The Sinking Legacy: The Barge, York’s Lost Pub
1 min read

The Sinking Legacy: The Barge, York’s Lost Pub

York’s nightlife scene was once a lot more vibrant along Terry Avenue near Skeldergate Bridge.

In 1972, The Ardath was a popular floating nightclub in York. The club received praise for its interior and was considered a tourist attraction for the city.

By the 1980s, The Ardath was replaced by The Barge, a floating pub. Unfortunately, in August 1984, the pub flooded, and in March 1985, it sank again.

The Flying Dutchman replaced The Barge in 1984 as a bistro and nightclub but faced planning permission issues and was eventually towed away.

The Barge remained a half-submerged attraction before being towed away into history. It was once York’s only floating pub and was captured in a photo by John Giles in April 1985.

Webbed feet are the only ones these days that are safe near The Barge, once York’s only floating pub. Today, as the river rises and the hull sinks deeper in the mud, former customers can just remember what was but is likely to be no more. For the ducks, The Barge remains a half-submerged attraction which excites their curiosity. As the sun glints on the windows, a duck admires her reflection and shares the sinking feeling. She has a ringside seat as a piece of York nightlife is going… going…”.

Do you remember The Ardath, The Barge or The Flying Dutchman? Share your memories below, or email Or join our nostalgia group on Facebook at Why We Love York – Memories.