Built in 1890 and launched at Bow Creek on the River Lea in London, SS Robin is the worlds last coastal cargo steam ship left, one of several thousand built in the UK and overseas from c 1850 to 1950.

Fitted with a steam engine and originally rigged to carry sail she is a unique Victorian survivor of when Britain’s Empire was at its height and London was the world centre for maritime trade.

Voyaging around the UK and continental ports she carried a wide variety of cargo under several different owners, before ending her career in Spain in 1974. By then the very last of her kind still sailing.

SS Robin loading a barrel cargo of salted Herrings, Lerwick, Scotland. c 1892

SS Robin loading a barrel cargo of salted Herrings, Lerwick, Scotland. c 1892

Saved at the time by the Maritime Trust she was steamed back to London to be repaired, restored and preserved and opened to public view at a range of temporary locations.

Now moored at the Royal Docks less than a mile from where she was built, she is cared for by us the SS Robin Trust a registered charity. Our aim is to complete the last of the internal restoration works onboard and open her up as a new heritage attraction for London.

Eric Reynolds, our Trust Chairman champions the SS Robin as an “ outstanding ship of internationaly recognised historical importance, which epitomises the largely forgotten story of London’s East End. Once the worlds centre of shipbuilding, maritime trade, commerce and industry and having the greatest dock complexes in the World. I am proud to be the Chairman of the SS Robin Trust, and looking forward to a new future for the Robin.”

If you would like to know more about the SS Robin, please drop us an email to:

SS Robin Trust are working in partnership with nearby Trinity Buoy Wharf and Urban Space Management in trying to establish a new London based maritime heritage collection and attraction within the Royal Docks as part of major regeneration proposals . Details here:

 SS Robin Trust is grateful in particular to the following organisations for grant funding, advice and support over many years.

Many others not listed have helped us too: