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New Lundy Ferry at Bideford

Bideford town celebrates the new Lundy ferry.

News 1985 2 mins

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


A new ferry doubles as a supply ship and is based at Bideford. The Motor Ship or MS Oldenburg can hold up to two hundred and fifty passengers and runs supplies all year round to Lundy as well as carrying visitors to the islands in the summer months. MS Oldenburg was a German vessel bought by Lundy Co Ltd to replace the transport boat the Polar Bear. The ship was refurbished at Appledore Shipyard and received new engines.

The Landmark Trust runs the ferry and since its purchase Bideford quay has been revamped, Ilfracombe has a new pier and Lundy installed a new jetty. Oldenburg takes up traditional centuries old routes around the Bristol Channel to Gloucester, Clovelly, Swansea and Porthcawl. Lundy is known as Puffin Island and offers beautiful wildlife and an interesting history. Its owner Martin Harman set up a private postal service and since 1974 the Lundy puffinage stamp is accepted for sending mail. The minted coins displaying Harman's head did not however take off as they contravened UK law and trod on Palace toes. Puffin pennies may be sold as mementos but are not legal tender.