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Carrying Coals to Newcastle 23 Jul 2009

The VIC 96 will be firing up the engines quite literally when she arrives on the Tyne Friday 24th July. The ex admiralty coal powered ship will steam in to Tyneside and moor up at the Port of Tyne's Northumbrian Quay before continuing her journey to Chatham Dockyard on the Medway.

Commissioned by the War Office in 1945, Victualling Inshore Craft shipped supplies to Royal Navy ships at anchor during the Second World War. VIC 96 is one a few survivors of the 98 vessels of her type ever built.

Having spent the last 25 years or so at the Steamship Museum in Maryport, Cumbria, VIC 96 was in danger of sinking in the harbour. Following extensive restoration over the last six years by a band of twelve devoted trustees, she is now looking shipshape for the 1,000 mile trip home.

The VIC 96 Trust have secured a permanent berth at Chatham Dockyard close to where she spent most of her working life, here VIC 96 will be a working exhibit, attending steam fairs and functions in the UK and Europe.

Skipper and Chairman of VIC 96 Trust, Derek Gransden said "The journey home has taken in some of the finest coastal waters, heading north to the Crinan Canal, then on to Loch Ness, popping out to the east coast at Inverness then heading southwards, stopping at the Tyne because we thought we would enjoy a short break before travelling under our own steam to complete our journey to the Medway".

37 years after her last voyage VIC 96 is still powered by her original coal fired Crabtree steam engines. Port of Tyne Harbour Master, Mike Nicholson was only too happy to offer Port services free of charge and says "It's fantastic to see a coal fired ship on the Tyne VIC 96 will be spending three days on the Tyne and I wish her well for the remainder of the journey".

Anyone wishing to catch a glimpse of the ship should head to Coble Dene car park, North Shields where VIC 96 will be berthed at Northumbrian Quay from 1700 on 24 July until 27 July.

Operational Note to Editors

The Port of Tyne is an important Northern Gateway and key player in the Tyne & Wear region; a dynamic trading hub with five business areas: conventional and bulk cargoes; logistics; car terminals; cruise and ferries; and estates.

For further information contact

Lisa Donohoe, Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671
Mob: 07912 390 777

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