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About canberra97

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  • Birthday 31/07/1965

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  1. Just to add to my previous post. I forgot to add another error from the guide. They state that Ostrehen "rather than Ouistreham" is well connected by highway and rail to Caen. The nearest railway station to Ouistreham is actually Caen Railway Station itself which is 18 km from the Port of Ouistreham.
  2. Regardless of the fact that Ouistreham hadn't opened at the time that they wrote their book it was still there on a map, the port wasn't just invented with the arrival of Britanny Ferries. They obviously knew the details of the route and the ship when the guide was published, but spelt Ouistreham incorrectly Plus they made a very obvious mistake by stating that the UK departure port for the route was Plymouth. No excuse for that either!
  3. I notice that the review states that the "DUC DE NORMANDIE operates on the new route between Plymouth, England and, the area of France in which her name implies, Normandy. The port city is Ostrehen, connected by highway and rail to the larger city of Caen". American reviews always tend to be full of errors. For example, anyone that takes the Berlitz travel guide's seriously are obviously unaware of the amount of mistakes in their publications.
  4. Hi Nick I'll have to get them out and take photos of the brochure on my tablet as my scanner doesn't work. Not sure but I think that I have a copy of the 1978 brochure. Give me a day or so and hopefully I can upload the images. Sean
  5. Your absolutely correct regarding the photos being rare for the FREE ENTERPRISE II at berth 49 considering the time of departure but as I've previously commented upon I've seen photos somewhere online of the FREE ENTERPRISE II sailing around Dock Head towards berth 49 presumably to take up her position for the evening sailing departure to Cherbourg. As I've previously pointed out I've also seen a photo of the FREE ENTERPRISE II alongside berth 49. I will definitely persevere with searching for the photos but it'll take some time. I've just checked and your correct that the last season of the FREE ENTERPRISE II at Southampton was indeed in 1974. With the advent of the "Super Viking" VIKING VENTURER at Southampton on the 11 January 1975 there was a surplus in the fleet and the extra summer seasonal sailings to Cherbourg were operated by the existing VIKINGS during 1975. The afternoon arrival at Southampton from Le Havre was invariably late when there was bad weather, I can distinctly remember the "very tight" turnarounds. As you've rightly pointed out, Portsmouth to Le Havre commenced in 1977 for the reasons you've clearly stated. From the start of the summer season in 1977 the morning departure from Le Havre went to Portsmouth a few times a week instead of Southampton. By 1978 the afternoon arrival from Le Havre at Southampton was totally discontinued in favour of Portsmouth. By losing that extra hour back and forth down Southampton Water it made a huge difference on the day time Le Havre schedule. On one of the other site's that I have a presence on, very much more so than here I eventually found a particular photo that I was looking for which took me several months, much to my excitement! In fact my recent posts on BFE are my first since mid December after vowing to myself never to post or get involved on this site ever again but because the history of the cross channel ferries from Southampton is such a passion of mine I couldn't resist myself. I have Townsend Thoresen brochures and timetables dating from 1972 onwards, along with Bergen Line, B+I Line, Britanny Ferries, DFDS, Fred Olsen Line, Manx Line, Normandy Ferries, Olau Line, Prinz Ferries, Sealink, Southern Ferries, Swedish Lloyd, Tor Line, etc. My oldest brochures are of Cunard Line from 1968. I have several work colleagues and friends from the Townsend Thoresen year's and I took some to work with me last year much to their enjoyment. I have hundreds and I mean hundreds of cruise and ferry brochures and timetables from the early seventies to the mid to late eighties.
