The Warsash – Hamble Ferry

The First documented evidence of the Hamble to Warsash Ferry is 1535c although there was a causeway long before this date.
In 1905 W Cooper & Co Ltd bought the freehold of The Bugle Pub in Hamble and the ferry. The ferry at this time was a large dinghy which was rowed across the river from Hamble to the wooden ferry hut at Warsash.
Ray Sedgewick, a well-known local man, took over the operation of the ferry in 1957 and became the full time ferryman in 1958. In 1982 Ray bought the ferry from Watneys who had previously taken over W Cooper & Co Ltd and in 1984 Ray had a concrete ramp built by the Warsash ferry hut and in 1988 a similar one on the Hamble side.
The first motorised ferry with an outboard engine came into service in the 1930s with the first inboard engine being used in the 1960s. In 1971 a Glass Reinforced Plastic Launch was introduced but only used occasionally as the traditional wooden ferry was more suitable in certain circumstances and in 1985 Cliff Hall (who, as a boy, had worked with Ray on the ferry) built a steel ferry. The great storm in 1987 resulted in two ferries sinking on their moorings and again in the storm of January 1990 another ferry was sunk also on its mooring. The storms were disastrous for ferries and pleasure boats across the country and the authorities brought in increased safety measures. The Council and Harbour Master met with Ray and Cliff to discuss the ferry in its present state with the outcome that Cliff Hall bought the ferry from Ray to finance the necessary improvements and much more besides, giving us the ferry service we currently have. The agreement also gave Ray the right to remain as the ferryman for as long as he wished and although he officially retired in 2001 as full time ferryman he continued to operate the ferry part-time for many years.
Unfortunately, in 1996 Cliff died but his wife, Margaret, and her brother continued to run the ferry until it was sold to Cliff’s two nephews and with it came the change to “The Pink Ferry”, everything in pink, the boats, the shelter and all notices.
As an aside, Margaret took over The Great Harry pub in Warsash in 2002 and renamed it “The Ferryman”. The pub has since changed hands more than once and is now “The Ship and Shovel”.

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