Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Doug

Cuthred (Mira Praia) Lots of photos

Recommended Posts

Khaines, I found that the other day also but I think it was the gallery which was originally in the OP so I didn't bother to repost it at the time but thanks for that :).

 

Did you find anything interesting in your books?

 

Pigeonrat, yes I suppose if we consider the age when Cuthred left the Solent, it makes sense.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found out that Cuthred's lounge carpets were originally made for the new Seaspeed hovercraft Princesses Anne and Margaret, but they were too heavy for those so Cuthred got them. Deep pile carpets too. Also read that Cuthred was the first company car ferry to have a steel car deck instead of wood, and she was the final new Solent ferry to be fitted with rigid lifeboats. Quite a few little gems, my book is the Fishbourne Car Ferry by John Faulkner, very interesting stuff. Will add some more later, a lot relates to her performance issues though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly very British Rail decision making at the time. Just off the back of the Beeching cuts. When deciding to add the weight of the Mezzanine decks and the additional full width promenade deck typical decision to cut corners and not increase the already underpowered engines. I thought she was better looking than her later half sisters. Never thought their flexible prow ends were any good just noisy on lowering the prow. The increase of 4 cars by using the side enclaves were only good enough for smallest of cars and Caedmon was never made for Portsmouth as she had side doors for passengers which was never part of the Portsmouth model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I found out that Cuthred's lounge carpets were originally made for the new Seaspeed hovercraft Princesses Anne and Margaret, but they were too heavy for those so Cuthred got them. Deep pile carpets too. Also read that Cuthred was the first company car ferry to have a steel car deck instead of wood, and she was the final new Solent ferry to be fitted with rigid lifeboats. Quite a few little gems, my book is the Fishbourne Car Ferry by John Faulkner, very interesting stuff. Will add some more later, a lot relates to her performance issues though.

 

Thanks for the info, I wonder if those carpets are still in place now... That would be interesting.

 

Caedmon was never made for Portsmouth as she had side doors for passengers which was never part of the Portsmouth model.

 

That's something I've often wondered. Was Caedmon ever really intended to be used in Portsmouth or was it just a stand in to make up for Cuthred's poor performance & the other ageing ships at the time.

 

What happened with Lymington to Yarmouth originally? Was it just Cenwulf & Cenred on the route or was there previous ferries still around with them. I suppose it's a little bit like today where one of the W-Class ferries is in Portsmouth (which looks amazingly inappropriate) and the other two are running a two ferry service in Lymington-Yarmouth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caedmon was originally intended for Portsmouth - Fishbourne, she joined her two sisters on the Lymington/Yarmouth route themselves having replaced Fishbourne and Farringford. Caedmon had had quite an intensive life before she moved to Lym-Yar and this is why she had a bit more wear and tear, she was always a bit different with her own character. This is why I think, ropey old ferry, but a well loved one too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh right, probably would have fared better if all three (Four with Cuthred) were rotated. In fact maybe Cuthred would have been more appropriate for Lymington-Yarmouth instead of moving Caedmon over there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said, Caedmon always was built for Portsmouth and thus had a harder life to start with. I believe she only moved to Yarmouth once St Helen debuted, so 1983/4, by which time she'd already taken a clobbering for a decade as Portsmouth's main ship. Cenred also served at Portsmouth for a few months when she was new. Interestingly Cenwulf never did, at least not until after the millenium I think, when she undertook a few runs from Portsmouth to Fishbourne. Quite a feat going for nearly 30 years without doing so!

 

Cuthred wouldn't have been ideal at Yarmouth on account that she didn't have the side doors for passengers. It's funny that Caedmon did have them fitted...either she was always intended to move to Yarmouth one day or, more likely, it was as cheap to build the three sisters the same so why not...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caedmon served Ryde on 1st October 1979, and her doors fouled the pier. Cuthred called at Ryde on Christmas day 1969 as a relief passenger ferry (first time a service on Christmas Day and first time a scheduled service had called at Ryde).

 

Caedmon was the first car ferry used and on Ryde Pier one of her lower doors hit the pier while partially closed. That door was then closed and a door the next level up used. This one landed on the piles along the edge of the pier. With the door closed again and the warping lines slackened, she was moved along to clear the piles. When the door was opened too early, it fouled the next pile along and when it was successfully lowered it was suspended two feet above the level of the pier! The staff ended up using a portable gangway. This I have transcribed about what I read in the book. Caedmon also chucked off one of her prows as well somewhere in the Solent....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the interesting information. The reason I wondered about Caedmon being built for Portsmouth or not is partly due to the doors.

