LOST FOR 77 YEARS
HMS Urge was a British U-class submarine of the second group of that class, built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 30 October 1939 and was commissioned on 12 December 1940. From 1941-2 she formed part of the Submarine Flotilla based in Malta and was the only Royal Navy ship to have borne the name. Urge spent most of her career operating in the Mediterranean, where she damaged or sank a number of mostly Italian warships and merchant vessels and took part in special operations. She was commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Edward P. Tomkinson, DSO, RN. In 1975 a building at HMS Dolphin in Gosport was named after Lieutenant-Commander Tomkinson, alongside others named after other leading Royal Navy World War II submarine captains. Reports in late October 2019 stated that remains of the submarine had been found off the coast of Malta.
HMS Urge put to sea on April 27th but failed to make an expected rendezvous in Alexandria on May 6th. with 29 crew and 10 passengers. Until the discovery of her wreck in 2019, her final fate was not completely certain. It was believed that the submarine was most likely sunk by a mine (while she was still on the surface) soon after exiting the Grand Harbour. Other reports suggested the vessel was sunk by an Italian dive bomber while attacking an Italian ship off Libya. The explosion was so violent that the bow of the submarine became detached and she sunk suddenly, with no survivors. 
The Second World War submarine which was built with money raised by the people of Bridgend, South Wales, has now been found 77 years after vanishing with 44 people on board in 130 metres (430 ft) of water two miles off the coast of Malta. The search was conducted by staff from the University of Malta, in an area that had been heavily mined during the war. The UK Ministry of Defence confirmed the wreck is the missing submarine. The wreck has heavy damage to the bow consistent with striking a mine. The rest of the wreck is said to be in "fantastic condition." A ceremony to declare the site an official war grave will take place in April next year.

 

SOUTHSEA CASTLE
Southsea Castle, historically also known as Chaderton Castle, South Castle and Portsea Castle, is an artillery fort originally constructed by Henry VIII on Portsea Island, Hampshire, in 1544. It formed part of the King's Device programme to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire, and defended the Solent and the eastern approach to Portsmouth. The castle was built on the southern end of Portsea Island to protect a deep-water channel running through the Solent to the royal naval base at Portsmouth. Work began in early 1544, under the overall direction of Sir Anthony Knyvett, the Governor of Portsmouth, supported by Richard Cawarden, the Dean of Chichester, and John Chatterton, the captain of the Porstmouth garrison; Thomas Bertie was appointed as the master mason. It is uncertain who designed the castle, although Knyvett described it as being "of his Majesty's own device", which typically indicated that the King had taken a personal role. The castle had a square central keep, two rectangular gun platforms to the east and west, and two angled bastions to the front and rear. The defences were upgraded throughout the century due to the fears of a French invasion and formed part of the plan for defending Portsmouth during the First World War. In the interwar years some of the fortifications were stood down, but the castle saw service again in the Second World War, when it was involved in Operation Grasp, the seizure of French naval vessels in Portsmouth harbour. In 1960, Southsea Castle, by now obsolete, was sold to Portsmouth City Council. It was restored to its pre-1850 appearance and opened as a tourist attraction, receiving over 90,000 visitors from 2011–12. 
The castle houses a collection of cannon. Two of these, a 68-pounder (30.8 kg) and an RML 9-inch 12 ton (22.8 cm 12.192 kg) gun, are location in the grounds, and within the castle itself is a 24-pounder (10.8 kg) from HMS Royal George, an RML 9 pounder 8 cwt (4 kg 406 kg) and two hexagonally rifled Witworth 3-pounder (1.3 kg) breech-loaders dating from 1876. The castle is protected under UK law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

 

HMS ROYAL OAK
HMS Royal Oak was one of five Revenge-class battleships built for the Royal Navy during the First World War and this week commemorates the 80th anniversary of her sinking.  Launched in 1914 and completed in 1916, Royal Oak first saw combat at the Battle of Jutland as part of the Grand Fleet. On 14 October 1939, Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-47. Of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 834 were killed that night or died later of their wounds. The loss of the outdated ship—the first of the five Royal Navy battleships and battlecruisers sunk in the Second World War—did little to affect the numerical superiority enjoyed by the British navy and its Allies, but the sinking had considerable effect on wartime morale. Before the sinking of Royal Oak, the Royal Navy had considered the naval base at Scapa Flow impregnable to submarine attack, and U-47's raid demonstrated that the German Navy was capable of bringing the war to British home waters. The shock resulted in rapid changes to dockland security and the construction of the Churchill Barriers around Scapa Flow. 
Despite the relatively shallow water in which she sank, the majority of bodies could not be recovered. The wreck of Royal Oak, a designated war grave, lies almost upside down in 100 feet (30 m) of water with her hull 16 feet (4.9 m) beneath the surface. In an annual ceremony to mark the loss of the ship, Royal Navy divers place a White Ensign underwater at her stern.   
Marked by a buoy, the wreck has been designated a war grave and all diving or other unauthorised forms of exploration are prohibited under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.[126] In clear water conditions, the upturned hull can be seen reaching to within 5 metres of the surface. 
A memorial at St Magnus Cathedral in nearby Kirkwall displays a plaque dedicated to those who lost their lives, beneath which a book of remembrance lists their names. This list of names was not released by the Government until 40 years after the sinking. Each week a page of the book is turned. The ship's bell was recovered in the 1970s and, after being restored, was added to the memorial in St Magnus. Twenty-six bodies, eight of which could not be identified, were interred at the naval cemetery in nearby Lyness.

 

WHERWELL
Wherwell is a village on the River Test in Hampshire, England. The name may derive from its bubbling springs resulting in the Middle Ages place name “Hwerwyl” noted in AD 955, possibly meaning “kettle springs” or “cauldron springs.” Pronunciation of the name has ranged from “Hurrell” to “Wer-rel” to present-day “Wher-well.” 
Before the Dissolution, the parish of Wherwell was in the hands of an important abbey of Benedictine nuns, whose abbess was Lady of the Manor of an area much larger than the existing parish. 

The town is associated with the Cockatrice. The story is that the cockatrice terrorised the village until it was imprisoned in the dungeons below Wherwell Priory. A prize of land was offered to anyone who could kill the creature. None were successful, until a man named Green lowered a mirror into the dungeon. The cockatrice battled against its own reflection until exhausted, at which point Green was able to kill it. Today there is an area of land near Wherwell called Green's Acres. For many years a weather vane in the shape of a cockatrice adorned the church of St. Peter and Holy Cross in Wherwell until it was removed to Andover Museum. 

 

A CENTURY OF TRANSPORT (1) 
In 1977 a hundred years of transport in the Portsmouth area spanned an era which linked horse trams and stage coaches with the hovercraft and motorway? Few parts of Britain have known such a variety of public transport, to say nothing of the stillborn brainchilds of inventors.
In August 1878, the Portsmouth NEWS recorded the sale at Tatersalls of the 55 remaining horses which had speeded passengers between the coaching inn staging posts along the road to London. By then the steam engine had outpaced the horses, which had sold for an average of 45 guineas.
Railways, which had sounded the death knell of another system of transport that left its mark on Portsmouth - the Chichester and Arundel canal - were a little tardy in actually reaching the port. By 1841, the permanent way was serving Southampton, Brighton and Gosport. The Portsmouth traveller wishing to catch a train had first to cross the water to Gosport Hard, and then make his way to the railway station threequarters-of-a-mile away.
This humiliating state of affairs continued for more than five years. Then direct links with the capital were established via Chichester (1847) and Eastleigh (1848). Not for another eleven years did Portsmouth get its own direct line via Guildford in 1859.
Our pictures show  tramcars in the garage ready to go on the road with one close up, both in the mid-1880’s.

 

FARLINGTON
Farlington is a district of Portsmouth and is located in the north east of the city and is not actually on Portsea Island  Farlington was incorporated into the city in 1932 and now forms a continuous development with Cosham and Drayton.
Farlington was a small rural community for the majority of its existence. In 1891 a racecourse, called 'Portsmouth Park', was built in Farlington, between the Havant road and the shoreline. This new course was built with all of the modern facilities available at the time, including its own railway station, with the intention of turning it into premier tracks. However race meetings were suspended during World War One and the War Office turned the course into one of the country's biggest ammunition dumps. After hostilities ceased, the War Office held control of the site and it was not released until 1929 when it was bought by Portsmouth City Council. The council then sold on the land for private housing development, eventually leading to the end of Farlington as a distinct community. 
Farlington is also home of the Portsmouth Water Company's filtration beds. In 1812 Thomas Smith built a reservoir to hold spring water from Farlington Marshes. The marshes now constitute a renowned nature reserve which hosts a vast number of migratory, overwintering wildfowl, including Brent Geese, Wigeons, Teals, Avocets, Redshanks and Dunlins. The waterworks were built in 1908 and by 1924 there were five reservoirs and eight sand filters. Many of the local roads to the north of the Havant Road were named after senior company officers. Amongst these are Grant, Woodfield, Galt, Gillman and Evelegh. 
The parish of Farlington has two churches - the ancient parish church of St. Andrew, as shown in our picture, and the Church of the Resurrection. St. Andrew's is situated at the eastern end of the district on the main Havant Road. Adjacent to the church on the west side once stood Farlington House which was demolished in the 1960s to make way for a new housing estate that extended Old Rectory Road. The Church of the Resurrection was built in 1930 and is geographically located in Drayton.
Farlington was also home to Farlington Redoubt which was part of the ‘Palmerston’s Folly’. defence ring of forts around Portsmouth. They were built to protect the city from a possible French invasion. The defences were ordered by the then Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. However, peace with France ensued before the defences were finished, hence the title "Palmerston's Folly". The redoubt was demolished in the early 1960s; however some of the other forts still remain, such as Forts Purbrook, Widley and Southwick. 

