Hope lost as last ferry is broken up

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save the historic cross Humber ferry Lincoln Castle have had their hopes dashed.

Contractors have started dismantling the ferry after the owner failed to find a buyer.

The Lincoln Castle, which is berthed in Alexandra Dock, Grimsby, was the UK's last coal-burning steam paddle trawler and carried passengers until the Humber Bridge opened.

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As well as the 20,000 sale price, North East Lincolnshire Council also wanted a 60,000 bond. The cost of restoration was estimated at 1.3m – putting her out of reach for the national Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), which was offered the vessel for free.

The brother of owner Colin Johnson, Peter Johnson said they realised they had reached the end of the line when the PSPS pulled out because of the tremendous costs involved. He said: "My brother bought it 23 years ago. It is very sad. What he would have loved to have done is find someone to rescue it."

Mr Johnson said the National Fishing Heritage Centre would choose the parts of the vessel they wished to preserve. He said: "We will save what we can but I'm afraid the bulk of it will go for scrap."

Sister ship Tattershall Castle is now a floating bar, moored on Victoria Embankment on the Thames, while the third, Wingfield Castle is preserved as a museum ship in Hartlepool, County Durham.