SS Robin, one of the oldest complete examples of steam coaster in the world, has found a permanent home at Trinity Buoy Wharf alongside other examples of river heritage.
The small armada will create a new open air museum dedicated to the river’s heritage.
SS Robin left its berth at West India Dock in 2008 after 17 years and underwent restoration in Lowestoft before she returned to east London in 2010, becoming a museum and education centre on the Royal Victoria Dock.
Now the distinctive red ship will moving close to the site where she was built in 1890, joining two working boats which left the West India Dock in November last year – Knocker White and Varlet.
He said: “The history of maritime, ship building and dock based trade on the Thames around the mouth of the River Lea though of great importance to London has largely disappeared from sight.
“However, the collection of the SS Robin, and the tugs Knocker White and Varlet and lighter Diana will form the basis of an open air museum to help bring to life the rich heritage of the area from East India Dock Basin to Trinity Buoy Wharf.
“A planning application is about to be lodged with Tower Hamlets Council, subject to the outcome of the application, it is hoped to place SS Robin on shore at East India Dock Basin.
“By being displayed ashore visitors will be able to appreciate the fine shape of the hull and access to the ship will be possible for the less able.”
The SS Robin was ordered from from Mackenzie, MacAlpine & Co of Orchard House Yard, situated in Bow Creek and was fitted out at East India Dock in 1890.