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Ships - Revivals and Tributes


A coaster/ general cargo ship, 173' ( 52.7m) in length, built by W. & E. Sielaff of Büsum/Nordsee, West Germany. Her original port of registration was Haren/Ems (Germany).

She was laid up at Sunderland in the mid 1970s, after running aground at Rye, Kent.

After 7 years of being laid up the ship sailed to Bristol in 1983 (under her own power) and was relaunched in May 1984 as the Old Profanity Showboat, with a large covered forward hold comprising a stage, dance floor and a bar.

The Showboat was the  idea of novelist Ki Longfellow-Stanshall, the wife of Vivian Stanshall (of Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band fame). The Showboat was based on the idea of creating, owning, and running a theatre on a sea-going ship and using it to showcase music of every sort (limited only by the size of the hold), including cabaret, comedy, plays, musicals, and poetry events. The ship also contained an art gallery.

During the 1990’s, under new management, the ship was used as a floating nightclub. The ship has now been returned to its original working name of Thekla and continues to operate as a live music venue and club at Bristol’s East Mud Dock .

See more about the Thekla at: http://www.theklabristol.co.uk/info/22-history#sthash.I5z6cRjO.dpuf

Or visit the Facebook page at


Radio Caroline (operating under a Restricted Service Licence) broadcast from the ship in Bristol docks between 16th November and  14th December 1996 and again between 4th May and 1st June 1997.


Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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