Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society
Meetings Reports 2009
June - Local Tide Mills
July - Some Memories of a Sea Going Marine Engineer with Cunard Line 1960-1967
August - The Red Arrows: Selection and Training
September - The Biggest Marshalling Yard in the World
October - Chairman's Choice
November - Annual General Meeting
Twyford Waterworks Trust
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Hampshire Record Office and University Deposits
Roger Hedge, Society Archivist
I have recently been advised by “our” archivist in Winchester that the earlier access route through their website has been altered and may be altered again.
It is recommended that we use www.hants.gov.uk/archives. This enters their system at the highest level and the following information can be used to go through the menu that comes up. The information is inherently more detailed than I have previously published, as I have been sent the summary of all our records, which can be accessed on their website. It is too lengthy to present here in full, covering some nine A4 sheets. I give only the summary at the start of our deposits. This includes references to the deposits at Southampton University. I also give the assortment of access numbers, each with a title to the contents, as this illustrates just how extensive the documentation is and what it comprises.
On request, I will send single page copies of individual record summaries, against the catalogue number below.
92A05 Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society (formerly Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group)
For papers relating to Monica Ellis’s research into Ice Houses, published by SUIAG in 1982 as “Ice and icehouses through the ages with a gazetteer for Hampshire”, see 64M96. A set of SUIAG/HIAS’s Journal and newsletter FOCUS is held in the Cope Collection of Southampton University Library. Records of surveys undertaken by SUIAG in the 1960s to 1970s are held at Southampton University Library (Special Collections) under the reference MS 79/3; records of Professor James and Mrs Ellis relating to SUIAG, 1966-1968, are held there under the reference MS 224/33.
92A05/A SUIAG/HIAS publications
92A05/A1 “SUIAG 1968-2001 : A History”
92A05/A2 1975-1998 Programmes for Guided Study Tours, with recreations
92A05/A3 1997 Journal No 6 (SUIAG)
92A05/B Publications by other bodies of IA interest
92A05/B1 “New Forest explosives : an account of the Schultze Gunpowder Company, Eyeworth” [my annotated copy] with attached paper “Armaments research in the New Forest during WWII” by A G Rimmer.
92A05/B2 “Ashley Walk, its bombing range, landscape and history” by Norman Parker and Anthony Pasmore [my annotated copy]
92A05/C SUIAG/HIAS administration
92A05/C1 Bill White’s file of Minutes and other papers 1968-1971, including inaugural meeting (July 1968)
92A05/C2 SUIAG Minutes and some correspondence 1975-1982 from Pam Moore
92A05/D Secretary’s correspondence
92A05/D1 These files were deposited by Pam Moore and relate to surveys, visits, talks, publications, relations with kindred organisations and preservation of industrial buildings and equipment. They cover the period 1971-1973 while John Horne was Secretary. Following his other interests there is also correspondence about gas history sent to him as Assistant Distribution Engineer – Special Projects – for Southern Gas. The list covers nearly two A4 sheets !!
92A05/D2 Correspondence file of John Horne as SUIAG Secretary and later Chairman 1975-1978. Over one A4 page.
92A05/D3 Correspondence file of Dr J M Gregory as SUIAG Secretary 1977 to 1986, including annual programmes 1978-82. Nearly an A4 page.
92A05/D4 Correspondence file of Mrs Pam Moore as SUIAG Secretary for 1983.
92A05/D5 As above for 1984-1985
92A05/D6 As above for 1985-1987. These last two cover another A4 page
92A05/D7 Correspondence file of John Horne, predominantly about SUIAG publications 1975-1980, with a small amount of 1973 correspondence found separately from D1 and D2
92A05/D8 Correspondence file of SUIAG programme secretary 1980-85
These details may help members recognise that they may have material that fills gaps or covers new ground completely.
The end of the OS Historic Map Archive
Over the many years of its history the Ordnance Survey (OS) strived to retain a copy of every large scale map printed and these were kept in (what was called internally) the Map Library. The bulk of this collection was made up of every published edition of the 25 inch and 6 inch scale County Series mapping which took up a vast amount of space in purpose-built trays in a climate controlled section of the headquarters building in Maybush, Southampton. This collection served a number of functions, primarily to be used as a source material for later publications, evidence of names and features no longer extant or clearly defined today and as a source of reference for historians and researchers. In addition it was possible to purchase copies of most of the maps in the collection for private or commercial use.
collection was never entirely complete; some maps were destroyed
during the Blitz and others on loan were not returned, but it was the
only (almost) complete archive of its type outside London and the
national copyright libraries.
Now the Ordnance Survey is once more on the move to new headquarters buildings under construction at Adanac Park near the Nursling junction on the M271, and there will be no place for the map archive which has little revenue potential in its current form. The decision was made to offer the archive mapping to any recognised bodies (such as copyright libraries, universities and local authorities) to fill any gaps in their collections. This process is now complete and I understand that the surplus maps have gone for salvage.
So, if you want to look at historic OS mapping outside of Hampshire, you will have to go to the National Archive at Kew.
Researchers looking for OS maps of Scotland are better off – the National Library of Scotland (NLS) has made high quality scans of all OS large scale County Series 6" and 25" first editions (and some later editions in urban areas) available on its website free of charge; just go to www.nls.uk/maps/OS/index
The Oldest Vierendeel Bridge in Bruges
Towards the end of August I received, on behalf of HIAS, a request from the Flemish Association for Industrial Archaeology (VVIA) to write letters to various organisations in Belgium to help save at least part of the oldest Vierendeel-Bridge in the World Heritage town of Brugge [Bruges]. All of the other Vierendeel bridges were destroyed during the two world wars, and only this one remains. Arthur Vierendeel [1852-1940] was a famous Belgian engineer who invented the so-called Vierendeel truss. Apparently, “such trusses do not have the usual triangular voids seen in a pin-joint truss bridge, rather employing rectangular openings and rigid connections in the elements, which [unlike a conventional truss] must also resist substantial bending forces. Moveable bridges of this type are very rare. Only one swing bridge of this type is known – the Scheepsdale bridge in Brugge [Bruges]. The Vierendeel principle, a construction similar to a truss but with rigid joints, was used in the New York World Trade Centre”.