w image with text >>

SEABORNE ON AIR

A hovercraft is an amphibious  craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. 
Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull  that is slightly above atmospheric pressure. The pressure difference between the higher pressure air below the hull and lower pressure ambient air above it produces lift, which causes the hull to float above the running surface. For stability reasons, the air is typically blown through slots or holes around the outside of a disk- or oval-shaped platform, giving most hovercraft a characteristic rounded-rectangle shape. Typically this cushion is contained within a flexible "skirt", which allows the vehicle to travel over small obstructions without damage.
The first practical design for hovercraft was derived from a British invention in the 1950s to 1960s. They are now used throughout the world as specialised transports in disaster relief, coastguard, military and survey applications, as well as for sport or passenger service. Very large versions have been used to transport hundreds of people and vehicles across the English Channel whilst others have military applications used to transport tanks, soldiers and large equipment in hostile environments and terrain.  
The idea of the modern hovercraft is most often associated with a British mechanical engineer Sir Christopher Cockerell. Cockerell's group was the first to develop the use of a ring of air for maintaining the cushion, the first to develop a successful skirt, and the first to demonstrate a practical vehicle in continued use. 
Cockerell came across the key concept in his design when studying the ring of airflow when high-pressure air was blown into the annular area between two concentric tin cans (one coffee and the other from cat food) and a hair dryer. This produced a ring of airflow, as expected, but he noticed an unexpected benefit as well; the sheet of fast moving air presented a sort of physical barrier to the air on either side of it. This effect, which he called the "momentum curtain", could be used to trap high-pressure air in the area inside the curtain, producing a high-pressure plenum that earlier examples had to build up with considerably more airflow. In theory, only a small amount of active airflow would be needed to create lift and much less than a design that relied only on the momentum of the air to provide lift, like a helicopter. In terms of w imageIn terms of power, a hovercraft would only need between one quarter to one half of the power required by a helicopter. 
Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, is the home of the Hovercraft Museum, which houses the world's largest collection of hovercraft designs, including some of the earliest and largest. Much of the collection is housed within the retired SR.N4 hovercraft Princess Anne. She is the last of her kind in the world. There are many hovercraft in the museum but all are non-operational. 
Hovercraft are still in use between Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Southsea on the mainland. The service, operated by Hovertravel, schedules up to three crossings each hour, and is the fastest way of getting on or off the island. Large passenger hovercraft are still manufactured on the Isle of Wight. 

 

 

SEABORNE ON AIR
A hovercraft is an amphibious  craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. 
Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull  that is slightly above atmospheric pressure. The pressure difference between the higher pressure air below the hull and lower pressure ambient air above it produces lift, which causes the hull to float above the running surface. For stability reasons, the air is typically blown through slots or holes around the outside of a disk- or oval-shaped platform, giving most hovercraft a characteristic rounded-rectangle shape. Typically this cushion is contained within a flexible "skirt", which allows the vehicle to travel over small obstructions without damage.
The first practical design for hovercraft was derived from a British invention in the 1950s to 1960s. They are now used throughout the world as specialised transports in disaster relief, coastguard, military and survey applications, as well as for sport or passenger service. Very large versions have been used to transport hundreds of people and vehicles across the English Channel whilst others have military applications used to transport tanks, soldiers and large equipment in hostile environments and terrain.  
The idea of the modern hovercraft is most often associated with a British mechanical engineer Sir Christopher Cockerell. Cockerell's group was the first to develop the use of a ring of air for maintaining the cushion, the first to develop a successful skirt, and the first to demonstrate a practical vehicle in continued use. 
Cockerell came across the key concept in his design when studying the ring of airflow when high-pressure air was blown into the annular area between two concentric tin cans (one coffee and the other from cat food) and a hair dryer. This produced a ring of airflow, as expected, but he noticed an unexpected benefit as well; the sheet of fast moving air presented a sort of physical barrier to the air on either side of it. This effect, which he called the "momentum curtain", could be used to trap high-pressure air in the area inside the curtain, producing a high-pressure plenum that earlier examples had to build up with considerably more airflow. In theory, only a small amount of active airflow would be needed to create lift and much less than a design that relied only on the momentum of the air to provide lift, like a helicopter. In terms of THE MIXED-UP ONE
Crazy and mixed-up, are you in a right pickle? No, not that but I’m thinking of a ship. Have you ever heard of HMS Pickle? - well, she was very famous.
HMS Pickle was a topsail schooner of the Royal Navy. She was originally a civilian vessel named Sting, of six guns, that Lord Hugh Seymour purchased to use as a tender on the Jamaica station. Pickle was at the Battle of Trafalgar, and though she was too small to take part in the fighting, she was the first ship to bring the news of Nelson's victory to Great Britain. She also participated in a notable single-ship action when she captured the French privateer Favorite in 1807. Pickle was wrecked in 1808, but without loss of life. In 1995 five replica Baltic packet schooners were constructed at the Grumant & Askold shipyard in Russia. One, named "Alevtina & Tuy", was in 2005 renamed "Schooner Pickle", although not a replica of HMS Pickle, to represent the 1805 vessel for the 200-year Trafalgar celebration. Retaining her adopted name, she is berthed in Hull Marina on the Humber. The vessel, owned by Historic Motor and Sail, is kept as a representation of the original Pickle and can be seen at ports throughout the East coast of England during the summer months. 
Originally named Sting, Pickle was built in 1799 in Bermuda, where this type of vessel was known as a Bermuda sloop. Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour, the commander in chief on the Jamaica Station, formally purchased Sting in December 1800 for £2,500, after having leased her for some time at £10 per day. His purchase was in defiance of orders not to purchase vessels. However, faced with a fait accompli, the Admiralty issued an order in February 1801 that her name be changed to Pickle. 
During the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805), Pickle and the other small vessels kept well back from the fighting, as a single broadside from a ship of the line would have sunk her instantly. Pickle herself was stationed to the north-west of the weather line, where Nelson was leading HMS Victory into battle. 
The prisoners in Pickle outnumbered her crew three-to-one, and were heard plotting to take her over to take her into Cadiz. Pickle's crew kept a particularly sharp watch over the prisoners, and nothing happened.
Pickle was the first ship to bring the news of Nelson's victory at Trafalgar to Great Britain, arriving at Falmouth on 4 November 1805, after a hard voyage in bad weather. Vice Admiral Collingwood, who had assumed command after the death of Nelson, chose her to carry his dispatches describing the battle and announcing Nelson's death. Collingwood sent Pickle, captained by John Richards Lapenotière, back to Britain with the dispatches telling of the great victory. This was a signal honour for any junior officer, as it almost guaranteed promotion. After arriving in Falmouth, Lapenotière took a chaise to London to deliver the dispatches to the Admiralty, stopping 21 times to change horses. The Admiralty duly promoted him to Commander for this service, and the Committee of the Lloyd's Patriotic Fund gave him a sword worth 100 guineas and £500 in cash. The route that Lapenotière travelled is now known as The Trafalgar Way.

 

BREAD BY HORSE & CARRIAGE
120 years ago there was Newton Bakery in Bishops Waltham. The house and the bake house were in The Avenue and were built in 1899 by a Mr Mogg and it was not very long after that when the business was taken over by Mr Albert William Batchelor and his wares were delivered by horse and carriage like the one in our picture.
At the time the bakery would have been in direct competition with a Mr H. Smith who also has a bake house at the end of The Avenue situated behind the Post Office on the corner. His business also changed hands to a Mr Ted Hands who joined it to the number of business in the village.
There was certainly plenty of competition in the bakery trade and there was another sale in 1922 when Sidney Mesher took over. He ran the business for some years, until 1939 in fact, when Walter Stainer took over. He must have been quite a young man as already a Master Baker at 26 years old, he retired forty-five years later in 1985. The business was then bought by Mr and Mrs Blandford who kept the name of Stainers as it still is today.

 

VICTORIA AND ALBERT
Victoria and Albert was commissioned at Portsmouth 23 July 1901 by Commodore the Hon. Hedworth Lambton, who hoisted his broad pennant. Nearly all the ship's company of 230 men of the old HMY Victoria and Albert II were transferred to the new yacht, which with an additional 100 men had a total ship's company of 336.
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visited their new yacht in early August 1901, and used it for the first time when crossing the English Channel on 9 August 1901 to attend the funeral in Germany of the King's sister, Empress Frederick. She was the base for the royal couple during the fleet review held at Spithead on 16 August 1902 for the coronation of King Edward VII. Following the review, the royal couple toured the West Coast of Scotland and visited the Isle of Man, before the Victoria and Albert took Queen Alexandra to Copenhagen for her annual autumn visit. In late 1902 she was docked for several months to be fitted with telescopic masts. King Edward later used the yacht for summer cruises most years of his reign, visiting various countries in Europe. 
Victoria and Albert later served King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI, and took part in two fleet reviews (in 1935 and the Coronation Review of the Fleet, 1937), but was withdrawn after the latter and decommissioned in 1939. She served as a depot ship during the Second World War, as an accommodation ship to HMS Excellent, and was broken up in 1954. 
During 1947, while moored alongside at Whale Island, her caretaker was Mr J.G. "Tom" Cox BEM, RN. He was responsible for the care of her contents, some of which were selected for eventual use in HMY Britannia. 
Although there were plans for a new yacht to be built these were suspended due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Eventually HMY Britannia replaced Victoria and Albert in 1954 and she was the first Royal Yacht not to be powered by sail. It was built for Queen Victoria, but she never stepped on board, concerned about the yacht's stability. King Edward VII did sail on the Victoria & Albert, mainly in local waters and the Mediterranean. Having served four sovereigns over 38 years and not left Northern Europe since 1911, the Victoria & Albert was decommissioned in 1939. She was eventually broken up for scrap at Faslane in 1954

 

THE ROYAL MARINES BAND TRIBUTE
The Royal Marines Band Service is the musical wing of the Royal Navy and currently consists of five Bands plus a training wing the Royal Marines School of Music at HMS Nelson. Its headquarters is at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth. It is currently the only branch of the Royal Marines which is open to women, although women are scheduled to begin Commando training in 2018.
The development of music in the Royal Marines is inextricably linked with the evolution of British military bands. Lively airs and the beat of the drum enabled columns of marching men to keep a regular step. The drum was the normal method of giving signals on the battlefield or in camp.  
Without doubt, groups of musicians existed in the Service before 1767, when Royal Marines Divisional Bands were formed at the naval dockyard-bases of Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth and the naval gathering-point of Deal in the Downs, and Marine bands (along with professional bands paid for by captains) plus their respective corps of drums provided music on board ships before and during battles of the Napoleonic Wars (e.g. during the long sail into action at the Battle of Trafalgar). 
Five Royal Marines earned the Victoria Cross in the First World War, two at Zeebrugge, one at Gallipoli, one at the Battle of Jutland and one on the Western Front. After the war Royal Marines took part in the allied intervention in Russia. In 1919, the 6th Battalion RMLI rose in mutiny and was disbanded at Murmansk.
By the end of the Second World War, 225 musicians and buglers had been killed in action, which was a quarter of their strength at the time, and the highest percentage of any branch of any service, after Bomber Command. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the service moved to Malvern, then divided with the Junior Wing moving to the Isle of Man and the Senior Wing to Scarborough
At approximately 8.20 am on 22 September 1989, the Royal Marines School of Music at the Royal Marine Depot, Deal was bombed by the IRA; this resulted in the death of eleven Royal Marines Musicians. A memorial garden is now situated in the grounds of the old barracks where the bomb went off. This was built in remembrance of the eleven who died. Our top picture shows the band marching through Portsmouth in 1905 the other two of the Band today.

