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ancientbret

Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

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Now just wonder if any "old-timers" especially in the West country may remember a short lived ferry service that ran from Torquay harbour I think 70/80s. It ran from Torquay to Jersey in summer time far as I can recall.

Cars were hoisted aboard by crane ! I remember its condition being rather past its sell by date and was painted a bright red !. I was tempted to use it but luckily enough was able to see it in harbour, my confidence in its seaworthiness was quickly dashed. However be interesting if any ferry enthusiasts can recall this service.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Thanks for that.Was able to google up a link showing bit more info.

Looks like I was wrong about the crane hoist and the colour scheme unless it was rust !

Putting a link on which may be of interest to those liking ferry history.

Looks like we have come a long way.

http://channelislandsshipping.je/page73.html

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Thanks for that.Was able to google up a link showing bit more info.

Looks like I was wrong about the crane hoist and the colour scheme unless it was rust !

Putting a link on which may be of interest to those liking ferry history.

Looks like we have come a long way.

http://channelislandsshipping.je/page73.html

 

I think that I have a photo of it at alderney in bright red. I will do a search later.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Well - apparently I have already posted this photo in a thread called ' Condor & Blue Islands Airlines' - so you can search there. By the way, the livery is white, not red, but there you go.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Many thanks for that...looks like it was a ferry of many colours.

I have copied in your photo as to give people an idea of what it was like.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Many thanks for that...looks like it was a ferry of many colours.

I have copied in your photo as to give people an idea of what it was like.

 

Thanks, Ancientbret, you are obviously more tech savvy than I.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Torbay Seaways had two ships named DEVONIUN. The first was the former SCILLONIAN of 1956 which ran from Torquay to Guernsey and Alderney for three seasons, 1982-84. Cars were loaded by crane. She was sold and in 1985 the service was run by the hydrofoil STAR CAPRICORN. The second DEVONIUN ran from 1986 to 1990. She was built in 1964 and was Caledonian MacBrayne's HEBRIDES. She had a lift and side ramps for cars. As well as day trips to Alderney and Guernsey, she made overnight crossings to Jersey.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Gosh that's the last thing I'd want to travel to the Channel island on - makes be feel lucky to have been born into the generation of high standard cruiseferries.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

I made five trips from Torquay to Guernsey in the first DEVONIUN, and they were amongst the more enjoyable sea trips I've ever made. I later sailed in the same ship to Orkney and Shetland. She was a ship of real character, quite unlike a floating hotel.

There are no "high standard cruiseferries" running to the Channel Islands. I haven't been there for years because I'm not interested in going in a fast ferry or the COMMODORE CLIPPER.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Gosh that's the last thing I'd want to travel to the Channel island on - makes be feel lucky to have been born into the generation of high standard cruiseferries.

 

Some guys here will remember the Trondenes. 12 passenger max, but a few cars and vans as well from Alderney to Cherbourg in the early 1990s. Travel on it and you would understand why Torbay Seaways and the Varengeford were looked upon as the luxury options. One trip I was at Cherbourg waiting for a van load of furniture to arrive - due at 3pm. We waited and waited without news. Although I had an early, bulky, cell phone, there was no reception in Cherbourg. Trondenes arrived at 130am the next day - 11 hours waiting within the security area of Cherbourg harbour. Taught me the real meaning of the word patience.

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Gosh that's the last thing I'd want to travel to the Channel island on - makes be feel lucky to have been born into the generation of high standard cruiseferries.

 

Once It left Torbay seaways ownership,it had a quick succession of owners and gradually deteriorated and finally sunk in a Bulgarian port !

 

Heres a link that shows its history in photos.

http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/Scillonian2-1.html#anchor73852

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Found a old book, which I forgot I had, and it has a paragraph about the first Devonium. Most of the information has been said already, couple of quotes though

 

"Built in 1956 and her gross tonnage is 921... ...operated between Torquay, Alderney and Guernsey for three summer seasons"

 

Interesting piece

 

"Torbay Seaways planned to purchase the "ro-ro" vessel Clansman, but the harbour authority at Torquay turned down their application to have a ramp built. "

 

So that could have been interesting if it happened.

 

Also the hydrofoil service was apparently unsuccessful.

 

"A Century of Shipping - in the Channel Islands" by Simon Masterton; 1985

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Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

Torbay Seaways did purchase the CLANSMAN and she was taken to the River Dart in August 1984, but did not enter service. She was sold and went to Malta in December 1984. The hydrofoil SPRINGEREN was purchased and ran in the 1985 season as the STAR CAPRICORN. She was replaced in 1986 by the HEBRIDES which became the second DEVONIUN (not "Devonium"). The company also had the small cargo ship ONTIC which ran from Torquay to Alderney and Guernsey.

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Guest ArtychokeUK
On 06/09/2014 at 16:12, Santini said:

Re: Torquay to Channel islands ferry 70/80s

 

I found this on the web not much more about her mind you

I travelled this route a few times. The last being a night crossing from St Helier to Torquay on the night of the Great Storm. A terrifying experience for all concerned. The skipper was ashen in the morning when, after struggling to stay off land all night, we arrived......... in St Peter Port. He was the hero of the hours of a very long night. Everything was smashed & in pieces in the morning. That vessel was the Devonian. (Note spelling)

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