As requested by the Flemish I.A Association, I sent the following letter to about six different ministries in Belgium, of which the following is an extract.
We write in support of the Flemish Association for Industrial Archaeology who are campaigning to save at least part of the oldest Vierendeel bridge in the World Heritage town of Bruges. This is particularly worrying, as we understand that all of the other Vierendeel bridges were destroyed during WW1 and WW2. Whilst admittedly we are not familiar with this particular bridge, we find it hard to conceive that you would so lightly get rid of the last of such an outstanding feature of the evolution of bridge construction originating from a Belgian engineer that have given such pride to your nation. As we have experienced similar situations in the United Kingdom, we know how important it is to maintain a visual presence of engineering heritage.
Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society has had a long standing relationship with industrial archaeology in Belgium, especially with Paul De Groote of Gent who unfortunately died recently. A lot of our members, however, do still have fond memories of our 1980 and 1982 trips to Belgium. More recently we were planning another trip to Belgium but, unfortunately, this fell through.
To my surprise, I received a reply from Paul Breyne, the Governor of West Flanders, saying that a number of Flemish and other organisations have pointed out to him the significance of the Vierendeel-bridge in Brugge and, although the preservation of the bridge in its present position is not an option, mainly due to traffic and technical reasons, a mutual option, also shared with the Flemish I.A. Association, is to preserve the bridge and search for a suitable location and then relocate the bridge as a whole. He thinks a permanent home for the bridge could be the Catholic University of Leuven, Campus Arenberg [where Vierendeel taught] for the benefit of the engineering students. He finishes his letter by saying “therefore I hope that the efforts made by these organisations who plea to preserve the bridge, or a fragment of the bridge, will be heard and appreciated by the Flemish Government as well as the city council of Bruges”.
Update on the Scheepsdale Bridge to 29th November 2009
As Carol’s correspondence took place three months ago, I have checked various websites to try to find out what has happened since then. The ‘grapevine’ is extraordinary: news of the bridge’s imminent destruction had circulated worldwide. A bridge society in the U.S. commented that there were several Vierendeel-type bridges still in existence in the Los Angeles area.
News from Brugge was not so good. Parliamentary questions had been submitted but, by mid-September, VVIA was asking for the price for a representative part of the bridge from the company tasked with the demolition – or maybe they might donate a few tons of steel? Space had been made available for storage. Adriaan Linters of VVIA said that in early November they would know if the campaign had some result as the scrapping of the bridge should start in the first half of the month. It transpires that the decision to demolish the bridge to make way for a new one had been ‘hatched’ before an election period and conservationists didn’t find out about it until months later, by which time it was virtually too late to do anything but make their voices heard and hope for a change of heart by the powers-that-be.
A Railway at Beaulieu?
This article was written by the late John Fairman, a local transport historian, in 1976
Although the branch railway from Totton to Fawley opened on Monday, 20th July 1925, it was not the first line planned to pass through the district between the New Forest and Southampton Water.
The New Forest was crossed by the Southampton & Dorchester Railway which received its Parliamentary Act on 21st July 1845. On the 25th May 1847 a train left Blechynden station, Southampton at 5.30am with three carriages, a horse box and three trucks of signal apparatus. The public opening took place a week later, on 1st June. This railway crossed the River Test between Redbridge and Totton and continued in a south westerly direction to Ashurst and then due south to cross the Lyndhurst to Beaulieu road about halfway along its length. A station was established at the intersection, at Beaulieu Road. The S & D R then took a course south of Denny Lodge through Woodfidley before swinging west to Brockenhurst.
Access by rail to the Isle of Wight was far from satisfactory in the mid 19th century. Passengers crossing from Portsmouth or Southampton to the Island had to make tedious and anxious changes from their trains to horse drawn cabs to complete their journeys to the piers and the boats. A direct ‘train-to-boat’ facility with a short sea trip over the Solent would have been of great advantage to the Victorian travellers especially the invalids seeking improved health at the Island’s south coast resorts, Ventnor and Shanklin.
In 1859 notice was given for a Bill in the next session of Parliament for a ‘Southampton and Isle of Wight Railway & Piers’. The official notice referred to two railways. One was planned to be built from Redbridge to Leape via Marchwood and the other from Gurnard to the authorised line of the Cowes & Newport Railway. Powers were also sought for the construction of piers and the operation of steamboats.
A somewhat similar Bill was proposed for the 1861 session but it omitted reference to a railway in the Isle of Wight and included a curve and junctions at Redbridge to permit through-running from the projected railway from Andover.
Neither of these schemes reached the Commons and a third scheme put forward for the 1862 session suffered a similar early demise. It was very similar to the 1861 project but included plans to operate steamships which had been omitted from the objectives of the earlier Bill.
It was on 13th November 1864 that plans were deposited for another railway called the Southampton and Isle of Wight Railway. Henry Conybeare C.E., F.G.S. of 20 Duke Street, Westminster, was the Engineer, and Green & Moberley of Southampton were the Solicitors. The proposed line was planned to be built from the Southampton and Dorchester Railway near Woodfidley to Stone Point and was described thus:-
“1. A railway commencing in the Parish of Boldre in the New Forest by a junction with the Southampton and Dorchester branch of the London & South Western Railway at or near a point 475 yards to the north of Wood Fidley Bridge over the said railway and terminating in the Parish of Fawley at or near a point at Low Water Mark on the Fawley side of the Solent, called Stone Point.
2. A railway wholly in the Parish of Boldre at or near Wood Fidley Bridge aforesaid and terminating at or near a point 330 yards north east of Wood Fidley Bridge aforesaid which said intended railways will pass from, through or into the several Parishes, Townships and extra parochial or other places following, or some of them, that is to say, Boldre, Beaulieu, Exbury, Leap and Fawley.”
