The Portsmouth to Ryde ferry

It wasn’t so long ago that I was on the end of Ryde Pier head watching the ferry leave for Portsmouth.

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That’s Wight Rider 1 backing away from the pier at Ryde before its high speed dash back to the mainland.

Sixty years ago – and long before I knew him – my father in law took a photo of a Ryde ferry at Portsmouth.image004

His photo isn’t sharp enough to read a name but I feel it could be the ferry called Ryde. Times were more leisurely and this old lady, driven by paddles, will have chuntered gently across the Solent. If she is Ryde, then her operational life was from 1937 to 1969. She still exists but in a very derelict state. Whether she ever gets conserved is still a matter for conjecture.

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There was certainly something more glamorous about the old boats as compared with the new. I know which way I’d prefer to travel.

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