 

ALTON

Alton is between Farnham 9 miles (14 km) to the northeast and Winchester 16 miles (26 km) to the southwest. London is 52 miles (84 km). Nearby Brockham Hill, situated 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) northeast of Alton, rises to 225 metres (738 feet) above sea level. The nearby village of Bentworth is the highest village in Hampshire.

A battle was fought in Alton during the during the English Civil War. A small Royalist force was quartered in the town when on 13th December 1643 they were surprised by a Parliamentary army of around 5,000 men. The Royalist cavalry fled, leaving Sir Richard Bolle (or Boles) and his infantry to fight. Outnumbered, the Royalists were forced into the Church of St Lawrence, where Bolle was killed along with many of his men. Over 700 Royalist soldiers were captured and bullet holes from the battle are still visible in the church today. 
In 1665, Alton suffered an outbreak of bubonic plague, but soon recovered. On Saturday, 24 August 1867, an eight-year-old girl, Fanny Adams, was murdered in Alton. Her assailant, Frederick Baker, a local solicitor's clerk, was one of the last criminals to be executed in Winchester. Fanny Adams' grave can still be seen in Alton cemetery. The brutal murder, so the story goes, coincided with the introduction of tinned meat in the Royal Navy, and the sailors who did not like the new food said the tins contained the remains of "Sweet Fanny Adams" or "Sweet F A". The expression "sweet fanny adams" has an old-fashioned slang meaning of nothing.
Jane Austen Regency Week is a celebration of the time the author Jane Austen spent in Alton and Chawton and is held in June each year.
The Allen Gallery serves as Alton's art gallery. It houses a large, permanent ceramics collection as well as temporary exhibitions.
Holybourne Theatre is on the site of a former Nissen hut that was converted into a theatre by German prisoners-of-war during World War II. Plays have been performed there since 1950, but the official opening was not until 1971. 

 

PS WAVERLEY
PS Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world. Built in 1946, she sailed from Craigendoran on the Firth of Clyde to Arrochar on Loch Long until 1973. Bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), she has been restored to her 1947 appearance and now operates passenger excursions around the British coast. 
Since 2003 Waverley has been listed in the National Historic Fleet by National Historic Ships UK as "a vessel of pre-eminent national importance".
PS Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott's first novel. She was built in 1946 to replace a PS Waverley that was built in 1899, served in the Second World War as a minesweeper and was sunk in 1940 while helping to evacuate troops from Dunkirk. Shipbuilders A. & J. Inglis of Glasgow launched the new 693 tonne steamer in October 1946. She entered service with the London and North Eastern Railway in June 1947, working the LNER's Firth of Clyde steamer route from Craigendoran Pier, near Helensburgh, up Loch Long to Arrochar. In her first year in service she wore that company's red, white and black funnel colours. 
The 1948 nationalisation of Britain's railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970. 
After a revival of fortunes in the 1950s, the 1960s saw a gradual change in holiday habits that led to a decline in passenger numbers and the closure of many of the small piers. Since 1969 and the formation of the Scottish Transport Group, the CSP had been gradually merging with the West Highland shipping and ferry company David MacBrayne Ltd. In 1973 the company became Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd (CalMac).
The 1948 nationalisation of Britain's railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970. 
Waverley has had several colour schemes in her life. Early photographs show paddle boxes painted sometimes white and sometimes black. The gold stripe along the hull is in some photos and not others. Today Waverley has the LNER 1947 livery of red, white and black funnels, traditional brown-grained (or "scumbled") superstructure and black paddle-wheel boxes, decorated with gold lettering on each side.

 

LINK TO A NAVAL TRAGEDY
Dockyard bosses ran into trouble when they decided to take down the original St Ann’s Church in the yard and build another. They found the first church, built in 1704, was constructed on consecrated ground and they had to apply to Winchester Cathedral to have it deconsecrated.
The second St Ann’s Church and the one which still stands today, was opened in 1786. 
Another famous part of the Navy’s history in Portsmouth is mixed up in the story of St Ann’s. The bell of the Royal George which sank at Spithead on 29th August, 1782, was salvaged from the wreck and put in the church. The disaster which befell the Royal George was one of the city’s great naval tragedies. She took 673 crew with her. A subsequent court martial found she had been so long neglected that decay had eaten ’deep into her vitals’. On the day concerned, the underwater parts of the ship had literally dropped from under her.
During the second world war the church was bombed and the ship’s bell was smashed. A new one was made from the fragments found, and a new one was cast. The bell still hangs in St Ann’s to this day.
The wreck of the Royal George, which had been a menace to shipping for sixty years, was removed in 1940 when she was blown up. 

 

THE FIRST ONES
The first postcards in Britain were produced in 1870 by the Post Office. They were plain with a printed stamp already on the address side. On 1st September, 1894, the Post Office allowed cards printed by other people to be used, with an adhesive stamp placed on the address side.
Rapidly printers started producing cards with a small picture, with sufficient space to write around it, as only the address could be written on the stamp side. In 1902, the Post Office changed the rules to allow full ;pictures to be printed on one side and half of the address side to be used to be used for a message. Britain was the first country in Europe to allow this practice.
From September 1902, manufacturers started printing a vertical line to divide the address from the message. Instructions were printed on the left hand side: “You may now write your message in this space”.
The Edwardian period was the height of postcard sending and there were several deliveries each day. Local messages could be sent and an answer received the same day, or certainly the next.
Old postcards are invaluable in showing the development of our towns, how the buildings have changed, just like ours of Portsmouth Grammar School in 1903 below. Old forms of transport, and even disasters such as fires, floods and shipwrecks were often subjects used. 

 

CONDUIT HOUSE
The Franciscan Friary of Southampton was founded c.1233. It occupied a south-eastern area of the city, within the walls and adjacent to God’s House Tower.. The friary was notable for its water supply system, which supplied water for use by the friars themselves and by the other inhabitants of Southampton. The friary was dissolved in 1538 and the last remains were swept away in the 1940s. The site is now occupied by Friary House. Elsewhere, remnants of the extensive water supply system still survive today. 
Conduit House, was a remnant of the medieval water supply system devised by the friars. The water supply system was originally devised by the friars for their own use. In 1290, Nicholas de Barbeflet granted them access to the springs on his manor of Shirley in the town, out to the north west of the medieval town. The friars constructed a system of water pipes to bring the first of the water to their friary in 1304. In all, the water had to travel some 1.7 kilometres from the spring to the friary within the town walls. There were several other springs supplying water to the friary; these were located around the Polygon but no traces remain above ground. 
In 1310, the friars granted use of their water supply to the people of Southampton but in 1420, the friars were struggling to maintain the water supply system in good order, and therefore passed on ownership of the supply system to the mayor and community of Southampton. The water supply system remained in their hands for the rest of its lifetime and was eventually superseded by the boring of new wells for use by the townspeople.
Conduit Head was used to channel one of the water sources acquired by the friars. 
Although long since disused, remnants of the water supply system can be seen today, albeit outside of the town walls. At the site of the former manor in Shirley, the original water source is marked by Conduit Head, a stone building comprising a small locked gateway and several underground chambers which channelled fresh water rising from the springs. Though in disrepair and hidden away behind new housing developments, the site can still be accessed. Elsewhere, more visible remnants can be seen at Conduit House on Commercial Road. The purpose of this stone building in our photograph remains uncertain

 

NOT A BEECHING CUT
The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway was not one of Hampshire’s greatest achievements back in the 1890s and only existed for about 30 years. It is recorded trains were often brought to a standstill by a heavy load, while it was not unknown for the steam locomotives to run out of water, and level crossing gates, in the countryside, were opened and shut by a member of staff on a bicycle.
The line was opened on 1st June, 1901 with no formal ceremony, the dignitaries having to stand on a truck behind the first train, as our picture shows. At first there were three passenger trains each way daily, and this was increased to six in 1909. Nevertheless the line was far from profitable, and it was closed and the lines taken up for the war effort in 1917. The track was relaid and the line reopened, however in 1924, though it finally closed for passengers in 1932, and for goods in 1936, after which most of the track was once more taken up. Two stretches remained at either end of the railway and these were used for shunting goods traffic until 1967. Lack of profitability beat the Doctor Beechings cuts of the 1960s.

 

ST GEORGE AND THE DRAGON
On the 23rd April, England celebrates St George’s Day. Everyone knows the legendary image of St George slaying the dragon, a motif that has featured on English Sovereign coins for 200 years.
The legend of St George rescuing a whole town from the ferocious dragon, that was demanding sheep and maidens as sacrifices, has been told for centuries and is one of the most popular legends in British mythology.
There are two Portsmouth area churches dedicated to St George - one in Portsea which dates back to 1753 and having been built by shipwrights from the Dockyard.
The other, St George the Martyr in Waterlooville is the second church on the site, the original being built in 1831 which, in 1970 was replaced because of the expanding parish.
The Isle of Wight has one, at Arreton, is one of the oldest in the Island, and regarded as the most beautiful by far. It was built in the late Saxon period and the parish itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book on 1086.

 

HMS ANDROMEDA

In 1969, Andromeda was deployed to the Persian Gulf and Far East as leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, taking part in the Beira Patrol, a deployment that was used to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia via Mozambique. On 1 June 1970, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Ennerdale, on her way to refuel Andromeda, struck an uncharted pinnacle of rock off the Seychelles, and sank. Andromeda was the first ship on the scene of the accident, and helped to rescue the crew of Ennerdale, the wreck of which was later destroyed by explosives.[
On 23 October 1970, the Liberian-flagged tanker Pacific Glory collided with the tanker Allegro off the Isle of Wight and caught fire with 13 killed aboard Pacific Glory. The blazing Pacific Glory ran aground on 24 October, and Andromeda took part in the large scale clean up operation.