 

Cuthred wouldn't have been ideal at Yarmouth on account that she didn't have the side doors for passengers

 

Good point, never thought of that.

 

I suppose that also explains why Cenwulf was the best condition of the three, probably had the least wear & tear over the years.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The side doors are interesting because Caedmon couldn't have used them on the eastern route, not in the sense that we know it anyway. Khaines makes a good point in that they were used at Ryde Pier, so the third option is that this was always intended. Even by 1973 the three diesels running the Ryde passenger route were becoming pretty decrepit and perhaps B.R intended to replace them by just having the car ferries stop at Ryde Pier en-route, hence Caedmon having the doors fitted. This would have been a nuisance for all concerned but would have saved B.R a lot of money. Clearly it was an idea only in fashion for a brief period if true, as neither Cuthred nor St Catherine were fitted with such facilities.

 

It would be interesting if someone who worked on the C-class could corroborate whether or not Cenwulf was in the best nick, she certainly seemed that way to me. She also was the last to be broken up, some months after her two sisters, suggesting the shipbreakers also considered her the best of the three and the most likely to have a future, alas this was not to be. I could see little difference between Cenwulf and Cenred travelling on them although Cenwulf seemed smoother and slightly quieter, plus Cenred suffered a cracked hull at some point which may have counted against her chances of survival. Caedmon, of course, was the "village bike" and battered in every department, bless her ;-)

Edited by Pigeonrat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cuthred almost or did split her hull grounding on a slipway - or was it Caedmon? Someone's props snagged somewhere and caused, or nearly caused, a crack. Something else to research today...🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It would be interesting if someone who worked on the C-class could corroborate whether or not Cenwulf was in the best nick, she certainly seemed that way to me.

 

Yes that would be interesting. I think at the time it was established that Cenwulf was in the best condition but I'm not sure of the source. I couldn't tell the difference between Cenwulf & Cenred as a passenger though Cenwulf was always my favourite. Cenred was the last C-Class I travelled on, I seldom went on Caedmon.

 

Khaines makes a good point in that they were used at Ryde Pier, so the third option is that this was always intended.

 

Imagine if this went forward & they were still doing it today, especially with something like St Clare haha.

 

Cuthred almost or did split her hull grounding on a slipway - or was it Caedmon? Someone's props snagged somewhere and caused, or nearly caused, a crack. Something else to research today...🙂

 

Oh gosh, not heard that one before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caedmon was my favourite, although she was darn uncomfortable in stormy weather, that was part of her appeal in a weird way. She rattled and crashed her way across in the later years of her life more so than the other two, and I always say that when it was stormy weather and I had to catch a ferry it was always her waiting in the berth when us footies got called through. She bounced her way across clanging away....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been readiing up and indeed Cuthred did split her hull and fuel tank. Explanation is a bit long, but it was her.

 

There was also an incident where she was coming out of the main Swashway channel during ebbing tides and steering towards the Bar Channel buoys. Says that this kept her out of the worst of the current and could save 10 - 15 minutes, but skippers had to be careful as Cuthred was once left grounded on the Hamilton Bank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think there would have been merit in the Cuthred at Lymington as she really was a problem on the Portsmouth route peak holiday traffic times. They should have swapped her and used some other means of foot passengers getting on or off. Would have solved queues back into Portsmouth City centre on Saturdays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd read about Cuthred rupturing her fuel tank in John Faulkner's book too, and no-one owning up to it - or indeed even noticing until she ran out of diesel! That must have been an interesting conversation with the various captains, "Where's all the diesel gone? Who ripped the bottom out of the ship?" "Er, not me guv, could've been anyone..." One presumes Cuthred (or indeed any of the ferries) does not have a fuel gauge!

 

From the same book I seem to recall there were also vague plans in about 1980 to fix Cuthred with another pair of engines and propellors to work alongside her existing ones (so circa 1500bhp). Probably would have bounced across the Solent like a hovercraft had they done so, but in the event no-one bothered and she was simply relegated to backup ship by the Saints anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm too young to remember Cuthred. But I did work in the other Cs In the 2000s. In my opinion, others could disagree, Caedmon was structurally the worst, but mechanically ok. Cenwulf was probably best condition structurally, and was mechanically quite good.

Bumps, scrapes, cracks all all everyday happenings to ships, and can be repaired quite easily, not nessasarily a measure of how good a ships structure is.

