This project was largely research based, photography is a fabulous tool for capturing whilst researching a sentiment.
I wanted to look at the importance of the ferry that runs between Plymouth city and Cornwall. Originally a country estate the ferry was largely for looking after mail, staff and gentry from the house but it now runs largely as a tourist venture. The irony is that although its use is no longer classified as essential without it there could be no tourist trade for the estate and no trade means no estate. It is a piece of the puzzle we are programmed to miss like a bus journey, we are programmed to ignore the inbetween elements that happen daily in favour of the start and end points of our journeys.
The Ferry has been running since the 1500’s and was originally the only ferry to serve the river route between Devon and Cornwall, it was responsible for all the mail delivery between the counties. It has been hand rowed by workers, horse’s with their carriages have been carried across on it and the gentry have traveled its route for hundreds of years before it reached its current status.
The ferry which runs now, works for on average of 16 hours a day and is 80 years old, she was built specifically for the job and has been sunk by bombs in the war, grounded in bad weather, used as a replacement lifeboat in an emergency. She has been rebuilt several times changing from steam power to gasoline driven and is constantly being repaired as a wooden hulled ship but she keeps running.
The current skipper has worked the boat since he was a boy when his father skippered it and it is absolutely brimming with stories and histories. The trip on the ferry is so much more than an 8 minute journey across the river Tamar to reach Cornwall and Edgecumbe, it is a lifeline, a historical monument and an adventure running in all weathers. A Journey shared with you by a family that includes all who run it and all who sail on her.