British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesIsle of Wight FerriesPast and PresentSealinkSouthern RailwaySouthern Region

PMV Farringford – Past and Present

PMV Farringford


Steel double ended diesel-electric paddle vessel built in 1947 at Wm Denny & Bros Ltd., Dumbarton (Yard No. 1402) for British Railways Board, London, England as a passenger and vehicle ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 54.26 m (overall) 49.38 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 15.19 m
  • Depth: 3.05 m
  • Draught: 1.829 m
  • Tonnage:489 gross/322.33 net/85 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 4-stroke single acting 6-cylinder English Electric diesel connected to electric motors
  • Power: 492 kW/660 BHP
  • Speed: 10.5 knots (10.75 knots trial)
  • Capacity: 320 passengers and 36 cars or 796 passengers only
  • Call Sign: GTCS
  • IMO Number: 5112731
  • Official Number: 167938
  • Port of Registry: Southampton/UK


Ordered by Southern Railway at a cost of £125,713.

March 21st 1947: The Farringford was christened by Mrs Biddle, wife of Mr R P Biddle (Southern Railway Docks and Marine Manager).

March 24th 1947: Launched. Diesel-electric paddle because the Voth-Schneider works in Germany had been bombed.

Seen in her original condition with single short mast and short exhausts

January 1st 1948: To British Transport Commission, Southern Region.

January 23rd 1948: Trials. Her side paddle wheels could be worked independently of each other and she had four rudders, one at each quarter.

February 6th 1948: Delivered to Southampton; suffered weather damage en-route.

 Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

February 27th 1948: After repairs sailed on a demonstration and press cruise.

March 1948: Based at Lymington.

© Peter Longhurst  Roy Thornton Collection

© Peter Longhurst (Left) and Roy Thornton Collection (Right)

October 27th 1967: Left Yarmouth in a 70 mph gale and, failing to enter the Lymington River, put back to Yarmouth. Sailed next day to record the longest ever crossing of 16 hours.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones (Yarmouth, 16/07/1972)

November 8th 1973: Made her final sailing Lymington – Yarmouth.

January 15th 1974: Towed to Hull by MASTERMAN (United Towing) for the Humber Ferry service. Docked to be converted to side loading. Bow and stern ramps removed and replaced by sliding bulwarks.

November 12th 1977: Overhaul and modernisation took six weeks. (Discovered that her entire hull below the water -line required re-plating at a cost of £140,000)

January 1st 1979: To Sealink UK Ltd.

© Simonwp  © Simonwp

© Simonwp (New Holland, 13/03/1979) (Left) (New Holland, 17/03/1979) (Right)

February 1980: Off service twice with mechanical problems.

June 26th 1981: Took the last Humber crossing after the opening of the Humber road bridge.

June 1981: Laid up at Alexandra Dock, Hull.

October 1981: Sold to Western Ferries (Argyll) Ltd, Glasgow for intended use on their Gourock – Dunoon crossing.

March 5th 1984: Never having moved from Hull, sold to John Hewitt, Heddon for scrapping. Demolished at Silcock’s Basin, Hull shortly afterwards.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: A G Jones, Peter Longhurst, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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