As Kids my brother and friends would wait until everone was on board and then run like hell through the ticket office and board her without paying great times and endless summers.
If you lived on the Renfrew side there was no ticket office so you had to buy the ticket on disembarking in Yoker and you could go for a 'cruise' over and back without paying. A friend of my fathers used to drive it so he would take me on board and we would go back and forth while he nattered away with his friend and I would watch all the passing 'traffic'.
We lived about 5 minutes walk from the ferry and we would go and sit with a picnic on the little park known as the 'Ferry Green' and the ships would go up and down the River every few minutes. Nowadays you could sit all day and see nothing.
Gordy, I was in Canada by the end of 1966 so I must have missed that. The ramp would be a good can opener on a thin hull.
Victor and Ed, Does that mean that the north shore kids were subsidising those on the south. We still enjoyed those extra free trips back and forth till we were told to get off. Dodging the crew (who I'm sure knew) was part of the fun. I often wonder if the smell of the diesel and hot oil with the noise of the chain wheel started me on the way to being an engineer for a few years. And don't forget icecream from the shop over by the park. Simple pleasures, but it was great fun.
The new dredger 'Ajoy' built by Fleming & Ferguson also came to grief when her hull was sliced open by the ferry ramp. Ajoy just made it into the adjacent jetty and promptly sank. When she was raised we all got sixpence an hour extra as 'dirty money' to revamp her machinery. Most of it was O.K. but after trying to hone the crankshafts, they were scrapped and the ones for the next order (Long Reach) were fitted as replacements.