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When did the Stoke Bardolph Ferry finish and does anyone know why? I lived at Stoke Bardolph in the early 60s but don't recall seeing it. My stepfather told me horrendous tales about using the ferry late at night after a drinking session.

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I can remember using the Ferry a couple of times in the early 50s with my parents, the most memorable being one evening when my mother and I went across and at a prearranged meeting with a man at the pub; bought two very young pups, labradors I think.

I remember being rowed back across the river in the dark and then walking through the fields to our home at Cliff Drive in ROT. Mum carried the pups in a big basket and I lighting the way with a torch.

Remember fishing at the old Ferry landing a few times in the late 50s but do not recall seeing a ferry working...not even a boat.

However, if the date and scenario is to be believed, PTP has a photograph of a ferry boat in the 70s.....

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?action=printdetails&keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCV000405&prevUrl=

Well, the boat has 'Stoke Ferry' written on it but it is moored and the occupants seem to be fishing....

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how the riverbank on stoke has changed over the years used to swimof that landing stage and sit and sunbath on it remember seeing small boats and the sailing clubs boats going down thw slope and sitting on the steps waching them go into the river for races or just to practice. dancing to my brothers portable batery powered record player it was orange and you could fit 12 singles into its lid think it might have been a dancettebut not sure.this would have been in the late 50s early sixties and i carnt remember ever seeing the old ferry ever being used but it was tied up on radcliffe side.

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Seem to remember my grandparents talking about the ferry there. They talked like it may have been pulled across by a rope. They referred to the boatman as "Old Nic". Since that can be a slang name for the devil I used to think he may not have been a very nice bloke. :-)

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I think I can refresh some memories about the ferry. My memories may not be totally accurate, but it will be a start.

It was operated by an old guy in his sixties. It only operated for about 3 to 4 months each year. The old guy (And I am sorry I cannot remember his name) lived in a caravan during the summer months in the field just behind the inn's carpark. There were about 10 caravans in there used mainly during the summer season. I used to deliver newspapers to them.

If you went to the ferry boat you knew it was operating if the oars were stretched across the seats. If you stood by the boat for up to 10 minutes the ferryman would wander across from the pub. He used to sit at the window looking out for passengers on both sides of the river. It was operating in the 50s. It was maybe 1955, the first time I went there was when I was about 8 years old with my younger brother. We were playing on the barge when we fell into the river. The ferryman had just got back from a trip and he rushed over and helped us out. There was also a lady there fishing, who took my brother and I back to her house in Stoke Bardolph (At the time it was a house on the new estate that was being built), gave us a bath, put us in to dry clothes and told us to go straight home. When my mother found out what had happened, we wished we had never gone. And it happened again when my father got home. My father took us back to the lady and made us thank her for what she had done.

I used to spend a lot of time down there fishing and watching the barges go up and down the river, the wash from the barges used to rock the ferry boat. In the beginning if we fished from the ferry boat while the oars were in it, we were chased off. After I started delivering the newspapers he did not chase us off, but we had to promise we would stay seated while we were fishing.

I know the ferry was still operating in 1962 or 63. I heard that it stopped operating around 1966. ( But I don't know for sure). Also the boat in the picture is not the original one that I knew. The original was a clinker type, maybe a little longer with no writing on it. The one in the pic looks like a plywood boat, it has smooth sides.

I have also read somewhere recently (can't remember where) that it had restarted or was going to restart using volunteer boatmen. At the time I did not take a lot of notice, living so far away. It may have even been in the Nottingham Post, because I have been reading the online copy for some time now.

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Loppylugs. Maybe an earlier boat was a pull along. But the only one I Knew was operated by oars. Also regarding the ferryman, He was a grumpy old B***%%%$$$. The name Old Nic would have suited him. But he was always nice to me

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I too pent a lot of time at Stoke during the 50's fishing and swimming and have vague memories of the ferry, your right CL it was clinker built. I seem to remember my dad telling me it was built locally by a boat yard on the cut just along from Castle Blvd, Trethicks (spelling).