In 1973, Andromeda took part in the Second Cod War, patrolling to intervene in case of interference on British fishing by Icelandic vessels. On 11 August 1973, Andromeda was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat 

In 1977, Andromeda took part in the Fleet Review of the Royal Navy, during the Silver Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II.[28] Between November 1977 and December 1980, Andromeda underwent modernisation, including the addition of Exocet and Sea Wolf missiles at Devonport dockyard.[19] Andromeda took part in the Falklands War in 1982, returning to the United Kingdom from a deployment in the Western Atlantic in April 1982
Between 1990–91, Andromeda underwent a refit. She was decommissioned two-years later. Andromeda was sold to the Indian Navy in 1995, where she was commissioned as the training ship, INS Krishna. Her armament had been reduced to two Bofors 40 mm guns and two Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
Our picture shows the launching of HMS Andromeda on She was launched on 24 May 1967. 

Why did I choose this vessel?  Well, between 1982 and 1984 Andromeda’s Commander was Captain James Weatherall. He died in Essex just two years ago and was one of my uncles.

 

THE SQUARE TOWER
The Square Tower, which stands dramatically between High Street and the sea, is an important feature of Old Portsmouth - and has been since 1494. On the north face of the tower is a fine gilded bust of Charles I. It was sculpted by Hubrecht le Sueuer and presented to Portsmouth by the King in 1635. The inscription reads: ‘After his travels through all France into Spain and having passed very many dangers, both by sea and land, he arrived here on 5th day of October 1623’. It originally ended: ‘there was the greatest applause of joy for his safety throughout the Kingdom that was ever  known or heard of’, but this was removed at a later date.
The tower was possibly a residence of the military Governor of the town frore the Domus Dei was adapted. In the seventeenth century it was used as a magazine. During the Civil War, when the Royalists were besieged in the town, Colonel Goring, the Governor, threatened to fire the building and so destroy the whole town unless he was given honourable terms of surrender. The tower continued to be used as a magazine until the 1780s when it was converted into a meat store serving the ships anchored at Spithead.
In 1823 a semaphore station was built on the top of the tower as part of a chain of stations between Portsmouth and the Admiralty in London that dated from the previous century. This functioned until the introduction of the electric telegraph in 1848. At that time the seaward defences were reorganised and the tower was armed again, this time with three eight-inch guns of the roof. A major programme of restoration was started in 1978.

 

WARBLINGTON CASTLE
Unless you know where to look, it’s easy to miss the last remaining part of the gatehouse of Warblington Castle, situated in the tiny hamlet of Warblington in Hampshire but this once splendid, fortified house, was the setting for some of Englands most important families and the political games they had a part in.

Warblington is thought to be named after Saxon invader, Weorbald, who, in about 500AD found a quiet port within Langstone harbour. The area had been previously settled by the Romans who built a farmstead on the fertile land. 
It is mentioned in the Domesday Book with a population of about 120 people. 
The Black death of 1348-9, ravaged Hampshire as it did the rest of the country and the population of Warblington was considerably diminished. 

Henry VIII then granted the manor to Sir Richard Cotton. In October 1551, Mary of Guise the widow of James V of Scotland stayed a night in the castle as the guest of Sir Richard Cotton.[6] Edward VI visited the manor in 1552. Elizabeth I may have visited for two days in 1586. The Cotton family continued to hold the house until the English civil war.
In January 1643 Parliamentarians under Colonel Norton garrisoned the house with a force of between 40 and 80 men. It was besieged and taken by Lord Hopton although Colonel Norton managed to escape.
The Cotton family were Royalists which resulted in the manor being largely demolished by Parliamentarian forces. One turret of the gatehouse was left as an aid to navigation for ships in Langstone channel. The turret is octagonal in form and four stories in height. It is largely built from brick with stone dressing and battlements.
Today, the turret, the arch of the gate and the drawbridge support in the moat still survive. The land the remains stand on is private property. The site is a grade II listed building and a scheduled monument.

 

PORTSMOUTH POINT or SPICE ISLAND
Two name for one part of Old Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on the southern coast of England. The name Spice Island comes from the area's seedy reputation, as it was known as the "Spice of Life". Men were easily found and press-ganged into Nelson's navy from Portsmouth Point due to its hostelries and for being where prostitutes plied their trade. The area forms the eastern side of the narrow entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, facing Gosport on the western side. 
Historically, the Point lay outside the boundaries of Portsmouth, with access being controlled by various fortifications over the centuries. Walls and gates separating the point from the rest of Portsmouth are attested in the 16th century, in 1571 the gate was known as the north gate. It was rebuilt as Point Gate sometime around 1600 before being renamed King James's Gate after further work in 1687. On the south side military defences protecting the harbour entrance were built. 
Civilian building in the area began in 1590 with storehouses of various types. During the 17th century an increasing range of businesses had taken hold in the area with four taverns being recorded by 1610. By the 18th century the point had become a popular destination for sailors on leave from ships moored at Spithead. This resulted in the area becoming notorious for lewd behaviour and was mainly composed of pubs and brothels, and appeared as such in Thomas Rowlandson's etching named after the Point which we used as our picture today. This etching was also the inspiration for William Walton's musical piece of the same name, written in 1925 for full orchestra. 
The advent of steam meant that more ships entered Portsmouth harbour proper and as a result fewer sailors visited the point.[3] The gates that controlled access to the point were removed in the 1860s.
Now the area is part of the desirable and historic city of Portsmouth containing the majority of the remaining early defences of the city and Camber Dock. In 2015, the Land Rover BAR yacht racing headquarters was completed. The nearby Camber Dock still retains a small fishing fleet and a fish market. 

 

HMS WARRIOR
HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–1861. She was the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France's launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior conducted a publicity tour of Great Britain in 1863 and spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. Obsolescent following the 1871 launching of the mastless and more capable HMS Devastation, she was placed in reserve in 1875, and was "paid off" – decommissioned – in 1883. 
She subsequently served as a storeship and depot ship, and in 1904 was assigned to the Royal Navy's torpedo training school. The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987. 

 

HOW FOURTEEN BECAME ONE
In 1902, the brewing industry was a key player of the local brewing economy of Portsmouth. There were some fourteen breweries in the town but by 1914 they had been reduced to just four: Brickwoods, Longs, Portsmouth United Breweries and Youngs. But mergers, bomb damage, little investment and the need to compete in a national market in the post-war years, led finally to the sale of the one remaining local brewing enterprise, Brickwoods and United, to Whitbread in 1971. Brewing ceased finally on their Portsea site in 1983. Some idea of the scale of the local brewing enterprise in the 19th and early 20th century exists to this day in the many public houses which were built mainly on street corners in the densely built parts of the town which survived the bombing. Brickwoods had a distinctive house style at some time when their pubs had black and white half-timbering on the upper floors and the ground floors and the walls were often clad with lively, coloured, glazed tiling. Small spires and turrets sometime adorned the roofs and made a distinctive contribution to streets lined otherwise only with small, terraced houses.
Our picture shows a typical Brickwoods pub, named The Talbot, which was built in 1896 in Goldsmith Avenue which closed in 1981.

 

THE LOST DOG WHO FOUND HIS FRIENDS
A happy story involving the embarkation of troops from Southampton occurred in August, 1899 when the troopship HMT Britannic was boarding the 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment for South Africa and the South African wars.
A black retriever kept trying to board the ship but was each time driven back. When the ship cast off its moorings, the dog was seen jumping into the water and swimming after the ship. The determination of the animal was admired and a boat was sent off to fetch the hound and bring it aboard. The dog remained with the regiment in South Africa.
Following what has become known as the Modder Engagement, the Cheshire Regiment was on outpost duty when the Leinster Regiment marched past. A strange whistle was heard and the dog dashed off to join the Leinsters who explained that he was their dog and that he had been lost when they were boarding in Southampton and they were forced to leave without him.
Our pictures show the RMT Britannic and the dog’s rescue.

 

BUCKINGHAM HOUSE
No, not that one but the one in the High Street in Portsea. It was here that George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham lived and who was the notorious favourite of Charles I. He was described as the most glorious star that ever shone at any court; for a time he was the most powerful man in the country, but he was very unpopular with the public. He was Lord High Admiral of England and was responsible for improving the condition of the King’s ships. He organised an unsuccessful expedition for the relief of La Rochelle which set out from Portsmouth in 1627 and in August the following year he was back in the town arranging another expedition. He was staying in the house of John Mason in the High Street and there he was assassinated by an aggrieved soldier, John Felton. The building still stands, though it hs been much altered since Mason’s time.
John Mason was born in East Anglia but adopted Portsmouth as his home. He led an amazing adventurous life - he had been a pirate and Governor of Newfoundland before he came to Portsmouth - and, among other things, he founded the colony of New Hampshire in 1622. Mason was later made Captain of Southsea Castle where he carried out many improvements before his death on 1635.

 

THE 1899 RYDE PIER TRAM
More than 90 years after a unique Island-built electric tram was last used to transport visitors up and down Ryde Pier, it will be once again be back on public display. The train is the only surviving example of trams built by Pollard and Sons of Ryde, and was designed to carry 20 passengers along the half-mile of Ryde Pier. After leaving service in 1927, it spent much of the last 90 years being used as a holiday chalet in Brighstone and even a chicken coop before being saved.
The tram was given to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway last October 18th at an official ceremony after having been restored by a Manpower Services Commission as a project.  

 

CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST THOMAS
The Cathedral of St Thomas was consecrated as a chapel-of-ease to St Mary’s, Portsea in 1188, it became a parish church in 1320 and cathedral in 1927. It was enlarged in 1934 and interesting plans to extend it were made after the last war, but to date not all of them have been implemented. The result is an oddly shaped and rather unsatisfactory building. However, the earlier part of the church, the twelfth-century east end, is the finest medieval building in the City of Portsmouth.
A central tower was added in the fourteenth century and this was used as a lookout. During the Civil War it served as an observation post and was damaged by Parliamentarian guns when the town was under siege. The tower and nave were rebuilt in the 1690s.
In the chancel aisle is the memorial to the murdered Duke of Buckingham by Nicholas Stone (the Duke was buried at Westminster Abbey). In the north tower transept is a beautiful majolica plaque of the Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia made in about 1500 - this is the Cathedral’s greatest treasure.
Also in the Cathedral is the Golden Barque, the original weathervane. It was made in 1710 of guilded copper, appropriately for Portsmouth it is a fine sailing ship. This was blown down in a gale in 1954 and the vane now on the tower is a replica.

