13th August 2007, 14:40
On another forum the subject of Dover - Dieppe has raised a question concerning a service between Folkestone - Dieppe in the early 80's?
Anybody able to supply info' about this venture?
NT (aka Nigel Thornton)
13th August 2007, 15:09
Only information I can come up with is this snippet from Newhaven/Dieppe - The car ferry era, by Hendy and Cowsill.
Between 9th - 13th January 1983, the Dieppe linkspan was out of action for repairs and the service was transferred to Folkestone instead, the crossing being scheduled to take just 15 minutes longer than that to Newhaven.
Of course if Dieppe's ramp was out, why transfer to Folkestone? Folkestone to where? Maybe they meant that Newhaven's ramp was out.
When Dieppe's ramp was out, or blocked by striking seamen/fishermen etc they normally ran Newhaven/Boulogne.
I'll ask at the Museum, but I can't remember anything about Folkestone/Dieppe - certainly not as a running service.
13th August 2007, 21:27
Was sailing out of Dover at that time, cannot seem to remember any commercial service from next door Folkestone to Dieppe during that period. Although as Andy said the Fishermans blockades threw up a few unorthodox routes for some companies for short periods.
The Railway boats did a service during the fifties on some weekends where the Dover ship after sailing to Boulogne or Calais would then head down to Southampton then across to the Channel Islands and then back to Boulogne or Calais then resume the Dover service. I know my Dads ship did this a few times think it was either the Isle of Thanet or Dinard. The St Patrick in the late 1960's used to sail on certain summer weekends from Folkestone light to help on the Channel Island route.
On the SS Dover in 1969 we picked her up from the Holyhead Dry Dock and continued up to Preston and loaded a commercial cargo of export Ford Cars at one of the Alantic Steam Navigation berths in the port (apparently we were the first Railway boat to enter that port for over 30 years). We then took them to Dieppe for discharge before continuing back to Dover.
With Dover and Folkestone being so close and so many seaman knowing each other I think we would have heard about it through the galley radio.
The Aberthaw Fisher or its near sister used to be seen on odd occaisions during the late 60's berthed stern in to a concrete block ramp in the port, cannot remember now through the midsts of time, what they were actually doing, think they discharged heavy loads for Dungerness power station here.
I do seem to remember hearing of a rumour that Falcon Ferries during the 1990's were thinking of complementing their Folkestone Boulogne service by also running into Dieppe, however nothing came of it.
14th August 2007, 07:53
As usual, thanks very much. All info' is much appreciated!
I do a "bit" of ferry history over on:
and am interested in your DOVER info'. Can you recall the dates she was in dry-dock prior to going to Preston?
I have a few pics of ABERTHAW FISHER (I'll post one!) and until about 1978 she used Folkestone to load & off load generating equipment to/from Dungeness nuclear power station.
19th August 2007, 09:31
If I remember rightly it was around April 1969, sure we were in Preston over the Easter Weekend, so would have been the two weeks prior to that in Holyhead drydock plus a couple of weeks in Dovers Wellington Dock prior to that. We had picked the S.S. Dover up from lay up in Newhaven just after Christmas 1968, and took her back to Dover for the Boulogne off turn run. We used to lay over in Boulogne all night after arrving their about 15:00.We would then sail back to Dover the next day at about 11:00 clock in the morning. This routine continued for several months, this was when the crews used to live aboard and it was a very liesurely time, great social life and plenty of time ashore in France, and nearing the end of the Golden age of the Railway Steamers. We swopped the Dover too Holyhead for the Brand new Vortigern later in the summer of 69.
Have got some diaries somewhere so will check out exact date for you.
19th August 2007, 15:12
Just checked an old note book, it was the end of May when we arrived in Preston. so it would have been the last two weeks of May 1969 in Dry Dock at Holyhead.
We loaded 200 new Fords from Liverpools Halewoods plant for Dieppe.
Just checked your site out, some great nostalgia there, great stuff.
19th August 2007, 16:57
Thanks very much for the info' and compliment (although not my site I do spend quite a lot of time involved with it. Time consuming, but good fun!)
Upon leaving school I spent one summer/autumn season on Vortigern. Superb!