Home Introduction Greenwich Rotherhithe Excursion Riverboats Woolwich

The Forgotten Highway

The spotless steam engine of one of the second batch of ferries.

The two boilers are of the gunboat type, that is the tubes, furnace and combustion is all in one line.



The paddles themselves were of the feathering type, each driven from a separate engine. A banjo out of centre bearing performs the feathering operation.

Here a damaged paddle is being inspected.

Floating and submerged debris usually caused such damage.

The maintenance gridiron was on the north shore, between the GER and LCC piers The grid enabled work to be done on the ferries at low tide.

Herds of cows, and flocks of sheep were shipped from North Woolwich station to the RACS abattoir in Abbeywood.

In 1909 a young Handley Page carried his first plane, albeit in pieces, across the Thames on a horse drawn cart via the ferry.

 In 1952 the ferry transported a circus, complete with elephants.

Cats were always welcomed on board as the pontoons and paddlers had problems with mice and rats.

Views of the vehicle deck

The Engines

Vehicle Decks and cargo

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