Thursday, 10 August 2017

10th August 2017 - Well I am Back

Thought for the day:" Stressed is just desserts backwards!"

Well, as I return from my rambles and rambling in Mythodea - I find that one of my favourite places in Wales - Ferryside, is to have the old ferry restored from Ferryside to Llanstephan.

It seems that a £300,000 grant has been given to make a "wheeled" boat - presumably an updated DUKW  style ferry boat to cover the short distance of the crossing ...

It is a beautiful village on the sea ( as long as they are not chasing Cockles!!).
In 1905 - this picture was taken of the old ferry - a sail boat that crossed the short channel.

I have sailed those waters many times and the current can get very strong and on occasion very rough, but the choice between the short Ferry Trip or the sixteen and a half mile round trip I suppose there is no question, especially in days when cars were far more scarce. It would be a long walk...Ferryside and Llansteffan last saw a ferry service back in the 1950s but its history dates back to Middle Ages.

There is even scope to extend the service to Laugharne and even Tenby at a later date.

The idea was first raised earlier this year and if successful would see the resurrection of a service that was last run in the 1950s but has a long history dating back to medieval times.

The newly formed firm Carmarthen Bay Ferries and its seven directors has secured £300,000 from the Big Lottery’s Coastal Communities Fund.

Due to the tidal nature of the estuary, a special craft is being commissioned for the service and being built in Solva, Pembrokeshire.

The craft will have retractable wheels and be able to come ashore meaning no work needed for jetties on both sides. Initially we are looking to run it for eight and half months of the year but are aiming for a year round service. Not just for tourism and excursions - which could go as far as Tenby or Caldey Island - but also for commuting and linking Llansteffan and Ferryside.

People could use the train station at Ferryside without having to travel 18 miles inland around the estuary. And also for those in Ferryside wanting to reach Llansteffan, it would be quicker.

A Director said "I was on the beach at Ferryside at the weekend and could hear the carnival in Llansteffan and thought ‘I’d like to be over there, but the 18 miles put me off.”

The ferry service has its roots in the Norman period when they had control of Carmarthen - some seven miles upstream - and castles at Llansteffan, Laugharne and Kidwelly.

However, into the 1920s and 1930s the ferry proved a popular destination for miners, mainly during a two week period in August - known as miner’s fortnight.

Mr Lenny added: “Miners would travel across on the ferry and get the train and then walk to mines in the Gwendraeth Valley.”
The plans will now take shape with a view of being up and running by early summer next year.

I look forward to seeing the new service in action...

Cheers !

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