Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The River Wye Ferry.

A set of old pics of the now long gone "Wye Ferry" that used to cross the river in Hereford for many years.The ferry was originally situated by the old General Hospital but when the Victoria Bridge was opened in 1898 the ferry was no longer required so was moved upstream for the people of Hunderton and Broomy Hill to use to cross the river instead of having to make the long walk down to the Old Wye Bridge.
The ferry "Princess Mary" was re sited upstream by the Villa Hotel in Hunderton and was originally a rope ferry where the ferryman would pull you over the the river while standing in the boat,but this was certainly not one of the safest of methods of doing the job.
In the 1920s Mr.Tom Preedy took over the ferry and converted it to a boat with the flat back and front known as a (punt)which you can see in the pics.This was a much safer way to transport people and he would row the boat back and forward across the river.Some years later Tom Preedy was joined by his son Walter Preedy to help on the river and Walter remained on the ferry until the mid 1960s.In the 60s the fair was as little as : 3d adult, 1 1/2d child, but sadly times had changed,the old railway bridge was closed to trains so people made there way across the redundant bridge.The ferry was no longer required and Walter retired the old boat.
Top pics ;Mr.Tom Preedy in his boat "The Princess Mary" and on the steps to the ferry at the Villa Hotel.
Bottom pic ; Mr.Walter Preedy in "The Princess Mary"in front of the Villa Hotel.
Many thanks to Jan Preedy for her time,help and the use of these family pics.

1 comment:

Sheila Blake said...

My family used Mr Preedy's ferry for years and I think it was Mrs Preedy who used to sell ice-creams, from a little hut which sat at the top of the river step.
My brother and I used the ferry more often when out could go across the river, catch newts in the bogs and be home in time for tea. All for 2 pennies. Magical times. Sheila (Blake) Fyfe