Railway No. 2 was an east-to-south curve from the proposed railway No.1 to allow direct running to and from the direction of Brockenhurst and Ringwood. It was to be a curve of 1 furlong and 2 chains radius and would have been 1 furlong, 5 chains and 75 links in length.
Railway No. 1 started with a junction with the L.S.W.R. main line facing trains running towards Brockenhurst. It curved immediately east and at 0.2 miles made a junction with railway No. 2. Proceeding in an ESE direction, it crossed the Beaulieu to Lyndhurst road (now B 3056) at 2.15 miles by a bridge, 16 ft high with a 25 ft span. This bridge would have been about a quarter of a mile on the Lyndhurst side of the entrance to the National Motor Museum. The route would then have crossed the Beaulieu River at 2.37 miles and passed very close to the north east corner of Beaulieu Abbey. The railway would have been on a falling gradient of 1 in 80 past the Abbey and would have crossed the Beaulieu to Hythe road (now B 3054) by a level crossing at the foot of the hill. The track would then have continued along the north bank of the river, climbing at 1 in 80 and then at 1 in 233 above Carpenters Dock.
The 4.0 mile post would have been opposite Bailey’s Hard. Thus far the railway would have passed through the land in the New Forest owned by H.M. Commissioners of Woods and Forests and through the estate of His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch. In 1864 the occupier of the Beaulieu Abbey was Capel Peter Alderton.
The railway would have continued along the north bank of the river, keeping above high water mark but not following the winding course of the river. At 5.3 miles it passed Gilbury Hard and between the sixth and seventh mile posts it skirted Lower Exbury and passed the brickworks. The lane between Lepe and Lower Exbury was crossed twice on the level near Inchmery and once again at mile post 8.0 at Lepe. At 8.1 miles the route would have taken the track behind the cottages at Lepe (which still stand) and the fall of the land to the mouth of Dark Water would have brought the railway onto an embankment to cross the road just to the west of Lepe Beach car park by a bridge 20 ft span and 16 ft high. The end of the line would have been on a short quay facing across the Solent to Egypt Point. The total length from Woodfidley was 8 miles, 5 furlongs, 2 chains and 50 links.
Further proposals for railways through the Waterside district to the Solent were made in 1872, 1881 and 1902 but the line described was the only known railway which would have altered the map in the parish of Beaulieu. Why was the route through Beaulieu chosen? Because it was the shortest and cheapest to construct between the L.S.W.R. Dorchester line and the Solent. It would have been nearly four miles shorter and the earthworks would have been quite light.
Why was it not built? Because the Stokes Bay Railway & Pier Company, authorised in 1855, opened their line on 6th April 1863 and, until the extension of the railway at Portsmouth to the Harbour in 1876, provided a short sea crossing direct from the London trains. Furthermore, in August 1864, the Ryde Pier tramway and the railway to Shanklin was opened.
UK’s canal network to be sold off?
“Amongst publicly owned assets announced to be sold off to help maintain the government’s public spending spree, Chancellor Alistair Darling is planning to sell the UK canal network as part of a £16bn-plus privatisation programme. As well as British Waterways, other departments on ‘the list’ for sale include the Ordnance Survey, Land Registry and the Met Office.” (New Civil Engineer, 10th September 2009)
Canal owner plans housing sales: People living in homes owned by British Waterways in Sharpness, Gloucestershire, have been told their houses will be put up for auction. Eleven tenants living in Great Western and Severn Road have been sent a letter informing them they may have to leave their properties in January. British Waterways said it was looking to sell the houses to generate money to re-invest in the waterways. It said tenants have been given first refusal to buy their properties. (BBC West news, 19/11/09)
These are just two of the items recently in the news about the subject of the government wishing to sell off some of British Waterways which has naturally caused a storm of protests, not the least by the Inland Waterways Association. The Winter 2009 edition of its magazine, ‘waterways’, was published just too early for the news to be confirmed, although a ‘Stop Press’ item mentioned that “well informed parliamentary sources” led them to believe the British Waterways property portfolio would be put up for sale. The income from this portfolio helps British Waterways’ funding; without it, the waterways will decline and some may have to close.
This comes after British Waterways had carried out reorganisation to achieve annual cost savings of around £10m, followed by an announcement from Defra that their 2010/2011 grant to BW would fall by nearly 17% compared to the current year. The IWA estimates the sale will cause an extra £45m hole in BWs’ budget.
The IWA has put a petition on the 10 Downing Street website. To add your name to the many thousands who have already signed up, there are alternatives. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org and find the link, or go straight to the Downing Street website:- http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/protectourcanals.
An Early Day Motion (No 233) has been tabled in the House of Commons by Bob Laxton MP, Chair of the all party Parliamentary Waterways Group, concerning ‘Inland Waterways and Funding’, supporting the actions of the IWA and recognising the serious threat to funding the possible sale of British Waterways’ assets might have on the operation of the canal and rivers network. Linda Waltho MP secured an End of Day Adjournment Debate on ‘Funding for British Waterways’ on the 30th November in the House of Commons.
The future of the ‘City of Adelaide’ in jeopardy
Whilst sipping my after-lunch cuppa I frequently ‘surf’ through the Ceefax UK Regions news pages after the main BBC news has finished. With Freeview, one has the luxury of reading all of the regions’ news stories and sometimes picking up gems of heritage interest. Thus it was on October 12th that an item on the North East & Cumbria Region news caught my attention. It related to Sunderland councillor Peter Maddison staging a protest sit-in on a ship at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Ayrshire. The vessel’s name rang a bell; it was called the City of Adelaide.
The story unravelled that this derelict hulk lying on a slipway had once been a proud clipper ship even older than the Cutty Sark, which is receiving so many millions of pounds of funding. The City of Adelaide is scheduled for demolition at the Museum. Mr Maddison was heading a campaign to have the vessel returned to Sunderland. The ship had been rotting away since 1992 and permission was given to demolish it after the maritime museum said it could not afford to pay for restoration work, in spite of it being placed on the UK National Historic Ships Core Collection and having been declared a Category A Listed Building by Historic Scotland.
