The Opening of the King George V Graving Dock

In 1927, construction had started on the new Western Docks, where 400 acres of land was reclaimed and a 1.4 mile long quay was created. At its most western point was to be a new dry dock, and when complete, it would be the largest in the world. The dock was actually complete in 1934,…

Southampton and D-Day

D-Day is known the world over as the epic opening phase of the liberation of Europe, the beginning of the end for Hitler and his regime. The largest seaborne invasion the world has ever seen has been immortalised in film and television, and everybody knows the scene – the landing crafts riding the waves to…

The Dock Strike of 1890

It was the same year dockers in London famously secured a pay rise with their ‘Docker’s Tanner’ that a Dockers’ Union branch was founded in Southampton. Membership steadily grew, as did the pressure on employers in Southampton docks to grant a pay rise to the men who worked there. The following year, in 1890, the…

The 1837 Fire

I was walking down the High Street recently and stopped to look at Holyrood Church. I’ve been inside many times, but have never really stopped to look at the details on the outer walls of the bombed out ruins, upon which are displayed two memorial tablets dedicated to the memory of twenty two men who…

The Blitz

With Southampton playing a pivotal role in the war effort, it really was no surprise that when Hitler and Goering decided to bomb industrial and civilian targets, Southampton would be set firmly in their sights. An important port and manufacturing centre, ‘The Gateway to the World’ had gifted the world the Spitfire, an iconic and…

Southampton Remembers

November the 11th 2016 will mark 98 years since the guns fell silent on the Western Front. At the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, people will bow their heads and remember the sacrifice of those who, for our tomorrow, gave their today. Throughout time, Southampton has played an important role…

The Wool House

Nearly 2000 years ago, in about 70AD, some Romans decided to settle on the banks of the River Itchen where Bitterne is now, and set up home. They called this place Clausentum and stayed there until the Romans decided to up sticks and leave Britain in about 407AD. A few hundred years later, in the…