A place I liked to fish was off the bank up towards the lock. A vivid memory was if the barges were coming upstream the water would suddenly recede that was your signal to grab your gear and scuttle up the bank before the backwash came in. Forgot me keep net once, away it went never to be seen again.

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#7 NewBasfordlad remember the area well. I used to fish on the bend, also swam the river across and back a few times the current was always stronger on the other side. Just getting off the original subject for one minute. Fishing there reminded me that I used to use maggots and hemp seed for bait. Just imagine getting pick up with a six penny bag of hemp seed now. It's ok officer, it is only fish bait.

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Definitely a solid, old clinker row boat that the ferryman rowed across the river.

As for a permanent rope system to haul the ferry back and forwards, I would have thought that the barges (and the mad, gun-totin barstewards on them back then) would have ripped out any ropes across the river.

Talking of ferries........can anyone remember the ferry boat in operation at ROT??

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?action=printdetails&keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NTGM009592&prevUrl=

We used to call the river end of Wharf Lane the 'ferry' or the 'wharf' but I can never ever remember seeing or hearing of a ferry operating at ROT in the 50s/60s. There was still the little landing that you can see in the picture as we used to fish off it and there was a couple of private boats tied up there but that was all.

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i tend to agree with you on that trevor to use a rope system on the ferry would i think be quite a bad idea to be able to reach the rope even standing in the boat the rope would have to be quite low and the amount of large barges up and down the river some were high as well as long would have been constantly taking out the rope.in the 50s there were about one big barge every ten mins up and down the river and a lot of big dredgers with small crains on the top digging up the river bed making a much deeper river than it once was.

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carlton lad i learnt to swim on radcliff bend with our big black newfoundlad dog swimming beside me my brother ray and all his mates were always there toomost of them chandos lads or gedling school lads

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If you remember the barges seemed to have about a foot of leeway going upstream and 4ft of leeway coming back down.

A lot of the traffic in those days was petroleum products coming to Colwick estate before it was all sent by underground pipe.

Mick thanks that was the guy, apparently well know for their clinker built boats.

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Most of the barges I remember were hopper style barges carrying sand, gravel and cement. with sand and gravel barges the product was not covered and was often heaped up above the deck. The cement barges had batten down hatches to stop the cement blowing away and contaminating the air.

Most of the barges had a name on them and then the word cement. I cannot remember the name of the company that ran the barges. You could tell which barges were carrying product, the decks were nearly down to water level. Empty the sat very high in the water (I think maybe 12 to 15 feet).

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Also something that came to me in bed last night regarding the ferry.

There used to be two thick posts with a steel eye screwed into them, one on each side of the river, in fact I recall the boatman used to tie off the ferry to these. There was something told to me about those posts being used for a pull along ferry in the early 1900s. The cables were washed away by a big flood. How accurate this is I am not sure. maybe someone else may be able to add to this. I believe everyone who is posting in this topic could be correct about the method of power for this ferry.

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I think the solution is provided in PTP and as Carltonlad has stated, I believe now that there were two styles of ferry.

The ferry referred to by many as being drawn across the river by rope did in fact exist and was apparently used to carry farm livestock and other large freight......

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCC002859&pos=25&action=zoom&id=40080

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCV000162&pos=22&action=zoom&id=82390

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCC002858&pos=26&action=zoom&id=40079

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCC002859&pos=25&action=zoom&id=40080

That would account for the large landing areas and concrete constructions either side off the river and the ferrymen can clearly be seen operating the ferry by pulling on a rope or what looks like a chain in the other photos. It makes you wonder whether it was ever mechanised and had a small steam engine driving a winch ......It just seems to heavy when loaded for a couple of men to haul it across the river without some form of propulsion? Did the old Ferry toll hut house a steam engine and winch???

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCC001430&pos=36&action=zoom&id=38656

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCV000406&pos=19&action=zoom&id=107757

http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;NCCV000405&pos=20&action=zoom&id=107756

The rowboat was probably used to ferry the one or two people across instead of utilising or waiting for the big ferry.

The floods that Carltonlad spoke about that took the cable/rope/chain out probably took the large flat top ferry downriver at the same time.

A chain or heavy cable would also be low enough in the water to allow barges to pass over safely.

