musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Itchen River

Retrospective: Woolston and Weston

This is yet another of my retrospective posts about my time in Southampton. and it really encompasses the area I lump together as Woolston/Weston/Southampton Water and of course the River Itchen. I grew up in a landlocked city so never really had the opportunity watch the tide come in; Southampton has an unusual phenomenon known as “Double High Water” and frankly I am not qualified to explain how this works because there are so many factors that come into play. If you are really interested please go read up at the Associated British Ports website where it is explained in detail. The important thing to know is that it results in unusually prolonged periods of high water which makes things easier for large ships (of which there are quite a lot) calling in Southampton.

My exif data has 4 separate dates for the images I took in this area, so I am really going to lump them together as one.  To understand where the images occur you really need to see the River Itchen from the bridge. The area I am dealing with is on the left of the image just past the pier that juts out from the land.  Southampton is to the right of the image. 

The ship underway is the Arco Dee, and I did a whole series of images about her transiting the Itchen Bridge en route to Southampton Water.  Our story really starts at Woolston Station, which is below.

Actually I cheated by crossing the bridge and not using the train.

The line extends all the way to Fareham and onwards to Portsmouth.  I then took Victoria Street to get to my destination. Woolston is really a village and is rich in maritime and aviation history, but unfortunately the Vosper Thornycroft yards closed in  2004 and when I was in the area the site of the yards was being redeveloped. ​

 

The Woolston Millennium Garden  was completed in 2002. Its focal point is a 10-metre tall metal and recycled glass feather intended to signify Woolston’s history of flight and sail. The garden is divided into three areas, signifying the earth, the sky and the sea. Many of the crew of the Titanic came from Woolston and there are bricks in the pathway through the garden that are inscribed with their names. Unfortunately I did not realise that the bricks did have those names otherwise I would have photographed them too. Many of those who died on the Titanic are remembered on graves in Southampton Old Cemetery.

The church I associate with Woolston/Weston is the Holy Trinity Church. there is one Second World War casualty buried in it’s churchyard. There is also the grave of Ada Maria and Charles Valentine Clarke,  2nd Class Passengers on board the Titanic. Ada survived while Charles was lost.  
 

   
   
   

Eventually you will come to a sewerage plant. You will probably smell it first though. Carry on a bit further and  you will run out of land unless you start following the road to the left. It was here that I spent some time observing the tide and exploring the area. This is also the route I took to reach Royal Victoria Country Park in August 2013

The Domesday Book has the following to say about Woolston:

  • HundredMansbridge
  • CountyHampshire
  • Total population: 6 households (quite small).
  • Total tax assessed: 1 exemption units (very small).
  • Taxable units: Taxable value 1 exemption units. Taxed on 0.12.
  • Value: Value to lord in 1066 £0.5. Value to lord in 1086 £0.3.
  • Households: 3 villagers. 3 smallholders.
  • Ploughland: 1 men’s plough teams.
  • Lord in 1066Tovi.
  • Overlord in 1066King Edward.
  • Lord in 1086Reginald (Cnut).
  • Tenant-in-chief in 1086Reginald (Cnut).
  • Phillimore reference: 59,1

It was a hot day, the sun was strong and the sky blue, that water looked very inviting. Fortunately I am not one of those who dash into the water flinging clothing aside and then doing a swan dive into it. 

The ship at Ocean Terminal was Queen Mary 2, and this image I took on a different occasion. (1500×443)

That is the Itchen Bridge in the distance.  I found the water fascinating, and the yellow boat was on the slipway when I arrived and was afloat and heading out to sea when I left. I wonder where it eventually ended up?

The movement of the water really transforms the shingle beach, it creates a whole new submerged environment that is inhabited by numerous critters that depend on the tide and the ecosystem around it. Dogs however are not included in that equation, like me they are casual visitors.

And of course the comings and goings of cruise ships do not affect the dogs but they do sometimes cause people to shade their eyes and stare, wishing that they were on board and looking at the shore. This is Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth in Southampton Water (1500×707). 

