Moored at the wharf in front of the M Shed is the Museum’s fleet of historic boats. Steam tug Mayflower, Fire-boat Pyronaut and Tugboat John King are part of the M Shed Working Exhibit.
The following is reproduced from the M Shed’s own website:
“John King was built in 1935 to tow cargo ships from Bristol City Docks to the mouth of the River Avon. The cargo ships – carrying goods ranging from paper pulp to sherry – needed the tug boat to steer them around the dangerous bends in the river.
During the Blitz, John King spent 17 action-packed days in Pembroke Dock fighting fires in the oil installations. On her way back to Bristol she was attacked by a German aircraft.
But as trade to the Bristol docks declined and motor ships became less reliant on tugs, John King’s workload gradually disappeared. Her last big job for the towage company was watched by thousands of spectators, when on 6 July 1970 she acted as escort to the ss Great Britain as the ship was towed from Avonmouth, on the last leg of her voyage from the Falkland Islands. John King towed the ss Great Britain through the harbour to her dry dock in the Floating Harbour".
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Harbour Trips Aboard John King
- Operating Months
April to October
- John King Rides
Explore the harbour aboard this Bristol built diesel tug, built in Bristol in 1935.