Campaign to save Paddle Steamer Ryde from demolition

A campaign is underway to save a paddle steamer that took part in the D-Day landings from being destroyed

Despite earning its place in maritime history by helping in the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, the future of the historic PS Ryde looks uncertain after its owner went into administration last year.

Originally commissioned in 1936 by Southern Railway to serve as a passenger ferry between England and the Isle of Wight, PS Ryde remained in service until 1969 when she was moved to Binfield Marina on the Isle of Wight.

Over the years she has fallen into a state of disrepair and on 20 March 2009 her owner, Island Harbour Holdings, went into administration.

Since then the Paddle Steamer Ryde Trust (PSRT) has been negotiating with agents of the administrators to acquire the vessel and move her to a shipyard for restoration.

Negotiations seemed to be going well but, according to a statement on the PSRT’s website, the relationship has now soured.

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The statement reads: “For reasons unknown to the Ryde Trust, it seems our negotiation to purchase the vessel from the administrators has failed, and rather than accept our offer, they seem to be heading towards the demolition of Ryde.”

The statement from PSRT asks supporters to sign its petition against the demolition as “not only should Ryde have some sort of legal protection, so should many other vessels of her historic nature”.