A Conversation for The Floating Bridge, Southampton, UK

Ferries v floating bridges

Post 1

Jimi X

This sounds like a ferry near my hometown. In the 1700s it was two stout men who pulled on the ropes to get the 'floating bridge' across the river. They've since been replaced by motorized winches.

I hate it when 'progress' kills a local landmark like this. Really makes you wonder what we're all 'progressing' towards!


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 2

Bluebottle

Living on the Isle of Wight, I've had the privelege of having to catch the ferry every time I wanted to go anywhere, and it is fun.
But to the point, I've been to 2 Floating Bridges in the UK - Cowes, Isle of Wight, and Pool, and they do provide a very good service.

NB - I'm now living in Southampton.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 3

Ginger The Feisty

Thanks for all your comments. I hate it when landmarks disappear too. I loved going on the floating bridge when I was a kid and feel sad that my kid sister and my nephew look at me as if I am mad when I mention it. It just had so much more character than the toll bridge.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 4

Bluebottle

I know - I love going on the East-West Cowes one... much better than a bridge can be - and free for bikes and foot passengers smiley - smiley


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 5

Ginger The Feisty

The one in Southampton was much smaller than the pool one I think!


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 6

Bluebottle

I was only on the Pool one once, several years ago. I think I had to stay in the vehicle at all times, which was dull. smiley - sadface I heard someone say that only 5 floating bridges survive in the UK - don't know if it's true.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 7

Ginger The Feisty

It probably is because they like to bridge everything.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 8

Bluebottle

So, apart from Cowes and Pool, where are they?
BTW - please could you go over to the conversation on:
http://www.h2g2.com/forumframe.cgi?thread=36572&forum=31616
and say that there should be more floating bridges?


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 9

Pheroneous

I don't know why I'm telling you this, you've all probably long disappeared by now, BUT...

Theres one called King Harry's Ferry (or something similar) in Cornwall, crossing the Fal south of Truro, north of St Mawes.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 10

Bluebottle

Thanks Pheroneous. smiley - smiley
I'll have to go on that one.

So, so far we know there are 3:
1.) East Cowes - Cowes, Isle of Wight.
2.) Poole Harbour, Dorset.
3.) the Fal, Cornwall.

Are there none up North?


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 11

Pheroneous

Stunned by receiving a reply, I wondering if I've got the wrong end of the stick. The King Harry Ferry is like a 'Ferry' that is pulled across the river by chains on the river bed which are pulled or winched by some mechanical means on the shore. It doesn't look like a bridge.

Its quite an odd experience as, in the summer, it doesn't really make anyone's trip shorter because of the queues, although its quite quick, no more than 10 minutes across. That part of the river is well wooded, so its a little surreal to meander down a woody country lane and then suddenly come upon a queue of cars. Then, when you get to the ferry, the river is not especially wide and there, right in the middle of this rural idyll, there are two enormous tankers moored, laid up in the river amongst the trees!

I am sure there was a good reason for the odd name, but I can't remember. No doubt someone somewhere knows.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 12

Bluebottle

The floating bridge at Cowes doesn't look remotely bridgelike either - it's just one of it's names, the other being "chain ferry". Why it's called a "floating bridge" I don't know. While I was searching for photos of the floating bridge to show you, I came across an article that said there were only some at "Sandbanks, Poole; Truro; Dartmouth and Windermere".

To see it, see:
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ajk/Iow/Floating.jpg
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/ahiru/ji/Travel/wight/images/wightpic2.jpeg
They aren't great photos, but they'll show you what they look like.


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 13

Pheroneous

Yes, the King Harrys Ferry is just like that. I presume it is the one on your list referred to as 'Truro'.

There is a little ferry across Windermere lake, and I have been on it, and I found a picture. See below.

Similarly across the harbour entrance from Poole to Studland. No picture, but a quick search reveals plenty of references to Studland Chain Ferry.

I have never been to Dartmouth, and a very quick search reveals no immediate mention of chains. However there is a picture below, which looks as if it could be one of them.

http://www.lakes-pages.co.uk/pics4.htm
http://www.community.webshots.com/photos/4251809/4259501ZkimqhkYLi

So that makes 6!


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 14

Pheroneous

sorry, that second link didnt work. Should be

http://www.community.webshots.com/photo/4251809/4259501ZkimqhkYLi

hope thats better, cos I'm not typing it again!


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 15

Bluebottle

Yep, the link worked. smiley - smiley Instead of typing it all out, have you tried selecting the address so it's highlighted and then pres ctrl-X and CTRL-V to copy/paste the address where you want to? It saves a lot of time. smiley - smiley

So, now we know where the UK ones are, all of which seem to be quite South. I wonder if they have many abroad?


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 16

Southdowner

There used to be one across the river clyde at Renfrew, don't know if that's still running.

As a Woolston boy born 1956 I remember the floating bridge very well, even the old steam driven ones (the yellow painted bridges with the crinkly cut edges at the sides) where the green painted steam engine could be seen if you stepped onto the grating and looked down at the engine and its driver - my first steam engine! Remember it well, I was sorry to leave Woolston in the mid 60's, liked it a lot. Have since read that before Woolston was built the settlement near what became the Woolston hard was called Itchen Ferry, and even now there is a yacht and rig called an Itchen Ferry gaff cutter, that at one time would have offered a ferry service of sorts, and celebrity sailing craft of the time would collect paid crew from this area, later to become Woolston. Happy memories of saturday morning cinema for kids at the Woolston cinema, only recently closed down (as a bingo hall). Church Road Infants school looks almost unchanged from when I was there, incredible.

Neil formerly of 39 Obelisk

Back to see Obelisk road last year, many changes especially where Thorneycroft's used to be, looks like it has all closed now, redevelopment in the offing - well it was only there for a century


Ferries v floating bridges

Post 17

Bluebottle

Southampton's becoming more and more full of office buildings which are full of empty offices. Why do they keep building office blocks when no businesses are in the office blocks that are around? It doesn't make sense...

<BB<


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Ferries v floating bridges

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