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24 September 2014

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You are in: Tyne > Places > Places features > Tuxedo Princess leaves the Tyne

Tuxedo Princess leaves Tyne. Photo: Barry Martin

The boat was towed away

Tuxedo Princess leaves the Tyne

Photos, video and memories as the famous floating nightclub leaves Tyneside.

It was the end of an era.

On Sunday 27 July 2008 the Tuxedo Princess was towed away from its mooring on the Gateshead Quayside.

The floating nightclub, famous for its revolving dance floor, had been an almost permanent fixture beneath the Tyne Bridge since the 1980s.

Passersby stopped their Sunday-morning strolls to watch the boat being manoeuvred under the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and onwards down the River Tyne.

Their reaction was mixed. One man told Radio Newcastle: "I think it's very nice to be able to see the bridges without the boat being there, it was becoming a bit of an eyesore."

Meanwhile others were more nostalgic. One onlooker said: "At one time it was the centre of Newcastle for the night life. I went on it many years ago. You get very sick on it [the revolving dance floor] if you've had too much to drink!"

Foggy conditions at the coast meant the boat was forced to stop overnight in North Shields before continuing its journey the next day.

The Tuxedo Princess moored at North Shields

It stopped overnight at North Shields

The boat is being taken to Greece, where it is expected it will continue to be an entertainment venue of some kind.

Back on Tyneside there are proposals for a £10m complex on its former site on the quayside.

Revolving dance floor

The Tuxedo princess was originally the TSS Caledonian Princess - a car ferry on the Stranraer-Larne link.

With only one set of doors for cars to enter and exit through there was a turntable on board to turn the vehicles around so they were facing the right way to disembark.

This turntable later became the nightclub's infamous revolving dance floor.

The ferry was retired from service in 1981 and opened as a nightclub on the River Tyne in 1983.

And there it stayed for the next 25 years, bar a short period when it went to Glasgow and was temporarily replaced by the Tuxedo Royale, another former ferry.

Your memories

Do you remember dancing the night away on the Tuxedo Princess? Post your memories on this page using the comment box below or email your old photos and thoughts to us:

last updated: 28/07/2008 at 16:50
created: 28/07/2008

Have Your Say

Tell us your memories of the Tuxedo Princess

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Steve Ellwood
Sad news that having examined the condition of the vessel it has been decided to scrap the Tuxedo Princess in Aliaga, Turkey.

Met my wife on a drunken student night on that boat...will be sorely missed

I was studying at the University of Northumbria in 1993. I have vivid memories of falling of the revolving dance floor after one too many pints of Newcastle Brown Ale. "The Boat" was truly a one of a kind nightclub and I am sorry to see it go..

paul crawford from london
it was the best i used to go on alot of time 10/10 a sad los newcastle night life is 100% better then london

It was definitely a nightclub in the late 80s... I remember a night there in 1987, while a Yank student at Cambridge on tour up north with some rugby & field hockey friends. Great time, if the memory is a little hazy. I vaguely recall buying tequila shots for my British friends who had never tried it. And that the boat had neither salt nor limes, though we drank it anyway. (My British friends didn't know any better.)

Fred Costantini
Good riddance. It caused a lot of public trouble and the police were always on the quay side to make arrests for drunkenness. It looks much cleaner without it.

Lauren Healy
I used to go and eat Sunday Lunch on the 'Tuxedo Royale' as it was in the early 90s before it was made into a night club. I must have only been about 5 or 6 at the time. It will certainly be a strange omission on the Tyne!

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