A poster from 1962

By Andy Gilbert

We're used to seeing our car ferries sailing in and out all year round, but it's worth remembering that in the 1950s and early 1960s, the passenger steamer service was seasonal, running from around Easter until the end of October. Year-round sailings commenced with the arrival of Falaise in 1964.

At the end of each season, our two ships, Londres and Brighton (VI) would be laid up at the Railway Quay and, at some point over the winter period, each ship would have a refit up at the Marine Workshops followed by a repaint on the gridiron, ready for the service to restart in the Spring.

This annual restart of the service was almost an 'event' locally, as it brought the harbour back to life somewhat, and Newhaven Museum's old scrapbooks (always worth looking through!) contain several newspaper articles from the Argus and Sussex Express about the ships coming out of their winter hibernation over the years.

Here's a British Railways poster from 1962, advertising the restart of the summer service, the ship depicted being Brighton (VI). However, artistic licence has let the painter show her with a blue hull, rather than black. Life then imitated art in 1965 when she and her fleetmates were repainted in the new Monastral Blue hull colour, almost the same as the poster!

Photo:British Railways poster

British Railways poster

From the 'Memories of East Sussex' Facebook group

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 09/10/2018.

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