Memories of the Ferry

People often have fond memories of the ferry, particularly from their childhood years.

I was usually hopping school with a friend when we used to 'use' the service.  The crossing, plus the tunnel and the immediate area around North Woolwich had a unique atmosphere, and still does in some ways - an aura of impregnability!

 Steve Thoroughgood

I crossed back and forth countless times on the old paddle steamers in
the 30s and when at times we were chased off we used to walk through the tunnel. 

 Colin Bailey

During the early 60's myself and my uncle and aunt did weddings. Photos catering cars the whole bit. One wedding we did was in Silvertown? The reception was this side. On the ferry back we talked the captain into having his photo taken with the bride and groom on the bridge supposedly marrying them. Great pictures. I got greedy and sold a photo to the local paper. The LCC came down on the Captain for letting us onto the bridge. Next thing all went on strike. Until the LCC saw the funny side and gave the captain his job back. 

Paul Mason. The Greasy Spoon Cafe, The Great British Nostalgia Site

My great-aunt and uncle would take me on the ferry as a small child and I remember the fascination of seeing the piston rods moving slowly and reversing and all in that glorious smell of hot steam. 

Malcolm Bodley

.....The one memory I have of the day was sitting on the top deck and looking down into the back of a lorry in front of us. It was loaded with open oil drums full of slaughterhouse offal that slopped about with the motion and vibration of the boat. 

Pete Oxfordshire

At present I am living near the Woolwich ferry, Sydney, Aus.I was born and bred in Wolwich SE 18 and in the late 40's early 50's my older brother and I would attend Saturday morning pictures at the Granada. After the show we would go to a nearb bakers and buy eccles cakes and proceed to the ferry. In winter we would sit above the boilers and heat our cakes on the metal surface. We would go back and forth hiding at each dock to avoid being told to get off. Sometimes we would get off at North Woolwich and go into the docks and sit and watch the ships being unloaded. We saw sailors from all over the world, every race colour etc.It was an education in itself. They are fond memories. My old Mum was born in Woolwich and died last May aged 93 having lived there all her life. We scattered her ashes in the Thames , a fitting tribute to her . Thanks for the wonderful pictures of Woolwich . As a boy my mother would take me to the Salvation Army Tabanacle and the band use to play on the high pavement outside The Salutaion Arms in Beresford Square. This public house was a famous hount for the prostitutes.
Geoff Chatterton
I was born on one of the ferry's in 1947, we lived in Winifred Street North Woolwich and as my Dear Mother went in to labour with me the ambulance that was taking her to hospital couldn't go anywhere as the bridge was up as a ship was entering the docks, so they decided to take her south of the river on the ferry, but my Mum couldn't wait that long and started to give birth to me as we got onto the ferry, as far as I can find out it was the Will Crooks.
Tom Ford


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