King John’s Castle

A little ruined castle next to the Basingstoke canal Odiham Castle is not well sign posted but worth the effort to find. Hiding lots of history it is known locally as King John’s Castle. It is one of only three fortresses built by King John during his reign. (built between 1207-1214) The King stayed at Odiham Castle prior to signing the Magna Carta at Runnymead.

ODC3ODC1ODC

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Blood Moon

With clear skies an early morning drive (02.30am) to the coast on Southampton Water, to watch the moon.

A celestial event this morning was happening. (28th September 2015) A total lunar eclipse was taking place and I wanted to watch and try and take some pictures, the last total lunar eclipse took place in 1982 and will not be due to occur again until 2033. The effect of the earth’s shadow on the moon also turns it red this is known as a Blood Moon.blood moon

Hovering across the Solent.

Today there remains only 1 passenger Hovercraft service in the UK, which runs from Southsea near Postsmouth to the Isle of Wight. (I must plan a trip as you never know when this service may stop). Many years ago I met Sir Christopher Cockerell the inventor of the Hovercraft, who lived on the Solent at Hythe. I also remember a cross channel car service of giant hovercraft from Dover to Calais and a hovercraft service from Southampton which stopped running many years ago.

Passanger Hovercraft of the Solent

Hovercraft of the Solent

Working boats and pleasure boats on the Solent

Support the Lifeboats

Support the Lifeboats

Many little working boats and pleasure boats mingle with the commercial traffic of the Solent and Southampton Water. This blog gives an overview of a few craft spotted. Every boat we passed would have a great view of the Waverley  and although I took many pictures of the boats we passed I would have loved to have photographed the Waverley under full steam, perhaps another season will allow me the chance.fishing 4fishingfishing1 boat4boat aboat 6boat bboat7boat9 boat 5fishing2

Needles you can not thread. The Needles Lighthouse.

The needles Isle of Wight

The Needles Isle of Wight

The Needles lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1859 it stands just over 33m  high and is a circular straight tower painted in red and white stripes. I have fond childhood memories of this lighthouse, as the local TV always ran a story each year about the Christmas supplies and presents being delivered to the lighthouse, which was often delayed due to bad weather. In 1987 the shape of the tower changed forever when a helipad was added to the top of the tower. Automation took place in 1994 and the keepers left for the last time on 8th December of that year. Photo’s taken from the sea with changing light condition as a rain storm  approaches from the North.

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

light

Dark Sky's

Dark Sky’s

A Solent Lighthouse.

Hurst Castle and Lighthouse

Hurst Castle and Lighthouse

On our Paddle Steamer Waverley trip we got some good views of Hurst Castle {Fort} and Hurst Lighthouse from the seaward side Hurst spit extends into the Solent and to guide shipping into the western approaches of the Solent through the needles channel. This is the shortest gap between Hurst point and the Isle of Wight. Trinity House is responsible for the light on the spit. Although a light has been on the site dating back to 1733, the active light on the point today dates to 1867. The 26 metretower was automated in 1923, 4 white and 1 red light flashes every 15 seconds. The white light can be seen for 13 nautical miles and the red for 10 nautical miles.

the Lighthouse

the Lighthouse

as we past the light darkened and warned of a aproching showes

As we pass the light the darkened sky warned of an approaching shower

A Paddle Steam along the coast.

THE PS Waverley

THE PS Waverley

Yesterday we took trip on the PS Waverley the last sea going paddle steamer. Our trip started at 106 berth Southampton sailing at 10.00hrs then down Southampton Water into Portsmouth harbour. We then headed for Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Later   on to the Needles and around the point into choppier seas before heading back. The Waverley was built on the Clyde in 1947 to replace the original Waverley that was lost off Dunkirk in 1940. This blog shows pictures of the paddle steamer my next blogs will show the pictures of the trip.

Along side Southampton

Along side Southampton

Another view

Another view

Crew member at work

Crew member at work

At Sea

At Sea

lounge

lounge

engines

engines

funnels

funnels

A Bombers Moon and time for reflection. 671 not returning home

CWGC1

Having driven from near Seahouses,  heading home by the time we had reach Oxford I was ready for a walk around and a stretch of the legs. Many times on the A34 I recalled seeing signs for a Commonwealth War graves cemetery and thought this was a place for a look. The site contains 156 burials from WW1 the site of this cemetery is a result of the 3rd Southern General Hospital an Oxfordshire TA unit being located nearby. During WW2 it was designated a RAF cemetery. Used by many local Bomber command airfields in the area by the end of WW2 the total graves had risen to 671.

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Another Castle before heading home.

The last day of our Northumbria holiday and another boarder castle, Norham Castle a large ruined castle on the banks of the Tweed. Off on the road trip home tomorrow morning.

these pictures are for my good friend Des who follows my blog but thinks there are too many castles in Nortumbria

These pictures are for my good friend Des who follows my blog but thinks there are too many castles in Northumbria.

Oystercatcher on beach

Oystercatcher on beach

Great little farm and cafe - note Oxford Northumbria

Great little farm shop and cafe –
note Oxford Northumbria ☆☆☆☆

http://www.fenham-le-moor.co.uk/ where we stayed

http://www.fenham-le-moor.co.uk/
where we stayed ( Teal Cottage )

sun setting from our cottage

sun setting from our cottage