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Suffolk
 
Page 1: Ferries & Excursion Boats
 
This page is under construction
 
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the ferries and excursion boats of Suffolk. There are alphabetical lists below on the Areas Covered and the Individual Boats. There is also a list of other Suffolk pages on this site. Beneath these are the images which are arranged geographically starting in the north of the county.
 
 
Sections on this Page:-
Felixstowe Ferry - Bawdsey - ferries on the River Deben
Felixstowe - Harwich - Shotley - ferries on the Rivers Orwell & Stour
Ipswich Excursions - Ipswich-based excursion boat Orwell Lady
Orford - excursion boats and ferries on the Rivers Ore & Alde
River Stour Trust - excursion boats on the River Stour
Southwold - Walberswick - ferries on the River Blyth
 
Vessels on this Page:-
Brightlingsea - Harwich-Felixstowe
Deben Ferry - Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey
Essex - Ipswich-based Great Eastern Railway paddle steamer
Explorer 12 - Harwich-Felixstowe
Lady Florence - Orford restaurant boat
Late Times - Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey
Norfolk - Ipswich-based Great Eastern Railway paddle steamer
Octavia - Orford Ness ferry - National Trust
Odd Times - Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey
Orwell Lady - Ipswich-based excursion boat
Our Times - Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey
Regardless - Orford excursion boat
Rosette - River Stour electric launch
Stour Trusty II - River Stour electric launch
Suffolk - Ipswich-based Great Eastern Railway paddle steamer
 
Suffolk Pages:-
Suffolk - Page 1: Ferries & Excursion Boats
Suffolk - Page 2: Piers & Ports
Felixstowe Ferry - Bawdsey
Harwich-Shotley-Felixstowe ferry: Brightlingsea
Harwich-Shotley-Felixstowe ferry: Explorer 12
Lunch Cruise on Lady Florence - Orford restaurant boat
Orford - Excursion boats and ferries from Orford Quay to Orford Ness and Rivers Alde, Ore and Butley
Orwell River Cruises
Southwold - Pier and ferries
 
Associated Pages:-
UK Excursion Ships
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
 
References:-
www.suffolkimages.com - Superb images of the fascinating Suffolk Coast
The Deben River - by Robert Simper - Creekside Publishing 1992
Rivers Alde, Ore & Blythe - Robert Simper - Creekside Publishing 1994
Trip Out Guides - Written and published by G.P.Hamer - various editions from 1977 to 2005 consulted
 
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Southwold-Walberswick Ferry
River Blyth
 
A rowing ferry had existed near the mouth of the River Blyth for many years. A floating bridge chain-ferry was started between Southwold and Walberswick in 1885. The initial hand-cranked ferry was later replaced by a steam ferry. The ferry ran until 1942. 1937 harbour improvements had created a funnel mouth which often made the river too rough for ferry operation. Frank Palmer then restarted the old rowing ferry. He has been succeeded by Bob Cross and David Church.
 
 
The Southwold-Walberswick steam ferry
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The Southwold-Walberswick steam ferry
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The Southwold-Walberswick steam ferry
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In 2006, the Southwold-Walberswick ferry (a traditional rowing boat) operated daily from June to September and weekends only in April and May. Contact: 01502 478615.
 
The Southwold-Walberswick ferry arriving at Walberswick.
Photo: © Ian Boyle
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The Southwold-Walberswick ferry arriving at Southwold.
Photo: © Ian Boyle
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The Southwold-Walberswick ferry leaving Southwold.
Photo: © Ian Boyle
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Lady Florence
Orford Excursions - Rivers Ore & Alde
 
Contact:- 07831 698 298
Website:- www.lady-florence.co.uk
 
 
Lady Florence is an ex-Admiralty motor fishing vessel (MFV) one of over 1000 built during World War II as supply boats.
 