I have worked for both ferry companies at times, and I can say from observation that continuity of crew is key to a ships long term condition, and that the crews of one company work a lot harder at keeping the ships up to scratch, the other leaves most to refit. This also means ships having fixed routes also pays dividends. Poor old Wight Sun suffers for being the unloved ship between two routes.

The Cs were excellent ships suited to any route they were on. The original master of Cenred put it down to the company listening to the advice of the crews of cuthred, and the smaller ferries.

For info, the cenred only spent the first winter in Portsmouth, thereafter she, cenwulf and Freshwater operated the Lymungton route with no real need to relieve in Portsmouth. When Caedmon was displaced to lymungton, she did need to relive in Portsmouth. Of the 3 she was the only one with bolt on fittings to make her the right width to fit the new linkspans.

We took both cenwulf and cenred to Pompey for cruises, and cenwulf did run the Portsmouth service for a weekend overnight I think, off the old slipway in fishbourne.

If I remember any more I'll write it down. I did write quite a long post about operating the Cs in this forum once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a couple of Captains I could think of who may well have taken short cuts or been a little full of bluster that may have contributed to such damage but obviously that would be pure speculation. Not withstanding any connection to the incident mentioned, there were 2 captains who had lets say "reputations". One was cavalier and took short cuts at low tide and the other was somewhat bull at a gate when it came to docking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Sailorboy, I remember your post on the other C-class thread, your contributions are always fascinating. I knew Cenwulf had run to the old slipway at Fishbourne at some point but couldn't remember when it was, so thanks for confirming. Interesting that with the disposal of the C-class Wightlink no longer have that redundancy available...I presume that's where that "St Anton" thingy or whatever it's called would come into play nowadays.

 

Impressed that Caedmon was classed as "mechanically OK". I recall someone made a joke when Caedmon was decommissioned that sales of Bradex Easy-Start would drop by about 50% since she was no longer in need of a can or two to kick her into life every morning! I don't know how much truth there was in that but it would fit her somewhat beaten-up and dog-eared reputation. But I have to say I cannot actually recall the C-class service being unreliable at all when I was a regular user in the late '90s to late 2000s, the three elderly ships seemed remarkably dependable (with the possible exception of the mezzanine decks).

 

Going back to Cuthred, I wonder if she did ever see anything more than the Portsmouth to Fishbourne slog? Not flexible enough for Lymington and not powerful enough for the "cruises" that used to occasionally take place, it's odd the difference that a bit of cost-cutting can make.

Edited by Pigeonrat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St anton works just about at lymington and Yarmouth as there are piers to tie up to. It's very heath Robinson. Not efficient and only really works for cars and light vans.

Fishbourne has no pier to tie up to so st anton would be very difficult to use as there would be too many variables with barge and ship! Also the old slipway is completely silted up. It would require dredging.

 

Caedmon machinery is a testament to her good engineers. In factall 3 ships were very simple with minimal electronics. If you had the parts, could weld, or machine parts you were laughing. From saint clare onwards the ships are too electronic for their own good. You need a contractor to fix things. Meaning a fault on startup might not be rectified until working hours. Or days later. During my time on the Cs we missed one round trip for mechanical. I just remembered that Caedmon used to kick out the most soot. Great fun that was.

 

Remember untill 1980 there were 3 passenger ships available and more suitable for cruises. More often the shanklin as she was less manoeuvrable due to her direct drive diesels. The Fishbourne route was a predominantly car only route, suffering rapid expansion. The biggest ferries were needed on the run as much as possible. Lym route was a combined car/pax route so needed the combined car/pax ships that were the later Cs. If a ship was needed for cruises it would be Freshwater with the smallest car capacity and most open deck space on the quieter route.

Cuthred is pictured making a visit to lym before the introduction of the Cs to prove it was possible. But she wasn't ideal to be a car/pax ship so she stayed on the car only(ish) route for her entire life.

 

Think of saint Clare though. Not ideal, but workable. And takes the primary roster year round barring heavy weather. Cuthred was just the same. A functional ship. A prototype that led to the most successful ships. She wasn't dangerous or unworkable. Just a few rogue characteristics. From personal experience it's quite fun being on the rogue ship and managing to be to be on time. At the end of the day even if she ran late, she still carried loads of cars!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They used to keep the engines running to avoid the soot situation didn't they? All three belted out soot over passengers so they had to keep the engines running to avoid this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...