Donations flood in to repair Big Dog Ferry

Crew of the Big Dog Ferry raise money outside Tesco in Beccles on International Talk Like a Pirate D

Crew of the Big Dog Ferry raise money outside Tesco in Beccles on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. - Credit: Archant

An appeal to get the broken down Big Dog Ferry back in the water has taken a step forward following a fundraising event at Tesco in Beccles.

The ferry carries passengers on a 40-minute journey along the River Waveney between Beccles Lido and Geldeston Locks but is currently out of action and in need of a new engine.

Now, the crew is trying to raise the money needed to carry out the repairs and, if possible, buy a new engine.

Yanny Mac, ferry helmsman, said they needed several hundred pounds to repair the current outboard petrol engine but several thousand to replace it with an inboard diesel.

Fundraising kicked off on Saturday with the collection at Tesco at which the Big Dog herself made an appearance and more than £500 was raised.

Mr Mac said: “Turn-out was fantastic. The staff all joined in, dressing up and decorating the store.

“Once again, the Waveney Valley community stepped up to save a community project, run by the community, for the community.

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“We are humbled by their generosity.”

The next event which will benefit the ferry appeal is the Waveney Valley Conkers Tournament which takes place next Sunday, October 4, at The Locks Inn in Geldeston.

Now in its ninth year, the tournament is open to everyone, with prizes for the winning adults and juniors and for the best dressed conker. Mr Mac said: “After the summer we have had, the conkers are going to be great this year,

“We can provide the conkers and string but people are still welcome to bring their own - anything goes.”

The event is suitable for all the family and there will be a barbecue and music throughout the day, including an appearance by local folk band Addison’s Uncle.

Registration is from noon and entry is £2.

The night before the big event, an adults fundraiser is being held at The Locks Inn featuring comic DJs Thyroid and Vincent, Radio Four’s John Osborne, comedian Tom Clutterbuck and guest conkers referee Patrick Lappin.

Entrance is free and people can turn up on the evening, with doors opening at 7.30pm.

More information about the Big Dog Ferry is available at