Sunday, 5 February 2012
Ferry ‘cross the Wensum
AND talking of The Dolphin Inn (see previous post) isn’t it strange to think of a ferry boat plying its trade on this stretch of river? The bridge we can see carried the Midland and Great Northern railway line down to its terminus at City Station. But the road bridges we take for granted today (Mile Cross and Sweetbriar) didn’t arrive until well into the 20th century. So there was no other way of crossing the Wensum between St Crispin’s Road (the existing bridge close to Halford’s) and Hellesdon – a good mile and a half upriver. The landlord of the Dolphin Inn on Heigham Street filled the gap, running a pub, some outdoor swimming baths and this ferry. Look closely and you’ll see the ferryman is standing up – much as they did at Pull’s Ferry and at Coldham Hall at Surlingham. Look even closer and it appears he’s got a fair few passengers waiting to make the return journey. If anyone’s got any more info please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Thanks to Richard and Bridget Belson for the photo..