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 Sinah, Folkestone 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.
The fully refurbished Pride of Hayling was bought from the liquidators in July 2015 by Baker Trayte Marine Ltd, who are the present owners. Further customer improvements were carried out and the vessel passed its final MCA approval in July 2016. Baker Trayte Marine Ltd have 23 years experience in the marine industry and will add the strength of business and back-up needed to make the new service a success.
Baker Trayte have negotiated a new ferry licence with the Langstone Harbour Board to use the landing pontoons both sides of Langstone Harbour - and the new service commenced on August 5th 2016 following the official launch crossing by celebrity Wayne Sleep and the Mayor of Havant, Faith Ponsonby.