A BOAT which carried thousands of people across Portsmouth Harbour for nearly half a century has been sold.
Gosport Queen is the second boat in 12 months to leave the town after serving 40 years with the Gosport Ferry company.
Gosport Queen will leave us after 40 years sterling service.Chris Waters
As reported by The News, Portsmouth Queen was sold last March to company London Party Boats.
And the same business has purchased Gosport Queen.
She will head for the River Thames on Friday to be converted into a party boat containing two clubs and three floors.
Chris Waters, finance director at Gosport Ferry Limited, said: ‘Gosport Queen will leave us after 40 years sterling service.
‘The sale signals the end of an era for the company as we move to more modern vessels.
‘She will be sadly missed but will take up a new role on the River Thames in the near future.’
Robert Cairns, managing director of London Party Boats, said he aims to have the Gosport Queen transformed by April.
Mr Cairns said: ‘We purchased the boat due its size really.
‘They do not build those like that anymore and she should fit in well.
‘The owners have maintained it to a very high standard and it is a tribute to them.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage also paid tribute to the former passenger vessel.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘For me, the Gosport Ferry always represents coming home.
‘It has got huge sentimental value for me but I am delighted the ferry company continue to invest in the local area.
‘It also means I can see her on the Thames and see a lovely reminder of home.’