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The ferry nostalgia thread

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@tarbyonline has been posting some nice nostalgia stuff on Twitter which might be of interest. As we're mostly stuck at home it might be interesting for people to post any photos or reminiscences of when they could get out and about travelling in the past.

https://twitter.com/NI_Ferry_Site/status/1247124139330220032?s=20https://twitter.com/NI_Ferry_Site/status/1247124139330220032?s=20

 

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Here's something from 17 and a half years ago, before the Mont St Michel entered service and the Quiberon and Purbeck were both operating together, and using both linkspans, at Ouistreham - Saturday 30th November, 2002. Having sailed out on the Quiberon we drove over to Cherbourg and returned to Poole on an absolutely packed Barfleur.

image.thumb.jpeg.7e22870171060b40c139104036be312e.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

This you tube channel has a lot of interesting stuff on it .

https://youtu.be/rMz3EjzoSKk

How good is that - imagine setting foot on one of the first three Thoresen car ferries when before you'd only ever been on one of the railway steamers. It would be like taking a trip into space. The UK was barely a decade past the end of rationing but here you could go to the smorgasbord and take what you wanted.

Same operation a little later and after they'd gone downhill slightly: post-stretching Viking Valiant/Venturer (1987) on board guide, this in the period when they had the main restaurant in what would later be the ro-ro drivers area.

vikingvaliant_vikingventurer_1987_dp3co.jpg

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My first channel crossing was on the Falaise from Southampton to St Malo - a coal burning steamer. Were there really stokers with shovels down below ? 

IMG_0945.PNG

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The Falaise you travelled on was an oil burner with 124 tons of fuel in her bunkers acording the The Denny List. 😀

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Posted (edited)

I am reliveved for those poor men !  What a job that must have been. I once read about the work of stokers on the Titanic - working despite the coal bunkers being on fire. 

Edited by wortley

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2 hours ago, wortley said:

I am reliveved for those poor men !  What a job that must have been. I once read about the work of stokers on the Titanic - working despite the coal bunkers being on fire. 

Some pictures of her engine room, and the rest of the ship, on these links:

Our Newhaven: Falaise at Marine Workshops part 1

Our Newhaven: Falaise at Marine Workshops part 2

Compare her to the video @neilcvx posted of the Thoresen Vikings which entered service the same year she became a car ferry and you can see why they were going to struggle. BR did authorise a big advertising splurge for Newhaven to try and counter the Vikings when it became clear how successful they were going to be but until the Villandry and Valencay arrived they were very much in the business of manure polishing.

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HHV, Thank you for that.

I was a 16 year old from an all boys school and somehow got an invitation to stay with a very grown up French girl in Bordeaux - a rapid learning curve !  So it was overnight from Southampton on board Falaise with a bunk in the second class "gentlemen's saloon" (dormitory) - and  in those days there was a through train from St Malo to Bordeaux where my education progressed. This was headed as a nostalgia thread.

 

 

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The first time I was at the Glénans (famous French sailing school with its original bases on the islands) I was about 20 I suppose. On the Ile de Cigogne there were two dormitories in the walls of the fort, and on arrival I was directed to dump my kit on a camp bed in one of them. The day progressed and ended with communal dinner in another arched "room" in the walls, where the excellent, home cooked food was washed down with more than ample quantities of equally excellent cider, brewed on site. In a very merry state of mind, I head to bed, assuming my dormitory is all male, and sit on my bed in a fuzzy dream as young women undress all around me... I love France.

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Returning, almost, to the topic, the Bête Noir of my youth was the 1960 built St Clair. From Ailsa Shipbuilding in Troon, she was designed specifically for the Aberdeen "north boat" routes, had very fine "destroyer bow" fwd sections, and was the first vessel on the routes to have stabilisers. I say almost on topic, because she was pre RORO with vehicles craned on and off.

Her design reduced rolling, except when the stabilisers broke off (yes, I was on board), but her fore and aft shape and division of buoyancy made her pitch like no other vessel I have ever been on. A destroyer has length in its favour and a relatively narrow beam by comparison. This horror ship was definitely heading for Davy Jones' locker every time we went down in a trough. Eventually, she shook and shuddered and agonisingly slowly, back up she came. I could not sleep inside the ship, partly due to the foul smell left by others and partly the psychological terror of being cooped up in a coffin.

Once I reached drinking age, I could join the adepts... Get on board 2 hours before departure, drink yourself insensitive in the bar before the ship got beyond the breakwater, lie down and forget the world. Stewards put blankets over us, and made sure we were securely wedged.