If you continued to walk and follow the road through to Weston you would see the buildings that comprise a housing estate. These buildings sufferer some of the problems that are associated with this type of housing, but Hampton TowersHavre TowersOslo TowersCopenhagen TowersRotterdam Towers and Canberra Towers are a very distinctive landmarks when viewed from Southampton Water. Just imagine what the view must be like from there…. The recent fire in a tower block in London has thrown the spotlight on fire safety in buildings like this, and I suspect a lot of rethinks will be required to sort out any potential issues in these buildings.  

The final oddity I wanted to add in here is called “Fox’s Monument” and it may be found in Mayberry Park.

This memorial is a tall unadorned obelisk on a square base commemorating Whig politician Charles James Fox. It was erected in 1810 in the grounds of Mayfield House by his admirer and friend William Chamberlayne of Weston Grove. Charles Fox’s name does not appear on the memorial but there is an inscription that reads: “The Earth is the Lord’s, and the Fullness Thereof“. 

That concludes this disjointed diatribe, it did not quite turn out the way I would have liked, but I hope it does leave some sort of impression on what the opposite bank of the Itchen River looks like. I am hoping to do a similar sort of post about Northam, but not today. Bits and pieces will be added to as and when I get the urge. 

DRW © 2013-2018. (Domesday image and data available under the CC-BY-SA licence, with credit to Professor John Palmer and George Slater, (Opendomesday.org)

Updated: 13/04/2018 — 08:38

Visiting Romsey

I pass Romsey every morning on my way to work, and while it is not the sort of place that seems like having anything interesting in it, it does have a war memorial, abbey and cemetery, and all three of those fall into my field of interest. I headed out there on Saturday 16 Nov, my goal was the cemetery; and, weather permitting, the war memorial. Everything else was a bonus.
 
The train that serves this line runs from Romsey, through Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, and then Southampton, Romsey and Salisbury, with all stations inbetween. That is the one I use in in the mornings. In the evenings I catch a First Great Western train that transits between Portsmouth and Cardiff, passing through Southampton, Romsey, and Salisbury. 
First Great Western service to Cardiff

First Great Western service to Cardiff

 
The weather was nice and clear, and I would regret taking my NATO Parka with, although that was not the case later in the morning. The Cemetery is 1.4 miles away from the station, and it was a quick walk to get there. On the way I spotted the abbey in the distance and hoped to have a look at it later on. 
  
I also was able to pop into the Romsey Signal Box Project and I will do a separate post about that later on. I first spotted it from the train when I first started to work in Salisbury, and my curiosity has been piqued since then. 
  
Botley Road Cemetery was the burial place for Romsey from 1856 till 1983, and there are 18 War Graves in the cemetery of which I could only find 17. There are also two chapels and a caretakers lodge in the cemetery, and they are all in a very good condition.
Church of England Chapel

Church of England Chapel

Overall the cemetery is in a very good condition, although the legibility of some of the headstones is poor. Neither is it a very big cemetery, running at 6 acres. The older graves clustered around the two chapels. 

Non Conformist Chapel

Non Conformist Chapel

 
It has been well maintained, although parts of it are allowed a degree of “wildness” to encourage small “critters” to make it their home too. I was really impressed, although it is not one of those cemeteries that leaves an indelible mark on you. 
 
 
By the time I had found the graves the weather had started to cloud, and I decided to head off to the war memorial which wasn’t too far away. My route took me back under the railway lines towards the abbey. 
 
 
The town centre was crowded, too many cars, too narrow pavements, and too many people walking side by side along them. Not to mention too many large children in prams and old timers dicing each other on mobility scooters. Oh, and unconscious individuals on cellphones. At one point I think I crossed the same street 5 times to avoid the crowds on the pavements. 
  
 
 
The abbey was heard and seen above the clamour. The bells tolling constantly, and I hoped that there wasn’t some sort of service on the go. 
  
Eventually I reached Romsey Abbey, and a mighty space it is. 
 
