I know this isn’t a big thing for some people, it’s not like I am going to get the champagne out later or anything like that but for us it’s a major achievement and for me personally it’s something I am proud of. When I launched the original website back in 2003 it was a place I could upload some of my rather poor quality photos, share a bit of news and just generally feel like I was sharing something that I had a passion for with like minded people.
Through the website and this hobby I had the great pleasure of meeting a certain Mr Nigel Thornton at the end of a very cold Prince of Wales pier covering the maiden arrival of the then named Maersk Delft in February 2006. We soon built a friendship and Nigel started developing his hugely popular ‘Past and Present’ series for the website in September of that year. Since then the website has gone from strength to strength with an ever increasing viewership over the years with contributions from literally hundreds of photographers.
I am not going to lie, I have had some major issues with my mental health over the years and I tend to go into hiding when things are bad but Nigel continues updating, publishing and keeping the site alive when I am unable to. I will forever be in his debt, not just for carrying on with the website and continuing to steer the ship as it were but for being there for me personally when things have been really bad. Nigel I don’t know if you know this but you have been and always will be a guiding light for me, sometimes I just need to hear your foxy words of wisdom and even when you think you are not helping you truly are. You are my friend and all I can say is thank you for everything you have done and what you continue doing.
This website has created many lasting friendships and golden opportunities over the years and I hope it continues in the same vain for many years to come.
Now there are those that always bang on about how many hits they have received, how many visitors they have had etc and that’s really not us or how we operate but to give you some perspective, here are some of our key stats (excluding social media):
- Total Hits: 3,000,000
- Total Unique Visitors: 757,291
- Daily Average Hits: 1,100
- Weekly Average Hits: 7,700
- Our Busiest Day: Monday
- Our Busiest Time of Day: 19:00
- Countries Served: 174
Finally I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to and visited the website over the last 20 years, we couldn’t have reached these numbers without you and it’s actually good to know that people do read what we publish and get as much enjoyment from it as we do. I am now going to leave a massive space under this message for Nigel to leave his words as I am sure he will have something to say about us reaching this milestone.
Well, what can I say?
Back in 2006, when I cajoled Ray into allowing me to join, it was just my intention to showcase my late father’s vast collection of ferry photos, books and ferry ephemera.
I diligently set about compiling vessel histories together with their links to Dover, and it soon became obvious that it was to be a never-ending task.
Since 2006, I have added to the collection, been provided with other collections, increased my shipping library, and persuaded many, many contributors to supply photos, postcards, images, information, etc.
Partly due to the “COVID-19 lockdown” (remember that?) through “Requests” I also extended the scope of my research and now include other ferries and ports, although I can convincingly create tenuous links back to the “Original Theme” of Dover and associated ports.
Like Ray, I have had my ups and downs but have always found myself returning to continue to reach my intended goal. I feel, that now, the site is not only a nostalgic link to the past but also a good data base and, more importantly, a community of like-minded enthusiasts (I didn’t realise there would be so many).
Personally, I wish to thank all the contributors, viewers, and promoters for their continuing support.
Finally, massive thanks to Ray for allowing me to pursue my objective. Without him, this site would not exist. “Nuff Said”.
Ray & Nigel