Pride of Place is an amazing project organised by The Caravan Gallerywhich is a collaboration between artists and photographers Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale in partnership with local arts organisations in the UK. Part evolving exhibition, part alternative visitor information centre, these projects give local people an opportunity to explore their surroundings in a creative way by contributing to the exhibition.
So far the projects have taken place in Portsmouth, Oxford, Litham St Annes, Liverpool, Wirral, Huntley, Guernsey and now Southampton – with the support of an Arts Council England Strategic Touring grant.
The exhibition continues in East Street Southampton throughout November
“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 theIsle 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 theBeach Guideand 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 Discoverfor what to see and do in Southampton.
When I saw these vintage penny arcade machines at Portsmouth’s Historical Dockyard, it brought back so many happy childhood memories of going to the Southsea funfair with my parents. I loved the puppets so much and could remember exactly what would happen before I put my coin in. I am so happy to find that they still exist in a museum.
In response to the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Fun
One of the ways we can tell if someone was brought up in a local area of England is the way that they pronounce place names. They often sound nothing like they are spelled. I follow a blog called Travel Much by Olive Ole who often gives some wonderful recipes from Norway. The latest being her home-made burgers (to die for) using Worcestershire Sauce(click HERE for Wiki origins). I have always been led to believe that Worcestershire Sauce originated in Bengal, India and it was brought back to Worcestershire in England and enhanced by two chemists Lea & Perrins. I make my own version and call mine Elephant Sauce(a family joke).
After informing Olive Ole of how impressed I was after making her recipe, this funny conversation took place:
Olive Ole: Oh maybe you can help resolve the argument I have with Sir Nerdalot at the moment. He claims that Worchestershire sauce is pronounced Woster sauce! How dum is that! If they want it pronounced as Woster, then they should spell it that way! I say it like Wor-Chester-Shire-Sauce, and the Nerd giggles!
SOL: He is right I am afraid. UK English has a number of names like that. Magdalene College in Oxford is pronounced «Maudlin College» It was a popular way to catch out spies during WW2.
Olive Ole: Noooooooooo! Ah! The teasing will be endless! Or I could just not admit to him that he was right! Yup, that is my best option!
(after this I accidentally posted this reply to Poet Rummager – another interesting blogger I follow, instead of to Olive Ole)
SOL: Further to the Woster confusion – this you tube lesson may be of interest: https://youtu.be/9q7VjLVU8Ec (this is a hilarious YouTube post about pronouncing British Place names by Anglophenia – if you click this it will help understand how different place names can sound from how they are spelled)
Poet Rummager: That was hilarious! I got, maybe, 2 right!! Wow, go me. Thanks for the link — I feel so stupid now. Haha! How do you pronounce Southampton? I bet I’ve been saying it wrong all this time. Wanna bet??
SOL:I am going to have to do a blog about this – it has made me laugh so much. Southampton is as it looks. For nearly every town or village older than 1776 in England, there is a town or village of that name (some with the additional New in front) in North America and many of those names also in Australia, as it referred to where those people (colonists) settled from. Many WordPress visitors first think I am from Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. (There’s 3 places from England) There are also Southamptons or South Hamptons in Pennsylvania, California and Ontario. They all sound the same with a soft ‘p’.
Olive Ole replied to your comment ‘I am going to have to do a post about this – it’s so funny’. Haha! Looking forward to read it (but wont show it to hubby)
(Then after I sent the original reply to Olive Ole):
Olive Ole:hahahaha love the link! And although I am not American, I would say most of those names fairly similar to the american…
Let us not even begin to get into long Welsh names or those from the rest of the UK.
But my question today is: Are there any English place names that you discovered you have been pronouncing differently?
I returned home yesterday from visiting friends abroad. The view of England from the plane was one of waterlogged wheat fields and mossy-looking bog. I took quick snap-shots from the Southern Network train from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Central. It all looked green and glorious with the sun going down. More like April that January.
I have seen a few seasons like this in my time. When people worked hard to pay rent or mortgages and made great efforts to build up their homes, Mother Nature came along and just laughed at them.
In December, farmers that waited to bring in crops for the Christmas tables have suffered, as have field-reared animals such as sheep.
Predictions for 2016: Being a glass half-full person though, I predict a good building industry using new innovative technologies. I predict a good production of crops in Britain later in the year. Lamb and beef will be expensive, but pork and chicken will be cheap and people will try other birds like partridge. People will give locally grown foods their strong support, but there will be a big demand for imported exotic things like bananas, coffee, rice and especially pineapples. Mushrooms will be added to everything, Brussel sprouts will be eaten all year. Salads and chillis will grown in window boxes. British beer and even wine will become a world-wide trend and, of course, there will always be whiskey in the jar-o.