A historic Worcester tradition has returned to the city.

The Cathedral Ferry, which transports people from one side of the River Severn to the other, returned today (Sunday, April 9) for the first time since September last year.

It’ll be there every Sunday and bank holiday Monday afternoon for the rest of the summer.

Worcester News: Stephen Cope was in charge of the ferry on its return to the SevernStephen Cope was in charge of the ferry on its return to the Severn (Image: NQ)

But there would be even more chances to experience the traditional river crossing if there were more volunteers.

Stephen Cope was the man in charge of the ferry on its first day back. He explained how he got involved with the Cathedral Ferry.

READ MORE: Cathedral Ferry returning to Worcester on Sunday, April 9

“It was 2013 and we’d had the great idea to go to the beer festival,” he said. “We were walking along the river and thought the ferry looked nice.

“I asked the chap how he’d got involved and he said he’d just volunteered. So it went from there.

Worcester News: Stephen hard at work transporting passengers across the riverStephen hard at work transporting passengers across the river (Image: NQ)

“They ask if you're handy with a boat and if not, they train you up. You get training in boat handling, boat safety, first aid and more.

“Then you take a boat handling test in front of three or four of your peers and if they are satisfied that you’re competent and safe, you become part of the programme.”

Stephen said that with more people to operate the ferry, it could also open on Saturday afternoons in the summer.

“We need more volunteers,” he said. “They are everything. Without them, it doesn’t exist.

Worcester News: The ferry raises money for good causesThe ferry raises money for good causes (Image: NQ)

“There seems to be an inertia around volunteering at the moment. It disappeared during the pandemic but three years on, people seem to have gone back to their normal lives.

“This is slow and steady - you’d only be doing about one afternoon a month during the summer, then there’s the odd day we need help with something else such as moving the boat - it lives in Shrub Hill and has to be pushed by hand to Lowesmoor.”

The ferry was busy on its first day back, with couples and families happy to pay the modest 50p fee for a quick ride on the river.

You can experience the Cathedral Ferry for yourself on Sunday and bank holiday Monday afternoons, boarding is near the Diglis House Hotel or on the other side of the river, near the rowing club.