 
It is a squat building, and not an attractive place at all. Originating in the 10th century it seemed to glower at its surroundings. The abbey was actually a nunnery, and it too suffered under Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. On this particular day there was a wedding taking place, which explained the tolling of the bells. The area where I took the pic above may have been the churchyard, as there are quite a few headstones laid out as paving. 
 
Leaving the wedding to its service, I headed across to War Memorial Park where the memorial was situated. 
  
It too had seen a Remembrance Day service, and was festooned with Poppy Wreaths. A bit further away was a plinthed Japanese 150mm field gun, which had been presented to the town by Lord Louis Mountbatten in recognition of the townspeople’s service during the second world war. 
 
And then it was time to go. Interestingly enough the River Test runs around this park, so I decided to follow it for awhile and see where I would come out. Southampton Harbour is situated at the mouth of the Test, and along with the Itchen it becomes Southampton Water and from there the Solent.
 
    
This particular bridge was the site of a skirmish in 1643 during the civil War. It is doubtful that the river really cared too much about that though. It still had a fair distance to meander before arriving at the harbour. At Totton there is a another bridge that I wanted to have a look at which is the point where the Test starts to widen and become the harbour. 
 
The station wasn’t too far away and for once I would be in time for my train. A blue plaque interested me, and it tied into this area and the world wars. 
  
It is hard to imagine the troop trains leaving from here, en route to Southampton, and from there to the continent, but then that was a different era, and things have changed considerably. But I could not help think that just maybe the signal box I had seen this morning had witnessed these events so many years before.
 
And while I waited, the Southwest trains DMU that I usually caught in the mornings paused on the opposite platform, and tomorrow I would be on it once again, travelling this route for the next week before my relocation to Salisbury. 
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images replaced 14/04/2015
Updated: 29/12/2017 — 07:50

Netley Military Cemetery.

Following my previous post about Private Hollis and Netley Military Hospital, I decided to take a walk up to the cemetery once again, and to have a look at the chapel at what is now Royal Victoria Country Park. I also had to photograph as many of the 671 CWGC graves at the military cemetery for the British War Graves Project  
 
It is not too far from where I live, although the furthermost I had walked had been up to Netley Abbey. The Chapel is about a kilometre further.  The route I took was over the Itchen Bridge
down to Weston, then along Southampton Water until I ran out of road, 
then up to Netley Abbey
through Netley Village
  and finally the park and chapel itself.  
 
This large open area would have been where the military hospital stood, with a similar wing on the other side of the chapel. It was a large building as can be seen from the model below.  
 
The chapel is the blue object on the centre of the model, and today is all that is left of the building, and it stands surrounded by the green fields that used to be where the hospital building stood.  
 
It is a glorious wedding cake of a building, beautifully proportioned and dominated by its tower. Unfortunately though it was closed, but I did manage a few pics of the interior.  
  
 
But, I did not get to see it all, as they do not have funds to allow it to remain open. So, I did not see all that I wanted to. The park is a very large space that even boasts a miniature railway, and quite a few public facilities, although my interest did not really extend to places like a BBQ area.

 
With that completed I headed off to the military cemetery, which is not too far away, close to Hamble Station. I had been there twice before, but this time I had over 600 graves waiting for me. The cemetery can be broken up into two major halves, The older part is set on a hill, with the newer section laid out in a linear CWGC pattern, with a Cross of Sacrifice.  The sections are also divided into RC, Non Conformist and Anglican/COE 
Older part of the cemetery (WW1)

Older part of the cemetery (WW1)

The newer part of the cemetery (WW2)

The newer part of the cemetery (WW2)

Interspersed with these sections are a lot of much older graves of members of the military who died at the hospital, as well as staff members and their families that may have died here too. Many are illegible, and there are large areas that have graves but no headstones.
There are also a number of graves for the children of staff who died at the hospital,  sadly, a large portion do not have headstones, but they are poignant reminders of those young lives that never came to fruition.
Darling Bobbie, Fell Asleep February 19th 1929, Aged 15 Months

