Tuxedo Royale: Blaze tackled on old floating nightclub

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Media captionTuxedo Royale blaze: 'She wasn't just a floating nightclub'

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze on a derelict floating nightclub.

Emergency services were called to the Tuxedo Royale, which is moored on the River Tees at Middlesbrough, at about 19:00 BST on Wednesday.

The boat had been in the town since 2009 when its owners went into administration.

For years it attracted scores of clubbers when it was moored 40 miles (65km) north on the River Tyne at Gateshead.

In March, Middlesbrough Council said the boat was an "eyesore" and announced plans to remove it.

Previous efforts to restore it have all fallen through.

'Original features'

Lisa Turner, director of the Tuxedo Royale Restoration project, which has been fighting to save the vessel from being scrapped, said: "We're heartbroken. It's absolutely devastating.

"We were just wanting to restore her to the way she was when it was known as the TSS Dover.

"She wasn't just a floating nightclub, even though that's how many people see her.

"She still had some original features in areas such as the wheelhouse and officers' quarters."

Built in the 1960s, the vessel is on the National Historic Ships UK register of historic vessels.

Image copyright Tuxedo Royale Restoration Project
Image caption In its heyday, the vessel was famous for attracting party-goers on Tyneside

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