Being turned in August 1965

By John Quinton

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE

An interesting photo for two reasons.

Firstly, Valencay is almost brand new in this photo, having only started on the route on July 7th.

Secondly, she's being turned in the harbour in calm summer weather. As our three car ferries were stern-loading only, they would usually turn outside the harbour and enter the harbour stern-first. The French 'V' twins, Villandry and Valencay, were fitted with bow thrusters, so they could enter bow-first and then turn themselves around in good weather, but it was unusual. Meeching would assist in poor weather, but she's clearly at her usual berth at No.5 Stage. 

Perhaps Valencay's crew were just testing things to see if they could do it OK. Another possibility is that the ship's Master isn't yet qualified to carry out the stern-first entry. Valencay is flying the signal flag for H, meaning that the harbour pilot is in control.


This page was added by John Quinton on 09/03/2013.
Comments about this page

Don't remember them ever turning themselves - whenever I watched them they were turned by the local tug boats ... and of course this was when we had the "mud-hole" later dredged and renamed the marina. That sounded very cosmopolitan in those days! Ah, to be 11 again!

They only really started turning themselves on a regular basis when they became 'drive through' ferries and berthed bow-first. Senlac was the first, and then the V twins when rebuilt. Prior to this, turning without a tug was rare. Andy-Editor

By Tony Kingaby
On 21/03/2013

I think they re-enforced the quayside pilings to allow the ferries to pivot around as shown in this photo and as the ferries got longer they removed the ends of the pontoon berths that protruded into the harbour from the Marina.

Is that correct Andy?

Quite correct, Rob. They ended up taking quite a few metres off the pontoons and now there's only a couple of metres clearance!

By Rob Patten
On 23/03/2013

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