The Tuxedo Royale – the floating nightclub on the River Tyne known as ‘The Boat’ – is being scrapped by Able UK at its site on the outskirts of Hartlepool.
It is the final installment in the long-running saga surrounding the derelict former ferry, which has been moored at Able Middlesbrough Port for the past 10 years.
The vessel, formerly the British Rail Cross-Channel Ferry TSS Dover, was moved to the berth at Able Middlesbrough Port in early 2009 for what was supposed to be two weeks, but in August 2010 the ship’s owners went into administration with no-one prepared to take responsibility for its future.
The vessel continued to deteriorate and was subject to vandalism and a serious fire in June 2018.
Last summer Able made the decision that the vessel would be dismantled.
Neil Etherington, Able’s business development director, said: “Working with agencies including Middlesbrough Council, the Environment Agency and the Port Authority, we had been seeking a solution to the fate of the Tuxedo Royale for a long time.
“From our point of view, it has been an expensive process, taken up valuable quay space and we had received no payments for its storage. At the same time, it became an ever-deteriorating eyesore which has certainly not enhanced the area’s profile.
“Over the course of the last few months, there has been a painstaking removal of all the remaining asbestos and the top three levels of the vessel.”
With the hull in a suitable condition to be moved and, with the appropriate approvals in place, the Tuxedo Royal embarked on its final voyage to Able Seaton Port where the full recycling process will be completed.
Mr Etherington added: “Of course. for many, including myself, the Tuxedo has some fond and abiding memories but even the most nostalgic will surely appreciate that this is the conclusion of what, in the end, turned out to
be a very sorry and costly saga.”