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There it was … gone!

December 6, 2011

View from Crableck to Swanwick

Last week for old time’s sake I took a walk along the Hamble. I parked at Moody’s Boat Yard and walked to the end of Crableck Lane and back again.  I took snap -shots of the scenery as I went to perhaps record any changes over the last 50 years.

It was low tide and the air was still – very pleasant although rain threatened all morning.

There were no striking changes, certainly no more buildings except that the farm had been changed into a rather an  exclusive residence and the path alongside the river was a ‘trim’ gravel drive for the 4×4 discreet in the double garage  carefully disguised as a boat house so it blended with the nautical themes.  The converted barn didn’t seem so grand with its UPVC windows and Leyllandi hedge rather than the yellow rambling rose I remember distinctly.

Further down the  river is Universal Boat Yard; I remember a few cradles, a dry dock and some surrounding converted war ships serving as workshops and for storage. There were huge open ended sheds for repairing and building boats. Now called Universal Marine is an obscene example of 21st century affluence.  The wooden boats I remembered were lifted and pulled from the water so their bottoms could be cleaned and repainted.  A dozen or so may remain in cradles on the quayside for the winter. Now the fibreglass boats virtually maintenance free had been lifted and cleaned and stacked on huge structures protected from the weather until the next sailing season.

Boats away for the winter

I didn’t feel the need to photograph this (it is well documented on the internet) remembering  those past years I still felt a little out of place and wanted to hurry through.

Back on the path:  a little oak tree, its growth thwarted by the wind marked where our milk box was once placed,  50 years on,  it was still struggling to match the mighty oaks that grew unhindered back from the river.

The jetty at the end of Crableck lane and been replaced probably because of health and safety regulations and thoroughly secure from the public with a rusty padlock – not so protected from the weather perhaps?  The boats moored were no longer homes – they were for weekend use.  My dad’s workshop; a converted landing craft with its green corrugated iron superstructure was no longer there. It had been a comforting and  familiar landmark for me when I returned from my shopping expeditions   Also gone was a motor torpedo boat called Anzio, in my time home to a family displaced by Second World War bombs in nearby Southampton.

It was as if we had never been there; I strolled back to Swanwick happy and relieved  knowing that no one else other than mother nature had taken our domain,  yet sad that there was no sign to say  ‘we woz ‘ere’

Upper Hamble at Burseldon

The view from the Jolly Sailor at the Upper Hamble

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Geoff permalink
    December 6, 2011 12:29 pm

    As long as the memories are there, that’s what is important.


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