 

HAVANT’S FIRST
Did you know that Havant’s first hospital was an isolation hospital which was built at the end of what was, until more recently, Potash Terrace, next to the railway line. It opened in 1894 and became known locally as the ‘fever hospital’. Following its closure in 1939, the site and buildings were taken over by the Council and used as their works depot.
At the outbreak of the First World War, an auxiliary military hospital was established at Langstone Towers. Langstone High Street, which continued in service until 1919. After the war there was considerable agitation in the town for a hospital to be built as a memorial to the local men who had lost their lives in the conflict.  Many fundraising events were organised but it was not until 1927 that sufficient money was available for a start to be made. The site in Crossway was obtained and the Havant War Memorial Hospital opened in 1929. A particularly fine feature of the children’s ward, which was opened in 1935, was a frieze of nursery rhymes depicted on Wedgwood tiles which, thankfully, have been preserved.
Our picture shows the 16th November, 1927, when Miss Bannister, 100 years old and the daughter of a former Havant doctor cutting the first sod for the new hospital.

 

LYSSES HOUSE
Lysses House (originally pronounced ‘Lizziz’) was built during the period 1820-1840 in High Stree, Fareham by Stephen Barney. He was an attorney and chose this spot because of the good view over the surrounding countryside. He appears to have pulled down several small houses to be able to build it.
Stephen Barney’s claim to fame was as Recorder of the Mutiny on the Bounty trial in Portsmouth in the late 1700s. His transcript of the trial was sold at auction in London in the 1980s for several thousand pounds.
Mrs Connie Barney, who died in 1992 just two weeks before her 100th birthday, was the widow of John Barney who died in 1960 and who was the last direct descendant of Stephen. She lived next door at number 50 High Street, Fareham until 1990. Connie confirmed Lysses has a ghost ( a headless lady) who walks the upper corridors of the main house.
The Barney family owned Lysses until 1949 when it was sold for approximately £5,000 to a schoolmaster, Mr Godefroy, who transformed the building into a boys’ private day school. The school ran very successfully for about ten years, in conjunction with Heathfield House which was another private school in west Fareham, near Peak Lane. After this time, Mr Godefroy moved the school to Rhinefield in the New Forest.
Lysses House, although externally unchanged from its schooldays, has now been converted into a hotel.

 

A MODERN-DAY BATTLE
No county was more affected by the Civil War than Hampshire where Cromwell finally closed in on Charles I . Over the years more followed even up the last century - the Battle of Twyford Down.
In 1990 the M3 motorway was still unfinished and to complete it there would have to be a tunnel or a cutting trough Twyford Down, just outside Winchester. The tunnel would have cost the government £75 million more than the cutting, so you can guess which option won the day!
However, ‘the natives were revolting’ and in December 1991 Twyford Down became the site of the UK’s first road protest camp. A year later the first camp was evicted but a new one attracted even more public support (sometimes over 5,000 people) and obstructed the work, However, the battle was eventually lost and in 1994 the final link completing the M3 was opened., with 4.7 acres of Twyford Down lost.

 

OLD PORTSMOUTH - THE HIGH STREET
The street pattern shown on early maps can still be recognised and High Street is clearly visible. Until the late eighteenth century it was the shopping and commercial centre of Portsea Island. The ‘Town House’ used to be in the middle of the road, then a more convenient town hall was built in 1838 on the eastern side of the street. But gradually the centre of power moved and in the 1880s a grand new town hall was built in Landport - beyond the old town walls.
One of the many buildings lost in the war was where John Pounds worked. As we have highlighted his work before, John was a shoemaker who started to give lessons to poor children in his shop. He became famous for the help he gave to so many children and was one of the people who influenced the formation of Ragged Schools in the nineteenth century. Now only the John Pounds Memorial Church marks the spot where he lived.
In 1827, Admiral Hardy lodged at a house on the corner of Broad Street and High Street. He wrote to his brother: “I am at Meredith’s the tailor, 73 High Street, opposite the Parade Coffee House.” The tailor in question was the father of George Meredith, the Victorian novelist who was born there in 1828. His father was a poor businessman, hence the lodgers, and in later life Meredith kept quiet about his place of birth, and merely described it as ‘near Petersfield’. But Portsmouth figured, as ‘Lymport’, in his novel Evan Harrington which was published in 1860.

 

ELING TIDE MILL
The Tide Mill is situated on an artificial causeway in Eling, and is one of only two remaining operating tide mills in the UK. Whilst a mill is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, there is no evidence that there is any connection to the present mill. The current mill was rebuilt roughly two hundred years ago after storm damage in the 1770s.
The tide mill harnesses the power of the tides to generate power to turn a water wheel that sets the
pair of independent waterwheels designed to drive two sets of millstones each. One wheel and its associated millstones have been restored to operating condition and produces flour for sale. The other has been cosmetically restored as a static exhibit. The running wheel and its milling and other mechanisms are encased for safety of the miller and visitors, while the static wheel id immobile and kept that way to show visitors the detail that is obscured by the running mechanism’s safety enclosures.
For much of the mill’s life it was owned by Winchester College and a lease survives from the year 1418, when the College leased the mill to Thomas Mydlington, requiring him to maintain the mill and the causeway, an integral part where the grain which was brought to the mill in barges from the east coast of England, was unloaded. The tenancy of the mill included the right to collect tolls from vehicles using the causeway.
Nowadays the Tide Mill is the focal point of The Eling Experience, created in 2009 when the tide mill is open to the public where one can take a peek in to the inner workings of an active tide mill and learn the secret of turning wheat into flour.

 

GOOD KING ALFRED
Most people know that King Alfred was a powerful King, who fought off the Vikings and brought peace to the region in the 9th century. However, did you know that he was also a great scholar, who commissioned the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, a highly influential tool in the development of our English identity? King Alfred proclaimed himself ‘King of England’ in 886, but it wasn’t until 927 that he officially controlled the whole of England. 
The statue of the king in heroic pose, sword held high,  was erected in the city centre in 1899, and is a well-known local landmark. The huge statue measured 17 feet from the base to the top of Alfred’s arm. Curiously, the sword was made to be detachable, though the rest of the statue is a single, solid bronze casting. The statue is set atop a rectangular block of granite from Cornwall, with another tapered block acting as a base. A local legend says that if a virgin of 16 years of age or more walks clockwise round the statue three times, Alfred will lower his sword. This has never been seen to happen!

 

THE SCAVENGERS
A teenage lad in rolled up trousers, shirt, braces and flat cap stands with a collecting tin as a little girl kneels in mud holding up a penny. The pair have been larking about at the water’s edge, performing tricks and staging hilarious mud fights, hoping to entertain passers-by and earn a few pennies for their efforts. Almost up to the present day one could turn off the road on the way to the Harbour station and if the tide was out, and people were prepared to throw coins into the mud, children rushed over each other to find them. 
Mudlarks were usually young children and most of them were boys but there were sometimes older men who were scavenging for their living although one wonders where they went to get rid of the mud with which they were covered. Being a Mudlark was often a necessity through poverty but the earnings depended much on how many coins were thrown in and, of course, watching where they were landing.

 

ALL ABOARD ON THE HAYLING LINE
The line was opened by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway for goods on 19th January 1865 and for passengers on 16th July 1867 and ran from Havant to Hayling Island. The line was mainly used during the summer months as people from the south coast would travel down to the beach on Hayling Island. The coaches would often be overflowing during these months, however would be virtually empty during the winter, which is where problems started.
The line quickly ran into trouble during its construction on the mudflats of Langstone Harbour as part was built on an embankment to save money for the bridge foundations which was subject to erosion from day one. A Board of Trade inspector was invited to certify the line as being fit for passenger traffic and insisted on modifications to the original section of the line where the sleepers had begun to rot. These were carried out and the certificate was granted although subject to weight restrictions on the bridge only small locomotives could be used.
In 1923 Southern Railway took over the line and yet again in 1948 by British Rail until 1962 when it was decided to close the line, mainly because of the costs that would be incurred in building a new bridge. The final service train ran on 2nd November 1963.

 

HAVANT WORKHOUSE
Havant Poor Law Union was formed on 27th May, 1835. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, ten in number, representing its 6 constituent parishes of Bedhampton, Farlington, North Hayling, South Hayling, and Havant and Warblington each with 3 parishes.
The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 6,398 with parishes ranging in size from North Hayling (294), Warbling ton (2,118) and Havant (2,083).
The new Havant Union took over the existing parish workhouse and in 1836 the Poor Law Commissioners authorised the sum of £900 for its enlargement. The building had a simple T-shaped layout, presumably accommodating males in one wing and females in the other with kitchen and dining hall at the centre rear. The workhouse building became know as a Poor Law Institution by 1930 and was demolished before 1960, the only reminder of the workhouse’s existence being the street sign for Union Road.

 

ST MARY’S CHURCH, SOUTHAMPTON
This is the largest church in Southampton and can trace its origins to the first Saxon settlements of the 7th century. In 1917, the sound of the church bells inspired the writing of the song “The Bells of St Mary’s”, later sung by Bing Crosby in the film of the same name. The church stands at the southern end of St Mary’s Street with the City College buildings to the north and east, in a quiet oasis of green surrounded by large trees which, from a distance, hide all but the spire. The present church is the sixth on the site of the Saxon town of Hamwic (Hamtun).
The Saxon town survived many invasions and ravages by the Danes but eventually fell into decline and in the time of King Canute in the 11th century, the population moved to the safety of the Norman medieval settlement to the west, with St Michael’s church first built in 1070. However, St Mary’s continued to be of significant importance as the Mother Church, with its claims to tithes, burial rights and privileges reflecting its status. A document of 1281 appears to confirm the status of St Mary’s as a collegiate church and the principal church of Southampton.
Our picture is of the present church and our transcription of the registers which, you can imagine is very large, is almost 90% complete.

 

HMS HOOD
HMS was the last battle cruiser built for the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1920, she was named after the 18th century Admiral Samuel Hood. One of four Admiral-class batlecruisers ordered in mid-1916, Hood had design limitations, though her design was revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed. Despite the appearance of new and more modern ship designs over time, Hood remained the largest and most powerful warship in the world for twenty years after her commissioning and her prestige was reflected in her nickname “The Mighty Hood”.
Hood spent most of the early part of the war following the Bismarck and the Prince Eugen almost since they had left Norway. The relatively old battlecruiser HMS Hood and the very new battleship HMS Prince of Wales intercepted them as they emerged from the gap between Greenland and Iceland on 24th May, 1941. The Battle of the Denmark Strait began with the first sighting at 0535, the Hood opened fire at 0553. It was all over in a matter of minutes when the aft magazines of Hood exploded, sinking her within five minutes of opening fire. Only three members of the crew survived.

