mercredi 30 octobre 2013

Petite histoire du Bermuda Ferry Service par le timbre

Il y a peu nous avons publié un clin d'œil à propos d'un ferry des Bermudes (pour le revoir, cliquez ici). Il s'agissait d'un timbre montrant un bateau à rames faisant le transport d'une rive à l'autre de passagers et bagages. 
Nos lecteurs sont formidables et merci à Sandra de Virginia de nous avoir communiquer les trois autres timbres de la série Bermuda Ferry Service.

Les Bermudes, archipel d'Amérique du Nord au large de la côte Est, est un territoire britannique d'outre-mer. Il doit son nom au navigateur espagnol Juan de Bermúdez qui le découvrit en 1515. L'archipel est devenu britannique en 1707 lors de la création de la Grande-Bretagne (union anglo-écossaise). Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, s'y installa une importante base militaire suite à l'accord de 1940 entre les États-Unis et le Royaume-Uni (Destroyer Deal). En échange de la cession de destroyers américains, les Américains se voyaient concéder pour une durée de 99 ans, une cinquantaine de bases dans les Caraïbes.


Pendant deux siècles les habitants de Paget (pour traverser la baie) et de l'île Somerset ont dépendu du service de ferries pour Hamilton, la capitale. De même, au nord de l'archipel, les îliens de St David pour rejoindre l'île de St George.
Ce service, d'abord assuré par des particuliers et des associations a petit à petit été repris par les instances gouvernementales, d'abord sous forme de contrat puis en direct.
Dans les 1870, Samuel Saltus Ingham faisait tourner deux vapeurs, Reliance et Dispatch entre Hamilton et les chantiers. Ils sont remplacés en 1886 par le Island Steam Service. En 1911, suite à différents incidents, coûteux pour les partenaires de la société, elle est fondue dans la Bermuda Transportation Company Limited. Cette dernière fonctionnait sur fonds publics pour des itinéraires peu fréquentés depuis Hamilton (Lower ferry et Ireland island) puis le service fut complètement repris par le gouvernement dans les années 1950.

For over 200 years, Paget and Somerset residents and dockyard workers have depended on Ferry Services from Hamilton, and for over a 100 years, St. David's Islanders required a regular service to St. George's. These services were provided by private individuals, partnerships and corporations, government contracts, and latterly the government itself. In the 1870's Samuel Saltus Ingham (Speaker in the House of Assembly) ran two steam vessels from Hamilton to the Dockyard ‑ the RELIANCE and the DISPATCH. The story goes that these ferries were always breaking down and one wag commented that "There was no Reliance in the Dispatch and no Dispatch in the Reliance"!.
This service was discontinued when in 1886 the 'Island Steam Service' partnership was born. In 1911, because of the personal financial risk facing the partners should there have been personal injury or death to the passengers, it was decided to incorporate and the 'Bermuda Transportation Company Limited' was formed. This company did have government subsidy contracts for certain of its less‑frequently used routes (such as Hamilton ‑ Lower ferry and Hamilton ‑ Ireland Island) but was taken over completely by the government early in the 1950's.



Des bateaux à rames assurèrent pendant deux siècles le ferry entre Hamilton et Lower Ferry ou Hodgson's Wharf à Paget. Il y a en avait également entre les îles du nord de l'archipel, St George, Smith ou St David. Un vapeur fut mis en service sur St George en 1886. Dawn appartenait à James Richardson.
Le timbre montre celui qui officiait entre Hamilton Old Yacht Club et Lower Ferry. L'un des plus célèbres rameurs-ferry est Walter Ingham qui commença à 15 ans le 18 février 1902. A l'époque, il y avait huit barques sur cet itinéraire dont quatre subventionnés. Il termina sa carrière, cinquante ans plus tard, happé dans les remous d'un gros cargo. Les ferries à moteur diésel mirent fin à ce service exotique…

The rowboat ferries travelled for over 200 hundred years between Hamilton and Lower Ferry and Hodgsons Wharf in Paget also there was a service between St. George’s, Smith Island and St, David's Island.
The St. George's ferry service by steam vessel began in 1886 with Mr James Richardsons DAWN. 
The 50c stamp shows one of the rowboat ferries that plied from the Old Yacht Club Steps in Hamilton to Lower Ferry or Hodgeon's Wharf, carrying both passengers and their bicycles as well as sundry packages. Typical of this service was Mr Walter Ingham who started as a boy of 15 on 18th Feb 1902. At the time there were eight boats on the run, four of which were government subsidised.
Mr lngham worked for Mr James DeShield who had a government contract until 1910, when he lost it to a lower bidder. The fare was1 1/2d at that time.
Between 1885 and 1890 Mr William Smith of Red Hole built a rowboat named VESTA of Cedar and Cypress, and Mr Ingham bought her for £12 in 1912, and operated her as a challenge to the subsidized boats. He operated from 6.30am to 6pm. and in summer as late as midnight between Hamilton and Lower Ferry.
At the age of 65 on 18th Feb 1952 he had rowed for fifty years and was the last of these stalwart men who made it their living. By then the fare had risen to 6d.
He had rowed over 200,000 miles (eight times round the world). When in his youth, he had made the Hamilton ‑ Paget run in two and a half minutes, but ordinarily five minutes was a good time.
Mr Ingham continued his service, but unfortunately while rowing around the stern of a large ship which was under way, he was sucked into the propellor and killed.
A Mr Atwood was on the Paget run before the turn of the century, and Mr Reginald Wenmtworth Stovell began in 1903. The diesel engine ferries finally put paid to this ancient charming, and much appreciated rowing service.



