Big Dog Ferry up and running between Beccles and Geldeston

A ferry that travels along a tranquil stretch of the River Waveney has been saved after Beccles Lido took on the responsibility of running it.

The Big Dog Ferry has provided a picturesque service between Beccles and the Locks Inn at Geldeston, but after being brought back last year it was under threat when skipper Paul Aldis said he could not continue.

However, Beccles Lido stepped in to take on the ferry and with the help of the Broads Authority and Graham Elliott, Waveney district councillor for Beccles, the boat has been launched once more.

The ferry, which can carry up to 12 passengers, offers a 40 minute journey between the Waveney town and village, with kingfishers, marsh harriers and otters among the wildlife often spotted.

Mr Elliott said: 'It links two fantastic facilities. Beccles Lido, which is newly refurbished and thriving, with Geldeston's Locks Inn, an iconic Broads pub.

'What better way than another Broads attraction, the Big Dog Ferry, to take you along one of the quietest and most beautiful parts of the Broads?'

The ferry was set up by Mark Ford in 2006, but after three years it was stopped for two seasons before Paul Aldis, of Worlingham, took on the responsibility and set up at Beccles Lido.

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Mr Aldis is unable to continue running the ferry service due to health reasons but Beccles Lido were keen to step in as director Shaun Crowley said it had become an integral part of the outdoor swimming pool's facilities.

The Broads Authority also helped the community-run charity by ensuring all of the necessary registration and licensing was done correctly.

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman said: 'This is a rather wonderful part of the Broads and to be able to come from Beccles to Geldeston and back is something I'd recommend to many people.

'The north Broads are better known but there is tranquillity here. I think the ferry is a wonderful addition, and we were pleased to help out.'

The Big Dog Ferry will run five times a day under skippers Paul Temple and Carl Murray.

Booking is recommended and for more details call 07532 072761 or visit www.bigdogferry.co.uk

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