 

BRITAINS OLDEST!
When a whale skeleton washed up on the shores of the Isle of Wight in 1842, the locals who hauled it up the Island’s cliffs had no idea that it would fascinate the the public almost two centuries later. The whole would eventually become the central attraction of the theme park now known as Blackgang Chine, which teeters over the island’s southern tip.
During Blackgang Chine’s early years, the area was a steep gaunt ravine, overlooking Chale Bay, stretching around three-quarters of a mile down to the shore. It was a quiet place, visited by few people other than local fishermen with rumours of a thriving smuggling trade, which has now become a key theme of the park. On 11th October 1836, the cargo ship Clarendon was wrecked at the foot of Blackgang Chine, with the loss of all aboard.
Blackgang itself, was one of the first of its kind when opened by Alexander Dabell in 1843, with industrial workers from across Victorian England flocking to the Island on their weekends. Being the UK’s oldest amusement park and named after a now-destroyed chine in the soft Cretaceous cliffs, it is about 6 miles from Ventnor, just below St Catherine’s Down. Blackgan Chine and its sister park Robin Hill are still owned by the Dabell family and nowadays the Chine is home to a series of imaginatively themed lands, including a Pirate Cove, a realm of Donosaurs, an Underwater Kingdom, a Fairy Village and a Cowboy Town. Owing to the unstable land on which the park is situated, landslide occur frequently, meaning that attractions have continually to be moved further inland to safer ground. Our pictures show Blackgang in the beginning and part of it at present.

 

SPIED ACTING STRANGELY
It’s title was wholly misleading at Hampshire Assizes in 1930 were to hear.
The Portsdown and Horndean Light Railway did not run on tracks, but on roads. They consisted of trams. Inaugurated in 1903, the ‘railway’ ran from a junction with the Portsmouth Corporation transport street tramway south of Cosham station, taking passengers along London Road and was finally extended to Clarence Pier. But with changing times, the last service ran in 1935 when it was superseded by buses belonging to the Southdown Bus Company but traces of it can still be found on the abutments of the old bridge that spanned Southwick Road in Cosham, by the Queen Alexandra Hospital of today. Its working was related to the court when Robert Ash, aged 29 years, was charged with stealing four fish plates from the light railway.
The case against the labourer was that he stole the items from a stack at Horndean, unwittingly being observed by a tram driver who had seen him standing suspiciously close to the pile with a hand truck. Within hours, he had offered some of the old iron plates for sale to a marine store dealer. Ash steadfastly denied having had any dealing with the items, but once convicted, jurors heard he was a rogue with several previous convictions for theft. He was jailed for six months with hard labour.
Our picture on the Heritage pages shows a typical railcar of the time.

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ROYAL MARRIAGE
The marriage of King Charles II and the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza took place in Portsmouth at the Domus Dei, then the Governor’s residence, in 1662. The marriage could not take place in Portsmouth’s parish church of St Thomas because that building had been badly damaged by Parliamentarian guns during the Civil War. The people of Portsmouth gave the newly married couple  a wedding gift of a silver and crystal salt-cellar, which diarist Samuel Pepys described as ‘a salt-sellar of silver, the walls of cristall, with four Eagles and four greyhounds standing up at top to bear up a dish - which indeed is one of the neatest pieces of plate that I ever saw.’
Charles was one of the most popular and beloved kings of England, known as the Merry Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court, and the general relief at the return of normality after over a decade of rule by Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles’s wife, Catherine, bore no live children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses. He died in Whitehall, London on 6th February 1685, aged 55 years.

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AROUND HAMPSHIRE - ALDERSHOT
Before assuming the role of the first military town in Britain, Aldershot was no more than a small village, close to an area of open heathland. Then, in 1854, the Army decided to establish a permanent camp in the area. The first, tented, military encampment of 1854 soon gave way to rows of wooden huts arranged in’Lines’, designated A to Z, each one providing accommodation for a battalion, or equivilent.
The wooden huts of the ‘Lines’ gave way in the 1890s to brick-built huts which, in turn, have now largely been demolished and replaced by modern buildings. One of Aldershot’s most landmarks is Matthew Wyatt’s magnificent bronze statue of the Duke of Wellington, victor of the battle of Waterloo in 1815, seated in his horse, Copenhagen. The statue originally stood at Hyde Park Corner in London and Queen Victoria claimed that the statue of 30 feet high, ruined the view of the skyline from Buckingham Palace, and she privately proposed that the statue be moved, but the Duke did not agree. In 1885, the Prince of Wales handed over the monument to Lieutenant General Anderson, the commander of the Aldershot Garrison and so it was dismantled and transported to Aldershot, where it was re-erected on Round Hill. Our two photographs are of one of the wooden huts in 1892 and then the one showing the statue in place in beautiful surroundings.

 

JOHN POUNDS
John Pounds who was born in Portsmouth on 17th June, 1766, was a teacher who tried his best to care for people on need and though this caring he was the man most responsible for the creation of the concept of Ragged Schools. This was a name commonly used for the many independently established 19th century charity schools in the United Kingdom which provided free education and in most cases food, clothing, lodging and other services for those too poor to pay.
John was severely crippled in his mid-teens from falling into a dry dock in the Dockyard where he was apprenticed as a shipwright. After his accident he was no longer able to work in the Dockyard, and from then onwards he made his living as a shoemaker.
He would scour the streets of Portsmouth looking for children who were poor and homeless, taking them into his small workshop and teaching them basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. This small workshop was often host to as many as 40 children at any one time. John carried with him simple food items like baked potatoes to attract children. His reputation as a teacher grew and he soon had more than 40 students attending his lessons, this being one of the places where Education began.
John suddenly died on 1st January, 1839 and is buried in John Pounds Memorial Church in High Street, Old Portsmouth where there is a small stone monument with the inscription on it which says: “Underneath this monument rests the mortal remains of John Pounds the philanthropic shoemaker of St Mary’s Street while working at his trade in a very small room gratuitously instructed in a useful education and partly fed some hundreds of girls and boys”.

 

DROXFORD
The fact that the timing of the allied invasion of Europe in 1944 was decided on at Droxford must not blind us to an earlier claim to fame. It was the first place in England where the Jerusalem artichoke flourished. This 17th century success story was due to the fact that the pioneer botanist John  Goodyer spent some years here. A better-known figure associated with the village was Isaak Walton, who married the daughter of the rector, Dr Hawkins. It is not known whether the famous angler was attracted to the young lady first, or to the possibilities of fishing the Meon! A plaque recording his visits to the village was put up in the parish church in 1956.
Droxford is very early recorded when its manor, the Manor of Drocenesfora was granted to the Prior and monks of St Swithun, Winchester, by King Egbert in 826. In 939 king Athelstan granted 17 hides of land at Droxford to his half-sister Eadburh. By the time of the Domesday Survey, Droxford had passed to the Bishop of Winchester, to support the monks. This arrangement continued until 1551 when it was surrendered to the crown.
A railway came to serve Droxford in 1903 across the river in the neighbouring more rural parish with the building of the Meon Valley Railway. A settlement grew around the station including a hotel, railway worker’ cottages and a cluster of private homes which extended to the north to the Brock Bridge or Brockbridge farm and mill which remains its name.
In June 1944, Allied leaders including Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and Charles de Gaulle met in a train carriage at Droxford station to discuss the imminent D-day invasion. There is a bench in the village to commemorate this meeting of world leaders in Droxford. British Railways closed the railway in 1962.

 

HMY VICTORIA and ALBERT
HMY Victoria and Albert was a royal yacht of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. The yacht was designed by the Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy Sir William White, launched in 1899 and ready for service in 1901. This was the third yacht to be named Victoria and Albert and she was fitted with steam engines fired by Belleville water-tube boilers. She served four sovereigns and was decommissioned as royal yacht in 1939, served in the Second World War, and was broken up in 1954.
Queen Victoria had lobbied Parliament for many years for a more modern yacht - HMY Victoria and Albert II dated from 1855 - and won this expenditure after pointing out that both the Russian Tsar and the German Kaiser had larger and more modern yachts than Great Britain. Built at Pembroke Dock and launched in 1899, she was completed in summer 1901, seven months after the death of Queen Victoria.
Victoria and Albert was commissioned at Portsmouth on 23rd July, 1901 and nearly all the ship’s company of 230 of the old Victoria and Albert II were transferred to the new yacht., which with an additional 100 men had a total ship’s company of 336.
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra first used the yacht and they were followed by King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI and took part in two fleet reviews in 1935 and 1937. She served as a depot ship during the Second World War, as an accommodation ship to HMS Excellent before she was broken up.

 

TRIBUTE TO THE GREEN BUS 
King Alfred motor services were one of the few privately owned bus companies to run a municipal bus service. The company was a family business, R. Chisnell & Sons Ltd by name and became a registered company in 1929 and proudly had a painting of the statue of King Alfred on their Green side panels to add that ultimate distinction.
Robert senior founded the company and his first involvement with passenger transport was in 1915, using a variety of small motor vehicles to transport troops to and from various camps in the area. Previous to this he had many business interests in Winchester from tobacconist shops to restaurants.
The first char-a-banc excursion was to Bournemouth on Whit Monday, 24th May, 1920 using an ex-RAF vehicle. Other trips were arranged and the business flourished leading to regular bus services starting in October, 1922.
From these small beginnings, an extensive network was built up, eventually serving most districts of the City and going out as far afield as Basingstoke, Stockbridge and Broughton. With the green and cream buses with King Alfred’s Statue on the side the company advertised itself wherever they went, becoming a very familiar sight.
Following a period of growth and expansion, with government intervention the green buses became part of the National Bus Company in 1973 and the Chisnell family name disappeared. In 1987 it was taken over by another well-known name - Stagecoach - and the livery all changed. 
But, King Alfred Buses live on through the Friends who are dedicated to keeping the green buses memories alive.

