The Start of Southampton Water.

calshot 004aCalshot Castle (Fort) was built by Henry VIII in 1539, At that time invasion was feared from the French and the Castle was built on a shingle spit close to the deep water channel at the mouth of Southampton Water. The Castle formed part of an extensive line of forts along the South Coast. Today the Castle is squeezed between old air craft hangers part of the old Naval Sea Plane base and the Coastguard Tower.


Support the lifeboats

Home Safe the Hoegh Osaka

Follow further salvage operations yesterday the Hoegh Osaka was almost upright (Thursday 22nd January 2015) and in the early evening she was towed back to Southampton Docks and now at 101 dock. This afternoon (Friday) operations are being made to drive off her cargo of cars and JCBs You can note from the pictures the rear ramp being lowered. Again I was shown up by the very large lens of the press taking their professional pictures.

{March 2016 update}

home safe 027ahome safe 018ahome safe 020ahome safe 033a

War Graves and a Little Train


A damp Sunday and a walk from the old chapel, all that remains of Queen Victoria Military Hospital {Netley Hospital} brings you to the Hospitals own CWGC Military graveyard  which is a reminder that those wounded or sick and returned to England were not all going to return to their own  homes . Along with the British graves are some 60 WW2 German graves.(most post D-Day).

Behind the Chapel is now a children’s railway Originally The hospital had its own railway station linking to the railway system. Although long gone it also had its own pier so troops could come ashore from hospital ships straight into the hospital.Netley Little Train

Hospital ChapelHospital Chapel aCWGCCross of Sacrifice

After the Fire Southampton Pier

Southampton Pier was opened in 1833 it was fully renovated in 1838 as the soft wood piles had become unsafe further pontoons were added in 1864. Major reconstruction took place in 1892 and a Pavilion was built in 1894. Facilities included a concert hall. The pier closed in 1980. In July 1997 a major fire left the pier standing but totally destroyed.
The first picture on this blog I took during the fire the others were taken in January 2015 and show a structure that looks unsaveable

pier fire

On hearing on Radio Solent of the fire and seeing smoke from our garden off I dashed to take this picture.


all at sea 009Soto Peir

On the shore’s of Southampton Water.

Set on the shores of Southampton Water Netley Abbey is the most complete surviving Cistercian monastery in South of England, with most of the walls of its 13th-century church still standing, along with many monastic buildings. Following the dissolution, the buildings were converted into the mansion house of Sir William Paulet. Even in ruins, the abbey continued to be influential, inspiring writers poets and artists. Today Netley Abbey is managed by English Heritage.netley abbey 1netley abbey 002netley abbey 2

O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on the sea! Support the Life Boats.

Given the splash the  Hoegh Osaka is making in the national press l decided to see if she was photogenic enough for a blog, this is my 1st planned blog. Our spot at Meonshore would only give a distant view so I decided to take a wight link ferry as a foot passenger from Southampton to Cowes on The Isle of Wight.
While waiting to depart I was treated to a pair of Kingfishers flying just below deck level across the water from the remains of Southampton pier towards dock head.
As The Red Falcon made its way down Southampton Water we were passed by the fast jet a quick passenger link to the Island but without an open deck to take pictures. Even with a 200 metre exclusion ring around the stricken car transporter we sailed close enough to photograph  the beached vessel which resembled a seal on a mud bank. I had been worried by a small frenzy of  “Press” photographer’s with their expensive kit and ridiculously long lenses on the ferry. Happy with my own photos I was reassured size is not everything (& if I was rich enough to own such a long telephoto lens with a front lens to let in so much light I would be chasing that pair of Kingfishers). Stayed on the Red Falcon for its return trip without stepping ashore, just watched the paparazzi dash back to Southampton on fast jet.
Whilst this accident at sea resulted in no loss of life thanks to The Coast Guard and The RNLI, I can’t help thinking of the freighter which overturned & lost off Scotland on the same night which appears to have been with all hands. So if you have enjoyed by blog why not add a couple of pounds into the next RNLI collection tin you see.
Footnote/update 07/01/2015 following high tide this evening the vessel refloated herself off the Brambles Bank & has been towed (still at 50 degrees) a short distance East where further salvage is being undertaken to pump the water from her hull

Accidents at sea years apart.

Today’s trip to one of our favourite park up spots by the sea (Meonshore by Titchfield Haven) was like a summers Bank Holiday had we missed something. Could not find a spot to park the campervan, so went to Titchfield Abbey instead {see previous post}. The reason for all the activities turned out to be a accident at sea. A bulk car transporter the Hoegh Osaka ran aground last night while leaving Southampton on Bramble Bank in Solent. In daylight listing at 45 degrees the crew of 24 where lifted to safety in the dark. The Bramble Bank is well known in the Solent for hosting a couple of cricket matches each year at very low tides. The Hoegh Osaka is reported as having a mechanical malfunction causing her to go off course and run aground.
No photos of today’s shipwreck but it reminded me of some photo’s taken in Portsmouth in 2002 of HMS Nottingham returning to the UK for repair welded to a transport ship after running aground off Lord Howe Island in September 2002 Australia.

8thDecember2002HMSNotinghham +adam@our house 019 (3)8thDecember2002HMSNotinghham +adam@our house 014 (3)

Where Monks once walked

Titchfield Abbey (The abbey of St Mary and St John the Evangelist) was founded by Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, for Premonstratensian canons,in 1232 The abbey owned several thousands of acres of land It had its own farm buildings including a number of fishponds. Titchfield was a ideal stopping place for journeys to the Continent. Henry V stayed there before going on campaign in France.

Titchfield AbbeyA

Henry V111 led to the dissolution of the Monasteries, in 1537 the estate transferred to Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton. By 1542 he had converted the monastic buildings into the residence known as Place House. Royal guests to the house included Edward VI, Elizabeth I and Charles I The third Earl of Southampton was a patron of William Shakespeare and it is believed that some of Shakespeare’s plays were performed here for the 1st time. The Place survived until 1781, when most of the building was demolished for building stone.  In the early 20th century archaeological excavations helped to record the layout of the monastic buildings. Today the ruin is in the ownership of English Heritage and open to the public.

Titchfield Abbey B

Botley Flour Mills Hampshire

main Mill buildings 2015

Main Mill buildings 2015

Botley Flour Mill is first recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086. At that time it was owned by Ralph de Mortimer a French nobleman prior to 1066 the Mill is referenced in the Doomsday Book as of pre Saxon origins.

The last wheels being fitted in 1870 The milling continued until 1993.The site is now a site of many small shops much of the workings remain some of the main buildings are in poor repair with the rear roof covered with sheeting.The advantage of the shopping centre at the mill is you can explore the mill (while looking at the shops or not).

mill raceMillmill stonesMill1