That's my theory for what it is worth.

I think this topic is the best excuse to go down to the Stoke pub, have a drink or ten and see if there is any old pictures or information about the ferry.

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#12 Hi Babs. One time when I was swimming there (I think I was with John P. ) There was a group of kids with a dog. Sad to say I cannot remember what type of dog, but I do remember it was swimming around with the kids. I think our paths may have crossed many times.

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#16 Trevor S Thanks for those pics, liked the post. I never saw the big barge. but looking at the pics it would have been about the same size as the barge that was concreted over to make a landing.

Wonder if it is the same?

I do know that during the time I knew the ferry, it did not carry a lot of passengers. The fishing clubs used to use fairly often to carry out finishing competitions are the opposite bank. It was quiet over the other side. I often used to get a free ride with the ferry man.

maybe the Ferry In would have some photos of the ferry man, because he was always in there during the summer months.

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Thanks Carltonlad....have a beer or two on me when you go in the Stoke Pub Ferry Inn and I will repay you next time I see you.

By the way, when you were swimming in the river at the Radcliffe Bend.....ever troubled by leeches?

Used to be quite a lot on the ROT side just downriver from the sewerage ditch inlet; around the little jetty and in the holding basin.

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#19 Only one time did I get a leach on me and I think it was at the opposite side boat ramp. As for having a beer for you I live in Taiwan now and I don't like the beer. So if you get to the Inn before me, have one for me. Actually this topic has brought back a lot of happy memories for me. Also just remembered the barge that was made into a landing was a blunt ended barge. I feel it is the same one.

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Yep...the ROT leeches were a vicious lot and that is why I am surprised at talk of swimming on the ROT side....Definitely not in my time as my blood was precious!

As for the Asian beers, probably only Tiger is the only decent one. Drank a bit of that, I tell you.

Now, as for who gets to the Ferry Inn first. When do you next come down to Australia?

Probably right about the barge as well.

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Looks like we could all be right, just talking about different periods. The thought of a cable across and the barge traffic problems is valid, but I wonder if there was much, if any barge traffic in the early 1900s.

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Again I don't know how accurate this info is but here goes;

I have always had an interest in all types of boats and living in Carlton it was the Trent that interested me most. I read something once a long time ago that a company moved to Nottingham or near Nottingham to build steel barges, I think it was in the 1920s or 30s. I can't remember the company name, I think it started with W maybe Wilkins or Wilkinson or Watson (Honestly not sure). If this was the case then the barge traffic must have started to increase around this period. prior to this period I believe there may have been some barge traffic but maybe smaller shallower draft vessels. The Trent has always had some craft plying its waters. I am sure it would have been a major highway for hundreds of years as it is a large river.

Now all we have to do is find out exactly when the ferry stopped working and if it ever did start again with volunteers. This is something I can't help with. I have no knowledge of Stoke after 1968.

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#21 Hahaha Trevor S, I can see you have as much chance as me returning to the Ferry Inn in the near future.

I lived in Australia for 35 years. Now I am here, I do not know when I may get back. If I do come back I will let you know and maybe we can have a beer together there.

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yeh perhaps so carlton lad when i first started to swim on the bend it was before i started school on family picnics on hot summers days down there all day dad whould be fishing a bit further up river thats when we had our dog blackie. later our mongrel dog kim was always in the river with us too ,then when i was a young teenager we had sam a golden labridorbut most of the time i was walking him i would be on my own in the evenings so dont remember ever swimming with him .yes trevor always lots of leeches on the river then think i was only ever bitten once or maybe twice and the lads burnt them of with fags or small twigs from the fires we used to build on the sands. one day i remember realy well down there waslate summer i would have been about 8 the farmer was bailing the straw behind the bailer were two wooden planks about 8 inch wide by 4 foot long ror putting the bails on they would be built up 3 or4 bails high then pushed of in the fields ready for the fleat backed trailer to buck them up and take them to the barns up on stoke farm we rode onthe back of them all day great fun as most of us were in swim suits and it was very hot i got very sun burned and boy did i suffer once i got in bed realy hurt every time you touched the sheets.and your nightie got tangled around you it hurt like hell.

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