Their future unknown Isle of Wight Sealink British Ferries 'Brading' and sister 'Southsea' withdrawn from service await their fate on the mooring's, sadly both sisters were scrapped, ('Brading' in Portsmouth, 'Southsea' in Denmark).
I use to cross on them with my parents on a day out to Ryde, use to sit up on top deck, that was in the 70's we did that, if we went over on 'Southsea' we came back on 'Brading', or visa versa, my family were Gosport born and though we lived in Gosport it was wonderful a day out to Ryde on 'Brading' and 'Southsea'. Little did i think i would end up living on the island.
Yes, I did the same. Nice day? Up top. Wet or blowy day? Downstairs. It was, as you say, all part of the adventure of going across the Solent to the IOW.
Poor old Southsea became part of the furniture for years at Newhaven, awaiting sale. Gradually rusting away, to the point where the local council declared her an eyesore and ordered her owners to repaint her - well, at least the side that faced outwards from the quayside!
I think this must have been 1986. Subsequently Brading was cannibalised for spares before being sold and Southsea got a (brief) reprieve being used for summer operation in 1987 and 1988 on Saturday reliefs (Portsmouth-Ryde) and midweek cruises. Most trips were covered by a Class IV certificate (inside the Isle of Wight) but she also obtained a Class VI certificate enabling her to visit Sandown with a passenger limit of 250.
What i love about this photo i posted here is you can clearly compare the slight differences between the twins, in the photo you can see on top deck the different height of the spar on the sisters mast's, the blue covered life jacket box is directly behind the funnel on 'Southsea', but the life jacket box is further back on 'Brading', light boxes different sizes on the bridge wing, flag staff painted white on 'Southsea', varnished on 'Brading', On 'Southsea' the first set of 9 windows has window no.1 on it's own. Can't make it out in this photo but two boards on the stern rail read KEEP CLEAR OF PROPELLERS on 'Southsea' on the 'Brading' it read KEEP OFF PROPELLERS.