Lady Florence is 50 ft long, 16ft 6' in beam, draws 6ft of water and weighs 35 tons net, 54 gross. Lady Florence sales from Orford Quay as a floating restaurant, and carries 12 passengers. She usually runs a morning Brunch Cruise at 9:30 followed by a Lunch Cruise at 12:00. Between April and August she also runs an evening Dinner Cruise at 16:00, whilst in September to mid-October a High Tea cruise runs at the same time. Each trip runs both upriver on the Alde and downstream to the sea on the Ore, whatever the weather and tides. Food is served in the comfortable deck saloon, which has a coal fired stove in winter. She gets booked up well in advance, so bookings should be made at: 07831 698 298
 
Lady Florence was built in Poole during 1944, she was launched as MFV 766. She served initially at Glasson Dock in Lancashire, then from 1947 out of Plymouth and then Portsmouth from 1955. In 1963 she transferred to Sea Cadets at Midhurst Sussex, then Hove from 1969. In 1971 she went into private hands. There is a gap in the history from 1971 to 1977, in which year she was registered as a British Ship, named Margaret Jane, and was back at Glasson Dock. She was sold in 1983 to Geoffrey Ingram Smith of Woodbridge who renamed her Lady Florence and set up the river cruise business in Orford in 1984. He subsequently sold the business to Susan and John Haresnape in 1992, and they and sons Rhys and Craig continue to operate the Lady Florence business.
 
Lady Florence cruises the Rivers Alde and Ore, one river which has two names. The river is tidal as far as Snape Bridge, but although very wide, it becomes too shallow for Lady Florence beyond Cob Island, two miles above Aldeburgh Yacht Club and Slaughden Quay.
 
Additional images and brochures of Lady Florence
 

Lady Florence as built as MFV 766
Scan:- www.lady-florence.co.uk
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Octavia
Orford Ness Ferry - National Trust
 
The Ministry of Defence ran a number of ferries from Orford Quay to, which in later years included the Portree of Caledonian SP Co. When the military pulled out, Orford Ness was handed to the National Trust in 1993 for protection. They maintain a small passenger ferry Octavia to take visitors across the River Ore. The National Trust ferry runs through the summer months only (Saturday's only in October).
 
Additional images of Octavia
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Regardless
Orford Excursions - Rivers Ore & Alde
 
Regardless runs short cruises from Orford Quay around the RSPB bird sanctuary of Havergate Island, plus fishing and bird watching charters. She began operating from Orford for Peter Weir in 1992.
 
 
Regardless at Orford Quay
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Regardless at Orford Quay
The unconventional spelling Reguardless is not used on publicity
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 14th October 2006
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Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey
River Deben
 
Small passenger boats had run ferry trips from Felixstowe Ferry to Bawdsey for many years. Sir Cuthbert Quilter, owned of Bawdsey Manor, established a steam-drawn chain ferry between Felixstowe and Bawdsey, known locally as the 'Bridges'. The two ferry boats, commissioned in 1894, were the ‘Lady Quilter’ and the ‘Lady Beatrice’; they operated until 1931.
 
Charlie Brinckley then operated a launch for passengers until the war, with his son Robert (senior). The ferry was closed during the war, and afterwards Maurice Read got the RAF contract. In 1962, Charlie Brinckley (junior) operated the service with Delia. New boats Odd Times (1963), Our Times (1963) and Late Times (1969) were added to the fleet. RAF Bawdsey closed in 1974, and the ferry was operated at summer weekends only. In the 1980s, Late Times was the main ferry. Odd Times was used for fishing during the week, and Our Times was kept as spare. A newer boat Deben Ferry is in service in 2006.
 
In 2006, the Felixstowe-Bawdsey Ferry was operated daily from May to September and weekends only in October. The ferry can also be used as a water taxi to moored yachts. Contact: 07709 411511.
 
Additional images of the Felixstowe-Bawdsey ferry
 
 
The steam chain ferry at Felixstowe Ferry
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Our Times - Odd Times - Late Times
 
Charlie Brinckley then operated a launch for passengers until the war, with his son Robert (senior). The ferry was closed during the war, and afterwards Maurice Read got the RAF contract. In 1962, Charlie Brinckley (junior) operated the service with Delia. New boats Odd Times (1963), Our Times (1963) and Late Times (1969) were added to the fleet. RAF Bawdsey closed in 1974, and the ferry was operated at summer weekends only. In the 1980s, Late Times was the main ferry. Odd Times was used for fishing during the week, and Our Times was kept as spare.
 
