Transmogrify: West Quay

forest-view
West Quay from Forest View, 2016 © Southampton Old Lady
west-quay-from-forest-view
West Quay from Forest View, Southampton 1880

In response to the WordPress Photo challenge. This week: Transmogrify

 

Advertisements

Been to Southampton beach yet?

“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.

p1080712
This is not our beach, it is a make-do place at the Town’s quay to see a glimpse of water and sunbathe

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).

southampton-port
The Port of Southampton is one of the worlds most productive and busiest

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.

caribean-festival-southampton
Southampton’s artificial beach at the town quay in the 1980s

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.

p1090175
The Jurassic coast line that stretches from Hampshire to Cornwall © Southampton Old Lady

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.

P1090080
Weston Shore, as seen from Victoria Country Park, Southampton

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.

p1090071
Another view of Weston Shore across to the 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.

calshot-beach
Calshot Beach is excellent for sailing, windsurfing and has an olympic sports centre. It is one of the best place to see ocean-liners arrive and depart and has a fort built by Henry VIII

Click Discover for what to see and do in Southampton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zebra Go

P1160642
Print Primary Zebra contrasts with Southampton’s freshly cleaned Bargate

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.

P1160652
Judge Zebra Below Bar – with reference to when Southampton’s Bargate was once a court.

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.

P1160647
The Wheels on the Bus Zebra en-route from West Quay shopping centre
P1160999
Abbey Road Zebra by Watts Park entrance

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.

P1160658
A beautiful Ocean Zebra in St Michael’s Square
P1170023
Jigsaw Zebra. You never know who will be dropping by while you are at a Mettricks having coffee in Southampton.
P1160660
Sharknado Zebra outside the old town walls at Western Esplanade
P1160989
Foxy Zebra in front of Southampton Guildhall

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

Security Heightened on South Coast of England

Portsmouth Harbour Heightens level of response against terrorist threats August 2016 © Southampton Old Lady
Portsmouth Harbour Heightens level of response against terrorist threats

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.

P1160850
Helicopter checks on boats that arrive at Gosport Marinas without the obligatory radio call
P1160480
Prosecutors of the three men jailed in two cases of smuggling Albanians here, said Chichester Marina had no border controls

 

All photos © Southampton Old LadyThis post may be re-blogged, but please seek my permission to use photos not pertaining to this article.

The D-Day Wall

The boundary wall of the troop embarkation site at West Quay. © Southampton Old Lady
The boundary wall of the troop embarkation site at the side of the Grand Harbour Hotel West Quay.

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.

Southampton. The day before D-Day
Southampton. The day before D-Day
Port from lift of Grand Harbour Hotel
Port from lift of Grand Harbour Hotel

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.

Southampton Docks. Convoy during peparations for D-Day
Southampton Docks. Convoy during preparations for D-Day
Drawing by Major Joseph C. Hazen, Jr The Empire Javelin in which 15th Army Headquarters was being transported to France, she struck a mine on December 28, 1944 in the English Channel and sank.
Drawing by Major Joseph C. Hazen, Jr. The Empire Javelin in which 15th Army Headquarters was being transported from Southampton to France. She struck a mine on December 28, 1944 in the English Channel and sank.
North American servicemen's names etched on to the D-Day wall. © Southampton Old Lady
North American servicemen’s names etched on to the D-Day wall. © SOL

P1110781

P1110780

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

 

Titanic Southampton Remembers

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:

http://wp.me/p6jveM-zH

Trawling the boat yards

Map of The Solent (courtesy of Solent Boatshare, based on the Itchen River in Southampton). It shows the Isle of Wight surrounded by the Hampshire coast from  The New Forest to Portsmouth and on to Chichester. The Solent is one of the most popular places in Europe for sailing.
Map of The Solent (courtesy of Solent Boatshare, based on the Itchen River in Southampton). It shows the Isle of Wight surrounded by the Hampshire coast from The New Forest to Portsmouth and on to Chichester. The Solent is one of the most popular places in Europe for sailing.

While browsing in some of the boat yards around Southampton and Solent area – I took these snaps (© Southampton Old Lady) :

Repairs being carried out on two of the "Dunkirk Little Ships. At the end of May 1940, at the government's request, thousands of boats set sail to rescue almost a quarter of a million Allied troops who had retreated from Hitler's forces onto the shores of Dunkirk. This is where the phrase "The Dunkirk Spirit" was coined.
Repairs being carried out on two of the “Dunkirk Little Ships”. At the end of May 1940, at the government’s request, thousands of boats set sail to rescue almost a quarter of a million Allied troops who had retreated from Hitler’s forces onto the shores of Dunkirk. This is where the phrase “The Dunkirk Spirit” was coined.
These were once ship lifeboats that were sold off for scrap. Six do-it-yourselfers snapped them up to be convert them into homes for themselves.
These were once ship lifeboats and sold off for scrap. Six guys snapped them up to convert them into homes for themselves.
These ex-life boats are very secure and dry. more spacious than they look - each a bright floating tardis
These ex-life boats are very secure and dry. more spacious than they look – each a bright floating tardis
A weekend boat-builder working on his project
A weekend boat-builder working on his project
All boat junk might come in handy
All boat junk might come in handy

P1150801_2

Used fenders anyone?
Used fenders anyone?

P1150805_2

 

 

 

In dry dock - waiting for anti-fouling.
In dry dock – awaiting a coat of anti-fouling.
Tide is out under Itchen Bridge
Tide out under Itchen Bridge. Southampton is unique with two tides a day
Bobbing together
Bobbing together at the Town Quay

P1110072

A house with boat. You see quite a few of these in Southampton.
A house with boat outside. You see quite a few of these in Southampton
house with boat and mooring.
And a few of these: House with boat and mooring.
chink, chink
chink, chink
Good night
Good night

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Challenge: Mass Transit

Southampton was once "Home of the Ford Transit"
Southampton was once “Home of the Ford Transit”

Docks-caravans-1

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:

https://ceenphotography.com/2016/04/26/a-photo-a-week-challenge-mass-transit/

Colour Your World: Red

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/
Red boat in barbed wireP1130120

 

P1130122