The Ferryboat Inn on Hayling Island joined Sir Richard Branson in donating to the Hayling Ferry Trust, helping to get the ferry back on the waters, before hosting a much longed for VIP launch celebration on Friday (5th August).
The ferry, which will bring holidaymakers to Hayling Island and save commuters a 16-mile road trip, set sail for the first time in over a year after a crowd funding effort, to which the community pub contributed £1,000 and supported the campaign.
Dancer and choreographer Wayne Sleep, who has links with Hayling Island; the Mayors of Havant and Waterlooville; Reverend Hayley Young; and the Royal Navy guard of honor, toasted ‘The Pride of Hayling’ at the sparkling event in front of local dignitaries, supporters and glitterati.
Manager of the Ferry Inn Edwina West said: “After new owners bought the boat last year, subsidies were pulled and the boat stayed in dock.
“Pubs are central to community so we were delighted do whatever we could to help raise the necessary cash to make this happen. It is down to the spirit of local people pulling together though that’s been powerful – it’s like a scene out of Nemo!”
The party organised by the Ferry Inn saw entertainment from popular local singer Chloe-Anne; a showcase of local talent displaying their wares; famous artists ‘Facepaint Fanatics’; and a media gathering to record the Pride of Hayling on her first official crossing since she was reinstated.
Queues of locals were able to take advantage of the £1 return ferry trips organised by owners Baker Trayte.
The Hayling Ferry trust led by local councilor Claire Satchwell aims to raise £40,000 to keep the ferry running and has so far raised £20,000.
Ferryboat Inn, Ferry Lane, Hayling Island P011 0DG
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