A last ditch attempt to save the PS Ryde Isle of Wight paddle steamer ferry

PS Ryde at the Island Harbour Marina on the River Medina between Newport and East Cowes. Photo copyright Kevin Flynn and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence

I’m saddened to report that another interesting old vessel is in mortal danger – but perhaps there is just a chance that a petition to No 10 (see below) might make a difference.

The PS Ryde was built for the Southern Railway in 1936 and for many years operated the Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pierhead route.

Sadly, the petition is very much a last-ditch effort – for some time the PS Ryde Trust has been trying to purchase the vessel for preservation and restoration, but after promising progress negotiations have broken down, and the dismantling planned by the owners has started. The petition is aimed at halting the scrapping.

The petition, which closes on the 2nd March, can be found here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/PSRyde

Uffa Fox’s airborne lifeboat – at last a nice clear photograph!

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Uffa Fox's airborne lifeboat at the Classic Boat Museum, Isle of Wight

Uffa Fox’s airborne lifeboat at the Classic Boat Museum, Newport

I’ve posted about the airborne lifeboat before – see Uffa Fox’s airborne lifeboat at the Museum of the Broads and Uffa Fox’s great and lasting memorial – the Airborne Lifeboat – but I’m delighted that Julie’s photo of the example at the Classic Boat Museum at Newport on the Isle of Wight is the best I’ve seen.

Thanks again Julie!

Search for Uffa Fox’s books at ABE Books

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Folding boats at the Isle of Wight Classic Boat Museum, Newport

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Berthon collapsible rescue boat

Folding ship's lifeboat built by Salter

(Top) The Reverend Berthon’s collapsible rescue boat.
(Immediately above) Salter’s folding ship’s lifeboat

My partner Julie has just returned from the Isle of Wight with a nice collection of photos, from the island’s Classic Boat Museum at Newport.

Folding boats have been a popular theme on this weblog and I’ve had small folding boats very much in mind in the last few days after an unpleasant late-night incident in an inflatable, so I thought I should start with a couple of new examples I haven’t seen before.

The first is a Berthon collapsible lifeboat designed by the Reverend Edward Lyon Berthon, and built at Romsey, close to Southampton across the water. Apparently Berthon began designing his folding lifeboats after one of his clergymen survived a shipwreck in 1849. This particular boat was probably built fairly early on – that is, close to 150 years ago.

The second was constructed by Salters of Oxford, in what is believed to have been the year 1898. I gather the museum is exploring its options with a view to getting the boat back to a launchable condition. I do hope they manage it.

Thanks for the photos Julie!

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