May 2013 10
Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 07.22.51 Fairmile 2013 1st Day operating Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features Herald Express Features

Back into service on first day of operation

Back into service on first day of operation

THE Nationally Registered Heritage passenger ship Fairmile – Torbay’s longest-operating original Torquay to Brixham ferry – has returned to service after an extensive £160,000 restoration refit.  The newly restored  historic World War Two  heritage ship has just undergone her largest refit since the family-run Greenway Ferry Company saved her in 2009 from being decommissioned in Poole returning her back to service in Torbay where she had plied during war and peacetime – now in her 72nd year.

 
The whole saloon was removed and  75 per cent of her deck replaced. There are new deck shelves, deck beams,  deck, floors and two brand new watertight double sheaved bulkheads, plus new seating and two new bars.
Will Ford, director of the Greenway Ferry Company, said: “As she defended our country, we are now defending her from the passage of time through our own financial commitment and with a team of enthusiasts, we know how much this ship is loved in Torbay and have done our bit to ensure that she can be enjoyed by all now and in the future as the bays longest serving passenger ship.”
 
He added: “We have used local shipwrights, local suppliers and sourced timber from sustainable sources. To see the passion and pure skill that has gone into her new replacement structure is simply wonderful the team which worked on her where committed, professional and worked through one of the harshest winters we have seen in a long time.
“This will be the first time for her to be seen as she would have looked during her operation period in the Royal Navy as much as health and safety will allow.  Her newly restored medial bay on the top deck now dispenses alcoholic medicine in the midst of stretchers from the new 1940’s bar and we have reopened the Ward Room on the lower deck which has been completely refurbished with beautiful leather seats housing the ships original blueprints from WWII .  This refit has not just been for the ship but also for passenger comfort.  The newly commissioned purpose built porthole awning looks fabulous on the deck and passengers can now sit in pure comfort on the top and bottom deck and the seats can be folded away to create a massive dance floor for private charters and party boats.  Carrying capacity has been increased and passenger facilities modified even to the point of frothy coffee machines, draught beers and ice cream.  Our investment into Fairmile and the bay is proof of our commitment to this wonderful area and tourism as a whole not to mention a ship which is the last remaining type of her kind in passenger service from WWII. ”
 
In an emotional and  befitting return to the water after the refit, the ferry’s first trip was to be used for a family farewell ceremony for Fairmile veteran Eric Schofield.  Mr Schofield served on the now revamped Fairmile ferry when it was a wartime rescue motor launch 497 in 1942. He moved to Brixham in 2003 from Cheshire and was a well-known figure in the port. He died, aged 90,  last July. Following the ceremony, his ashes were scattered at sea.
Helen Meacock, operations manager of ferry company, said: “We are all really pleased and honoured to have done this for Eric and his family on Fairmile’s  first trip of the season. It is what he would have wanted and a large picture of him will be placed in the Medical Bay where he would have served.
Fairmile returned to service on Saturday and saw a full boat on Sunday for her trip from Torquay and Brixham to Dartmouth with a beautiful one hour cruise of the River Dart.  In celebration of the time Fairmile spent as the Western Lady III – the main Torquay to Brixham Ferry – she will also be providing two special trips a day from Brixham at 10am and Torquay at 11am between the two towns in addition to the normal regular ferry service provided by the company for just £1 each way with the companies other vessels providing the day service every 30 minutes. 
To book a trip, party or to privately hire the newly refurbished Fairmile contact the  Greenway Ferry and Pleasure Cruises Company on 01803 882811 info@greenwayferry.co.uk
Apr 2013 19

Full Update on project Fairmile. The Bays newest but oldest seagoing attraction! For all of you asking, Fairmile will return to service the first week of May. The project is very close to completion which will see Fairmile with a brand new but original styled look updating her passenger comfort and increasing passenger capacity but remembering what she was built to be – a defender of our country in His Majesties Royal Navy. Gone are the bright blue and white colours, replaced with English Channel camouflage used during WWII and her original service number RML497 (Rescue Motor Launch 497). Gone is the bar saloon on the top deck, replaced with a sickbay which now holds an original 1950s bar dispensing alcoholic medicine! We have commissioned a brand new porthole style canopy which is being delivered next week and to top it all of opens a brand new fully upholstered bar on the lower deck in the old Ward Room. Draught beer will be available on board, special sound effects have been installed and we are pleased to announce that we can now cover 130 passengers in complete opulence! During this winter Fairmile’s project has included a new deck, new ship floors, new watertight bulkheads, been rewired and seen new compartments open to passengers. Fairmile is part of The National Heritage Ship Fleet and for the first time will be flying a specially adapted ensign to celebrate this.

