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Ferry Terminal April 1925

A start has been made on the Southern Railway Company’s scheme for dredging the entrance to Wootton Creek, and constructing a road for the passage of cattle and traffic from the projected landing slip. Mr. Kingston one of the company’s engineers from Southampton Docks will be in charge of the project. About a dozen local men will be employed on construction of the new road, which will be 20ft wide and 580ft long with a gradient of one in fifteen. It will cross Fishbourne Farm Estate and link up the existing Fishbourne Lane with the slipway which is being constructed to the south of the old coastguard building, and to the north of Hayles yacht yard.

Work on the road is currently confined to the upper section adjacent to Fishbourne Lane, with a trench running down to the creek excavated in readiness for the laying of pipes.

The slipway which will be 25ft wide and 260ft long will require the cutting down of several mature trees which stand at the waters edge. The bed of the creek will require dredging some distance seawards to give sufficient depth to enable the tow-boats to turn and berth by the slipway at all states of the tide. It is understood that the dredging will not be carried very far to the southwards [into Wootton Creek].

The overall scheme will include the provision of sheep and cattle pens on one side of the access road and parking on the other. Arrangements will also be made for staff, stores and passengers, and this indicated further expansion of the faculties.

Fishbourne and the thickly wooded shores of Wootton Creek, form one of the best beauty spots on the Island, only disturbed by the sound of Quarr Abbey bells. It now appears that this tranquil setting will be lost forever in the interest of progress.

Objections to the development have been received from some local residents, but the company gave assurances that the beauty of the area will not be marred. Their activities will be confined to the entrance to the creek and the cattle pens will only be used for short periods during the day. The company also said that access to the creek will be improved for all users, and the short breakwater that is to be constructed on the seaward side of the slip should be of benefit to all.

It is expected that the work will be completed by the end of summer and a harbour master will them be appointed. The dredging work will be carried out by a Southampton Company who are expected to employ a number of local men from Cowes.

The great advantage of this scheme is that it will permit a regular service to and from. Portsmouth to be established that will not be dependant on tides. The current landing place for the towboats is a slipway alongside Ryde Pier, which is often difficult and only possible twice daily.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:49

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