History in Kent => General History => Topic started by: Mickleburgh on September 04, 2018, 10:35:35

Title: Incident at Grove Ferry
Post by: Mickleburgh on September 04, 2018, 10:35:35
Have a clear memory of once seeing reference to and a photograph of an incident at Grove Ferry where an East Kent coach attempted a crossing and the ferry sank, including comment that the ferryman, in the best tradition, nearly went down with his vessel. Not sure of the date, whether pre or post WW2, can anyone help with a date or of any report?

In trawling for this I did come across a note that the ferry was replaced in 1939 by a new one built at Ramsgate and towed across Pegwell Bay and up the Stour. Apparently the previous had sunk during a gale.
Title: Re: Incident at Grove Ferry
Post by: Mickleburgh on September 24, 2018, 10:31:01
Apparently this incident occurred in June, 1946, and involved an East Kent Road Car Co Tilling-Stevens (FN 9010) from Folkestone depot driven by Arthur Philpott. Surprisingly it does not seem to have been picked up by the media and the only photos and a rather embellished account appear in the staff magazine (East Kent Omnibus) for June, 1962. In this  the vehicle, which had no passengers on board at the time, was supposedly submerged up to its roof (with the ferry below!), driver Philpott was obliged to `swim for the shore`(!) and the recovery process had to `await low tide`(!). Arthur Philpott (1886-1966) was contacted for his memories in retirement and recalled he insisted on driving the relief vehicle back to Folkestone himself.

Cars and modestly sized commercial vehicles were conveyed on the Grove Ferry, certainly, until the advent of the bridge in 1962, but attempting it with a 32-seat bus, even in those days was assuredly `asking for trouble`.