Darling Bobbie, Fell Asleep February 19th 1929, Aged 15 Months


There are also graves of men that died as a result of disease that they had picked up in South Africa during the Boer War.  It took nearly 3 hours to photograph the graves, and by the time I was finished I had drained 2 sets of batteries and taken over 1000 photographs. But, in the end it is worthwhile doing. There are 6 South Africans buried at this cemetery, all of them needless casualties of the slaughter on World War 1.
There is a lot written about the hospital and those who were treated there, but we will probably never know all the stories behind the pain and suffering, and the courage of the nurses who had the unenviable job of taking care of the patients.
FGO Stuart Postcards of the hospital

FGO Stuart Postcards of the hospital


 

The cemetery is covered extremely well in the wonderful website dedicated to the Royal Victoria Hospital and Military Cemetery, Netley

 
Then it was time to head home, taking the same route except for a pause at the waterfront area of the park which is roughly midway between the Solent and Southampton.  Three rivers (The Test, Itchen and Hamble) flow in to this area that we know as “Southampton Water”, and it is a pretty area with a lot of potential for development. However if that development means heaps of yuppie flats then that will definitely ruin the the shoreside that I was walking upon.  

I did discover a pathway between Netley Castle and Netley Abbey so was able to get a better look at the castle, although you cannot really see the whole thing. It was largely built with material taken from Netley Abbey, and today it is used as private apartments. My view of the castle from Southampton Water is a much better indicator of the extent building.

Calshot, Isle of Wight and the Solent from Royal Victoria Country Park

Calshot, Isle of Wight and the Solent from Royal Victoria Country Park

Netley Castle

Netley Castle 

Netley Castle from Southampton Water

Netley Castle from Southampton Water


With the castle behind me I was over halfway home, just a few more random pics and that would conclude my outing, although I would still have to sort, label and queue the military grave images.
The harbour had three cruise ships in on that day. Queen Elizabeth at QEII, Azura at Ocean Terminal,
and Celebrity Eclipse at City Terminal.
I had originally considered catching the train through to Hamble, but had taken this walk instead, and I am glad I did because this is probably the last time I will be able to walk along Southampton Water. My days in Southampton are coming to an end, and while I have not been able to see everything that I wanted to, at least I have seen this much.

It had been an interesting morning, and I hope that it will remain in this unchanged state for a very long time. It is a unique place, with a lot of maritime history that sailed past this area. It’s just a pity that I did not get to see it all.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images replaced 10/04/2016
Updated: 17/01/2018 — 06:25

View from a bridge.

Bridges: love them? or loathe them? Personally I love a good bridge, and I don’t only mean the type found on board ship either. One of my dreams was to photograph a ship going under a bridge, and that is a problem on it’s own because there are not too many navigable bridges in my area. The one exception is the Itchen Bridge, which has a height of  28 metres.  

(1500×576). The Itchen Bridge  

I have seen a number of ships on the Itchen River and I expect there are a few limitations to taking a largeish vessel under the bridge without running into it. For maximum clearance you should go under at low tide, but then your vessel must not be heavily laden or you would run aground. You could go through at high tide too, but then you must be down on your marks, you also need to aim for the middle of the centre span. Oh, and it does not help if your vessel is higher than 28 metres. 
 
I watched my handy vessel movements website for a number of weeks, trying to find a chance to catch a ship going under the bridge, and that came on the 20th of July when a dredger; Sand Harrier, was due to transit from American/Burnley Wharf to Southampton Water. I was due to go shipwatching at Weston that afternoon and hoped to be back in time to see this happen.
 
On my way to Weston I spotted the vessel alongside, and just hoped that I would be back in time, or that she did not sail early. 
 
Shipwatching from Weston can be fun, but somedays there are certain ferries that are determined to ruin the photography. Once I was completed I headed up to the bridge. Sand Harrier had not passed me at Weston so she was still upriver, but anything could happen between my leaving where I was at Weston, and arriving on the bridge. By the time I got to the bridge she had not sailed, but by the looks of she was about ready to go. 
 
