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Appeal to help save the Horning foot ferry just weeks before start of holiday season

PUBLISHED: 09:17 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 26 February 2018

Dave Scragg (front) and Chris Nicholson on the Horning Foot Ferry. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Dave Scragg (front) and Chris Nicholson on the Horning Foot Ferry. Picture: ANDREW STONE

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A call to help save the Horning Foot Ferry has been issued just weeks before the start of the holiday season.

Dave Scragg using his music talent on the ferry. Picture: Maurice Gray Dave Scragg using his music talent on the ferry. Picture: Maurice Gray

The ferry, which operates on the River Bure near The Ferry Inn Horning, faces an uncertain future after it was revealed the engine needs a costly overhaul or to be completely replaced.

Operator Dave Scragg said the ferry had been running across the river in one form or another for centuries taking holiday makers and locals from Horning to Woodbastick Staithe.

He said: “In the last 20 years its history has been somewhat chequered and there have been years when it hasn’t operated.

“Last year, we managed to bring the Horning Foot Ferry back into service, providing a valuable service, ferrying holiday makers, tourists, locals, dogs, cyclists and all manner of other creatures across the river, benefitting businesses in the area as well as the local community.”

Broads Rangers, Broad Beat and supporters with the first cyclists on the ferry last year. Picture Maurice Gray. Broads Rangers, Broad Beat and supporters with the first cyclists on the ferry last year. Picture Maurice Gray.

Mr Scragg said while there was a “minimal charge” to use the service, the ferry was not run for profit and all money made went back into fuel and maintenance.

He said towards the end of last season they had also operated as a water taxi for a trial period, bringing passengers from one end of the village to the other and beyond.

“We have been provided with funds that will allow this to happen for the whole season this year,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we have a problem with our ferry boat engine.

The Horning Foot Ferry is appealing for assistance to get a new engine. Picture: Maurice Gray The Horning Foot Ferry is appealing for assistance to get a new engine. Picture: Maurice Gray

“The poor old Lister diesel engine is now in need of major repair and it has really shown itself as not the best environmental option in terms of pollution and noise.

“Repairs have been done in the past on the cheap but it’s now come to the time where its needs to be overhauled or replaced with a good secondhand engine,” said Mr Scragg.

He said they had been offered a quieter, cleaner option but need help to purchase it.

“Last autumn, we started a crowd funding page to help to raise £2,500 to get the ferry fully operational for this year.

Norfolk Broads, National Park. Horning.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY Norfolk Broads, National Park. Horning. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“Sadly, so far, we are well short of that total.”

The ferry operates seven days a week during the summer season and saves a long trek of up to 14 miles via Wroxham Bridge and Salhouse. To assist visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/horningfootferry

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