Prince George Opens Harwich Ferry April 24th 1924 Opening ceremony of the continental train ferry link between Harwich and Zeebrugge
These postcards mark a milestone in transport history. At 11.00 am on 24th April 1924, the young Prince George performed the opening ceremony of the continental train ferry link between Harwich and Zeebrugge.
Escorted by Sir Cyril Butler and the Mayor Mrs Lucy Hill and other dignitaries, the Prince officially set the bridge in motion at the train ferry terminal. Though the wheel turned by the Prince looked the part, it was just stage dressing – the real operation was controlled elsewhere. The rails from the Quay were designed to fit those on the leaves of the ferry, allowing the trains to continue from land to sea without unloading making the transition much quicker and cost effective.
A fleet of three ferries were to operate this service. It was a successful innovation as the Harwich link continued until 1987. There is video footage on-line of this event which covers the following
Click on the links below
Prince George Opens Harwich Ferry Prince George arrives with an array of dignitaries. He performs the opening ceremony at Harwich Harbour to inaugurate the train ferry crossing to Zeebrugge. Prince George turns a wheel and the leaves of the ferry lower to meet the Quay. The rails from the Quay fit those on the leaves of the ferry, allowing the trains to continue from land to see without unloading. We see wagons roll onto the ferry. Prince George watches from a balcony. There is a long shot of the crowds watching on the Quay. The ferry, Train Ferry No. 2, leaves. There is a shot of the crowd showing a boat steaming past in the background. Prince George leaves with the dignitaries.
Prince George Inaugurates New Zeebrugge M/S of Prince George, Duke of Kent and son of King George V, dressed in Naval uniform, walking along a wooden pier with several dignitaries and Naval officers. The dignitaries crowd around as the Prince turns a handle on a small pillar. L/S of the ferry moving away from the dock into the sea, on board the ferry are the freight wagons of a train, the words - 'Train Ferry No. 2 London' - are painted on the stern.