Volunteers get to work ahead of Beccles ferry launch

Eric Wareham, Graham Elliott, Yanny Mac from the Big Dog Ferry with Natalie Clement From Tescos. Th

Eric Wareham, Graham Elliott, Yanny Mac from the Big Dog Ferry with Natalie Clement From Tescos. The community run ferry is looking to create a new picnic/ waiting area - Credit: Nick Butcher

The Big Dog Ferry will be back on the water next month and work is set to begin to spruce up the pontoon area ahead of its launch.

The ferry provides a 40 minute boat journey along the River Waveney between Beccles Lido and Geldeston Locks and plans include creating a picnic/waiting area for passengers at both ends of the route.

Volunteers will begin work at Beccles Lido in the coming weeks, and will be clearing and planting around the river’s edge to make the area more attractive for passengers.

Eric Wareham, ferry skipper and director of Beccles Lido, said: “We want to develop the area so we have seating for our passengers waiting for the next ferry and provide an area at both ends where they can sit and have a picnic.

“We want to improve the service and make it a nice day out for people.”

The team have attracted the support of Tesco in Beccles, which has supplied them with seeds, bulbs, compost, tools, diaries, mobile phones and refreshments to help them work.

Natalie Clement, community champion at the Beccles Tesco store, said: “They asked if we could help out with what they are doing so I told them to give me a shopping list of what they needed. We were happy to support it because it’s such a great project.”

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Following on from last year’s success, with a record number of passengers, the team have decided to launch the ferry even earlier this year on March 28, and run through until the end of October, with trips departing five times a day subject to weather conditions.

The ferry team will be holding their launch fundraiser at Beccles Public Hall on Saturday, April 11, with a show by tribute band More Madness. Back by popular demand, the band will be performing from 8pm to 11.30pm. Tickets cost £8 in advance or £10 on the door from 01502 770060.

The team have also pledged to take part in a bag pack at Tesco in the town to raise further funds.

Anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the work, or who can offer some materials for the picnic area, is asked to call Mr Wareham on 01508 548733.

Full details about Big Dog Ferry and the operating times can be found at www.bigdogferry.co.uk

Have you got a story from the Beccles area? Are you raising money for something special or holding an event? Email the details to amy.smith@archant.co.uk