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TS Queen Mary in preservation at the Embankment, London (1988-2009)

Above : Queen Mary in 2007

The former turbine steamer was for almost 21 years moored in central London as a popular pub, originally owned by Bass plc and more latterly by Mitchell & Butlers plc which arose out of a corporate restructuring of Bass' successor, Six Continents plc. In latter years she was run by the Nicholsons brand of pubs within the M&B group. She was also available for functions and conferences and had a licence to host marriage ceremonies. In an attempt to improveh er revenue stream she turned into a night club in the evenings. Although she was much altered internally and her rooms opened out for their new uses the forward bar on the enclosed promenade deck retained its cosy pub charm until the end. This pub atmosphere was, of course, much different to the passenger lounge of her operational days. With her machinery removed and the lower deck turned into a number of offices and store rooms, she had lost her historical importance and all these changes meant that when she was finally offered for sale, she was not a priority for preservation by any maritime museum.

Bass-Charrington were obviously very proud of Queen Mary when they first purchased her. They commissioned and issued a free 24-page booklet to commemorate her opening (see links under Further Information on the main Queen Mary page) and in December of that year Bass corporate chairman Ian Prosser was pictured aboard the steamer in the "Times" newspaper as he delivered the company's financial report. The Times City Diary of 8th December 2008 also carried a piece about the vessel itself, quoting a Bass man as saying that "It is a priceless piece of maritime history". See the Times reports here


Click on the photographs below to see a range of images of her at different stages of her life in London

1988: seen from the Embankment and from Waterloo Bridge on 25/9/88, prior to her opening as a restaurant. Photos by Gordon Stewart


1988 : seen from the Embankment with new gangway in place and advertising banner attached to wheelhouse. Photos by Gordon Stewart


1988/89 : Detailed study of vessel after opening in 1988, with red bands added to funnels, including close up views of the superstructure and internal / on board views by Gordon Stewart and two views taken in 1989 by Ken Smith.

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2004 : Queen Mary remains much as she was, but the covered but open area of the promenade deck aft has now been fully enclosed. Photos by Mark Young

2005/2006 : In, then mercifully losing her short-lived blue paint. Photos by John Hendy, John Jones, John Winfield and Ben Mann.


2006 : On 15th April 2006, newly repainted and back with white funnels By Alex Naughton :

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2006 : Photos by Gillon Ferguson  

2007 : Detailed photography of and aboard T.S. Queen Mary. Photos by Gordon Stewart

2008 : A few more photos, including the main deck taken on 2nd March 2008 by Gordon Stewart


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 Go forward to the photos of Queen Mary in late October 2009 undergoing preparation for her removal from London

2009 : seen on February 13th, Queen Mary is closed pending sale. Photos by Gordon Stewart

2009 : Cleared and offer for sale. By kind courtesy of Richard Lane, Capital Boats


Queen Mary - as she was on 24th April 1993. Photo by Phil Barnes

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