The next Ceefax item which I saw was on October 16th when it was reported that Mr Maddison had to end his protest after four days as he had run out of water, but said he hoped his action may have helped lift the threat of demolition.
Why my interest in an old clipper ship built in Sunderland and decaying in Scotland? Well, it has a local Southampton connection. The ‘bells that rang’ when the name was mentioned took me back to a very early SUIAG newsletter when member Bill Ninnim (our ‘older’ members will no doubt remember him) wrote an article on this very ship, which is here reprinted with some additional information.
(From Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group Newsletter No.6, May 1976)
A Maritime Old-Timer
by W.G. Ninnim
Those whose memories of Southampton go back before the “Kaiser’s” War will remember what the boys called the “Fever Ship”, a hulk that lay off Millbrook Point and served as an isolation hospital for smallpox cases. Perhaps a little potted history will be interesting.
That grey old hulk started life at Sunderland, being launched from ‘Piles Yard’ in 1864. A composite (i.e. teak on iron frame) built clipper ship, she was named ‘City of Adelaide’ and owned by the famous firm of Devitt & Moore. Her principal dimensions were registered net tonnage 791 tons, length 176.8 feet, breadth 33.2 feet and depth 18.8 feet. An old lithograph shows her ship-rigged with deep single topsails, topgallants and Royals, with large spanker. A long poop deck reached nearly to amidships and together with a large deck house provided most of the first-class passenger accommodation, the lower classes no doubt berthed below decks.
The ‘City of Adelaide’ spent her active life in the Australian trade, taking passengers and cargo out to Adelaide and loading wool at Port Augusta for the homeward passage. A record run of 65 days London to Adelaide stands to her credit and under her captains, all from the Bruce family (that is Capt. David Bruce or one of his three sons) she was considered a flyer and a beauty amongst the wool clippers.
Bought by the Southampton Corporation (at the time of a second cholera scare) in 1893 for £1750, she was moored off Millbrook Point or the Butts until 1923 when she was sold to the Royal Navy as a drill ship in Greenock, renamed ‘HMS Carrick’. The Admiralty eventually presented her to the R.N.V.R. Club of Scotland and she was moved to Glasgow in 1956, being used as a club-house by the Clyde Division.
As a postscript, Bill had asked “Maybe she is still afloat; does anyone know”, but this question seems never to have been answered. Consulting various tomes and websites I found that by the mid-1980s the club could not afford to maintain the ship and contacted the newly established Scottish Maritime Museum amongst others. The ship was flooded in 1989, declared a total loss, given Listing, purchased by the Clyde Ship Trust and towed to Princes Dock in 1990 where she sank at her moorings early in 1991. The new Scottish Maritime Museum stepped in and moved the remains of the vessel to Irvine where she was slipped. However, plans for restoration were scuppered when Scotland regained its own parliament and they lost out on UK funding sources, an HLF bid and local grants. Work ceased in 1999.
Amongst the voices raising objection to the demolition is a group of more than 60 Australian luminaries who have signed an open letter to Gordon Brown, calling on him to save the ship. Tenders for demolition were closing on November 23rd. The land on which it sits is to become a housing estate.
QE2 – the continuing saga
The headline on the June Focus asked ‘What future for the QE2’. This sequel could be called ‘Has the QE2 got any future?’ It is just over a year since the liner left Southampton. In May the vessel seemed to be almost abandoned at its berth in Dubai, with refurbishment ‘on hold’ due to the economic downturn. Rumours then began spreading (and denied) that the QE2 could return to Southampton and restart transatlantic voyages.
In mid-July it was revealed that owning company Nakheel, a subsidiary of the government-owned Dubai World, had applied for permission to anchor the QE2 at Cape Town for use as an hotel, with the news soon after that she would be used as an accommodation vessel for the 2010 Football World Cup – and return to Dubai. She was moved to a dry dock for inspection in August. Then came the announcement that the port of registry would be changed from Southampton to Port Vila on Vanuata in the Pacific – a ‘flag of convenience’.
In late November a Daily Telegraph item said that Dubai World was in serious financial trouble with debts in the region of £2.1bn. A team of auditors was brought in to go through the company’s assets, which includes the QE2. Neighbouring Abu Dhabi has agreed to lend the Dubai government $5bn for the support fund to bail out the city’s finances but is reluctant to see any of that money go to Dubai World until there are clear plans for an exit from its debt problems. Will the QE2 actually reach Cape Town? The story continues!
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(report by Carol Burdekin)
The title of June’s talk was Local Tide Mills and was given by one of our own members, Tony Yoward. Tony started by telling us that at one time Britain had 250 tide mills but, by 1938, there were only ten still working and Eling Tide Mill is the only one now producing flour. Showing various slides including ones of Fishbourne Tide Mill, Alresford Fulling Mill, Bursledon Windmill and a sketch of the inside of a mill, Tony explained how mills and, in particular, tide mills worked. Eling Tide Mill is a particularly good example of a tidal mill which can work continuously for 4-5 hours a day. Tony also told us that is was quite usual for women to be millers, especially after their husbands had died, and quoted a figure of 70% of millers being women.
Most of us have probably visited Eling Tide Mill at one time or another, being on our doorstep, and are fortunate that it was restored in the late 1970s after being abandoned in the 1940s. Not only did it re-open as a fully working mill, being one of only two productive tide mills in the world, it also has a very informative museum attached. Tide mills were at one time a very important part of the British economy. Not only did tide mills produce “power for flour”, they also provided power for ironworks, sawing timber, manufacturing cotton and paper to grinding gunpowder, pepper and spices. Tide mills in and around Portsmouth and Plymouth grew in number during the Napoleonic wars where more bread was needed to feed the soldiers. An example of this was King’s Tide Mill which was purchased by the Crown in 1710 to supply the naval bakeries.