Ce timbre de 18 cents montre Corona qui fut construit comme ferry pour la rivière Hudson en 1892. Ce vapeur à coque acier de 30 mètres pouvait transporter 350 passagers. Racheté par l'Island Steam Service en 1902, il est mené de New York aux Bermudes à ses risques et périls compte tenu de son petit bord franc.
Il prend feu durant l'ouragan de 1906. Pendant sa remise en état, des structures latérales (sponsons) lui sont ajoutées ce qui augments son maître-bau de deux mètres et, par conséquent, sa capacité. Une nouvelle chaudière à charbon est achetée en Angleterre. Son nom lui vient du couronnement du roi Edward VII qui a eut lieu l'année de son achat. Utilisé sur la route des chantiers, Corona transportait les ouvriers et ramenait les passagers de Somerset à Hamilton. 

The 18c stamp depicts the CORONA which was built around 1892 as a Hudson River Ferry Boat. An iron hulled steamboat she was 90 feet long and carried 350 passengers. Purchased by the 'Island Steam Service' in 1902, she was brought from New York to Bermuda by Captain Henry Hollis of Baileys Bay during that summer. This was no mean feat, as she had little freeboard.
While lying at anchor during the hurricane of 1906, she caught fire. The superstructure was completely gutted and she was towed to White's Island where she sank in shallow water. She was refloated and taken to Pitt's Bay where she was rebuilt. Sponsons were added which increased the beam by 6ft and thus the carrying capacity. A new coal burning engine was purchased from Plenty and Sons of Yeoville in Somerset, England.
She was named CORONA as she was purchased in the Coronation Year of King Edward VII. Used on the run to the West End, she took dockyard workers from Hamilton in the early morning and took Somerset passengers to, Hamilton on the return trip.



Ce timbre de 60 cents montre la barge-ferry qui desservait Coney island, au débarquement. Elle a remplacé la barque à rames qui faisait le service auparavant. Le service sera interrompu par la construction d'un pont routier qui sera inauguré en septembre 1871. La barge Ro-Ro reprendra du service en septembre 1899 après le passage d'un ouragan qui détruisit le pont. Il sera reconstruit après 1918, ce qui sonnera le glas de ce service. 

The 60c stamp shows a barge tying up at the Coney Island Landing. In the early days of, Bermuda’s development St. George's was the Capital. The only way to travel from St George's to the remainder of the islands was by water transport. The main road from St. George's ran through Wellington for another mile on the peninsula to Ferry Point. A rowboat ferry carried passengers across about 100 yards of water to Coney Island in Bailey's bay from whence one could reach all points on the Main Island. Later the rowboat ferry was augmented by a barge which could carry horses and carriages as well as passengers.
In 1864 the construction of the Causeway began. This would join St. George's to the mainland via Lonqbird Island. This was completed and opened on 19th Sept. 1871 with a great celebration. For a time this made the Ferry Point ‑ Coney Island service superfluous.
However the joy and convenience were short lived as on the 12th Sept 1899, Bermuda suffered a devastating hurricane which destroyed the causeway, making the ferry a necessity once again. The causeway was rebuilt before the First World War, and this event closed the ferry service for good.



Ce timbre de 2 dollars montre Laconia, acheté par Bermuda Transportation Company en 1923. Sa chaudière à charbon est remplacée en 1940 par un moteur diésel à double hélice. Il est retiré du service en septembre 1963. On estime qu'il fit cinq cents miles par semaine durant ces quarante ans et transporta huit millions de passagers.
En octobre 1963, il est remplacé par un bateau à coque acier, équipé d'un moteur diésel Gardiner construit en Angleterre, qui relévera le nom. Il pouvait transporter 100 passagers.
Ce second Laconia a été vendu dans les années 1990. Renommé Sea Pudding, il effectua des croisières festives dans le port de Hamilton chaque soir avant d'être abandonné dans le port d'Ely où il se meurt.
Les deux Laconia servaient sur les routes de Hamilton, Paget et Warwick.

The $2 stamp shows the LACONIA which was purchased by the Bermuda Transporation Company Ltd in 1923. She was originally a coal burner, but in 1940 she was converted to a twin screw diesel.
She was withdrawn from service in Sept. 1963. It is estimated that she did five hundred miles per week during those forty years.
She had carried 8 million passengers and travelled over one million miles in service. She was towed out to deep water and scuttled.
In Oct. 1963 a second LACONIA was put in service. Built by Rowhedge Iron Works Company Ltd in the UK. she had a welded steel hull, a single screw, Gardiner diesel
6L3B engine developing 142.5hp. and was 42 tons gross and 19 net. Length 54ft 3in Beam 16ft. Drawing 6ft.
She carries 100 passengers. Both LACONIAS were used on the Hamilton, Paget and Warwick run.
The second LACONIA in 1990, is out of service and sold to become the SEA PUDDING which operated evening happy hour party cruyises in Hamilton Harbour.
The ferry is currently languishing on moorings in Ely's Harbour.

Aujourd'hui, tous les services de ferries des Bermudes sont gérés pour le gouvernement par le Department of Marine and Ports Service. Ils transportent environ 500000 passagers par an.

Today (1990) all ferry services are operated by the government under the Department of Marine and Ports Service. In total over 490.000 passengers are carried per year, providing for locals and visitors alike, convenient and scenic way to commute from the Dockyard, Somerset, Warwick and Paget to the Capital City of Hamilton.

Source : Bulletin des Postes des Bermudes de juin 1990 /Information from General Post Office, Bermuda. Published in Log Book June 1990.