The Oscar winning boat ready for her 100th anniversary
One of the world’s most
famous boats has re-entered service in time to celebrate its 100th
anniversary. African Queen, which
took the title role in the Oscar-winning 1951 film starring Humphrey Bogart and
Katharine Hepburn, was on the point of being broken up after 10 years of
neglect, but is back earning its keep in Florida.
The 30ft open launch,
originally named Livingstone, was
built by Abdela & Mitchell at Brimscombe in Gloucestershire in 1912 for the
British East Africa Railway. It was shipped to Africa where it was used to
carry passengers and cargo on Lake Albert between Uganda and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
African Queen dropped from view following its starring role in the
film until it was found in Egypt in the 1970s and shipped to Florida where it
was placed on display ashore, first in Marathon and later in Key Largo. However
Jim Hendricks, who inherited the boat from his father, has leased it to Lance
and Suzanne Holmqvist who have spent a reported £37,500 in fully restoring African
Queen and have put it into service as
a river cruise boat.