This article was originally published on the 1st December 2012 but with the festive season rapidly approaching it’s time to resurrect an old favourite. As can be seen below, the ferries have certainly changed over the years (in both number and in size) but there is still one tradition that remains and that is the local fleet’s official day of rest, Christmas Day. In these modern days of the 24 hour operation at the Port of Dover it is very rare to see the ships laid up.
In January 1988 Dover Harbour Board confirmed that more sand would be dredged from the Goodwin Sands to reclaim the remainder of the Camber at the Eastern Docks. The Board obtained a licence from the Crown Estate to dredge the Goodwins and for every cubic metre of sand dredged the Harbour Board paid the Crown a fee.
Berth 1 at the Eastern Docks (ED1) was designed and installed by MacGregor-Navire (MGN). It was designed to be capable of servicing a wide range of vessels including freight only RoRo’s and car/passenger ferries.
After the transfer of much of British Rail’s classical passenger services to Folkestone and to relieve the heavily used ramps at the Eastern Docks, a new car ferry berth was to be constructed inside the knuckle of the Admiralty Pier.