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1.   Goodbye

2.   Hello

3.   Slumdog Millionaire

4.   Robert Mitchell Live

5.   Small News




1.   Goodbye to you, my trusted friend

136 passengers enjoyed the final crossing of the Old Dartmouth to Kingswear Higher Ferry on Sunday 7th June. Kerry Southern from the Higher Ferry gave a speech to the passengers during the final voyage, and hundreds more looked on from the bank. A special toast was also enjoyed at the Floating Bridge Inn after the final crossing to celebrate the retirement of a vessel that has provided 48 years of loyal service.

The last picture on the right is quite unique as we think they share a common title, can you work out what and why?  Click here to let us know.

Goodbye to the beloved Dartmouth higher ferry
A poem by Kevin Pyne

It was a still warm night on the seventh of June
When vast crowd descended
Down the old higher ferry slipway
Under the beginnings of a newly rising full moon
And the reason they had come so late
On that fine balmy early summers day
Was to say their fond goodbyes
To the old so well loved cable guided paddle ferry
For the very last time before she was
Taken out of service and towed away

But as the well wishing crowd went to board
In a happy jovial celebratory throng
They were told “they had to wait one more trip”
Because the announcement in the chronicle
Had the timing of last trip ever so slightly wrong
However the whole thing became a spirited affair
And those assembled kind of got the feeling
That Paul and Terry and all the old hands
Who had worked on her since nineteen sixty?
Were mingling together with Bob and Nobo and Morris
And the one time Philip (her builders) apprentices gathered there


Then Kerri from the bridge off the old ferry
Made a touching heartfelt farewell speech
And glasses of Champagne were past around
To all aboard (that’s if you were lucky) one for each
Before those assembled cheered the last car away
Purportedly a group of happy lads who got out
And danced on the car roof whilst on route to Torbay
Before it was ,we all went back over the river the other way
Then we all gave “three rousing cheers” and sang auld lang syne
With roofer Ossy being the very last passenger
After forty nine years in service
To finally walk away down wooden deck ramp incline

But the fun and games will start on the 15th of June
When the new super ferry is scheduled to first cross again the tide
Because it’s twice as big and another lane wide
However company stalwart Tony Tucker says “it will be ok”
So let hope that for another almost five decades
It won’t need the lifeboat and stay’s very much that way!


2.   Now that the spring is in the air

On Monday 15th June the people of Devon are invited to witness the final leg of the new Dartmouth to Kingswear Higher Ferry’s epic journey, which will see the Ferry arrive up the River Dart. The new Higher Ferry, which will be accompanied by an official Naval escort, should be arriving in Dartmouth at approx 9.00am – weather permitting.

In 2007 super yacht builders Pendennis, of Falmouth in Cornwall were awarded the contract to build the new Dartmouth Higher Ferry. The hull was constructed in Holland and towed to Cornwall in December 2008.

Tony Tucker from Dartmouth Higher Ferry comments: “It has been an exciting journey from the initial planning stages until today, and now we hope as many people as possible are able to enjoy the final part of that journey with us on the 15th June.”  The new Higher Ferry will be able to carry 32 cars across the River Dart in around three minutes - the current ferry takes 18 cars and chugs across the River in a whisker under five minutes. The result will be reduced waiting times and a quicker crossing, which will be especially beneficial in peak season. Also an improved traffic management system on the Dartmouth side of the river and on-board traffic lights spanning the car deck should ensure even better turnaround times.  Tony continues: “The new Higher Ferry’s engines are also exceptionally quiet and fuel-efficient which means vast reductions in the level of carbon emissions, as well as a reduction in the wash created.

The new Higher Ferry’s propulsion will be provided by a pair of hydraulically driven ‘bull wheels’ on each side of the vessel, which pull the ferry along two steel wires anchored to each side of the river. We spent time with the pioneers of ‘bull wheel’ technology who coincidentally were based in Dartmouth, Canada, to learn how to adapt it for our own River Dart last year. Our system is based on theirs, however in Canada they operate with a single bull wheel whilst ours operates with two, meaning our Higher Ferry is in fact one of a kind in the world.”

Why not come down for the weekend, or even a week?

Self catering accommodation click here

Dartmouth B and B  click here

Dartmouth Hotels click here

A Tourist Guide to Dartmouth click here


3.   Slumdog Millionaire Thursday June 11th.

For those who missed it and for those who would like to see it again the Dartmouth Film Society are showing….

Winner of 8 Academy Awards and 7 Baftas including Best Film and Best Director.

Today is the biggest day in Jamal Malik's life.
A penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, he's one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, suddenly, he is arrested on suspicion of cheating. After all, how could an uneducated street kid possibly know so much? Determined to get to the bottom of Jamal's story, the jaded Police Inspector spends the night probing Jamal's incredible past, from his riveting tales of the slums where he and his brother Salim survived by their wits to his hair-raising encounters with local gangs to his heartbreak over Latika, the unforgettable girl he loved and lost.  Guest tickets available on the night from the Windjammer 7.30/7.55 pm for only £3.50. Bar opens at 7.30


4.   Robert Mitchell Live

A treat is in store for all jazz lovers. On the 24th June at 8pm the Robert Mitchell 3io will be performing at the Flavel, as part of their UK tour promoting their sparkling new album “The Greater Good”.
Robert Mitchell has been an influential figure on the UK jazz scene for a number of years.

His music is well known from many recordings : the Panacea album “Voyager” (2001) , “Trust” (2005), “Bridges” with the Cuban violinist Omar Puente and his solo piano album “Equinox” (2007).

Call The Flavel on 01803 839530 or drop in to get your ticket?


5.   Small News

Saturday 13 June - Farmers' Market in the Old Market
Come along and buy fresh local produce from local traders.

Why not come and visit Dartmouth?


Images copyright Dave Cawley, Tony Pike & others. 

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