It is not a long distance to sail, although you do have to be careful of small craft or the odd kayak that may be oblivious to what is bearing down on them. You also need to steer towards the centre span of the bridge almost immediately after clearing the channel. Interestingly enough the vessel is able to turn at the berth, and she does so without the help of a tug. 
 
What a moment it was. The funnel gases and sound and sheer thrill of seeing something like this for the first time! I was so enthralled I forgot to press the shutter on the video camera. But, I did manage to get some video of the event. 
 

And then she was on her way towards Southampton Water, and I was on my way home. A happy puppy indeed. However, I needed to do this again. On 22 August I made an interesting discovery (which I should have noticed the first time around). Sand Harrier has a hinged mast! I feel cheated!!
Anyway, this is what she looks like from ground level. As you can see she is riding quite high, and the tide was out too, so she did not have a problem going under the bridge at all. I also managed to capture this sequence on video.
A further opportunity came a few days later when the dredger Arco Dee was due to transit from the same place and I was ready and waiting 30 minutes before sailing time. 

 
The same circumstances were involved with relation to harbour traffic, tide, draft and weather.
 
 
And then she was past. This time around I did much better with the video but did loose a bit as I had to cross the street and the traffic was hectic. 
 
 

Satisfied? not really. I now needed to see this from the bottom of the bridge. As luck would have it the trailing suction dredger City of Chichester was due to transit. But the weather was gross, and the images were really not up to scratch, so I stuck around waiting for the next opportunity which happened on 15 August.

It was a late afternoon, same ship, but better weather. For some reason I shot mostly video, but do have a screen cap that will help.
It was difficult to know how much clearance there was between the tip of her mast and the bottom of the span, But by the looks of it there was quite a bit. The tide was high too.
And finally, the clincher.
As stated previously though, it really does depend on tide, draft, ship height and that you are in the centre of the span. I expect there may be leading marks out Weston Area or possibly at Hythe for guidance and I must check up next time I am there.

And that concluded three very interesting ship transits under the Itchen bridge. I now feel kind of lost, having completed my observations. The video is available on YouTube too, as are the video’s shot from above. Come to think of it, I haven’t managed to get this dredger from above yet……

DRW © 2013-2018. Images recreated 10/04/2016 

Updated: 12/04/2018 — 13:09

Walking around Winchester.

On Thursday 25 I had to go for a job interview in Winchester, and decided to do some sightseeing along the way. According to my handy search engine it is 12 miles away, which is really a quick train journey on the train that goes to London. Winchester is famous for a song written about its famous cathedral. And it was this cathedral that I really wanted to see. I had paused briefly in the town en route to Southampton in April 2013 and managed a pic through the window of the coach

Winchester seen through the coach window

Oddly enough I never saw the statue of King Alfred the Great, which stands close to the site of the city’s medieval East Gate when I visited the town on this occasion. The place I was supposed to be wasn’t too far away so I had 2 hours to mess around, and naturally I would be on the lookout for graves, memorials and churches (of which Winchester has a fine crop). The train trip takes about 15 minutes, and the approach to Winchester is through a wooded valley with high road bridges overhead.
 
From the station I set out for the edge of the city centre; I had a vague idea where the cathedral was in relation to it so any deviation from my route wouldn’t be a disaster. 
 
The City is an old one and at one point it was the capital of England. Today it is more tourist attraction than anything else, and its host of old buildings are pleasing to the eye (and lens). Unfortunately the weather was grey and gloomy, but by the time I finished with my interview it had started to clear and the sun was shining. 
 
This magnificent building, called “Castle Hill” is home to the council chambers, basing and portal meeting rooms, and interestingly enough the building on the left (“Westgate”) is very similar to the Bargate in Southampton. On the East side of this building the ruins of the former castle are still evident. It is  really a very pretty space, but I did not have too much time to tarry, so heading onwards down one of the historic streets looking for the cathedral. I did expect to see a spire sticking out above everything else, but did not see one.

