Cornwall April 2011: King Harry Ferry
15 April 2011
After a long drive from Suffolk, we arrived safely at our cottage for the week
above the King Harry Ferry offices on the River Fal. This is the view from our
bedroom window as dusk begins to fall.
20 April 2011
Although we were staying by the King Harry Ferry route, the ferry itself was
down in a dry dock at Falmouth having its first five-yearly maintenance. On
Wednesday it was due back at 1pm, and Stephen took the Trelissick Woodland walk
to watch it being pulled up the river. It is rounding a buoy which is a long way
over to the west side of the river.
The woodland walk, now a very brisk walk to get back to the cottage ahead of the
ferry and tugs.
After a flying visit to the cottage to get Lucy, we went down to the ferry
landing to see the ferry being brought in.
The arrival has brought a few others to watch the once-in-five-years spectacle.
First the ferry is pulled towards the far bank to get the upstream side on the
All seems to be going well though she is now on the wrong side of the river
And heading upstream with the wind, and the two tugs and the pilot boat seem to
be a little unclear as to the plan
A remarkably thin blue line is run out to the ferry by the little inflatable
Though a little yacht has other ideas, with the harbour master watching closely
from his little boat
The pilot boat is now on the upstream side, appearing to be doing the work you
might expect of the tugs of nosing the ferry around
The thin blue line is now attached to the ferry and is safely ashore, with the
tug Valid pulling the ferry for the moment
But when Valid runs out of room, the old Bedford with faithful driver
Dave is brought into action
The ferry is now gradually pulled into shore by the Bedford
Safely grounded, though with a tendency for the floating end to drift, something
the tug seemed remarkably poor at doing anything about.
The thin blue line is now put into service pulling a thicker blue line (you can
just see the joining ring), which in turn is attached to the big chain.
The thin blue line wasn't quite up to the job, and snapped with a loud bang.
But the thicker blue line was now attached to the Bedford and the chain is
brought through the ferry mechanism
Meanwhile Valid is keeping the ferry on station (for a while) and this
valiant chap is making sure the end of the blue line on this side, attached to
the other chain, isn't lost.
The Bedford pulls the chain itself
...which is then fixed to its new mounting which we'd seen being fixed on
earlier in the week
The thicker blue line being coiled, ready to be put in the back of the shed to
be brought out again in another five years.
The chain appears on the upstream side - job almost done.
21 April 2011
Next morning, and the 0720 service is the first to run for a fortnight
22 April 2011
Our final morning and though it was quicker to take the road to Truro, we wanted
to use the ferry on our way home. This chap is a statue on the upper walkway on
the ferry, complementing one who sits by the ferry offices with his feet
outstretched. Both look disconcertingly real from any distance at all.
Lucy at the wheel as the ferry crosses the Fal. Our cottage and bedroom window
can be seen behind the company offices.
Looking downstream from next to that statue. The glass wall on the downstream
side is an excellent innovation on this ferry number 7.
A last look back at the Feock side of the river before heading back to Suffolk.