StClair1960_03.jpg.0327ade3d0c5cec59068dc7870f32ac8.jpgStClair1960_05.jpg.0ead845fa263c0c081c387dffe974732.jpg

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1 hour ago, colin said:

fuzzy

I think that's an adjective that could be applied to young French women at the time too. 😉 Ed. 

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I travelled on that St Clair in the mid 70s when visiting friends in Shetland. It was indeed a dreadful ride with horrid vibration.  As I recall she was a two class ship and we could only afford steerage without an overnight cabin which probably hadn't improved since the days of the Titanic.

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

I travelled on that St Clair in the mid 70s when visiting friends in Shetland. It was indeed a dreadful ride with horrid vibration.  As I recall she was a two class ship and we could only afford steerage without an overnight cabin which probably hadn't improved since the days of the Titanic.

Indeed she was 2 class. Thankfully, out of summer season, everyone could use the first class bar.... The cabins in 2nd Class were cupboards. My spot, tucked out of the wind was best.... The purser, whose name was Pottinger, would come and check on me when I was 11-15.

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Quote

The purser, whose name was Pottinger, would come and check on me when I was 11-15.

Not the well known Jim Pottinger who produced lots of model boat drawings and who is currently retired in Shetland was it?

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Don't know, so will try to check. A lot of them at home.

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July 2002. According to the receipts, a Dover-Calais day trip was £8 and fish & chips was £5.95 in the International Food Court on the P&OSL Provence.

image.thumb.jpeg.8da39ae7e5798dcdad70dccd6262d15b.jpeg

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5 hours ago, hhvferry said:

July 2002. According to the receipts, a Dover-Calais day trip was £8 and fish & chips was £5.95 in the International Food Court on the P&OSL Provence.

image.thumb.jpeg.8da39ae7e5798dcdad70dccd6262d15b.jpeg

When I lived in Arras back in 1997/98 I did day returns from Calais to Dover with P&O on special deals costing 50Ff. Ed

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On ‎13‎/‎04‎/‎2020 at 12:18, neilcvx said:

This you tube channel has a lot of interesting stuff on it .

https://youtu.be/rMz3EjzoSKk

 

Difficult to be certain, but I think the two ferries in this video are Viking I and Viking II.  Could be either way around, can't find any clues as to which one the video was shot from and which one was the passing ferry.  But Viking III had a slightly different arrangement of windows in the forward-facing lounge area, and the window arrangements in both of the ships in this video look like the Viking I/II arrangement rather than the Viking III arrangement.

The video was clearly shot onboard the 1030 sailing from Southampton to Cherbourg.  This was the only route that passed the Needles, and 1030 was the standard departure time on that route right up to the moving of that departure to Portsmouth in 1981.  But the notable feature was the passing ship, which was clearly on a morning return trip from Cherbourg to Southampton.  Which means the previous evening there was an overnight sailing to Cherbourg.  This would indicate the video must have been shot during the three-ferry era, and so Viking III must have been in service (probably somewhere on the Le Havre route at the time of shooting).  This dates it to no earlier than 1966.  And the branding was Thoresen Car Ferries rather than Townsend Thoresen, which dates it to before 1968.  The video must therefore have been taken in either 1966 or 1967.

Finally of some interest is the fact that the crossing ship looks as if she is apparently crossing behind the onboard ship and heading to Portsmouth.  But of course she won't have been heading to Portsmouth because Portsmouth was not a ferry port until 10 years later.  This illustrates the course corrections that the masters have to make in allowing for the cross-tide in the Channel; if there was no tide to allow for then the course steered would be completely reciprocal.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Difficult to be certain, but I think the two ferries in this video are Viking I and Viking II.  Could be either way around, can't find any clues as to which one the video was shoot from and which one was the passing ferry.  But Viking III had a slightly different arrangement of windows in the forward-facing lounge area, and the window arrangements in both of the ships in this video look like the Viking I/II arrangement rather than the Viking III arrangement.

The main difference was they flipped where the restaurant and self-service were on the third ship, from the restaurant being down the starboard side and the cafeteria up front on the upper decks of the first two, to the other way around on the III (the crew messes were also moved up to the deck above). So the on board shots of Le Commandant clearly being down the side is as you say definitely I or II.

Viking I, II

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Viking III

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Edited by hhvferry
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176264141_Scan_20200415(10).thumb.png.a610d8a55c4a3ccee2ab6484633f7267.pngThese are scans of a French brochure at the drawing board stage. Made of card with handwriting, drawing and some printing & images literally cut and pasted onto the template.

I'm hoping @hhvferry or @Gareth may be able to indicate a year?

 

 

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