 
An earlier ferry on the Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey route, possibly Our Times.
There are many more superb Suffolk images by Simon Batley at:- www.suffolkimages.com
Photo: © Simon Batley
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Deben Ferry
 
In 2006, the Felixstowe-Bawdsey Ferry was operated daily from May to September and weekends only in October. The ferry can also be used as a water taxi to moored yachts. Contact: 07709 411511.
 
 
Deben Ferry arriving at Felixstowe Ferry
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th September 2006
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th September 2006
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Deben Ferry at Felixstowe Ferry jetty
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th September 2006
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Deben Ferry arriving at Bawdsey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th September 2006
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Deben Ferry at Bawdsey jetty
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th September 2006
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Deben Ferry leaving Bawdsey
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th September 2006
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2006 Deben Ferry Timetable
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Felixstowe-Harwich-Shotley Ferry
Rivers Orwell and Stour
 
The Harwich-Felixstowe ferry had been inaugurated in 1912 by the GER, using the small launch Pin Mill. Later GER additions were the Hainault and Epping. The Brightlingsea was built for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1925, by the Rowhedge Ironworks near Colchester (although her hull was wooden). She was the first new vessel delivered to the LNER, which had been formed in 1923 by the amalgamation of the Great Eastern (GER), Great Central (GCR), Great Northern (GNR), North Eastern (NER) and other railways. Brightlingsea was 51 gross tons, and had saloons for 152 passengers.
 
Brightlingsea passed to British Railways in 1948. From May 1964, the service was assigned to George Goodhew's Orwell & Harwich Navigation Co, for which Brightlingsea operated during the summer. The smaller launch Orwell Haven was used in winter. In 1967, Brightlingsea was joined by the Torbay Prince of 91 gross tons, which was generally used on excursions. When I first visited Harwich in June 1976, Torbay Prince had moved on.
 
In 1979, the Goodhew concern was taken over by the Felixstowe Dock & Railway Co, which was owned by European Ferries (who also owned Townsend-Thoresen). In 1983/84, Brightlingsea was re-engined. In 1984, the Orwell Bridge was opened, providing faster road links to Felixstowe, and passenger numbers declined significantly. In 1985, Brightlingsea was sold to Harry Rodger, former superintendent of the Orwell & Harwich Nav.Co. She was withdrawn on August 15th of the same year due to engines problems, but reappeared the following year.
 
Brightlingsea continued to maintain the route until the mid-1990s when she was denied access to her protected berth in Felixstowe Dock, due to port re-development. Eventually, the service re-opened with the landing-craft style ferry Explorer 12, which could run up on the beach at Felixstowe. However this location is very exposed, and the Harwich, Felixstowe & Shotley Foot Ferry Society continue to campaign for a protected jetty at Felixstowe, and a return to full year operations.
 
A restored Brightlingsea is due to run trips from Harwich again from 2007.
 
 
 
Brightlingsea
 
Complete history of Brightlingsea
 
A.Duncan photographic postcard of Brightlingsea in railway service, arriving at Harwich.
 
Postcard of Brightlingsea at her berth in Felixstowe Dock.
 
Postcard of Brightlingsea inside Felixstowe Dock.
 
Photograph of Brightlingsea at Harwich pier.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 1987.
 
Photograph of Brightlingsea at Harwich pier, with the DFDS ferry Hamburg passing behind.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 1987.
 
 
 
 
 
Explorer 12
 
In recent years the ferry has been operated by the landing craft Explorer 12, which can run up on the beach at Felixstowe. She also runs short cruises upriver towards Harwich International Port. Explorer 12 carries 12 passengers.
 
More images of Explorer 12
 
 
Explorer 12 arriving at Harwich from Shotley.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2004.
 
Explorer 12 at Felixstowe.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 27th July 2003.
 
Explorer 12 leaving Harwich for Felixstowe.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2004.
 
Explorer 12 at her berth at Harwich.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 28th May 2005.
 
 
 
 
 
Ipswich Excursion Boats
Rivers Orwell & Stour
 
 
Suffolk, Norfolk & Essex
 
The Great Eastern Railway (GER) built the paddle steamers Suffolk (1895) and Essex (1896) to run excursions from Ipswich on the River Orwell. They were joined by Norfolk in 1900. All were double-ended to assist manoeuvring at Ipswich. Essex was sold in 1916, the others passed to the LNER in 1923 and were withdrawn in 1931.
 
