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Gareth

Oldest Continuous Ferry Service?

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In the spirit of the ”Longest Crossing in Europe” thread, something else that occurred to me as something we could talk about while we can’t talk about BF is:

What is the longest standing route operated continuously by the same operator?

Without doing any research and just on a gut feeling, I’ll kick off suggestions with Isle of Man Steam Packet Liverpool - Douglas.

(Or is that disqualified from consideration by the fact it is no longer a year-round service?).

What else could be a contender for the trophy?

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My guess is it's actually going to be a river crossing somewhere, but whether it has always run from exactly the same points may be debatable. I seem to recall that the River Mersey ferry has been going since medieval times in one form or another so that might count. Ed

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Posted (edited)

Being ran by the same operator does make it far more difficult. The Mersey ferries were run by the local governments of Liverpool & Birkenhead for nearly 100 years, mid 1880's until the late 1960's (I think?). When we had the buses, underground etc deregulated under Maggie the hierarchy remained the same but the name changed from the Merseyside Transport Exec to Mersey Travel.

Just thought. Merseyside wasn't created until the early 1970's, we were Lancashire before then... I wonder why the MPTE - Merseyside passenger Transport Executive - was given that name about 5 years earlier?

Edited by jonno
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This from Wiki regarding the Gosport ferry.

The company that currently operates the Gosport ferry was created in 1883 as the Port of Portsmouth Steam Launch & Towing Company, making it one of the longest serving ferry services in the UK.[1] In 1963, it took over the Gosport & Portsea Watermen's Steam Launch Company, founded in 1875 by the Watermen, who had operated ferries on the route for centuries. These Watermen had enjoyed protected rights between 1603 and 1840, limiting operation of ferries on the route to Gosport residents.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Isle of Man Steam Packet

This does seem to be the longest continually operating ferry company in the world but you asked about a specific route with the same operator.  

How about the King Harry Steam Ferry in Cornwall?

Ed

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59 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

This does seem to be the longest continually operating ferry company in the world but you asked about a specific route with the same operator.  

How about the King Harry Steam Ferry in Cornwall?

Ed

The Kylerhea ferry ran to Skye from before 1715 to 1897.

King Harry ferry gives me an excuse to post one of my favourite films (again).

https://vimeo.com/109906854
 

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Well I just had to respond to this one  - 

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Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
Sheshaght Phaggad Bree Ellan Vannin
Isle of Man Steam Packet logo
Private
Industry Transport
Founded 1830
Headquarters Douglas, Isle of Man
Key people
Mark Woodward
(Chief Executive)
Robert Quayle
(Chairman)
Owner
Website www.steam-packet.com
Steam_packet_route_map.png
 
Route map

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Limited[1] (abbreviated to IoMSPCo.) (Manx: Sheshaght Phaggad Bree Ellan Vannin) is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world, celebrating its 190th anniversary in 2020 - 

Just waiting for the response neilcvx...…...

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Can you give more detail Manx?  We know Heysham was a relatively late addition to the IoMSP network.  When did Belfast and Dublin come along in relation to Liverpool?

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39 minutes ago, Manxscorpio said:

Well I just had to respond to this one  - 

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
Sheshaght Phaggad Bree Ellan Vannin
Isle of Man Steam Packet logo
Private
Industry Transport
Founded 1830
Headquarters Douglas, Isle of Man
Key people
Mark Woodward
(Chief Executive)
Robert Quayle
(Chairman)
Owner
Website www.steam-packet.com
Steam_packet_route_map.png
 
Route map

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Limited[1] (abbreviated to IoMSPCo.) (Manx: Sheshaght Phaggad Bree Ellan Vannin) is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world, celebrating its 190th anniversary in 2020 - 

Just waiting for the response neilcvx...….

They certainly haven't operated the Liverpool route continuously since they were established even allowing for wartime interruptions - after the surrender to Manx Line in Spring 1985 English operations were concentrated on Heysham and seasonal Liverpool sailings didn't resume until the summer of 1986.

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11 minutes ago, hhvferry said:

They certainly haven't operated the Liverpool route continuously since they were established even allowing for wartime interruptions - after the surrender to Manx Line in Spring 1985 English operations were concentrated on Heysham and seasonal Liverpool sailings didn't resume until the summer of 1986.

Hahaha.… don't think you will find any continuous operating shipping route since being established …. so 190 years takes the biscuit.....

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3 minutes ago, colin said:

Wouldn't it be the one across the Styx?

No, that's a Greek ferry and therefore logic dictates it must have been taken out of service at some point due to a fire onboard. 😉 Ed. 

  • Haha 2

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9 minutes ago, Manxscorpio said:

Hahaha.… don't think you will find any continuous operating shipping route since being established …. so 190 years takes the biscuit.....

Well there will be one that fits the criteria - it's just that the Steam Packet isn't it!

What's the definition of same operator - exactly the same or do successor companies count? The likes of Wightlink and Cal Mac and even large chunks of Stena Line are essentially the same businesses which have gone down through generations operating the same routes.

If it needs to be under the same name then the Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Limited's Southampton-Cowes routes are likely winners even if they don't use their official title nowadays.

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2 hours ago, hhvferry said:

Well there will be one that fits the criteria - it's just that the Steam Packet isn't it!

What's the definition of same operator - exactly the same or do successor companies count? The likes of Wightlink and Cal Mac and even large chunks of Stena Line are essentially the same businesses which have gone down through generations operating the same routes.

If it needs to be under the same name then the Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Limited's Southampton-Cowes routes are likely winners even if they don't use their official title nowadays.

"Well there will be one that fits the criteria - it's just that the Steam Packet isn't it!"

Yep Its the Steampacket…. in the absence of a definite contender for the last 190 years....

 

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16 hours ago, Gareth said:

 

What is the longest standing route operated continuously by the same operator?

 

So we’ve established the longest running company , now could we answer @Gareth question? 

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I can't suggest the very oldest,  but can point out an anniversary. This year is exactly 100 years since the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company was founded in 1920 and has been sailing continuously since then. 

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Wikipedia is great …. but in the UK this seems to be up there...….

 

A contender as oldest ferry in continuous operation is the Mersey Ferry from Liverpool to Birkenhead, England. In 1150, the Benedictine Priory at Birkenhead was established. The monks used to charge a small fare to row passengers across the estuary.[14] In 1330, Edward III granted a charter to the Priory and its successors for ever: "the right of ferry there… for men, horses and goods, with leave to charge reasonable tolls". However, there may have been a short break following the Dissolution of the monasteries.

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I think it might have had a couple of different operators since 1150.

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I think the oldest ferry in continuous service is operated by a guy called Charon, he's pretty busy just at the moment....

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Posted (edited)

Just ordered this.

Ferry Publications title Steam Packet 190 the oldest continually operating passenger shipping company in the world. 

Edited by jonno
link had personal info...
  • Thanks 1

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53 minutes ago, jonno said:

Just ordered this.

Ferry Publications title Steam Packet 190 the oldest continually operating passenger shipping company in the world. 

2020 publication - thanks for heads up Jonno….

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