In response to the WordPress Photo challenge. This week: Transmogrify
In response to the WordPress Photo challenge. This week: Transmogrify
“Been to Southampton beach yet?” – is a common joke older students ask Freshers when they arrive to start their new course at University. Most of the beaches in the UK are pretty, so many coming to study assume that as Southampton on the very edge of the sea in the south must have a good beach.
If they did their research they would realise that Southampton is one of the biggest industrial ports there is. Its coast is taken up with docks, crammed with shipping vessels and harbours boxed up with metal containers that arrive and depart all over the world. Residents are blocked off from a view of the sea, apart from a few spaces to get a glimpse of light dazzling on the waves of Southampton Water, such as Mayflower Park (SO14 2AQ).
There were attempts in the early 1980s to boost tourism. A sand beach was built near Mayflower Park to welcome Carnival Line and to tempt cruise liner passengers to stay for a day. The cash injection did not work and landed us in debt, so it was not kept up. For any day trippers today there is an excellent walk around the old city walls (guided by volunteers even) lined with ancient pubs, five stunning parks – the odd museum and ancient plaques stating what or who used to be here.
In Jane Austen’s time Southampton was a fashionable spa town. Most of Southampton’s elegant buildings were Blitzed during WW2 and being an important financial hub and port, white concrete architectures was quickly thrown up. Most of the tourism to Southampton today is for its diverse range of live music and arts and festivals. West End theatre shows that tour usually start here. Sadly the city no longer worries about holiday-makers and has no tourist office – (though you can get info online and leaflets from the library) – but provides excellent transport links for cruise ship passengers to get to other more desirable destinations quickly, whether its London (70 minutes) the New Forest (10 minutes) or Stonehenge.
We tend to swim at a pool or in one of our rivers. As for beaches Southampton is surrounded by the most beautiful beaches, so why compete? It would not take you long to get anywhere along the Jurassic Coastline. You can take a short ferry ride to the Isle of Wight , a train to Bournemouth a taxi to Southsea. Not to far by car you can visit Lepe, Hayling Island, Brownsea Island, Sandbanks (29 miles), Hengisburty Head (21 miles), Barton on Sea or Highcliffe (Click on the Beach Guide and look under Hampshire and Dorset).
Greater Southampton does have beaches though, but these are not as pretty and take just as long to get to as those outside of its boundary.
Our beaches are mainly used for water-sports, as Southampton Water and the Solent are incredible tests for such enthusiasts. They are of pebble, not sand, they have views of residential or factory blocks, even an oil refinery.
There is Weston Shore in Netley and Calshot Beach (officially in Southampton and on Southampton Water but part of the New Forest) SO45 1BL.
Click Discover for what to see and do in Southampton.
While the world plays Pokemon-Go – the people in Southampton are walking around and searching for painted zebras. A few years ago it was rhinos in collaboration with Marwell Zoo. It was such a success that we now have these zebras with sponsored themes.
So here are some photos of a few of my favourites – I must confess I did not take the details of all of them – one of the best bloggers for these is on the WP site “I Walk Alone” so seek her out for some lovely walks.
Vandals have stolen some of them; one also with a Beatles theme, named Ticket to Ride featuring buses, was found floating along the River Itchen and rescued by a youth sailing team.
For more zebra photos and an interesting article from a ‘crazy’ tourist who flew to Southampton on a day trip click: here
For an avid walker who seems to be getting them all (though you might need to register on her site) – I Walk Alone – click: here
While visiting various ports in the South of England this weekend, it was clear that recent events have lead to increased security of our coastline and of all events that take place on them.
A random attack of a crowd in London by a mentally ill ‘lone wolf’ – has reinforced that Britain is not exempt from what is happening in other parts of the world.
This together with recent cases of drug-smuggling fishermen and people-smuggling yachts that arrived at “less busy” ports and marinas, has led to increased vigilance.
All photos © Southampton Old Lady. This post may be re-blogged, but please seek my permission to use photos not pertaining to this article.
Canoe on Southsea prominade, Hampshire, England.
In response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Narrow
Visitors from around the world, but especially from North America, emerge from cruise ships at Southampton Docks and head immediately for London or Stonehenge. Many stay at the prestigious Grand Harbour Hotel on West Quay without knowing that their country’s heroes had stayed on that very piece of land before sacrificing their lives.
