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Former Hythe Ferry skipper John Malkinson dies aged 92

THE former skipper of Hythe ferry, John Malkinson, who was at the helm for more than 30 years, has died aged 92.

John joined the operation in 1963 and is estimated to have made over 100,000 journeys during his three decades of service.

He was born in Southampton and grew up in the Second World War with the constant threat of Luftwaffe air raids on the city.

John Malkinson with son Patrick
John Malkinson with son Patrick

Following in his father’s footsteps, at 16 he joined the Merchant Navy with his first vessel being the Union Castle mail ship, Carnarvon Castle.

He served more widely in the Union Castle fleet before moving to Cunard to work on the Queen Mary and the Mauretania before taking employment locally, working on land reclamation at Calshot.

John began working on the Hythe ferry in 1963, making around 80 trips weekly as well as commanding charters.

John began working on Hythe ferry in 1963
John began working on Hythe ferry in 1963

He retired in 1995 to make way for his son Patrick – who continues to skipper the ferry.

A spokesperson for the Hythe Pier Heritage Association said: “Longserving members of the ferry staff will remember John as an amiable, if no-nonsense, colleague, whilst the travelling public will remember they were always in a safe pair of hands.”

Hythe ferry operations manager Sath Naidoo described him as “the last of his kind”.

John is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Gina and Theresa, son Patrick, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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