We had to go to something called Reedham Ferry for lunch. For reasons too devious to mention here, Z drove. The satnav said it’d take 45 minutes, which seemed s bit much until we worked out that that included the ferry crossing time (see below). Anyway, after a couple of U turns we got there. That is, we got to the south (I think – the only compass points that seem to matter in Norfolk are east and, if you insist, west) side of the Yare. But the pub is on the north side.
So what you do is cross the river on the eponymous ferry. We’d done a bit of research and established that the thing to do is park on the south side and cross as pedestrians, which would cost us much less than taking the car over and then bringing it back again, which would anyway have been pretty pointless. (My brother and sister were both already on the right – I mean north – side of the Yare.)
So we parked up and got onto the ferry. It’s a very small chain ferry, crossing about 250 yards of river. A chain ferry drags itself across its stretch of water by winching a pair of fixed chains through cogwheels on the ferry and so dragging its cargo across and safely discharging it on the other side. There are ramps that enable roro. R opined that the chains were a bit shorter than they used to be and so higher in the water, which would make it a bit riskier to drive a boat over until the ferry had fully completed its voyage. But the boat drivers seemed to manage.Z and I stepped aboard. The price list said ‘PEDESTRIANS 50p’ and ‘MINIMUM CHARGE £1.50’, which was a bit confusing until the young man manning the ferry asked us if we were going to the pub, in which case it was free – at which point I remembered that I was in Norfolk.
Afterwards, I remembered the previous time I’d been on a chain ferry. Sandbanks to Shell Bay.