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Aust Ferry, Bristol

The Aust Ferry was a ferry service that operated across the River Severn in Gloucestershire, England, between the villages of Aust and Beachley.

Operated by Enoch Williams of the Old Passage Severn Ferry Company Ltd. Initially this was only able to transport passengers with bicycles and motorbikes, but by 1934 the Severn Queen was launched as a car ferry. Each ferry was able to carry just 17 cars. Each car had to turn sharply off the ramp onto the ferry, then be turned on a manually operated turntable before being parked. The process was reversed for unloading. The ferry timetable was notoriously affected by the huge tidal range on the Severn. It was unable to operate at low tide and at very high tides. The last ferry crossing occurred on 8 September 1966, the day before the first Severn Bridge opened.

The Martin Scorsese film No Direction Home about the life of Bob Dylan has a promotional shot of Dylan standing in front of the Aust ferry terminal in May 1966.

The last remaining ferry boat, the Severn Princess which had been launched in 1959, was found wrecked and abandoned in Ireland in 1999 by Dr. Richard Jones, the grandson of Enoch Williams, and returned to Beachley in 2003. The vessel is being restored at Chepstow after being found in Ireland full of fertiliser, and as of 2009 is proposed to form part of a maritime exhibition.

 

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9 comments

  1. Thanks for the update. No idea re: Timber but hope you find out!

  2. It’s owned by the local authority’s and is in the process of being done up. It’s on the bank by the skip yard in Chepstow. A mate is involved in working on it. Buts it’s going to take a very long time as its in a right old state.
    I’ve been trying to work out what timber was used on the deck? Anyone know?
    I’ve been searching but so far a blank.
    Thanks in advance
    Scott

  3. Not sure anyone owns it really. The crown paid compensation to the operators when the bridge opened for lost of living

  4. If nobody owns it, I’d like to fix it up and move in! Somebody somewhere must own it. If only I could find out who????

  5. Another stunning location.
    Do you have an address for this location?

    Regards
    james.

  6. I don’t think anyone owns it, it’s just rotting away on the edge of the river.

  7. Hey brilliant pictures. Was wondering if anybody knew any contact details for this place as I’d like to use it as a film locations. Any idea who I could contact about that? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks

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