In War & Peace.



Moorhen take off.

Near the village of Fritham in the New Forest you can find Eyeworth Pond. Latchmore Brook was dammed in 1871 to supply water to the nearby Schultze Gunpowder Factory, which was based around Eyeworth Lodge and began making powder for sporting guns in 1859. Ten years later Edward Schultze took charge of the factory and began production of smokeless gunpowder on a large scale, employing around 100 people at the height of production. The factory closed in 1921 but the pond remains. The woodland around the pond is good for small birds.


Blue Tit.



Female Blackbird






Male Chaffinch.


Female Chaffinch.

coal tit

Coal Tit.


Another Blue Tit -this one mid-jump!

long tailed tit

Long Tailed Tit.


Great Spotted Woodpecker.



Waterside walk.



A walk at Eling and Hythe opposite Southampton docks and container port. In low morning light. Despite living near Southampton all my life this is the first time I have walked along these bits of shoreline.





On land adjacent to Hythe Marina are a number of old concrete pontoons/barges which have been grounded and are part of old sea defences. This part of the shore is on “private” land. 

Searching online I found some information about the concrete and metal pontoons they are called “Beetles” which was the code name for the floating pontoons. They were used to support the Mulberry Harbour in WW2 (they carried roadways). Marchwood Military Port which is close to this site built some of the floating harbour components which were towed to France just after D-Day. Once there they were put together to build a floating harbour and roadways. These “beetles” were probably spares which did not get towed to war. Their battle became the fight against coastal erosion.




in usebettle

A station stop but not for a train.

After seeing the pictures of this station I thought it worth stopping to see its architecture. A visit is like stepping back in time.

station stop.jpg

Wemyss Bay dates only about 150 years, with the arrival of the railway in 1865 from Glasgow. Steamers left to the fashionable Victorian destinations of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute and Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae. Prior to the railway terminating at Wemyss Bay, the trippers would have had to leave on a steamer from Glasgow itself.

walk to pier.jpg

Walkway from station to the pier

Wemyss Bay Steamboat Company and the Caledonian Railway hoped to beat their competitors by carrying passengers by train to Wemyss Bay before embarking them on steamers making much shorter crossings.

pier walk.jpg

Poor management meant that the service limped along for a quarter of a century until the Caledonian Railway took over the Wemyss Bay Steamboat Company in 1893, launching instead the Caledonian Steam Packet Company. Capping it off in 1903 when today’s magnificent new station and an adjoining new pier were built.


The centre of the station.

The station and the pier were restored to their original glory in 1993, great credit has to be given to the station’s architect, James Miller