 

PIGEONS IN WARTIME
The history of pigeons as message carriers goes back over 5,000 years. However, none of the various types of pigeons used as the early message carriers were capable of flights much farther than about 40 miles. Nevertheless, by the middle of the twelfth century AD, a well-organised pigeon post, with post office and postmasters, was being maintained. By 1819, however, the homing pigeon was developed sufficiently to fly 200 miles in a day, and at that time when the principle mode of travel was either by foot or horse, 200 miles was a great distance. For centuries, because Homers were the fastest and most reliable means of communication, leading newspapers of many countries used them to carry news of importance. And, in the early nineteenth century, Homing Pigeons were used in many Belgian cities to bring news of stock exchange questions from London across the English Channel.
In both World Wars pigeons were used to carry vital messages, many which had saved the lives of many thousands of combatants and civilians. They have provided the balance between victory and defeat in many crucial engagements, delivering their messages even over large bodies of open water, through rain and fog over high mountains and against treacherous winds.
Our picture shows a mobile coop for carrier pigeons during the First World War which could be moved around wherever communications were most needed during military movements.

 

FLAGSHIP OF THE FIRST SEA LORD
HMS Victory is a 104-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is best know  for her role as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar.
In the early 1800s, the Admiralty Board considered her too old, and in too great disrepair to be restored as a first-rate ship of the line. In November 1807 she was relegated to second-rate and most of her armaments were removed. She was decommissioned as a troopship in April 1811 and a year later was relocated to the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour for service as a floating depot and, from 1813 to1817, as a prison ship.
In 1831, the Admiralty issued orders for Victory to be broken up and her timbers reused in other vessels. A public outcry against the destruction led to the order being held in obeyance and she was left, largely forgotten at a Portsmouth mooring. Many years passed and by 1921 she was in a very poor state and a campaign was started to save her from her impending doom.
In January 1922, her condition was so poor that she would no longer stay afloat, and had to be moved into No 2  dock at Portsmouth Dockyard, the oldest dry dock in the world still in use. A Naval survey revealed that between a third and a half of her internal fittings required replacement. Her steering equipment has also been removed or destroyed, along with most of her furnishing. Discussions were held with various bodies and it was finally decided that she was too damaged to be removed and the No 2 dock became her permanent home.
Since October 2012, HMS Victory has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord and she is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and attracts about 350,000 visitors per year in her role as a museum ship.

 

FAIRTHORNE MANOR, BOTLEY
Roman and Saxon remains have been found on the site of Faitthorne. It was part of a larger estate before the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and until the middle of the 18th century. Between 1805 and 1806, William Cobbett purchased Fairhorn farm and estate and leased it to John Mears. Cobbett planted many trees, and stocked the land with game for shooting and hare coursing.
In 1854 Clement Millward QC, Treasurer to the Middle Temple, built the Victorian house to the west of Fairthorn farmhouse, on a raised embankment, with a view to the River Hamble. The 1870s edition Ordnance Survey map shows walled gardens, orchards and greenhouses near the house; woodland to the north and east, a fishpond further east on a small tributary feeding into the Hamble river, which was screened from the house by trees. There was an open lawn immediately to the south with isolated trees planted and a gravel pit. There was also a boathouse and quay by the banks of the River Hamble.
By the end of the 19th century, the owners, the Burrells, had planted a belt of trees and a walk above the flood plan, and a magnificent horse chestnut avenue along the rear drive. Sir Charles Barrington, in the 1920s and 1930s, planted more varieties of trees. In 1940, the army moved in, while the Barringtons were still in residence. They died in 1943 and the house was used as a map centre for the invasion of Normandy. After the war, the estate was bought, stripped of its timber, and sold soon afterwards to the National Council of the YMCA and has since become known as Fairthorne Manor.

 

CAMS HALL, FAREHAM
The land at Cams Hall was registered to Earl Godwin in the Domeday Book. In the 12th century it was renamed Cammes Oysell by Robert Oysell whose family owned it until 1366. After that there were many owners until it was sold again in 1770 when it was owned by Brigadier General Carnac, the MP for Leominster who commissioned an architect to design a new mansion for the estate. By 1776 the estate, with the recently built mansion was on the market yet again, for £17,000. The buyer was Peter Delme, of Place House, a mansion converted from the 14th century Titchfield Abbey on the other side of Fareham.
Delme was the influential MP for Morpeth in Northumberland who had close associations with the naval establishment and Emma Hamilton, the mistress of Admiral Nelson. Delme was married to Lady Elizabeth Howard and commissioned the artist Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint a picture of her and their children to hang on the walls.
Cams Hall remained in the Delme family for a century. In 1895 the last male heir sold the mansion, grounds and agricultural land to Montague Foster of Stubbington House for £10,250 and let it to tenants.
In World War II, the estate was requisitioned by the Admiralty, who occupied the building until 1948. On the 14th July, 1950 the decline of Cams Hamm began when the structure was heavily damaged by the explosion of Ammunition barges at Bedenham pier in Gosport which destroyed the roof and blew out all of the windows, leaving it a ruined shell. It was sold in 1951 but left to deteriorate until 1991 when a £4m restoration plan was executed by two joint Portsmouth companies. 

 

PORTSMOUTH DIOCESE CHURCHES
St. Peter and St Paul, Wymering is one of the oldest churches in Portsmouth dating from about 1125. In 1861, thanks to the generosity of the Nugee family, its patrons and prominent supporters of the Anglo-catholic movement, the church was the subject of a major restoration, employing the renowned architect, George Street. The result is a little gem; the building is steeped in centuries of prayer and is very much the spiritual heart of Wymering. The parish extends from the foot of Portsdown Hill to Port Solent, and the beautiful chuch photo we are using would be circa 1920.
The church has two churchyards, including 15 war graves. Jane Austen’s brother Francis, one of Nelson’s admirals, was Churchwarden of Wymering at the time of the restoration and he and his family are buried in the churchyard.
Across Old Wymering Lane is the Manor house which is a Grade II listed building and is the oldest in the city of Portsmouth. The Manor house of Wymering was a settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 but this is another story we will hold for another day.

 

A MODEL HOSPITAL IN 1861
The Royal Hampshire County Hospital was founded in 1736 by Alured Clarke in Colebrook Street, Winchester. It was the first of its kind outside of London and opened with 60 beds before it moved to Parchment Street in 1759 and to its present site in Romsey Road in 1868.
The first suscription paper for the hospital from 1736 records that ‘many sick persons languish for want of necessaries and too often die miserably, who are not entitled to a parochial relief, and those who receive parish relief may suffer from a lack of medicines or unwholesome accommodation.
In 1861, Robert Rawlinson, a civil engineer, reported on the hospital’s sanitary condition as ‘the subsoil is saturated with the accumulated refuse of the Hospital ever since it was established’. It was decided that a new hospital was needed and the minutes of the building committee for the hospital on Romsey Road, record in detail letters sent by Miss Florence Nightingale. She comments on how improvements can be made to the plan, including the layout of the day rooms, but finished by saying ‘I think you may firstly congratulate yourselves on having planned a model hospital‘. In recognising the improvements, Queen Victoria awarded the hospital its the “Royal” prefix.
Our photo shows the ’model’ hospital as it was in 1895 and still is today.

 

HAYLING PRIORY
Hayling Priory has a history which to this day has never been fully understood. It is nestled close to the southern shores of Hayling Island, although its original site remains a mystery. It’s existence is not disputed, but it’s exact position has a puzzle to both scholars and mapmakers for centuries.
However it’s not just the site of Hayling Priory that is a mystery, it’s origins and history are just as convoluted. The Abbey of St Peter and St Mary is thought to have been founded circa 650AD by monks of St Swithun’s, Winchester. In time they are thought to have been granted the manor, as a gift from Queen Emma, wife of King Cnut. This was a large abbey with three churches and was very influential, but it was to change with the arrival of the Normans.
Just before the Norman conquest, Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor, held the land. By the time of Domesday a switch in the ownership had taken place and half of the island had been assigned to the Abbey of Jumieges and this link was very important in Norman Hampshire.
Moving on to Plantaganet rule, King Edward I put a halt on the relationship and as war with France unravelled, the strains of the abbey began to increase, goods were seized and the priory struggled to thrive. The heyday of the Hayling Priory had reached its zenith and in 1414, Henry V granted Hayling to the Abbey of Sheen and the 400 year connection between Hayling Island and the Abbey of Jumieges was at an end and no vestiges of the priory remain to be seen. However to this day two of the churches named after the original abbey, St Mary and St Peter still exist as in our pictures, and we have transcribed the parish records on CD.

 

EMSWORTH
Emsworth began as a small Saxon Norman village. At first it was linked to the more important settlement of Warblington nearby. People from Emsworth worshipped at St Peter’s Chapel or in the church at Warblington. However, Emsworth was not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was probably too small to be mentioned on its own and was included with Warblington.
The name Emsworth was probably once Emel’s worth or Emil’s worth. A worth was and enclosure like a farm or hamlet surrounded by a palisade.
Although Emsworth started as a small settlement it soon grew to be larger and more important. In 1239 Emsworth was granted the right to hold a market, In those days there were very few shops and if you wanted to buy or sell anything you had to go to a market. Emsworth was also allowed an annual fair. In the Middle Ages, fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year and people travelled long distances to buy and sell at them.
In the Middle Ages, Emsworth was a busy little port. Large quantities of wine, the drink of the upper class, were imported from Europe through Emsworth. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Emsworth was known for shipbuilding, boat building and rope making. King Street is named after a man named King who settled there in the 18th century and started a ship building business. The picture is dated 1905.

 

PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL
The Guildhall was originally completed in 1890. It was designed by Leeds architect, William Hill, who was inspired to improve upon an almost-identical model that he had designed as Bolton Town Hall in 1873. Local architect Charles Bevis, in partnership with Hill, directed the construction. Hill died before the building was completed and Bevis added to the design. 
When completed in 1890, the building became the civic town hall. On 21st April 1926, Portsmouth was raised to the status of a city, and the town hall was renamed the Guildhall. Unfortunately, Hill’s Guildhall was not even to last a century before the angry skies of the Second World War rained down a series of incendiary bombs on to the city on 10th January 1941 which completely destroyed the interior and roof and leaving only the outer walls and tower.
In the course of the bombings which rocked the city over 300- people were killed, hospitalised or injured. However, the spirit of Portsmouth that survived the Blitz also ensured the survival of the Guildhall which was re-built after the war and re-opened by HM The Queen on 8th June, 1959.