This historically, was the site for troops to be stationed before going off to wars, from Agincourt to The Falklands.
WW2 allied troops would have health check-ups and their vehicles disinfected. Servicemen would kill time playing cards and etching their names on the red-brick boundary wall. One of the most prolific times was when North American service personnel were stationed here during the run up to the D-Day manoeuvres.
When the site was demolished, local people campaigned to keep the brickwork of names standing as a monument. Unfortunately, with no glass or perspex covering these names deteriorate each year. Responsibility for the wall shifts from pillar to post.
After some research on the internet I found one man who, in despair, felt it important to catalogue the names that were still legible some years ago. However even by the time I took this photo, last year, some of those have disappeared.
Here is the list according to that person, some of the names are still very readable:
W.E SHIRK, Wm MUELLER, CLEMTATIO, JOE HAMMOND, H.L. EATHERINGTON – ZION T/S, ROBERT M RAY & DAVE RAY OHIO, ROBERT GOLDEN, Geo FABER OF COLO, JAMES HENLEY, LAWRENCE MATHIS 1941 DEC 23, JAMES ?, DES PENNY, VIRRLA PENNY, CALAVERY AMER ? ?, D CHICAGO ILLINOIS, F.F JOHNSON USA, JOE N JONES DEC 22 1944, D.W SMITH, J.C KELLOE, CHARSTON S.C, BILLIE WILSON, P.W ?- AAL, RALPH ODEL, J.L PLIEL, JONY JOHNSTON, BILL ? URBAN, W KNIGHT
And hidden behind dustbins a small demolished section of this wall in jumbled order
M.P CARTER AUG 44, M J WOMPON FEB 45, ?F RECINE – OCT 10,1944 FRANCE, P.D B?EECH – CATAWISSA PENNA, J.C CHRISTEN ?, N ALDEN BOLL M???NN, G.N BUNKER ? – CITY IOWA – 1945 BALTIMORE, EDDIE MEYER ILLINOIS 17/21/44, JOHN HELMLIIIO ELYRIA OHIO 11-4-44, DOOLING – BEVERLY MASS, R FINN, J.E WETTA- CALLAWA MIAMI FLORIDA LAB RY MT NC, ED C??BA??K – BOUND BROOK, JO COURT, ?.M SLATER MAY 13 1937, VANEE, MARTIN VA
Post: 6th JUNE, 2016
IN HONOUR OF D-DAY HEROES, 6th JUNE, 1944
Things are busier than ever with our attempt to move and live on a boat at the moment. I haven’t time to devote to well-researched thought-out posts. Instead I have found a lot of what I want to write about already out there.
Four years ago Southampton had a big commemoration – 100 years since the sinking of The Titanic.
Why is it so important to us? Well, out of over 900 crew members 750 were from Southampton. Unless you were in charge of a lifeboat – most of them drowned.
Repercussions of that event over a Century ago are still felt in Southampton today.
If you are interested here is a BBC Documentary presented by Bernard Hill, the British actor who played Captain Smith in the Cameron film. It’s about 25 minutes long, so unless you are interested in Southampton or The Titanic, you are forgiven if you don’t click:
While browsing in some of the boat yards around Southampton and Solent area – I took these snaps (© Southampton Old Lady) :
Southampton Docks is packed with Mass Transit scenes. Every type of vehicle from Rolls Royces and Land Rovers to JCBs and camper-vans, are exported around the world. Southampton was once “Home of the Ford Transit”. This was a Ford factory that produced white (though sometimes other colours) commercial vans, which employed thousands of people in my home town.
One of my first posts was about trying to keep the factory alive, but eventually it was demolished: https://wordpress.com/post/southamptonoldlady.wordpress.com/738
This has been in response to Cee Photo Challenge: Mass Transit:
Today’s colour challenge: RED
The Calshot Spit at Southampton Docks © 2015 Southampton Old Lady
… in response to the Colour Your World Photo Challenge whereby there is a different Crayola crayon colour prompt for each day. To see more or take part yourself visit: http://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/03/24/color-your-world-red/