Early Links – Ferry Loading Forster circa 1950

Ferry Loading Forster circa 1950

The first two-car vehicular ferry, operated by Charlie Blows in 1922, was in the form of a barge with fence like sides and gates at either end. Hinged flaps at each end were connected by chains running up through the corner post rollers, enabling the punt to ride up the shore for the loading of the vehicles. A launch was used to push the punt across the channel.

Pictured is Blows’ four car ferry that was pushed by the “Monterey”. Ladies with prams were often forced to cross on the back flap of the ferry if room could not be found on the ferry proper. Pedestrians either sat in the work launch or if there was no room stood on the punt.

This means of getting from Tuncurry to Forster continued for 37 years until the bridge opened in 1959 with a four and six car ferry entering the system during that time.

Over the years there were many colourful stories of runaway punts, sinking punts, missing punts, the last ferry home and the long queues waiting for the ferry, notably in the holiday season.

 The Forster ferry landing was a little to the south of the current bridge approach.

This image, along with some other blog favourites, features on the cover of the Great Lakes Museum’s 2013 “Early Links” Local History Calendar “…Deatils

 

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