The Grandstand Ferry

  • 9 Oct 2011
  • Bridges and Ferries
  • Back
Not much is known about this ferry, which was in use until the 1939-45 War. There was probably a ferry here when a wooden stand was built on the racecourse in the 18th century; perhaps even earlier, for racing has been enjoyed on Pitchcroft since the days of Charles 11. In the early 19th century, a large permanent structure was erected with a tavern attached, which on days other than racing days became a popular place for a drink, and customers from the west side made regular trips across the ferry. The ferry was operated for years by the Ash Family. In 1906, an attempt was made to launch a new motor-boat ferry service by Mrs. Taylor, the licencee of the Grandstand Hotel, but, despite the opening ceremony by the Mayor, to the wail of a kilted piper, the venture failed.