  6. Exactly it was an extremely tight schedule and I think that is why the late evening departure probably used berth 49. Townsend Thoresen couldn't afford the possibility that the FREE ENTERPRISE II would be held up by a late running VIKING. It's because of the tight schedule by the FREE ENTERPRISE II between Southampton and Cherbourg that the Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port came about. Townsend Thoresen had been in discussions with Portsmouth who we're keen to build a cross channel ferry terminal. 1975 was the last year that the FREE ENTERPRISE II was the permanent seasonal vessel on Southampton to Cherbourg. In June 1976 with the opening of the Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port the extra seasonal summer sailings to Cherbourg we're relocated from Southampton. The VIKING I was renamed the VIKING VICTORY and she operated the peak twice daily sailings to Cherbourg with a "slightly" relaxed schedule compared to the previous one at Southampton with the FREE ENTERPRISE II. With the opening of the Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port in June 1976 it was the start of the decline in cross channel ferry's from the Port of Southampton. From 1976 the Port of Southampton were continuously in disputes and strike's which was affecting the incumbents as in Normandy Ferries and Townsend Thoresen. The rest is history and is well documented! I can't find it now as you know what it's like when you see a photo online but I've seen a photo of the FREE ENTERPRISE II sailing around Dock Head at Southampton obviously making her way from her layover at berth 6 in the Princess Alexandra Dock to berth 49. I will endeavour overtime to find these photos, but bear with me 😉.
  7. There was definitely passengers and vehicles going onboard the FREE ENTERPRISE II on the occasion of my visit to see her at berth 49 in 1973. I think that it may well have been the case that the FREE ENTERPRISE II used berth 49 for the late night call. If one of the VIKINGS was late departing berth 7 it would definitely have impacted on her tight schedule to Cherbourg. There was definitely signage in the port for Townsend Thoresen at berth 49 during that period.
  8. I was just going to upload the exact same photo....you beat me to it by minutes 🤗 Kloster Ferries SUNWARD at berth 49. In the Ocean Dock the following vessel's. Union Castle Line REINA DEL MAR at berth 47. Cunard Line CARMANIA ahead of her at berth 46. Cunard Line QUEEN MARY at the Ocean Terminal at berths 43/44. In the Empress Dock the following vessel's. A couple of unidentifiable Red Funnel Towage tugs. An unidentified Fyffes Line vessel at berths 24/25 An unidentified vessel at berths 26/27 (black and white funnel). On the Itchen Quays. Shaw Savill Line SOUTHERN CROSS and Cunard Line FRANCONIA at berths 30/31. Union Castle Line CAPETOWN CASTLE and SA ORANJE at berths 32/33. To the very left of the photo is the Outer Dock, (renamed the Princess Alexandra Dock in 1967). The Vosper Thornycrofts Shipyard is on the other side of the River Itchen at Woolston. At the very look left of the photo, just above the naval vessel alongside the quayside at Vosper Thornycrofts your immediately see some tree's, my home is opposite those tree's. The following photo show's the KLOSTER FERRIES SUNWARD inbound to the Port of Southampton from Vigo in 1966, she is just passing Fawley on Southampton Water.
