Tag Archives: Great Britain

Flying boats in the Royal Docks

So the London Boat Show has been and gone for another year and the last of the boats are on their way back to their home locations.

This first picture shows one of the boats arriving for the show at the end of December.

Sunseeker Predator 57 MK II @ KGV Dock 20-12-17

According to the organisers there were more boats on show this year than on previous occasions but in terms of boats visiting by water the number was much reduced with only 9 arriving this way.

Sunseeker Predator 57 (2) @ RVD 19-01-18

Part of the problem is down to logistics – to get the boats from the water, then in to the exhibition hall and finally back to the water requires 2 days of work using a mobile crane and a fleet of boat transporters and a big crew of people.

Prestige 630 (3) @ RVD 19-01-18

The day for their return to water was a cold and bright day but with quite a gusty wind which occasionally made the handling of the boats a bit tricky as they were suspended in the air but all 9 boats made it safely back in to the dock.

Sunseeker Predator 57 (7) @ RVD 19-01-18

Most of the boats that had attended the show were transported by road using specialist boat transport companies but still a major undertaking as each of the large boats had to be craned in to position.

Bavaria S33 HT @ Excel 19-01-18

The following video shows one of the boats, a Princess S65 Yacht, being returned to the water.

More pictures can be seen here.

Sunseeker 76 Yacht (5) @ RVD 19-01-18


Helicopter, lights, camera, action!!

Anyone crossing the bascule bridge on Woolwich Manor Way from North Woolwich yesterday evening might have noticed a helicopter, lights and smoke on Albert Island.

G-MCAN (2) @ Albert Island 18-12-17

Closer inspection would have revealed the helicopter sporting “Air Ambulance” titles but this wasn’t an incident, just part of the latest filming project to make use of the Royal Docks.

G-MCAN (52) @ Albert Island 18-12-17

The helicopter, belonging to Castle Air, was an Agusta A109 that is used for VIP Charter and filming work and can be regularly seen flying around London.

As is always the case with filming there is a huge amount of support crew and equipment and for the scenes they were filming they were using lots of light and smoke as well as the helicopter with its rotors turning.

G-MCAN (36) @ Albert Island 18-12-17

G-MCAN (76) @ Albert Island 18-12-17

The scene involved a paramedic running to the helicopter and as is often the case they did a number of takes.

G-MCAN (72) @ Albert Island 18-12-17

More pictures can be seen here.

Update January 2018 

It turns out that this shoot was filming for the latest commercial in the Barclays Bank LifeSkills campaign – this episode promoties the skill of listening skills as then demonstrated by a paramedic – the video can be seen below.

#LCYturns30 (the view from North Woolwich)

On 26th October 1987 the first aircraft arrived at London City Airport located in the Royal Docks area of East London and a few days later on the 5th November the airport was officially opened.

Many things have changed over the 30 year period with airport growing in size and becoming much busier and the same has been true of East London with many, now familiar, landmarks and new developments appearing across the area.

Brymon Airways no longer exist but (via several changes in ownership and name) became part of Flybe who are one of the key operators at London City Airport today.

G-PRPI (1) @ LCY 30-11-16

The main operators alongside Flybe are both British Airways and CityJet, the former using a fleet of Embraer regional jets and the later using BAe 146 aircraft.

G-LCYE + G-LCYP @ LCY 12-08-14

EI-RJO (2) @ LCY 25-09-16

International operators include Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair and Swiss.

EI-RNE (2) @ LCY 24-05-17

PH-EZY (10) @ LCY 15-03-17

D-AECG (1) @ LCY 15-03-17

LX-LGF (1) @ LCY 25-07-14

HB-JBA (5) @ LCY 17-07-17

Other operators can also be seen, mainly franchise partners, as well as corporate jets.

VQ-BSP (4) @ LCY 15-03-17

As part of the 30th anniversary celebrations the airport also hosted a mass hot air balloon launch in connection with the Lord Mayor of London’s charity appeal. More pictures of that can been seen here.

HABs (8) @ LCY 10-09-17

As the Winter timetable starts the airport will see the return of VLM airlines with their Fokker 50’s and the new sight of Portuguese airline TAP with their Embraer 190s. A further airline, Powdair, is due to start ski flights to Switzerland in December.

London City Airport sunset (2) @ Royal Docks 25-09-15

CS-TPT (10) @ LCY 24-10-17

Work will soon start on the new phase of development at London City which will include more aircraft stands and a parallel taxiway that will help ease congestion on the ground.

More photos of aircraft at LCY can be seen here.

The White Swan in West India Dock

For the past four days South Quay in West India Dock has been the temporary home to the Brazilian Navy’s sail training ship Cisco Branco (White Swan).

NVe Cisne Branco U20 (2) @ West India Dock 24-08-17

She is paying her first visit to London but has been a regular visitor to European waters since she was launched in the Netherlands back in 1999.

NVe Cisne Branco U20 (9) @ West India Dock 24-08-17

She has been taking part in the recent Tall Ships Racing series in the Baltic (an event won by the TS Royalist) and is making various port calls as she heads back to her homeport in Rio.

NVe Cisne Branco U20 (10) @ West India Dock 24-08-17

As a sail training ship she is used as a floating classroom for naval cadets as well as acting as a goodwill ambassador.

She is a a sleek ship constructed from steel but with wood and brass fittings to give her the characteristic look of a sailing ship but using modern designs and materials. She is also quite a bit smaller than the BAP Union which had visited West India Dock a few weeks before.

NVe Cisne Branco U20 (5) @ West India Dock 24-08-17

The crew were very friendly and very happy to show visitors around their fine vessel and they had been enjoying the sights of London.

NVe Cisne Branco U20 (17) @ West India Dock 24-08-17

A short video from onboard can be seen here and further pictures can be seen here.

NVe Cisne Branco U20 (18) @ West India Dock 24-08-17

Steam Ship George Stephenson on the Thames

Seen heading up the river Thames on Saturday 6th June was a rather interesting vessel.

George Stephenson (5) @ Gallions Reach 06-05-15

Named the George Stephenson it is a new-build steam vessel that has been planned and constructed by a Dutch businessman by the name of Servaas Strik.

The keel was laid in November 2007 and it is coming to St Katharine Docks marina in London for her official christening on 12th June.

George Stephenson (10) @ Gallions Reach 06-05-15

What makes this vessel especially interesting is the combination of using very traditional engineering techniques but more importantly making use of salvaged components from a huge variety of vessels – either directly or as raw materials.

For example, the propellers are made from a smelted down screw from the former French Navy aircraft carrier Clemenceau whilst there are doors from the RMS Windsor Castle on board. Some of the wood is also reported to have come from a former Thames paddle-boat!

George Stephenson (11) @ Gallions Reach 06-05-15

Whilst her lines might please some and offend others what cannot be denied is that a massive amount of time and effort have been put in to creating a unique piece of floating history and fitting that she has sailed along the Thames with it’s own long history of maritime engineering.

George Stephenson (17) @ Gallions Reach 06-05-15

More details can be seen on their Facebook page here and some more pictures can be seen here.

Update 13th June 2015

The SS George Stephenson has now left London bound for Rotterdam – as she passed Woolwich (and the Sailing Vessel Wylde Swan) she sounded her steam whistle.

SS George Stephenson @ Gallions Reach 13-06-15