Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Renfrew Ferry

On Friday, as I was heading for the Braehead curling rink, I heard on the radio that Strathclyde Passenger Transport had announced that the ferry service linking Renfrew and Yoker will close in March. The very mention of the Renfrew Ferry brought back a wave of memories. The photo above, which I found here, is how I remember it as a small boy in the 1950s when I travelled across the river regularly by ferry in my dad's car (I particularly remember the Austin Somerset) to visit my aunt and uncle in Dumbarton. Happy days.

The history of the ferry crossing at Renfrew is described here. The chain-driven ferry was replaced with a passenger only service in 1984. What happened to one of these chain ferries can be found here. Recently two passenger-only boats, appropriately named the Renfrew Rose and Yoker Swan, have been servicing the crossing. The distance of the crossing is only 200 metres and the ferry operates on demand between 0630 to 2130 Mon-Sat, and 1000-1830 on Sundays.

When I got to Renfrew, the ferry was across on the Yoker side.

Here is the Renfrew Rose making the crossing.

Arriving at the Renfrew slip.

The barrows on the ramp are full salt and grit, no doubt very necessary in the recent very cold spell.

"All aboard!"

Of course I just had to make a return trip. Here we are looking downriver as the ferry swings round. It was indeed a cold misty afternoon. For me it was the best £2.40 value of the day. But the locals who use the ferry regularly will really miss it if the service does disappear completely. One hopes not.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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