Eventually though I turned the corner and there she was: magnificent, as only a really old cathedral could be. There was no real spire either (which was a surprise), but there were two war memorials in site, as well as a churchyard. I just wish the weather was kinder. 
 
The problem with buildings like this is that they are so vast you need to be really far from it to appreciate it in one glimpse, but then you loose the finer intricacies that these structures are riddled with. Like most (probably all), cathedrals it is roughly in a form of a cross, dominated by a really magnificent entrance through which hordes of tourists were crowding to get into. I detoured to pick up my two war memorials and walked around the one side and through part of the graveyard which is now a park dotted with tombstones and people. 
 
On my way home later; parts of the grounds were quieter so I have interchanged some of the images. Unfortunately parts of the building are covered in scaffolding as restoration continues, and I was not able to get past the gated area where the more important graves seemed to be.
 
The building is very ornate and I am sure that if buildings could talk this one would have a lot to say. It was also not possible to walk completely around the building, so I gave up for the morning and headed off to my interview.

Having completed my interview it was time to head back to the station, and with better weather attempt some better pics. I had noticed that there was a lot of flowing water in the area, and it turns out that this is part of the River Itchen which finally flows out into Southampton Water within walking distance of where I stay.
 
I also saw the home of the Bishop of Winchester, 
  
and the house where Jane Austen “lived her last days”. She is connected to Southampton too, although she is buried in Winchester Cathedral.
 
I was soon back at the Cathedral, and with better light could at least appreciate what I was seeing much better than before. 
  
 
Each of the flying buttresses seem to have been donated and were engraved accordingly and it was fascinating to see them up close. 
 
 
The graves on this side were very tantalising, but the only one I was able to really identify was that of Frank Theodore Woods, who was the 88th Bishop of Winchester. 
Unfortunately time was catching me and I decided to head closer towards the station area, but ended up taking a different route to what I had taken originally. 
 
 
 
 
In my meanderings I had also seen references to “Military Museums”, but they had all pointed in the opposite direction to where I was heading, and I hoped that I would at least be able to pick up that trail once again. The first museum I discovered by accident, and it was the museum of the Royal Hampshire Regiment, now housed at “Serle’s House”.
 
I continued through the area, trying to find my way out of a labyrinth of an estate that may have been barracks at some point, finally coming out at West Hill Cemetery, which I had a quick look around. It was a surprisingly pretty cemetery that follows the contours of the hill it was built on
I did not find any really exciting graves in it, so decided to head back towards the railway line that I had crossed before, towards the station. Crossing back over on one of those three road bridges I had seen before.
I came out at an area that I had overlooked previously and  this was where my military museums were. They included the Ghurka, Light Infantry, and Hussar Museums. However, I was running a tad late as these were all closing for the day. So it was back to finding the station again, only this time I ended up inside the Great Hall I had seen earlier in the morning.
 

This is supposedly the finest surviving Medieval great hall, which contains the legendary “round table”. Personally I felt like it looked like a giant dart board.
And then I came out at the “Castle Hill”, and then I knew where I was, having arrived at this point earlier in the morning.

The station wasn’t too far off from here,
And then a quick bit of train spotting while I waited, and by 16H30 I was back home.

It had been an interesting day, and an interesting city with a long history. I did like the many old buildings, but did not like the fact that behind that old facade were many of the fashionista brand names that had taken them over. It almost seems like sacrilege.

As for the interview? I did get the position, but unfortunately the job was extremely convoluted and involved travel to places that were often with no access to public transport, and I ended up resigning from it following a very odd phone call from one of the “managers”.

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 09/04/2016, Added image 13/04/2018

Updated: 13/04/2018 — 08:34

Month 4.

I am now entering my fourth month in Southampton, and it has been a lot of fun. I am fortunate that I was able to see so many cruise ships in so short a time, and I hate to admit it but have become quite blasé about it, rarely going down to the harbour to see anything come or go. Granted though, the weather has not been all that spectacular, and on the days when it is great I am either working or head out and go explore somewhere new. 
 
