Past and Present


In September of 2006 Nigel Thornton joined the website and started compiling his hugely popular ‘Past and Present‘ features. These features profile the timeline of an individual vessel through photography and historical information.

Originally focused on the history of the local ferry fleets which have served the Port of Dover over the years it has now been expanded to include all vessel types which have a lose connection with the port town of Dover.

To help website visitors take their minds of the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 Nigel started to take requests for Past and Present features which have resulted in a large number of updates to the website.

Past and Present Archive

© Bob Scott

MV Saint Eloi – Past and Present

MV Aeolos, ex Moby Love, Moby Love 2, King Orry, Channel Entente, Saint Eloi – Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Cantieri Navali di Pietra Ligure, Genoa. Italy (Yard No. 12) for the Societe Anonyme de Navigation Angleterre-Lorraine-Alsace (or A.L.A. for short) in 1972 as a multi-purpose passenger and roll-on roll-off ferry for cars, lorries and railway vehicles.

© Bob Scott

Mv Prinses Maria-Esmeralda – Past and Present

MV Al Arabia, ex Aqaba Express, Beni Ansar, Wisteria, Beni Ansar, Wisteria, Prinses Maria Esmeralda – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Cockerill yards, Hoboken (Yard No. 877) in 1975 for Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) Ostend service as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry

© Brian Fisher

MV Prins Albert (III) – Past and Present

MV Voyager, ex Eurovoyager, Prins Albert (III) – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Cockerill Yards, Hoboken, (Yard No. 887) in 1978 for Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) Ostend service as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry

Dover Port News, Roy Thornton Collection

Admiralty Pier Train Ferry Berth

With ships becoming much larger only vessels built up to and before the early 1970’s could fit into the original train ferry dock situated within Dover Western Docks. The new generation of ships that were then being developed were twice the size in terms of size and capacity and they could make up to five round trips of the busy Dover Straits each day.

© Ray Goodfellow

MV Pride of Canterbury – Past and Present

MV Pride of Canterbury, ex European Pathway – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Schichau Seebeckwerft AG, Bremerhaven, (Yard No. 1076) Germany for P&O European Ferries in 1991 as a commercial vehicle ferry

© Fotoflite

MV Cambridge Ferry – Past and Present

MV Sirio, ex Ita Uno, Cambridge Ferry – Steel twin screw turbine steamer, built by Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Hebburn, England, (Yard No. 754) for the British Railways Board in 1965.

© Ray Goodfellow

MV Nord Pas-de-Calais – Past and Present

MV Al Andalus Express, ex Nord Pas-de-Calais, Seafrance Nord Pas-de-Calais, Nord Pas-de-Calais – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Chantiers du Nord et de la Méditerranée SA, Dunkirk, (Yard No 325) for Societe Nationale des Chemin de Fer Francais (SNCF), Paris in 1987 as a multi-purpose passenger and roll-on roll-off ferry for lorries and railway vehicles

MV Stena Superfast X - Past and Present

MV Stena Superfast X – Past and Present

A Nepita – ex Stena Superfast X, Dieppe Seaways, Seafrance Moliere, Jean Nicoli, Superfast X – Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2002 by Howaltswerke Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel, (Yard No. 360)