  9. A few more photos. FREE ENTERPRISE II alongside the layover berth 6 VIKING II at berth 7. The FREE ENTERPRISE II departing from berth 7. The VIKING I entering the Princess Alexandra Dock. The EUROPIC FERRY having just departed berth 3 in the Princess Alexandra Dock. An early view taken in 1964 of the "brand new" VIKING I at berth 7, British Railways Board FALAISE is seen ahead of her at berth 9. FALAISE was in her final season at Southampton operating the last remaining British Railways service from the port to St Malo. And finally... P&O Ferries DRAGON departing Portsmouth taken a few months after the company had relocated from Southampton. You might have gathered by now but the history of Cross Channel Ferries from Southampton is a passion of mine. Years ago I nearly or almost got around to writing a book regarding the history of the cross channel ferries from Southampton, from the final British Railways service and the start of the Townsend Thoresen ferries right up to Stena Line. I had problems with the proposed publishers from day one so I abandoned the project. The book was going to be entitled The Rise & Fall of Cross Channel Ferries From Southampton. Regards Sean
  10. My father worked in the Port of Southampton for 42 year's. When I was a young lad he often took me to work with him (you'd never be able to anything like that now for obvious reasons). I went to work with him one Saturday evening in the summer of 1973 with special permission by my mother. My father was working at berth 49 for the FREE ENTERPRISE II. I can remember the event very well because the reason why I wanted to go to work with him that night was to see a late arrival of the SS FRANCE that was arriving at the nearby Ocean Terminal at berths 43/44 in the Ocean Dock. Because of the fact that the FREE ENTERPRISE II was only in port for approximately an hour my father left me in the car with some sandwiches and a flask of drink as I watched the arrival of the SS FRANCE. I was 9 year's old at the time and remember the evening vividly. Townsend Thoresen did use berth 49 on occasions as I can remember seeing the signage in the port at the time. Although berth 7 was the main Townsend Thoresen berth I'm not sure what year's that they used berth 49 for the extra sailings by the FREE ENTERPRISE II but I can definitely confirm that I was there at berth 49 on a summer Saturday evening in 1973 for the 23.30/00.30 arrival and departure. I've seen a couple of photos of the FREE ENTERPRISE II at berth 49 online and I've tried to find them before replying back to you but I've not been lucky but when I do eventually find them I will post them here for you to see. Other than that I can't help you but rest assured my memory is absolutely in tact and before I started typing this reply I called my father just to make sure of the facts. He's 83yo but his memory is totally sharp and he immediately said about the arrival of the SS FRANCE and reminded me that a fellow work colleagues wife was also present that evening. It may well be the case that the 23.30/00.30 arrival/departure would often be scheduled to use berth 49 just in case that berth 7 was still occupied. The FREE ENTERPRISE II could well be running early from Cherbourg or the Townsend Thoresen VIKING at berth 7 was running late for her overnight departure to Le Havre. Either way I can definitely confirm that Townsend Thoresen used berth 49 at some point during the early seventies with the FREE ENTERPRISE II. I will continue overtime to try and find a photo of the FREE ENTERPRISE II at berth 49 but in the meantime I'm adding an excellent view of her taken at berth 7 in the Princess Alexandra Dock in the early seventies. On a side note. In my previous post... when I mentioned Aznar Line I had quoted the MONTE GRANADA twice. It should have read MONTE GRANADA and MONTE TOLEDO.
  11. STENA LINE used the linkspan at berths 24/25 in the Empress Dock and the linkspan at berth 30 on the Itchen Quays. The Ocean Dock is a completely different dock. Ocean Dock consists of berths 42/43/44...45...and 46/47. The latter berths is where the current Ocean Terminal is situated. In 1967 when the inner dock was filled in to create two extra ro/ro berths the Outer Dock was renamed the Princess Alexandra Dock. Townsend Thoresen initially used the linkspan at berth 7 and used berth 6 as a layover berth. Townsend Thoresen used berth 1 for the VIKING IV freight ferry. Normandy Ferries/P&O Ferries used the linkspan at berth 2 with the DRAGON and LEOPARD to Le Havre. Between April and October 1980 P&O Ferries also used the JAGUAR as extra freight capacity. Swedish Lloyd used the linkspan at berth 3 with the PATRICIA to Bilbao. Swedish Lloyd also