vessel to be christened on Thames and in the London SE1 news story Freight ship MS Adeline christened in the Pool of London.

MS Adeline

Unusual as this was, there have been more striking sights still at this spot. In 1968 Flight Lieutenant Alan Pollock made a thrilling if unauthorised pass under the bridge with a RAF Hawker Hunter. A year later the cross-channel hoverferry ‘Princess Margaret’ made a spectacular appearance from under the bridge. Thankfully British Pathé were at hand to record the latter event for posterity and you can re-live the moment on their website at Princess Margaret Hovercraft – 1969.

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