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History of the Hayling Ferry

There has been a ferry in operation between Ferry Point Hayling Island and Eastney Point Portsmouth, for at least 200 years.  Rights to run a ferry belonged to the Lord of the Manor of Hayling Island, the Dukes of Norfolk.


Rowing boats were used until 1901 when the the ferry rights were bought by the Hayling Island Steam Ferry Company, who constructed pontoons, made up the road on the Hayling side, and acquired a small steamer. The service was soon abandoned though due to the unsuitability of the steamer. 


The pontoons survived, and eventually a motor boat service took over the operation of the Ferry service. G.O.Spraggs and his sons Cecil, George and Jack were long term operators well into the post-war period with SinahFolkestone Belle  and Tarpon.

In 1961 Portsmouth City Council took over the ferry,  and  by the late 1970s were running  the Iris and the Irene. Portsmouth City Council operated the ferry until April 1981, when it closed, no other operator having been found. The pontoons were in poor condition by this time, and the Eastney pontoon was removed. However Hampshire County Council soon found a company who would take over the service, with a subsidy for the unprofitable winter period. 

Dutfield and Edwards started the new service, initially used the Hayling Enterprise and running onto the beach at Portsmouth until a new pontoon was built. 

The Pride of Hayling was then purpose built in 1987,  and then operated  on the Hayling to Eastney route for the next 28 years.  Cyril Edwards now ran with the ferry as  Edwards & Co until he died in 1992.  His wife Frida Edwards then took the business over and renamed the company Hayling Ferry Ltd.  She ran it with her daughter until they finally  went out of business in April 2015.  Sadly Frida Edwards passed away in December 2015 only 9 months after the ferry service ceased operation.

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