Tony then went on to give us a brief history of Slipper Mill in Emsworth, where he himself now lives, with slides dating from about 1850, 1900, 1950 and 1990 when it was converted into four separate houses.
Finishing with slides of Mill Rythe Mill Hayling, Beaulieu Tide Mill before and after the fire in 2006 [for the latest information on Beaulieu Tide Mill see Focus No 72, June 2009]. Also shown was a slide of an early painting of Cams Mill Fareham which was working in 1910, derelict in 1920 and demolished in 1923 and has now disappeared more or less completely within the new road system. The only evidence of a tide mill having been there is a small plaque telling you where the mill once stood.
With “renewable” being the new buzz word with conservationists, we may see a renaissance of tide mills sometime in the future but, in the meantime, our thanks to Tony for a very enjoyable talk.
July’s talk was Some Memories of a Sea Going Marine Engineer with Cunard Line 1960-1967. Terry Gleed kindly came along to July’s meeting to share some of his memories with us. Born in Hedge End just down the road from St John’s Church, Terry attended the local Methodist Church because, as he said, they organised the best trips to the seaside. Leaving school at 16 and, after an apprenticeship with Thornycroft, he joined the Cunard Line as a junior engineer in 1960 aged 19 and was assigned to his first ship, the Mauretania, on which his father also served.
Showing slides of many of the ships he served on including the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Rotterdam, Bremen, United States, Michaelangelo, etc., Terry entertained us with stories of his adventures and misadventures as well as some anecdotes on his time with Cunard, which included trips to New York and the West Indies, where he was away cruising for about five months. Other slides shown and talked about in detail were of the ships’ engine rooms and some insight into just how vast these were and how powerful they had to be to keep these enormous ships afloat.
Transferred to the Queen Mary in 1961 with its two engine rooms, four propellers, 27 boilers and weighing eighty-one thousand tons, Terry was one of the thirty-four engineers on board. In 1963 Terry decided that he should obtain more qualifications as by that time he had a wife and child to support and needed a bigger salary. After attending both Southampton & Liverpool Marine Colleges, Terry was back on the Queen Mary, and then in 1964 he returned to the Mauritania as senior third engineer.
Terry ended his talk on a sad note as in 1965 the Mauritania was taken out of service and scrapped. The Queen Mary went in 1967 and is now gutted and in 1972 the Queen Elizabeth caught fire in Hong Kong Harbour, thought to have been deliberate. Thanks to Terry for an entertaining evening.
We were pleased to invite Colin van Geffen back for August’s talk on The Red Arrows – Selection & Training. Colin is a member of the Bournemouth Red Arrows Association who try to arrange for the Red Arrows to come to Bournemouth as many times as possible in aid of charity. The charge for the Red Arrows is approximately £15,000, so any amount raised in excess of that figure goes to a nominated charity.
The first part of Colin’s talk concentrated on how the Red Arrows came into being and he talked about previous aerobatic teams including the Black Arrows, the Black Cats [Navy], the Skylarks and the Grey Owls. There were no official display teams in the 1950s – all displays were done at weekends with the pilots and their planes doing normal duties during the week. About 1962 the display teams moved from front line fighters and in 1963 the Yellow Jacks, nicknamed “daffodil patrol”, were formed.
By 1965 the official RAF display team was formed with planes painted red, as this colour was easier to see from the ground than yellow ones, and from about 1979 they were using the BAE Systems Hawk T1 Jet. There are now nine pilots who make up the RAF Aerobatic Team display. Before a pilot can qualify to join the RA he or she has to have a minimum of 1,500 flying hours in fast jets, completed one front line tour of duty, spent time as a flight instructor, and finally to have been assessed as having an above average rating. If all those criteria are met and you make the shortlist there is then a selection week at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Training then begins at RAF Scampton in earnest.
Colin then took us through a normal training day and explained the formation routine. During training the pilots are flying three times a day, five days a week, with a briefing after each exercise where a video of the sortie is shown, and and any problems or mistakes are ironed out. It is not until February, after five months of training, that they start flying together as nine aircraft and about May an assessment is made by their CinC of their suitability and a Public Display Authority certificate is issued. Not until then can they perform in public and wear their red flying suits. We then saw some very good slides of all the different flying formations the team carries out.
Colin finished his comprehensive talk on the Red Arrows by telling us some interesting facts and figures including that the Diamond Nine Formation is trademarked, each jet has enough white smoke for five minutes and enough red and blue smoke for one minute. The coloured smoke is created by pumping coloured diesel into the jet’s exhaust. Colin also brought along postcards of the paintings he had done of the Red Arrows in action for sale, with all proceeds going to charit
The Biggest Marshalling Yard in the World was September’s talk given by Prof Quintin Gee. The biggest marshalling yard in the world turned out to be in South Africa and not in North America as some of us thought it would be. Quintin’s connection turned out to be that he helped to set up the new marshalling yard’s computer system in the early 1980s.
The Sentrarand Marshalling Yard is located at Bapsfontein which is approximately 60 km northeast of Johannesburg. The planning was started in the late 1960s but the earthworks did not start until 1978 and the yard was finally operational in 1982. The project cost in the region of R500 million with the computer system taking R200 million of that total. Siemens Limited was awarded the contract for the development of a fail-safe computer system capable of running the yard’s operation on a twenty-four hour, seven days a week basis. With a 15,000 wagon capacity and 9,000 wagons on average per day, in twenty-five years there has only been one collision and no break-down in the computer system. It was a state-funded enterprise using South African engineers with the 3'6" gauge system which is used in the whole of South Africa.
The entire site is surrounded by a ring road which serves two purposes. One is to provide the necessary connection from the yard tracks to the link lines and the second is to provide a convenient place to put the trains during the peak periods when the yard is congested. The ring road links to the main lines include westwards to the Pretoria – Johannesburg main line, northwards via Greenview and onto Pyramid South, and southwards to the Natal main line. Traffic heading eastwards goes along the southward link and then turns east near the town of Weldedag.