We are truly looking forward to welcoming everyone on board to the vessel which not only fought for the county during the war but also for the past 66 years as the bays largest and original Torquay to Brixham Ferry as Western Lady III. Generations have travelled on her and now for the first time you can do 40′s style.

We would personally like to thank not only all the maintenance staff and shipwrights but our local’s, Facebook and twitter followers and previous passengers. Thank you for supporting our family run company which has helped us restore and keep in service Fairmile, the Bay and River Darts heroic and true Lady.

Special pictures to follow very soon!

Keep Calm and Sail On! We have taken the liberty of tagging friends and passengers whom we know have had a trip on Fairmile, please share! See you on the water very soon from all of us here

Mar 2013 02
Amazing affordable fares

Amazing affordable fares

Good morning from Greenway Quay on the beautiful River Dart.

Today will see the Totnes to Dartmouth Ferry resume for the 2013 season.  The Totnes to Dartmouth and Dartmouth to Totnes Ferry will give you the opportunity to cruise to the wonderful nautical riverside town of Dartmouth or the medieval market town of Totnes with time ashore using the beautiful River Dart as your point of entry to these two unique riverside towns by ferry boat. New for 2013 – In addition to boarding from Totnes or Dartmouth you now have the option of direct connection at Greenway or Dittisham (via connecting ferry) to board the boat for Totnes or Dartmouth. Take advantage of this wonderful special offer fare of just £3.75 each way and enjoy the astounding beauty of some of South Devons most spectacular countryside scenery whilst cruising the navigational length of the beautiful and tranquil River Dart passing late Dame Agatha Christies holiday home of Greenway, the quaint little villages of Dittisham, Galmpton, Stoke Gabriel and the Sharpham Estate.

So why not bring yourself, your partner, your friend or your dog for a trip up or down the wonderful River Dart.  At just £3.75 each way, who could refuse?

The Greenway Ferry Crew

Feb 2013 18
Wonderful Agatha Christie Greenway House Experiences

Wonderful Agatha Christie Greenway House Experiences

Services resumed this weekend to Greenway House aboard Christie Belle from Dartmouth to Greenway  as did all services from Dittisham.  It was a beautiful weekend and much busier than we expected.  The Totnes to Dartmouth / Dartmouth to Totnes Ferry resumes service on 1st March.  The river is beautiful this time of year and more enjoyable than ever.

Passengers whom have travelled with us before will already be aware of our last years difficulties with regards to PLC trying to damage our business and enter us into a price war. We started this season afresh, in the hope that we could put this behind us and move on, however after beginning service this weekend it all began again – we once again have to reiterate the following:

Passengers wishing to travel with us please note the following: If you do not want to book online and would prefer to pay on the boat on your day of travel please note that a rival PLC  which hold the monopoly of  river travel is currently giving our passengers incorrect information and misleading them. Please ignore these attempts of deception to coerce you into travelling with them, this is prevalent when departing from Steamer Quay Totnes and the Dartmouth Town Pontoon. If you are unsure of anything please do give us a call and we will be happy to assist. We are a family run company and do not need to deceive our passengers to sell tickets.  We would much rather give you value for money from the first instance so you travel with us for a fair fare! 

That said, please don’t be put off.  The area in which operate is some of the most beautiful in the country, peaceful and tranquil.  The array of wildlife is amazing as are the views.  This is our favourite time of year, so pop and see us.

The Vintage Bus resumes services this Wednesday from Torquay and Paignton to Greenway and is a wonderful way to arrive directly to the door of Greenway House visitor reception.  Spring is on its way to springing so come and take a peek and grab a bowl of fresh soup homemade by the National Trust.

All our services from Torquay and Brixham resume on Good Friday which will see the Fairmile return after the most substantial refit we have yet to do.  She will have a brand new look so keep an eye out for something special.

Keep Calm and Sail on

from the Greenway Ferry Crew

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