How it used to be!

By Andy Gilbert and John Hendy

Photo:A busy scene

A busy scene

Kind permission of John Hendy

Here's something you just don't see any more, a harbour chock-a-block full of ships.

In this super photo from John Hendy, taken on 31st October 1981, Meeching is seen in her usual place at no.5 Stage, looking spick and span and most likely just back from her annual refit and paint-up.

Immediately behind her is Senlac, laid up with nothing to do at that time. A few weeks earlier, the main linkspan ramp at Dieppe had collapsed, killing a Spanish lorry driver. The route was closed for a month until arrangements had been made to use a temporary berth in Dieppe's inner harbour. The main ramp would not re-open until the following April.

Up-river from Senlac are two retired ferries, now up for sale, Earl Siward (ex Dover) and Caledonian Princess. Both ships operated on the Newhaven-Dieppe route at various times in their careers - Dover was the regular relief ship for Falaise - and both would end their days as floating nightclubs/casinos. Tuxedo Princess (ex Caledonian Princess) was scrapped a couple of years ago, but Tuxedo Royale (ex Earl Siward) met a worse fate and now lies half submerged at Middlesbrough, awaiting salvage or scrap.

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 04/10/2013.
Comments about this page

I have some snaps taken from the attic bedroom of my parents house in Fort Road of a helicopter and special forces practicing rappelling onto the Caledonian Princess at around this time. I'll try and find them and post.

By Rob Patten
On 07/10/2013

Further to my last comment, on this site, 'West quay 1981' there is a picture by Graham Honeyball showing the helicopter approaching the "Cally Princess".

By Rob Patten
On 07/10/2013

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