This purpose-built marshalling yard was urgently needed to separate the passengers from the goods and the idea of a centralised marshalling yard for the Pretoria – Witwatersrand – Vereeniging region was initially talked of in the 1950s. Quintin’s slides illustrated how vast the whole site is [about the size of Heathrow Airport] and what a huge engineering task it was to get off the ground. New roads had to be built and a separate department was set up to handle the 541 contracts needed to start the project off. When Sentrarand was started in the 1980s it reduced the amount of marshalling yards in Capital Park and Germiston and this in turn accelerated the phasing out of South Africa‘s steam trains.
Quintin’s talk also covered some of the more technical aspects of the workings of a marshalling yard with some good illustrations including the control tower which is located at the hump and other slides of the actual wagons used in transporting the goods. It was an interesting talk and we hope Quintin will return next year with a talk on computers.
It was Chairman’s Choice for our October meeting and Jeff Pain gave us a slide presentation and commentary which covered about four to five visits he had taken to the U.S. over the past 20 years. Jeff’s son married an American and now lives in Wisconsin and it was during their various visits out to see them that Jeff and Mary took the opportunity of travelling around other parts of the US. Their trips included New York, New Orleans, Ontario, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Milwaukee, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Denver and, of course, Wisconsin. We looked at skyscrapers including the Twin Towers in New York which, of course, are no longer there, railway stations, railway engines, railway tracks, bus stations, trolleybuses, rivers, canals, dams, etc. A very entertaining evening, but Jeff should have called his talk “disappearing railway tracks” as so many of the towns he visited with a railway seemed not to use anywhere near the capacity that they were built for. A good example of this was Denver with its huge railway station and only one train a day. Unfortunately the Americans fell in love with the motor car and the aeroplane and, unless you have plenty of time and are not in a hurry, the vastness of the country makes a rail journey too slow for most peoples’ tastes. You never know, perhaps when the oil runs out U.S. railways may come into their own again but, in the meantime, many thanks to Jeff for entertaining us.
We had quite a good turnout for November’s meeting considering it was primarily for the AGM with about fifty members in attendance. After the break we had two short films extolling the virtues of coach travel in the 1950s and then it was time to choose this year’s winners of the annual photographic competition. Carol won first prize with her photo of a Churnet Valley Railway steam train going off into the sunset in full steam with Rod Todd winning second prize. Although the November meeting does not attract as many people as usual owing to the AGM content, nevertheless an enjoyable evening was had by all.
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Twyford Waterworks Trust - www.hants.org.uk/twt
The Industrial Railways Gala, Miniature Steam and Models, Country Crafts and Classic Cars and Emergency Vehicle themes all attracted good attendances at this summer’s Open Days, the particularly diverse range of attractions paying definite dividends. On more than one occasion, visitors have been heard to comment that they only planned to spend a couple of hours on site but ended up spending most or all of the day! Therefore we must be getting something right. As hoped for in my last report, October did indeed end the season in fine financial style as May had begun it, gross income just failing to match it by a few hundred pounds.
Analysis of the last five years’ takings on open days has shown, as people’s awareness of the Waterworks has grown, so has that of potential exhibitors, thereby providing greater interest for visitors. Since the 2005 season, gross income has grown by approximately 40%, an excellent achievement. This has enabled, for example, virtually the whole cost of the boiler stanchion replacement work carried out during the winter to be funded from TWT reserves.
Allied to the wider interest in Twyford, a steady number of visits from outside groups continue to be made, most notably this Spring from delegates to SERIAC 2009 hosted by HIAS in Winchester back in April. Two King Alfred double deckers were required to ferry all those who wished to tour the Works from the conference venue.
With a busy Open Day season coupled with the Works being open for tours each Sunday in August, work around the site has tended to centre around general maintenance, cleaning the Diesel House pumps and continued restoration of the recently acquired Sutton Scotney pump. A seemingly never-ending task of repainting the exterior doors has continued to keep the Buckingham Green paint and medium grade sandpaper manufacturers in profit. The Wednesday Conservation Volunteers have made their seasonal visit to cut and rake a swathe of the meadow as part of the conservation management plan and work has now started on cutting the grass banks that are a feature of the site.
As if the challenge of increasing income and attracting and accommodating higher numbers of visitors is not enough, Friends of the Trust are currently being canvassed for their thoughts on the return to steam. With costs inevitably in six figures, a Heritage Lottery grant is the best way to achieve this in a shorter period of time but this would come with obligations to offer a higher profile educational element and to hold more open days requiring more volunteers to staff them. For the immediate future, the usual winter plans have been drawn up to occupy the volunteers well into 2010.
Since mid-May, the civil engineering works taking place adjacent to the pumping station provided quite an attraction in their own right. Southern Water’s contractor 4Delivery has been replacing the 1930s mains pipeline up to Twyford Reservoir and the sight of some seriously large excavators and stacks of 1 metre diameter pipes impressed many. Few seemed fazed by the £2m cost funded from their water rates!
News about Mills www.hampshiremills.org
Longbridge Mill milling dates: Milling by HMG members will take place from 12.00 to 16.00 on:-
March 27, April 17, May 8 (National Mills Day), May 22, June 26, July 24, August 28, September 25, October 23, November 27, December 18. (Longbridge Mill restaurant, Sherfield-on-Loddon, north of Basingstoke on A33; g.r. SU 682 581).
Crux Easton Wind Engine Open Days: The wind engine will be reopening in 2010 between 11am and 4pm on the second Sunday of the month, April to August. It is situated at OS map reference SU 427 563, one mile east of the A343 Newbury to Andover Road between Highclere and Hurstbourne Tarrant.
Eling Tide Mill has added a new brand of flour since the restoration of the flour dresser, which removes the larger bran particles from the wholemeal flour milled using wheat grain from the Manor of Cadland. This is called “Flour of the Forest Brown” and can be purchased at the mill or a number of local outlets.
