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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Threat to ancient river ferry
Hampton Loade ferry
The ferry is only one of two remaining in the world
A 400-year-old ferry crossing over the river Severn could close as the owners struggle to find the money for a new boat.

The Hampton Loade ferry near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, is believed to be one of only two of its kind remaining in the world.

The owners need 7,000 to replace the existing boat, which takes walkers across the Severn.

Operator Darren Page said that various money-making schemes are being tried to raise the cash, including an ale being served at a local pub.

Darren Page
Darren Page: Hopeful money can be found
The plans have been further hit by the threat of flooding this bank holiday weekend, which could mean the loss of lucrative trade.

"We need to get a new boat," said Mr Page.

"This one's all right for the summer season.

"But we've had floods this weekend and now the river has come up about seven feet and it's a bank holiday weekend.

"I don't know what's going to happen."

The ferry, attached to a cable across the river, has no power but uses the current to pull it across to the opposite bank.

Mr Page is still hopeful of raising the 7,000 required.

"We've got a lot of projects on the go already," he said.

"We're selling ferryman's ale at one of the local pubs and a pottery firm has supplied us with mugs with the ferry on them, which we are selling along with our own art work."

Click here to go to BBC Shropshire
See also:

29 Dec 01 | England
Restored ferry set for cast off
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