Wave Goodbye To The Old Woolwich Ferries

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 53 months ago

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Wave Goodbye To The Old Woolwich Ferries
Photo: Shutterstock

For the past 53 years, three ferries have shuttled across the Thames between Woolwich and North Woolwich. Having seen better days, they're about to be decommissioned — all three retiring on Friday 5 October.

This isn't the end of the Woolwich Ferry as a service, just these particular vessels. New boats are coming, however the route will close for a few months, while the piers are adapted for the new craft.

The replacement ferries fulfil the Mayor's goal for cleaner air, have step-free access, additional capacity for passengers and vehicles on board, improved reliability and a separate space for cyclists.

One of the new ferries - Ben Woollacott. Image: TfL

The new vessels have been named Ben Woollacott, after a former deckhand who sadly died while working on one of the ferries in 2011, and Dame Vera Lynn, after the singer from east London, famed for her rendition of We'll Meet Again.

For the few months when neither old nor new ferries are in service, there's the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. Take a look at what happened when we raced ferry and tunnel, below.

What will happen to the three decommissioned ferries? The architects at Studio Octopi wanted to put parliament atop them, while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished (no, seriously). Unfortunately the time for this has probably been and gone.

It'd be a crying shame if, as some have rumoured, the ferries end up being scrapped.

Last Updated 24 September 2018