ON BOARD ST ANSELM & ST CHRISTOPHER
1: Car Decks, side lounges & Forward Bar
e-mail: matt@hhvferry.com
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Above: A view of the lower car deck on the St Anselm in 1980. The large ramps leading to the upper deck can be seen stowed in their usual position above. Such expensive features were not deemed necessary for the rival Spirit class of Townsend Thoresen, but Sealink had rather different requirements for their ships, especially concerning flexibility for future operations from ports not equipped for twin-level loading. Ironically, one of the Spirit ships, P&OSL Picardy (ex-Pride of Bruges, Pride of Free Enterprise) had such a ramp constructed but not fitted when it was anticipated she would transfer to the former railway route from Newhaven to Dieppe. The transfer never actually occurred however and it was the ex-St Anselm, as Stena Cambria, which both operated and closed the crossing for P&O Stena Line.
The C Deck accomodation (consisting of stores, crew mess rooms and crew cabins) can be seen overhanging the full-width car deck on either side, meaning the outside lanes on this deck can only be used by cars and not freight or coaches.
Click for full-size plan
Click above for a full-size General Arrangement plan for the Dover Saints when new
Above: As built the ships had only thirty passenger berths, all in two-berth cabins located on A and B decks (being the two decks which compose the upper vehicle deck). These were positioned outwards of the car deck itself which did not run the full width of the ship on these levels. For later employment within the Sealink/Stena fleet, some of these areas were appropriated for additional passenger lounges (including, at one stage, a childrens' play area). This view shows one such space, the Business Class lounge aboard Stena Antrim, on the port side of the upper car deck just ahead of the forward stairwell. Picture courtesy Gary Andrews
Above: The Canterbury Bar on the St Anselm as it was when she was delivered in 1980. Located in the forward area on Boat Deck, this space originally had a capacity for 214 people. On the 'Anselm' this sported a red and purple/maroon colour scheme and mixed bench-type sofa seating with individual armchairs and a variety of smallish circular and square tables. To one side a recess was was set aside for use as a small gaming area/casino, something which persisted through the British Ferries days.
Above: The ships' refits in early 1987 saw a significant amount of work done the forward bar areas, the overall aim being to make the area more like a traditional English pub. This view shows the effect of the work, inevitably rather less stylish than the Ward & Austin-designed original. Hanging on the walls in the background can be seen a variety of pieces of artwork - after transfer to Folkestone for 1990, the St Anselm featured a watercolour of the Horsa (the ship she had replaced on the Boulogne route) on the starboard forward bulkhead.
Above: Another view of the Anselm's Canterbury Bar showing how the sofa seating was clustered around very substantial casings which were covered with a wood-effect finish. These acted as dividers to split the lounge area into several smaller zones.
Above: A picture apparently taken on the St Christopher, showing how this ship had a slightly different colour scheme, with red individual chairs, predominantly brown sofas and red dividers.
Above: The bar area as it was when the ships entered service, showing a lineage and progression from the Senlac of seven years earlier.
Above: In Stena ownership further changes were made to the forward bar on each ship, although the basic layout of the bar remained, adjustments being largely restricted to upholstery and colour schemes. This view is on board the Stena Cambria in 1997. The bars were latterly the 'Cambria Sports Bar' on the Stena Cambria (ex-St Anselm) and the 'Forward Bar' on the Stena Antrim (ex-St Christopher).
Above & below: Two more views of the bars during the British Ferries era. The colour scheme is perhaps best illustrated in these pictures, consisting of much wooden panelling, etched glass dividing screens, brass fittings, rich red/maroon seating and walls of a similar colour.
Above: A close-up of the bar/servery on one of the sisters after the 1987 refit. The similarity to the bar aboard the Hengist and Horsa after their 1986 refits is noticeable.