Manor Farm, Broughton: Visits have been made to inspect and photograph a small watermill attached to a large staddle stone barn in Broughton. The owner is delighted for conservation work to be carried out on the mill, which has a rare compass arm waterwheel, and discussions are taking place to preserve it in situ. Both the headrace and tailrace were filled in many years ago.
S.S. Shieldhall www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk
At the half year meeting in November it was reported that Shieldhall had carried over 1800 passengers this year on 18 trips, with an average of 89 passengers. Four trips were completely sold out with waiting lists, and some carried over 100. Work to retube the second boiler has been started and a ‘boiler fund’ has been set up, with a donation of £30 purchasing one tube. At the HIAS Committee Meeting on November 30th it was agreed to purchase 3 tubes. Next winter the ship will require dry docking again at a cost of £50,000 and, without an HLF grant, it is essential to find funding from other sources.
Kenilworth (ex Hythe Hotspur II)
Focus No. 68 (June 2007) reported that the ex-Hythe ferry Hotspur II, renamed Kenilworth and operating on the Clyde since 1978, was being offered for sale. It made its last passenger run during mid March this year. The ferry remained in Scotland, being purchased by Moray Firth Dolphin Cruises of Inverness where she arrived mid May, renamed Kelly H. (Waterside Heritage newsletter, September 2009)
The trustees of ‘The Paddle Steamer Ryde Trust’ have said they are trying to agree a deal with the administrators of the Medina marina on the Isle of Wight, which went into administration in March, to enable them to forward the project to rescue the derelict paddle steamer and remove her to a shipyard for restoration, which would cost in the region of £7m. The engines are still in situ but the mast and funnel have collapsed, the hull plates are badly rusted, the paddle boxes have rusted away although the paddle wheels are reported to have survived intact. They are appealing for anything known to have been removed from the vessel. There is a website, www.psryde.co.uk, but nothing has been posted since August.
What started out as a very promising restoration project in Belfast on this former White Star Line tender has apparently turned into a fiasco. The Department for Social Development (DSD) puchased Nomadic in January 2006 for £263,000. Up to December 2008 the Department had incurred a further £650,000 bill on transportation and restoration and providing financial assistance to the SS Nomadic Charitable Trust. Staff involvement was about £100,000. The Department actively encouraged the Trust to take forward the restoration and ongoing maintenance. The DSD currently estimates the cost of restoring Nomadic at £5m to £7m. The DSD’s business case only considered purchase and transportation, and not the longer view. Ownership was not transferred to the Trust, so the vessel is still owned by the DSD. The Public Accounts Committee wrote a report, which was published on October 15th, recommending that the DSD should assess arrangements currently in place between it and the Trust, and they should work together to ensure contractors are appointed to enable work to commence at the earliest opportunity. “t is critical to get the ship to a stage where it is open for public viewing”.
T. S. Queen Mary sold to France
The original Queen Mary, a turbine steamer built on the Clyde in 1933, has recently been sold to become a floating hotel or restaurant/fitness centre in France. The vessel, which undertook cruises to such places as Dunoon, Rothesay and the Kyles of Bute, was renamed Queen Mary II to allow Cunard’s liner Queen Mary to use the name (most of you must know about the alleged ‘mix-up’ over the naming of the liner!). The Clyde vessel regained her name in 1976 but was withdrawn the following year. After various moves during which there was fire damage and two of the three engines removed, she was refitted in 1997 and moved to the Thames as a pub/restaurant. Closed in January 2009, she has now been sold to a Mr Samuel Boudon and will be going to La Rochelle on France’s Atlantic coast. With the two funnels removed, Queen Mary was towed under Tower Bridge to Tilbury on November 9th and is expected to be loaded on to a semi- submersible barge and leave during December. It is planned to open the vessel for business in 2011.
Vulcan XH558 www.vulcantothesky.org
The Vulcan appeared at RAF Cosford airshow on June 14th; HIAS member John Reynolds rang your editor to say he saw it flying over Banbury. Several people have reported on its spectacular displays at the Bournemouth Air Festival in August. The Vulcan to the Sky Trust is now making a 50th Birthday Appeal to ensure the aircraft keeps flying in 2010, her golden anniversary. A sum of £400,000 must be raised in donations by Christmas with a further £400,000 by 31st March, and a 3-fold increase in Standing Order levels is required to sustain funding through to 2011 and beyond.
Historic steam pumps ‘save’ canal: A report on July 4th said that British Waterways asked the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust volunteers to steam up the two beam engines at Crofton pumping station after the modern electric pumps failed. Three tonnes of coal was used over two days to fire up the Georgian beam engine pumps. The canal was closed between Crofton Crossing and Wootton Rivers.
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Catch-up time - recent news of some items from earlier newsletters
Grant awarded for historic forge: Chedham’s Yard, the wheelwright and blacksmith’s workshop which won the BBC’s Restoration Village in 2006, has been awarded a £780,000 HLF grant to restore it. The site in Wellesbourne is due to become a visitor and education centre under a scheme costing more than £1m. Earlier this month Stratford-on-Avon Council granted planning permission. (18/11/09 – BBC West Midlands news)
American Wharf, Southampton: In July, Southampton councillors approved plans to convert the listed former steam mill/bakehouse/corn store/warehouse into offices and luxury flats. The Environment Agency made a formal objection that the building could be inundated by a once-in-a-century flood.
Battersea Power Station’s future in jeopardy once again
The item which I had provisionally put in about Battersea power station was good news from the New Civil Engineer of 11th June, when revised plans had been published excluding high rise development and giving a greater prominence to the 1930s industrial buildings on the site. The masterplan included around 3,700 new homes, offices, shops, restaurants, a hotel, leisure space and community facilities.
But an article appeared in The Guardian on Saturday 29th August which brought doom and gloom over the prospects for the site. The Irish property company which has owned it since 2006 has been hit by the disastrous state of the Irish property market and has debts of £1.6bn. The Battersea “A” station was closed in 1975 and the “B” in 1983, since when there have been numerous ideas for redevelopment. The Grade II-listed building is now in urgent need of repair and on English Heritage’s ‘Buildings At Risk’ Register. Developers seem only interested in the surrounding land, not the “heritage status”.
