Hythe Ferry Progress Report 3

The original intention for Blue Funnel Ferries Limited was to have Great Expectations back in service on the 11th May, making the refit last just 9 days. Due to finding more issues after years of neglect (which would take a couple of years to bring up to Blue Funnel standard), she was due to be put in the water on the 15th May with the MCA inspection the following day. She was beginning to look much better despite a lot of obvious rust, and made poor Hotspur look tatty in comparison. Compared to the previous week, it had become more crowded around her which made getting photographs a little harder.

However, they got behind with so much extra work so the MCA survey was put back a week. Meanwhile the new name of Hythe Scene was announced on the 15th instead.

A week later things had progressed a bit more but still no name on the hull while Hotspur was just as unloved by her new owners.

Meanwhile, the football season drew to a close. Blue Funnel put on a special ferry from Hythe Pier to Ocean Village on Ocean Scene. They were also laying on extra ferries due to Common People.

Hythe Scene returned to Hythe Pier on the 23rd May but there was still much to do before re-entering service, which she did successfully on the 26th. Despite a lot of work still needing to be done to fix the years of White Horse Ferries neglect, she was already feeling like a brand new vessel. The crossing was smooth with no vibrations, racket or diesel fumes in your face. I was never a fan of Great Expectations but now she’s had some long overdue love, it was finally a pleasure travelling on her.

My dad, who took me on the ferry as a kid in the 1970s and 1980s.

And so the new chapter in this centuries old service continues and all the signs are good. Already Blue Funnel are listening to the passengers and utilising the boats for popular events. We’re still awaiting the standby ferry, which is currently undergoing refit. Onwards and upwards!

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