It seemed our car VDL634 would have travelled a fair distance to the initial dealer. Leaving Canley in August for Munns and Underwood in Southsea/Portsmouth. Catching the Portsmouth to Fishguard (car) ferry then, we assume, driving the short distance from Fishguard to Downing and Donovan in Ryde.
At least 2 ferries were running in 1960, these were the Camber Queen and the Fishbourne.
We’ll try to locate photos however we do know the fate of the ferries: Fishbourne was sold in 1984 to Pounds Shipping Marine at Portsmouth, who quickly resold her to a Turkish Cypriot outfit, Seagull Marine Ltd. who renamed her Kibris I. She sank in bad weather in Morphou Bay on 5 February 1985.
Camber Queen was sold in 1984 to Transportes Fluvials de Sado Ltda, of Setubal, Portugal who operated her as the Mira Trioa, until she was broken up, 2000
UPDATE: Camber Queen has a build date of 1961 – with a service from (BR/Sealink: 1961-1984). Which rules this particular vessel out of our story.
Freshwater (BR/Sealink: 1959-1984)
49.99 m long – 363 grt – Crossley diesels of 477 kW – 10.5 knots – 620 passengers – 26 cars
Freshwater was built by 1959 the Ailsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, Troon for British Railways Southern Region (British Transport Commission). She entered service between Lymington and Yarmouth in September 1959. Ownership passed to Sealink UK Ltd in 1979. Freshwater was withdrawn in 1984 and eventually passed to Western Ferries for their Gourock-Dunoon (Hunters Quay) service, with whom she ran until 1996.
Hilsea (SR/BR/Sealink: 1930-1961)
Lymington (SR/BR: 1938-1961)
132.2 ft long – 275 grt – 11 knots – 400 passengers – 20 cars
Lymington was delivered to the Southern Railway by William Denny of Dumbarton in 1938, for the Yarmouth-Lymington service. She pioneered the use of Voith-Schneider propulsion units on a ferry. Not surprisingly, they were quite troublesome initially. In 1947 she passed to British Railways (British Transport Commission). In 1974 Lymington was withdrawn and sold to Western Ferries for their Gourock-Dunoon service (to be followed by the next two Yarmouth car ferries Farringford and Freshwater).
Wootton (SR/BR/Sealink: 1928-1961) – later Wootton II