Before conversion

By Andy Gilbert

Most of us know that our first car ferry Falaise wasn't new when she came here, but had been converted from a passenger steamer in 1963/64. She was already 18 years old at the time.

Here are three photos from Newhaven Museum (thanks to Peter Bailey as always for permission to post them here). Two show her launch day and the third when she entered service. There was definitely something of the 'mini-liner' about her and many of her British Railways contemporaries, and I've been told that it was an idea that BR were keen to promote. She certainly does look smart.

From the fact that she is pristine and that only her crew appear to be on deck (at least they all seem to be on crew-only areas) I'd guess this may be on her trials.

Photo:Falaise enters the water - 26/10/1946

Falaise enters the water - 26/10/1946

Photo:Falaise just after launch - 26/10/1946

Falaise just after launch - 26/10/1946

Photo:Falaise when new, at full speed. Probably on trials in 1947.

Falaise when new, at full speed. Probably on trials in 1947.

All three photos with kind permission of Newhaven Museum

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 04/07/2008.
Comments about this page

This last picture shows the 'Falaise' in all her glory. I was given a guided tour of this ship icluding the engine room by a friend who worked at the marine workshops, while I was an apprentice shipwright with a local boat builder. This was while she was alongside for overhaul and service workings, it was interesting to see the maze of piping and heavy equipment all set in a fairly tight area particularly for people to overhaul and repair etc. Again this ship is now of a bygone era! although this modest ro/ro ferry started the Newhaven to Dieppe ro/ro service back in 1964.

By Chris Young
On 30/01/2009

I travelled on the Falaise in July 1964, in Vauxhall Viva on route to Spain. Falaise for me was disappointing as a passenger carrier, compared with the Brighton and Liseaux, both of which were more glamorous and had more "breeding". Post conversion, she had a utilitarian, "Formica", "hose-down" feel to her. My first journey on the Dieppe route was in '58. This was the last in 64. Sailed in all of the ships at one time or another.

By John Hancock
On 27/07/2012

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