Monday, July 14, 2008

Calshot Castle and Beach

6 July 2008, Sunday
Castle and Beach

Calshot Castle - An artillery fort from 16th to 20th century.

Fawley Power Station

Red Funnel plying from Southampton to IOW.

We were back at the Holiday Inn by 6. The shortest of all days, but, then it was evident from the previous days schedule and we had to join work early the next day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Buckler's Hard

6 July 2008, Sunday
Buckler’s Hard

Sat was an exhaustive day, with Portsmouth and Hursley Day on chart. Thus Sunday was laid down to be lazy and relaxing. The previous weeks visit to New Forest, was inviting. And this time it was Buckler’s Hard.

On the banks of Beaulieu River, in the heart of New Forest, is Buckler’s Hard – A thriving Ship building village. Ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar is said to have built here. Three ships built at Buckler's Hard went on to see action in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar - the Euryalus, Swiftsure and Agamemnon.

Further during World War II the village is said have used to build motor torpedo boats, and the river as a base for hundreds of landing craft.
The 'Montagu Town', as it was originally known, was founded as a free port for the trading of Sugar from West Indies. The abundance of oak, beech and elm trees in NewForest, further turned the town into an important shipbuilding village for the Royal Navy. A quiet and serene town.

The Buckler's Hard Story and Maritime Museum

Many models and paintings of ships built at Buckler's Hard are on display here, while reconstructed interiors of the cottage show, how the villagers lived, worked and relaxed. The first solo navigation of Sir Francis Chichester, who circumnavigated the earth in his yacht Gypsy Moth IV.

One thing that caught my attention was SS Percia. The sinking of the liner by a German U-Boat during WWI. The world’s deepest salvage operation has unearthed several ship’s artifacts, that were entombed for nearly one hundred years; Fortune of gold and jewels the ship was believed to be carrying on its fateful final voyage from India.

Historic 18th century cottages - Georgian cottages running down to the river, Bucklers Hard is part of the 9000 acre (36 km²) Beaulieu Estate. The hamlet is actually located some 2 miles south of the village of Beaulieu. The village centres around a single main street lined with shipbuilder's cottages, including the Shipwright's Cottage, The New Inn (which not only served drinks but also gossip)
and St.Mary's Chapel, has now been restored. The street leads down to the Beaulieu River.

Labourers had cramped home, whereas the craftsman had spacious house, and the Master shipbuilder a luxurious.

Henry Adams was the Master Shipbuilder, The Master Builder's pub (originally the home of Henry Adams, Master Shipbuilder between 1749-1805) offers a nice opportunity for a relaxing drink at the river-end of Village Street. A hot cup of Cappucino beside the fire place in a 18th century cottage, a river flowing by and a mild sprinkle outside. What else can anyone ask for?!?

Riverside walk

Down at the river, you can see the ancient shipbuilding launchways, with some of the original timbers visible at low tide.

The present modern yachting marina

A walk through the woodlands

Our next stop was at the Calshot Castle and Pebble Beach.


5 July 2008, Saturday

Portsmouth is a mere 20 miles from Eastleigh, and was a must see in my list. We started as early as 7AM. The interim stop before Portsmouth was Portchester. The morning walk was destined at the Portchester Castle.

Portchester Castle is one of the best preserved Roman fortification. The castle remains are essentially the outer wall and a restructured keep. The view from the castle top is enjoyable. There is a small church within the castle walls. A walk outside along the castle walls and along the water's edge, revealed a splendid view of Portsmouth harbor.

Spinnaker tower at Portsmouth visible from Portchester Castle.

A morning jog to relish for forever................

Our next stop was at Shingle beach.

Houses facing the Sea.....

This was the perfect Beach and Yacht drawing, I used to draw as a kid.

Portsmouth has 4 miles of seafront with pebbled beaches and has been a important Naval Port.

Compared to other places, spotting a long stay was tough, finally we did; which was 10mins walk from the Historic Dockyard.

The Historic Dockyard : HMS Victory, Mary Rose, HMS Warrior 1860 and Royal Naval Museum.

HMS Warrior

HMS Monitor M33 – built in 1915.

The primary attractions here are, Lord Nelson's ship, the HMS Victory - an 18th century man-o-war. The ships are continually maintained and staffed by regular midshipmen of the Royal Navy. One is sure to enjoy the narration, touring the fine vessel and seeing how life might have been like in the Navy of 1805.

There are 8 museums in the Dockyard including the Royal Naval Museum. And one would surely enjoy all of them. Its great to know what it takes to build a ship, down to the niceties. Its such complex compared to what the National Motor Museum introduced me to.

The Sails, Uniforms, Blacksmith, Ironsmith, Mast tailor, Carpenter……

But, one thing that caught my attention in these museums is the wealth looted from our country, which are found displayed here. And some are for sale for a fortune. Precious stones, Jewellery, Gold and Sliver articles, idols et al. They shamelessly have a board saying, they originate from India.

I remember learning all these knots at School. Yet to try them out now.

The Mary Rose is a Tudor warship which sank off the coast of Southsea, near Portsmouth, in 1545, during a battle with the French. In 1982, the remains of the Mary Rose hull were hoisted from its shallow grave and moved to Portsmouth in a very complex recovery operation. The hull is now on display in a specially constructed building.

The dockyard has one of the best gift stores and range of memorabilias, offered at decent price.

Across the Hard Interchange to the Gunwarf Quays. The Gunwarf Quays has hundreds of food chains, accessory, clothing, fashion and jewellery outlet all together.

Spinnaker Tower – A striking £21 million landmark tower, rising 170m.

A busy Saturday afternoon, the city was welcoming a crew which was away at the sea for the past 2 years.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hursley Day

50 Years of Hursley Labs
Saturday 5th July 2008

I was here at the right time. A splendid day filled with activities. A collection of appreciable events.


Needless to explain, the photo says it all.

Spitfire aerobic display

Exhibition has everything form Clock, Scales & Coffee Mill which IBM once manufactured, to CRT, Diskettes to technologies its flown.

Choir in front of Hursley House.

Evening Concert and Fireworks – 10PM

The evening turned windy and was accompanied with a lovely sprinkle.

Blessed was my visit!

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