 

WICKHAM
The lovely village of Wickham has a large square, and to be the second largest in the country. Wickham was the birthplace of William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and founder of Winchester College in the 14th century. The mound on which the church is built was used by Celts and Saxons for burial or religious rites. St Nicholas’ was built by the Normans in 1120, but has been thoroughly altered since. Inside there is a large memorial to the Livedale family, once lords of the manor.
In 1268 King Henry III granted a charter to the lord of the manor, Roger de Scures, to hold an annual fair. One has been held every year since - even during wartime.
The old Victory Hall beside the river Meon, was once a busy tannery where men from the village worked. Later it became a brewery, with heavy horses coming and going, pulling great drays loaded with barrels. After part of the building caught fire, it was rebuilt and there is still a plaque on the rear of the building saying ’Wickham Brewery rebuilt ANO DMI 1887 being the Jubilee Year of the reign of H.M. Queen Victoria’. The brewery closed in 1910 and later the Victory Club was formed to commemorate victory in the First World War. It was used in the Second World War as home and refuge for many evacuees from Portsmouth and Southampton. There was an army headquarters in the Kings Head public house. Canadian soldiers at Rookesbury School, and army engineers took over part of a garage along the Fareham Road.

 

THE FIRST ONES
Portsmouth’s first ten motor buses arrived in the town in July 1919. They were J-type Thorneycrofts which were engineered in Basingstoke and had bodied manufactured locally at Waterlooville by Wadham Brothers. Not very comfortable to travel in but they were in service for a decade, but the solid tyres, stiff suspension and rough road surfaces damaged their bodywork and so they were refitted with second-hand  bodies from older London buses. This picture shows those ten buses arriving and the thousands of people who came to see this new mode of transport. Others on our Facebook page shows one of those buses which has been restored and was out on show at a rally on Southsea Common having a day out from its home in the Milestones Museum at Basingstoke in Hampshire.

 

JOHN POUNDS
John Pounds who was born in Portsmouth on 17th June, 1766, was a teacher who tried his best to care for people on need and though this caring he was the man most responsible for the creation of the concept of Ragged Schools.
John was severely crippled in his mid-teens from falling into a dry dock in the Dockyard where he was apprenticed as a shipwright. After his accident he was no longer able to work in the Dockyard, and from then onwards he made his living as a shoemaker.
He would scour the streets of Portsmouth looking for children who were poor and homeless, taking them into his small workshop and teaching them basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. This small workshop was often host to as many as 40 children at any one time. John carried with him simple food items like baked potatoes to attract children.
John suddenly died on 1st January, 1839 and is buried in John Pounds Memorial Church in High Street, Old Portsmouth where there is a small stone monument with the inscription on it which says: “Underneath this monument rests the mortal remains of John Pounds the philanthropic shoemaker of St Mary’s Street while working at his trade in a very small room gratuitously instructed in a useful education and partly fed some hundreds of girls and boys’”

 

WATERLOOVILLE
It is reputed that the name derived from a pub that stood at the centre of the village, then knoiwn as Wait Lane End, where the stage-coach horses waited to change places with the team that pulled the coach up and over Portsdown Hill. The pub had been named Heroes of Waterloo because, on its opening day in 1815, soldiers who had just disembarked at Portsmouth, returning from the Battle of Waterloo, decided to stop there and celebrate their victory. There is no proof of this assertion
The pub was thereafter renamed in their honour and the area around the pub became known as Waterloo. In order to differentiate the town from other places with the same name,  it became known as Waterlooville at a later date
The original ‘Heroes’ pub was at a crossroads near the main bus stop. It was demolished in 1966 and a new pub took the same name and is located at the northern end of the shopping precinct.
Our photograph shows the rear of the Heroes in 1901 with two teams of stage-coach horses exchanging their journeys, one just completed its journey and the other ready to take over.

 

SOUTHAMPTON OLD BOWLING GREEN
The  Hospital of “God’s House” was founded in 1185 for pilgrims who were going either to the shrine of St Swithun at Winchester or to Canterbury. The green adjoining the Hospital had been established during the reign of Richard the Lionheart for the recreational use of the Warden, and was first used for a game of bowls in 1299.
The club that plays there now is believed to have been established in the 17th century because of the history of a competition known as “The Knighthood” and it is the only club that has a ‘Master’ in charge, a title carried forward from the earliest of days.
Bowling Green House is a Grade II listed building which as built in the 19th century. It is a three-storey brick building with a green slate roof with a central cupola on eight Tuscan columns, surmounted by a steep weather vane.
Our pictures show a gathering of the members on 1st August, 1894 and the commemorative plate for “The Knighthood” annual competition when the members play in top hats and frocked tails suits with thye winner addressed as "Sir"..

 

PIGEONS IN WARTIME
The history of pigeons as message carriers goes back ober 5,000 years. However, none of the various types of pigeons used as the early message carriers were capable of flights much farther than about 40 miles. Nevertheless, by the middle of the twelfth century AD, a well-organised pigeon post, with post office and postmasters, was being maintained. By 1819, however, the homing pigeon was developed sufficiently to fly 200 miles in a day, and at that time when the principle mode of travel was either by foot or horse, 200 miles was a great distance. For centuries, because Homers were the fastest and most reliable means of communication, leading newspapers of many countries used them to carry news of importance. And, in the early nineteenth century, Homing Pigeons were used in many Belgian cities to bring news of stock exchange questions from London across the English Channel.
In both World Wars pigeons were used to carry vital messages, many which had saved the lives of many thousands of combatants and civilians. They have provided the balance between victory and defeat in many crucial engagements, delivering their messages even over large bodies of open water, through rain and fog over high mountains and against treacherous winds.
Our picture shows a mobile coop for carrier pigeons during the First World War which could be moved around wherever communications were most needed during military movements.

 

PRIDDY’S HARD
In 1750, by an Act of King George III, the Board of Ordnance purchased land and a boatyard in Gosport from Jane Priddy and a Fareham Vicar and this was the beginning of Priddy’s Hard Armament Depot. What went on in the establishment was always a mystery. 
In Nelson’s days, HMS Victory and the other naval vessels were supplied from here; the Grand Magazine held no less than 4,500 barrels of gunpowder, each weighing about 45Kg and was built of walls eight feet thick. With easy access to Portsmouth Dockyard across the harbour, Priddy’s Hard was an ideal location for such a magazine and so an earthen rampart was constructed as part of an extension of the defences of Portsmouth Harbour and the Royal Dockyard, the Gosport Lines. The ramparts were completed in 1757.
The manufacture of shells at Priddy’s Hard coincided with the increased use of artillery shells on land and at sea. By the 1860’s the filling of shells and preparation of Fuzes had become the main work of the Royal Laboratory.
For many years, Priddy’s Hard was both the Royal Navy’s and regional Army’s armaments depot and supplier of ordnance and training in the Commonwealth and Foreign countries, though its significance decreased over time. The site was last used for significant naval activity during the Falklands Conflict in 1982.

 

STANSTED HOUSE
Situated in a beautiful park and woodland near Rowlands Castle, the House is one of the best stately homes in the south of England. The house boasts excellent displays of furniture, art work, porcelain alongside the beauty of the house itself, which includes superb state rooms and in the grounds there are walled gardens, an ancient chapel dedicated to St Paul and a miniature railway.
The original building on the site was a hunting lodge built in the 11th century but later in 1688 a larger house was built for one, Richard Lumley, the 1st Earl of Scarborough. This was sadly destroyed by fire in 1900 and rebuilt in 1903. It was bought in 1924 by the Bessborough family which was lived in by the 9th and 10th Earls of Bessborough.
The House and Estate have been owned by the Stansted Park Foundation since 1983 which is a charitable trust entrusted with the preservation of the estate for the benefit of the nation which was the wish of Frederick Ponsonby its last owner, the 10th Earl of Bessborough who died in 1844.

 

HURST CASTLE
The Castle is an artillery fort established by Henry VIII on the Hurst Spit off Milford on Sea in Hampshire and was formed to protect England against invasion from France and defended the western entrance to the Solent waterway. Built between 1541 and 1544, the early Castle had a central keep and three bastions and was equipped with guns just three years later. It was expensive to operate because of its size as our pictures show, but it formed one of the most powerful forts along the south coast. It continued in use during the 18th century but fell into disrepair, the spit being frequented by smugglers. Four lighthouses have been built at Hurst from the 18th century onwards, one of which, a high lighthouse first opened in 1867 and remains in active service.
The Castle formed part of a network of defences around the entrance to the Solent during the First World War, and was re-armed again during the Second World War. The military decommissioned the fort in 1956 and it passed into the control of the Ministry of Works
In the 21st century it was run jointly by English Heritage and the Friends of Hurst Castle and is open to the public as a tourist attraction receiving about 40,000 visitors annually.

 

BURSLEDON BRICKWORKS
This brickworks was founded in 1897 by the Ashby family who were partners in a builders merchants in Southampton who also made bricks. The clay was dug by hand from pits about 40feet deep and quite extensive. Once dug out the clay was brought to the factory on a narrow gauge railway until the distance from pit to the factory was too much and mechanised digging started in the 1930s and an overhead cable system replaced the railway.
Bricks were made during both wars but during that time production dropped to a lower level. After the Second World War the family business was amalgamated with the Sussex and Dorking Brick Company and in 1959 became Redland Holdings Ltd. The site closed in 1974 partly due to the fact that the clay was getting very expensive to extract partly the M27 motorway building also didn’t help as this cut the site in two.
What makes the Brickworks so unusual is the fact that they were not updated during their working life for various reasons and so the factory slowly ran down with the clay diggers being the first to go followed by the kiln burners until the closure was inevitable. 
In the height of production the brickworks was producing 20 million bricks a year and provided extensive local employment for around 180 people but now the only remaining steam driven brickworks in the country shows how brick making made the leap from small scale production to 20 million bricks a year. 

 

The Staunton Park Genealogy Centre

The Undercroft,

St Francis Church,

Leigh Park,

Havant.

Hants

PO9 4QJ

(no postal facilities here)

 

Postal Address:

c/o 29, Greenwood Avenue,

Cosham, 

Portsmouth,

Hants

PO6 3NP

 

Web site:

thestauntoninfo.org

Email: contactus@thestauntoninfo.org

 

Heritage site:

Staunton Park on any search engine and then click Heritage on the drop down list.

 

All orders and communications regarding CDs, Publications etc:

Mrs S. Renault,

4, Bow Hill Lane,

Chichester,

West Sussex

PO18 9BS

 

Email: renault963@aol.com

 

 

 

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