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National Campaign to keep the Broadlands Archives at the University of Southampton library
For more than 20 years the University of Southampton Library has held in its Special Collections Division the Broadlands Archives. The archive contains some 4,500 boxes, dating from the sixteenth century to the present, centred on the Temple (Palmerston), Ashley, Cassel and Mountbatten families. It is an exceptional collection, including many materials of the first rank for the history of the UK and its relations with its colonies and foreign powers.
The Mountbatten papers are effectively the foundation archive for the modern states of India and Pakistan and, in addition, illuminate Britain’s first major act of post-war decolonisation; the papers of the third Viscount Palmerston includes some 40,000 letters, many from his private correspondence as Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister; and the diaries of the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, reformer and philanthropist, are one of the great monuments to social progress in Victorian England.
The Trustees of the Broadlands Archives have determined to sell the collection and have offered it to the University. The expectation is that if our negotiations fail, the collection will be sold at auction, and may well be broken up and dispersed, with many parts not finding places in public repositories. The net price is £2.85m and we believe we need to raise these funds by April 2010. The University has launched a major fund-raising campaign to assure the future of the collection. It is working with funding bodies including the National Heritage Memorial Fund, but will need to raise considerable sums from other sources.
We would very much appreciate your support in acquiring this for the University and in the national interest. This is a national campaign for one of the most important collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century archives: you can also help by publicising the collection further and by suggesting connections and links that may help us promote the cause. More information is available at:-
or contact Chris Woolgar (C.M.Woolgar@soton.ac.uk) at the Hartley Library, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Professor Chris Woolgar, Head of Special Collections, University of Southampton Library
News from the Portsmouth area
Spitbank Fort sold: The sea forts in the eastern Solent are forever in the news! Spitbank Fort was put up for auction in November by its owners who ran a successful business such as Sunday lunches, dance parties, day trips and conferences. There are 50 rooms over two levels with consent for a casino, and came with a guide price of between £700k and £800k. The auction, due on November 4th at the Rose Bowl, did not take place as the fort was sold privately for more than £1m to a UK property fund on November 2nd.
. . . and No Man‘s Land fort also: Back in March the nearby No Man’s Land fort, valued in 2004 at more than £14m, was sold for just £910,000. The businessman who had owned it ran into financial difficulties and was forced to close down the corporate hospitality venue in 2008. The sale by the administrators was not discovered until July when the BBC launched an investigation. The serious fraud office is involved.
Naval Museum saved from closure: A news item on the front page of the June 2009 Focus announced that the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust would take on the ailing Explosion! museum at Priddy’s Hard, Gosport. In October negotiations had been completed with the Gosport council and the Trust now plans to run a waterbus across Portsmouth harbour to link the museum with Portsmouth Dockyard. There are also plans to develop other buildings at the Gosport site, with the possibility of new homes and a new pub.
Fort Nelson lottery grant: Nearly £2m of Heritage Lottery funding will enable Fort Nelson (one of the Palmerston’s chain of forts from the 1860s on Portsdown Hill) to develop a new visitor centre (shop and cafe), extra education opportunities, extra parking facilities and a new gallery. £1.5m is being raised in matching funding. The museum will remain open throughout the building phase in 2010.
Major cash boost for docks museum: In June, Hampshire county chiefs approved an £800,000 grant towards the £35m needed for the new Mary Rose museum, which is due to open in 2012.
King Alfred Bus blessed on its 50th birthday
Friend of King Alfred Buses’ Leyland Tiger Club WCG 104 celebrated its 50th birthday recently, having originally been purchased new by King Alfred Motor Services in 1959. After the dispersal of the fleet in 1973, James Freeman bought the single-decker in 1981 which, along with another King Alfred bus, became the founding vehicles of FoKAB which came into being in 1985. The Dean of Winchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend James Attwell, joined the crew of the bus during the Charity Festive Fair in Winchester Guildhall and blessed the bus and its keepers during the celebration.
Cologne collapse salvage nears end (New Civil Engineer, 4th June 2009):
Around 85% of Cologne’s historical archive has been recovered from the wreckage of the archive building that collapsed in March. Salvage workers have reached ground water level. This week discussions were underway about how the remaining documents below ground water level can be recovered .
New Forest Coastal Heritage
The New Forest National Park Authority has recently employed two new officers as part of a two year joint-funded maritime archaeology project that aims to build a picture of what has been happening along the entire New Forest and Hampshire coastline. Lepe Country Park falls right into the middle of the project area, so will be a focal point for upcoming research and work. A range of exciting initiatives are being planned to promote the project and involve local people of all ages. Volunteers are being sought for volunteering with the fieldwork stage and people with local information which may benefit the project are asked to get in touch. The website is www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/archaeology.
The Transport Trust’s Red Wheel Scheme
Following the unveiling of the first of the Red Wheel plaques at Barrow Hill Roundhouse in April, further plaques have been placed at Bugsworth Basin & Peak Forest Tramway and the nearby Whaley Bridge Wharf (Derbyshire), the National Tramway Museum and the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Works.
The Transport Trust has set up a new website, www.transportheritage.com, where nominated sites can be viewed county by county. Listed in Hampshire are a number of airfields (Southampton, Farnborough, Middle Wallop, Thruxton), stations (Gosport, Eastleigh, Southampton Terminus, Micheldever), two toll houses (Botley and Whitchurch), Calshot Seaplane base, Hurst Point lighthouse and the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-Solent. The survey is ongoing.
Olympic training venue rejected: Plans to build an Olympic training site to enable international training teams to prepare for the 2012 sailing events in Dorset have been rejected. The plans included bulldozing a 19th century grade-II listed viaduct at the Camber Basin area of Portland. Portland Port applied for listed building consent to demolish but was refused by Weymouth and Portland councillors.