used the HISPANIA alongside the PATRICIA to Bilbao between 1968 and 1972. Swedish Lloyd discontinued Southampton to Bilbao on the 07 September 1977 and was replaced on the route a week later by McAndrews with the GOYA, (which in 1983 became Townsend Thoresen VIKING TRADER). McAndrews discontinued it's weekly Southampton-Bordeaux-Bilbao-Bordeaux-Southampton freight only service in February 1980. Townsend Thoresen relocated their operations to berth 3 in April 1980, and also used berth 30 for freight operations. Other ferry company's to use the Princess Alexandra Dock. Southern Ferries used the linkspan at berth 2 between May 1971 and September 1975 with the EAGLE to Lisbon and Tangier, Algeciras was added in 1973. Southern Ferries used the linkspan at berth 2 between December 1973 and November 1975 with the PANTHER to San Sebastian (Pasajes). Aznar Line used the linkspan at berth 3 between June 1974 and September 1977 with the MONTE GRANADA and MONTE GRANADA to Santander. Although not located in the Princess Alexandra Dock (Outer Dock). Kloster Sunward Ferries used the linkspan at berth 49 between June 1966 and September 1966 with the SUNWARD to Vigo, Lisbon and Gibraltar. Seagull Ferries used the linkspan at berth 49 between April 1972 and September 1974 with the SAINT CHRISTOPHE and SAINT GEORGE to Le Havre (freight only). Townsend Thoresen also used the linkspan at berth 49 between 1970 and 1975 for additional seasonal sailings to Cherbourg with the FREE ENTERPRISE II. Although not located in the Princess Alexandra Dock. Stena Line used the linkspan at berth 30 on the Itchen Quays between April 1991 and October 1996 with the STENA NORMANDY to Cherbourg. The linkspan at berths 24/25 in the Empress Dock was initially used but Sealink/Stena Line preferred to use the more convenient linkspan at berth 30. Stena Line used the linkspan at berths 24/25 in the Empress Dock and the linkspan at berth 30 on the Itchen Quays between May 1993 and October 1994 with the STENA TRAVELLER to Cherbourg (freight only). Channel Freight Ferries used the linkspan at berth 30 on the Itchen Quays between January 2004 and December 2005 with the CFF SEINE and CFF SOLENT to Radicatel. Someone previously mentioned that P&O Ferries we're taken over by Townsend Thoresen whilst still operating Southampton to Le Havre. That's not the case. After several strike's in the Port of Southampton during the early eighties P&O Ferries finally decided to abandon the port and transfer their Le Havre route to Portsmouth, commencing on the 03 January 1984. P&O Ferries were purchased by European Ferries (Townsend Thoresen) on the 01 April 1985. The Princess Alexandra Dock saw it's final cross channel ferry arrival with the DRAGON on the morning of the 03 January 1984. The DRAGON had made it's final arrival that morning from Le Havre at her usual time of 07.00 and after discharging and loading any necessary equipment she sailed empty to Portsmouth to pick up her first departure from her new home port. When P&O Ferries moved from Southampton to Portsmouth Britanny Ferries were responsible for their port operations. Two photos of the Princess Alexandra Dock First one show's the Princess Alexandra Dock in 1969. Townsend Thoresen VIKING III at berth 6. Townsend Thoresen VIKING I or VIKING II at berth 7. Townsend Thoresen VIKING IV at berth 1 Normandy Ferries DRAGON at berth 2. Swedish Lloyd PATRICIA at berth 3. In the distance at berth 46 in the Ocean Dock is Shaw Savill Line SOUTHERN CROSS and the Cunard Line CARMANIA in the Trafalgar Dry Dock (number 6 Dry Dock, filled in during 1993). The second image is recent and shows the totally redeveloped Princess Alexandra Dock as the Ocean Village Marina. The third image show's the linkspan at berth 25 in the Empress Dock as well as the linkspan at berth 30 on the Itchen Quays. The forth image is the former passenger terminal at berths 2/3 completed in 1967 for Normandy Ferries and Swedish Lloyd. The fifth image is not great quality but it shows the following, FREE ENTERPRISE II on layover at berth 6. Townsend Thoresen VIKING I, II or III at berth 7. Townsend Thoresen VIKING IV at berth 1. Normandy Ferries DRAGON at berth 2. Antarctic Survey Ship BRANSFIELD at berths 20/21 in the Empress Dock. Cunard Line QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 at the former Ocean Terminal at berths 43/44 in the Ocean Dock. Sitmar Lines FAIRSKY temporarily laid up at berth 45 in the Ocean Dock. Seagull Ferries SAINT CHRISTOPHE at berth 49. The sixth image show's the FREE ENTERPRISE III laid up at the former Townsend Thoresen terminal at berth 7 in the Princess Alexandra Dock in 1981 after Townsend Thoresen had relocated to berth 3 the previous year.
