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September 28, 2009

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Ray Girvan

"This all does sound quite like an old common ferry to me, but if the good Cornish people felt it to be a bridge, then a bridge it is."

I guess it's slightly more snappy than "roll-on roll-off captive pontoon ferry"... I'm uncertain if I remember the one across Portsmouth Harbour http://www.history.inportsmouth.co.uk/events/floating-bridge.htm as I was only three when it was discontinued. But I do remember as a child that the ramp with the grooves for the chains was there for some years.

That "Mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction" account is also online, by the way: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mSQ4AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA57

John Ptak

How interesting that you have such a memory of Portsmouth Harbor, certain or not--its a good one. And thanks for the two links--I didn't know that The Mirrour was online.

Ray Girvan

The memory looks moderately accurate; this photo from 1960 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ce/Gosport_1960s.jpg - when the new ferry was already in service (from the pier, right, off the radially arranged gardens) shows the floating bridge beached nearby. Parts of the harbourside, well into the 1960s, were positively Dickensian.

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