|SS Robin is a real treasure and one of London's best kept secrets. She's
the world’s oldest complete steamship, built at the renowned Thames Ironworks on London's River Lea in 1890.
SS Robin is one of only three 'Core Collection' vessels of the National Historic Fleet in London - the other two being Cutty Sark and HMS Belfast, and the only one of these three to have been built in London.
She's a unique and precious example of the 'dirty British Coaster' immortalised in John Masefield's famous poem, and represents an extraordinary opportunity to trace the story of
industrialisation and growth in Britain across three centuries.
She's a symbol of an extraordinary period in British history when merchant shipping was the core of a determined spirit of entrepreneurship, turning Britain into the workshop of the world.
With a life spanning three centuries, she represents an incredible story of risk, enterprise and endurance, and now she's all set to take her place as a symbol of East London's transformation in the run up to London 2012.
SS Robin’s life began at a time when industrial development and engineering expertise dominated
the British landscape. Invention,
expansion, enterprise were at their height, and Britain led and dominated the
buoyant markets of shipbuilding, trade and manufacturing.
In 2008 the Trust was awarded just under £2m from Crossrail to fund extensive restoration work. She was moved from West India Dock to Lowestoft, and for the past three years She's been under wraps. Now this irreplaceable historic ship sits proudly on a new floating pontoon - like a precious sculpture - the only historic ship in the world to be displayed in this way - an amazing sight.
In July 2011 she made a historic homecoming to within a mile of her original construction site, and is temporarily moored at London's Royal Victoria Dock while final funding and fit-out work are completed to turn her into a new cultural landmark for London.