Last weekend, was one of the nicer weekends and I decided to head in the general direction of the bridge near Northam that crosses the River Itchen. Ideally I was looking to go as far upriver as I could. There was no real final destination in mind, just looking around. 
 
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find St Mary’s Church had open doors and I really wanted to go inside to see the Titanic Musicians Plaque. The church itself is really beautiful on the outside, but is actually surprisingly plain on the inside.  Some rooting around revealed that the current church had only been erected between 1954 and 1956, and was the 6th church to be erected on that site. The previous St Mary’s being almost completely destroyed during the Blitz.
 
Task completed I headed towards the bridge that crosses the railway just before the Northam Rail Depot and next to the stadium. 
northam 079
 
 
 The bridge is marked 1908 and is a nice functional steel construction with open railings. 
 
A bit further down is the bridge over the Itchen, and it was here where I got bogged down once again. The tide was out and there was a large expanse of mudflats with several boats high and dry. What really fascinated me were the many wrecks that were stranded on the mudflats. 
 
Granted, not all boats sitting high and dry were wrecks, but there were some there that really seemed as if they were now “part of the furniture”. In the one corner was a largeish wooden vessel, possibly a barge or some sort of short sea sailing ship. 
 
She has to be to be tidal though, and I was quite surprised that she had not been removed years ago. I was very tempted to go down to her, but that mud did not look too inviting. 
  
Close by another lighter sat on the mud, and while she does seem sound there is a hole in her hull, which means she too is tidal. I could have spent hours checking this lot out, but decided to go further, roughly parallel with the river where possible. The causeway that runs to St Denys was on my left, but I headed right instead, hoping to find a boat yard or two. Alas there did not seem to be too much there so I headed towards the causeway which was now on the opposite bank of the river. 
 
The best find of a derelict boat had to be at this spot, a large rowing boat was mouldering alongside the quay, she was big enough to almost be a ships boat, and made for quite an attractive photographic subject. 
 
I went as far as I could for this trip, before heading back to where I hoped the boatyards were.
 
After quite a longish walk I came across Chessel Bay Local Nature Reserve which was a wetland/mudflat section situated on the East Bank of the Itchen. The reserve has a largish bird population comprising Kingfishers, Bullfinches, Ashers and Curlew.  I only saw seagulls and pigeons. The reserve is also bounded on one side by the railway line and that means you have to return to the start of the reserve before going any further. 
Having seen the reserve I crossed the line at the railway bridge and walked up to what would become Peartree Lane
 
That name rang a bell as this was where the Jesus Chapel with its magnificent graveyard was. I decided to pause there and grab some additional pics.  I returned to the chapel  a bit later in the month and did a separate blog post about it
 
A bit further on and I found a road that would finally take me to the east bank of the Itchen where I hoped to find the boathouses and the hovercraft works. The first stop however was at what is now known as “itchen Ferry”. 
 
 At one time a chain drawn ferry used to cross here before they erected the Itchen Bridge. 
 
 
I followed the road to see whether I could discover anything interesting, but most of it was closed off and the hovercraft, while visible, was only visible through 4 fences. The images I took from Itchen Bridge previously reveal much more about this area. 
West Bank of the Itchen

West Bank of the Itchen

Griffon Hoverworks

Looking upriver from Itchen Bridge

Looking upriver from Itchen Bridge

 
If you look Southwards along the Itchen Bridge you get a pretty good view of anything sailing from the harbour, although it can be a very blustery viewing point and is a bit far. Two ships sailed on this day, namely Oceana and Queen Victoria, and I watched them both sail.
Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Oceana

Oceana

That concluded the days exploration. I am still pursuing Hamble and a cemetery near West End, but for today that was it. Home James!

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 09/04/2016

Updated: 29/12/2017 — 07:26
DR Walker © 2014 -2018. Images are copyright to DR Walker unless otherwise stated. Frontier Theme