CELEBRATIONS marked the one-year anniversary of a much-loved reinstated ferry service.
Mayor of Havant Elaine Shimbart cut cake and ribbon yesterday at a ceremony staged exactly one year since the return of The Hayling Ferry.
She was joined at the event by legendary dancer Wayne Sleep, who once again boarded the Pride of Hayling after declaring its community-led revival last year.
Mr Sleep, who has friends at Hayling Island, said: ‘It’s amazing what the people on the island have done to save this trip.
‘Because the powers that be would not continue it, saying it lost money, they’ve all come together and they’ve launched this ferry.
‘I thought ‘I wonder how long it will last’, well there’s the proof in the pudding – we’re a year on and it’s running fabulously.’
Councillor Shimbart heaped praise on to the efforts of local people to restore the ‘much needed’ ferry.
She said: ‘I know a lot of people have worked very hard to see that the Hayling Ferry is reinstated. It’s wonderful.
‘Hayling has a very good community and they all come together at times like this when something is needed.’
After a champagne reception at the nearby Ferryboat Inn, campaigners for the service enjoyed a VIP return voyage to the ferry’s landing at Eastney.
Cake was later cut in the pub, where visitors enjoyed live music.
Managing skipper of The Hayling Ferry, Colin Hill, praised the route’s revival, but said the job is not done yet.
He said: ‘This ferry is a little part of a vital link.
‘If the buses met either side it would make for superb public transport and more people would use it.
‘We’ve tried to lobby the bus company but they don’t seem to take any notice.
‘The buses are the weak link at the moment.’
The event came after the ferry announced in June it had transported its 40,000th passenger since its resurgence.