  12. Photo was taken in 1979. The two vessels in question are the VIKING VALIANT and VIKING VICTORY VIKING VALIANT is on temporary Winter lay up and the VIKING VICTORY is covering for her. VIKING IV is at her usual freight berth.
  13. PORTELET ( 1967, former LION of P&O Ferries) had left the fleet by the time the ROZEL ( 1974, former St EDMUND, KEREN) was chartered by BCIF from Cenargo and entered service with the company on 21/03/1989. The PORTELET had finished her charter with BCIF on the 01/10/1988 after two seasons operating from Weymouth to the Channel Islands. With BCIF concentrating their entire operations at Poole from January 1989 rather than from Portsmouth the Weymouth link was dropped. The PORTELET finished her final sailing from the Channel Islands to Weymouth on the 01/10/1988 and returned to her owners, the Greek ferry company Marlines where she resumed the name of BARONESS M. BCIF started operating from Poole on the 03/01/1989, with the CORBIERE (1970, former APOLLO) arriving at approximately 18.00 at the Dorset port on a "light" sailing from Portsmouth where she had arrived earlier that morning on her final arrival at the port from the Channel Islands. The HAVELET (1977, former CORNOUAILLES) and ROZEL were running mates on POOLE to the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey with the HAVELET operating the overnight sailing from the Channel Islands to Poole and the ROZEL operating the overnight sailing from Poole The ROZEL left the BCIF fleet in September 1992 and was replaced by the BEAUPORT (1973, former PRINCE OF FUNDY, PRINCE OF BRITANNY, REINE MATHILDE). Nick has summed it up pretty well regarding the eventual demise of BCIF and the shortcomings regarding the fleet. As an ex former employee of BCIF I have very fond memories of my time with the company between 1987 and 1993. Having worked aboard the CORBIERE, ROZEL, HAVELET and BEAUPORT in that order in the positions of Steward, Shop Manager, Stores Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Second Steward and Deputy Purser all in that order. I can honestly say that I was totally distraught when BCIF ceased operations as it was a fantastic company to work for and my shipmates were a joy to work with especially those on the "HAPPY" HAVELET. On a side note I'm rather upset about the idea of the APOLLO, the former CORBIERE potentially being sunk off the Canadian coast as a diving wreck The fact that she was the first in a series of sisters dating from 1970, affectionately known as the "Papenburg sisters", she's certainly had a long career lasting almost fifty years. This is great news for Condor Ferries as well as the Channel Islands as a whole. With Britanny Ferries getting involved once again in the Channel Islands hopefully this will lead to better things and looking forward in time were see an eventual replacement of the current Condor Ferries fleet. Only dreaming on my part and I honestly don't envisage it ever happening but they could always bring back the British Channel Island Ferries name and have the ships fully crewed by British seaman again 😉
  14. After leaving or should I say being made redundant by British Channel Island Ferries in 1993 after the takeover by Condor Ferries I joined Geest Line. I used to work for Geest Line on their GEESTBAY, we took 12 passengers in luxurious accommodations on a 32 day round trip from Southampton to the Windward Islands and Trinidad. Port's of call were Antigua, Dominica, St Lucia (Castries and Vieux Fort), St Vincent and Port of Spain. It was a great 32 day round trip with plenty of time off in port including night stops in several port's. And the crew accomodation was very good, nice large ensuite with Queen size bed, all single berth cabins for the catering department and of course the officers. The food was excellent with BBQs on the outer decks whilst in the Caribbean. There was a nicely laid out lounge with big comfortable sofa's, a dining room for the officers and passengers and even a small outside pool that was lifted on top of one of the cargo hatches. I must be the only member of BFE who knows first hand what it's like to sail or better still work on a cargo ship that takes passengers. Just saying 😉
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