Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Last Ride

My grandfather used to boast that he was the last person to ever use Surlingham Ferry. It happened this way.

He was a doctor and while acting as a locum in the 1960s he was called out after midnight on a stormy night to attend a woman in Surlingham who had just gone into labour. He arranged for Tom Ellis (the son of local naturalist Ted Ellis) to row him across the ferry. Halfway over they noticed that the boat was filling up with water in a way that could not be attributed to the torrential rain. As they stepped out of the dinghy it sank into the water never to rise again. He sprinted up the road with soaking wet clothes and found that his patient had her baby without him. (She was mortified, he remembered, that the doctor had come round and the house was 'in a mess')

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