Gosport Queen arrives on the Thames

Staff Writer Passenger Vessels 3 Comments

A FERRY has arrived on the River Thames after spending fifty years operating between Gosport and Portsmouth.

The Gosport Queen has been bought by the London Party Boats company, based at Festival Pier, and was handed over at the end of last week.

Early on Friday morning the Gosport Queen, built in 1966, set off on its 350km journey - a far cry from its usual short hop across Portsmouth Harbour which is less than a kilometer.

Passing Gravesend at about 0830 on Saturday morning, Gosport Queen passed Duchess M - the Tilbury ferry vessel which itself was previously used on the Gosport to Portsmouth service.

It's less than a year since Gosport Queen's sister vessel Portsmouth Queen was also acquired by a new owner to be used on the Thames although it has not yet entered service.

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Comments 3

  1. Patricia Canter

    That takes me back a few years! My home was Portsmouth and I well remember going on the Gosport ferry as it was known , from portsmouth to Gosport. The earliest “Gosport” ferry used to be pulled across the harbour on chains, from Old Portsmouth

  2. Jojo

    This is truly an end of an era for Gosport! ‘Gosport Queen’ and her twin ‘Portsmouth Queen’ between them served 101 years in service! I grew up with these ferries and knew so much about them, so much so the crews said i knew more about them, then they did! These ferries were a great improvement on the smaller ferries they replaced, (though three of these diesel powered ferries were kept for harbour trips and standy-by ferry duties), they were ‘Vita’, ‘Vesta’ and ‘Ferry Queen’, they stayed with the company from 1966-1974. They were fondly nick named by my Grandad and i as ‘The Marjorie dore boats’, (after the nursery rhyme), because in rough weather they were like a see saw! “See saw Marjorie dore…”. I don’t think it was dawned on alot of passengers how much love, care etc went into the refits of ‘Gosport Queen’ and ‘Portsmouth Queen’. The ‘Queens’ changed very little in appearance, but the first change was safety railings fitted on the port side, on the bow, where the crew stand to throw the rope on, also chains were fitted along the top of the embark-disembarkation gates, to stop anyone other than the crew opening these gates, better fenders (and more fenders) were added to the hull and in the early ‘the ‘queens’ were fitted in the 70’s with a small Radio telephone aerial was added to the highest part of the mast, (I think it was only me who noticed the aerial on ‘Gosport Queen’ was fitted slightly lower down on the mast than on ‘Portsmouth Queen’!!!). The biggest change I think of all was two oblong ballast tanks added to the deck aft of the ‘Queens’. ‘Portsmouth Queen’ had her ballast tanks added to her deck aft first, (they were added in the early 80’s), they improved her aft prop. performance greatly, giving her prop a much deeper thrust. ‘Gosport Queen’ and ‘Portsmouth Queen’ were very much loved, by crew and passengers alike.After their arrival in 1966, it wasn’t till 1971 until a third ferry was built, and named ‘Solent Enterprise’, and in 1974 a fourth ferry was built and named ‘Southsea Queen’. (‘Southsea Queen’ lasted only 4 years as a Gosport Ferry, before she was sold). ‘Gosport Queen’ marks the end of a veteran Gosport Ferry linking Gosport to Portsmouth. She sailed out of the harbour for the very last time, leaving Gosport and so many wonderful memories of her behind her. A beautiful, lovely Ferry.

  3. John Wright

    I could not put it better myself then jojo did as I work on all 4 vessel
    In my 38 year on the ferry company
    Portsmouth queen and gosport queen run for 19 hours a day week and week about and I think both vessels will go on for many years to come

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