Sketchbook Notes: East Portlemouth Ferry
As well as Harvest Reaper (the South Sands ferry), Salcombe has the East Portlemouth Ferry providing safe passage from the Ferry Steps across the water to East Portlemouth.
Why did I paint the East Portlemouth ferry?
When the Salcombe lifeboat (Baltic Exchange III) was first launched, it was put on display at one of the London Docks adjacent to the London Boat Show. Members of the public were invited to go aboard and explore this state-of-the-art rescue craft. The lifeboat crew were on hand to escort – and explain its features to – those who came aboard.
One visitor asked Tricky if he had another job in addition to crewing the RNLI craft. Tricky replied, with some pride, that he was a ferryman.
‘What sort of job is that!’ exclaimed the pompous visitor.
Tricky explained that the East Portlemouth ferry service operated every day of the year. It was an honour, he said, to fulfil the long-standing obligations of the ferry service, one which benefited inhabitants of Salcombe town and East Portlemouth, and visitors too. I witnessed this exchange and echoed Tricky’s defence of the importance of this ferry service, and its vital role for those who needed to cross the water. Mr Pompous was not convinced and, unfortunately, left before we could throw him in the dock.
Have you noticed that, during the quieter times, it always appears that the ferry is on the wrong side – the other side! – when you want it?
In my painting, I captured that classic moment, with the ferryman reading his book or newspaper.
Where can you see my painting of the East Portlemouth ferry?
The original painting of East Portlemouth Ferry was bought by a couple who live full time in Salcombe and it’s proudly on display in their lounge.
This image is, however, available as a limited edition print, and one owner of the LEP version is Sarah Parr who lives in Stockport in Cheshire. Sarah says: I have been visiting The South Hams literally all my life … My grandparents lived in East Portlemouth and I spent every summer and October half term holidays with them along with visiting other relatives who lived in South Pool, Slapton and Malborough. I have very fond memories of the area and absolutely love the picture of the ferry at East Portlemouth. I remember when the trip to Salcombe was 15p each way!
East Portlemouth Ferry is also very popular as a fine art greetings card. It is on sale in Bonningtons the newsagents, at Salcombe Information Centre, in Malborough Post Office, or direct from Beacon House Gallery.
The Sketchbook Notes series
This is one of the Sketchbook Notes, a series of posts explaining what inspired me to produce a particular painting.
If you own one of my paintings, or are just curious about an image, let me know; I’ll then write a blog post especially for you!