 
Kingsway Series (W.H.Smith) photographic postcard S9769 of Suffolk at Ipswich.
 
Raphael Tuck "Silverette" postcard of Suffolk at Ipswich, with Norfolk behind.
Card posted 1905.
 
IXL Series postcard by B.&Co (Ipswich), of Suffolk at Ipswich.
 
Postcard of Essex at Ipswich.
 
Valentine's postcard of Essex at Ipswich.
 
Valentine's postcard of Essex at Ipswich, posted April 1906.
Variation on the card above.
 
Sepiatone postcard of Norfolk, with Essex and Suffolk in the background.
 
 
 
 
 
Orwell Lady
 
Orwell Lady (118 passengers) is based at Orwell Quay in Ipswich, and is operated by Orwell River Cruises. In 2005 she operates from Easter Saturday until the 28th September, running 3.5 hour cruises to Harwich Docks on 72 days at 14:00, and 2.5 hour cruises to Pin Mill on Sundays at 10:30 on Sundays in July. Orwell River Cruises contact: www.orwellrivercruises.co.uk
 
Orwell Lady was built in Twickenham in 1979 and operated on the Thames from Westminster Pier as New Mary Louise for D.G.Moore. She is 57 ft (17.13m) long and 14 ft (4.26m) in the beam and weighs 42 tonnes. Before being purchased by Orwell River Cruises in 2001, she was based in Poole, Dorset as the Purbeck Lady owned by R.A.Hale, having moved from the Thames in 1992. Mr Hale was retiring from his business, and his other Poole boats passed to R.C.Greenslade.
 
More images of Orwell Lady
 
 
Orwell Lady photographed visiting Harwich on her cruise from Ipswich.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 3rd August 2003.
Contact: www.orwellrivercruises.co.uk
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, 3rd August 2003.
Contact: www.orwellrivercruises.co.uk
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Photo: © Ian Boyle, Harwich, 3rd August 2003.
Contact: www.orwellrivercruises.co.uk
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Orwell Lady at Ipswich after a cruise.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th September 2006.
Contact: www.orwellrivercruises.co.uk
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River Stour Trust
 
The Stour River Trust operates two traditional electric launches Stour Trusty II and Rosette on different sections of the River Stour. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1705 making the River Stour navigable from the tidal estuary at Manningtree in Essex as far as Sudbury in Suffolk (the county border running along the river between Manningtree and Flatford). The river was used as a commercial navigation for over two hundred years. The Stour River Trust was formed in 1968 to protect the river and re-open it for the navigation of small craft. The Trust has restored the sections from Sudbury to Henny (3.5 miles), and the 5 miles from Stratford St Mary to Cornard Lock (near Manningtree), leaving an unrestored centre section of around 12 miles (although usable by canoes which can be carried around the closed locks).
 
Website: www.stourtrust.org
Rosette Contact: 01787 375377
Stour Trusty II Contact: 01206 393130
 
 
Stour Trusty II
 
Stour Trusty II operates on the lower section of the Stour Navigation between Brantham Sea Lock near Manningtree and Stratfod St Mary (about 5 miles). She is based at Flatford in the centre of this section, normally running short 30 minute cruises to Fen Bridge on summer Sundays and Bank Holidays between Easter and early October. She can run charters on the rest of the section on other days. Stour Trusty II carries 10 passengers and 2 crew. Contact: 01206 393130
 
Brochure image of Stour Trusty II
 
 
Brochure image of Stour Trusty II
 
 
Stour Trusty II - brochure front
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Stour Trusty II - brochure back
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Rosette
 
Rosette operates further upriver on the Stour Navigation between Sudbury and Henny, and runs on Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to early October. She runs a return trip from Sudbury to Henny with a break for lunch which gives time for a shorter non-landing trip from Henny back to Cornard Lock. Three further short non-landing trips run from Sudbury after her return from Henny. Booking is essential on some trips - see the brochure. Rosette carries 8 passengers and 2 crew. Contact: 01787 375377
 
 
Rosette - brochure image
 
 
Rosette - brochure image
 
 
Rosette - brochure front
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Rosette - brochure back
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