Members Login: Remember Me Need your login details?

Hamble village was the location of HGS Fair Oak group’s guided walk in June 2014. Their guide, Eric Reed, disclosed fascinating evidence of Hamble’s aviation and shipbuilding history at every turn.

HGS Fair Oak Group set out for their annual guided walk, this time to Hamble village, led by regular guide and fellow HGS member Eric Reed. Members learnt about the interesting history of Hamble, ranging from it’s airfields, land and seaplane production and important aviation role in WW2, to evidence of a former grand house.

About Hamble

Hamble is long established in fishing and shipbuilding. The village is set on the River Hamble and is famed for sailing and aviation. Over 5,000 yachts moor on the river and an aircraft factory is still sited in Hamble Lane. A distinct red Folland Gnat plane (designed and built at Hamble) stands near today’s GE Aviation factory. The site was previously home to Follands from 1937, Hawker-Siddeley Aviation from 1959, British Aerospace from 1977, then Smiths.
Hamble has been home to land and seaplane production since 1914. A V ROE, in 1908 the first Englishman to fly, came to Hamble, bought fields from a Farmer BROWN and built a factory and houses for workers. A small airfield came after the end of the Great War from more fields and meadows. Air Service Training Ltd was founded at Hamble in 1931. The Earl of Hardwicke’s estate was purchased, and a factory, slipway and housing estate were built. Hamble was one of the country’s biggest Spitfire repair bases and in WW2 3,000 workers were bussed in or came by train to Hamble Halt station.

Hamble’s Name

Hamble Mosaic
Hamble Mosaic

Named Hamelea in 730 AD and Hamble Le Rice by 1354. ‘Hamble-en-le-rys’ means ‘the village built on land rising from water’. French Benedictine monks established Hamble Priory circa 1100. St Andrew’s Church, where Sir Alliott Verdon ROE of Hamble House was buried in 1958, stands 50 feet above sea level.

 

 

 

 

Fair Oak Members at Hamble North Airfield
Fair Oak Members at Hamble North Airfield

The Walk

Eric led us opposite Hamble Primary School to the ‘Rail Trail’. This circular walk follows the century-old track which begins in Hamble Lane where two sets of unused crossing gates still exist. On Hamble’s North airfield Eric pointed out one old hangar still in existence. Our visit came two days after the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust (www.abct.org.uk) 7th June dedication of a plaque commemorating the Air Service Training role of the airfield until 1984.

Hamble had many substantial grand houses:
• Grantham Lodge
• The Copse
• Hamble House built in 1740 by shipbuilder JANVERIN
• Riverside House
• Sydney Lodge started in1789
• Ravenswood

Ravenswood was demolished in 1930 and replaced by the Crowsport Estate of Art Deco houses. Walking through the estate we passed:
• Lukes Close, named after local boat builders
• Stone remnants of probably the icehouse at Ravenswood
• Well Lane, where a water supply and village pump was sited until 1909
• Rope Walk and Copperhill Terrace – sitting high above and named from past nautical days when tar boiled in coppers treated ropes and coated timbers of wooden ships.

Warsash Ferry

The Warsash Ferry across the River Hamble is 500 years old. The ferry was hand rowed until 1940 although the modern boat carries 12 passengers. Both Warsash and Hamble played a vital part in D Day, with all oil through PLUTO pumped from BP’s Hamble depot.

Gold Postbox and Quayside

A modern relic is the gold postbox in the Square honouring Olympic cyclist Dani KING.
Ascending Hamble’s picturesque quayside, where the tide can still rise, maroon and waterlog properties, we encountered the King & Queen and The Victory, two remaining public houses. The Bugle survives, but its car park is gone for housing. The Royal Southern Yacht Club moved to Hamble in 1936 and acquired four cottages on the Quay.

 

 

 

 

 

Spitfire Statue at Hamble
Spitfire Statue at Hamble

Walking back along School Lane, we rejoined Hamble Lane, then turned off via the modern Avro Court and Chadwick Way (commemorating Roy Chadwick, Lancaster plane designer). Here we viewed a modern mast statue of metal spitfire planes hanging in the air.

 

 

 

 

I have not mentioned things we did not visit. The Training Ship Mercury is long gone, as is C. B. FRY, famous cricketer and frequent visitor to Hamble. However, I will name Nicolas Robinson, author of ‘Hamble; A Village History’ published July 1987 ISBN 0 946184 32 1. His final words were “May Hamble remain a village.”
I too recall the quiet days of taking the bus down to visit a friend in the mid-1960s, and it being the only vehicle in Hamble Lane – something that never occurs today.
By Sandra Naish

Latest News

Old Alresford village booklet now available

Old Alresford, (VB100) is located midway between Alton and Winchester just north of New Alresford which is on the A31. Alresford Pond is a large lake created in the 12th Century at the head of the River Arle, a tributary of the River Itchen. Several water mills have existed along the river with the restored […]


Knowle War Memorial

Knowle Hospital was open in 1852 as the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum. The asylum was renamed Knowle Mental Hospital in c.1923 and following the 1948 introduction of the National Health Service Act, became Knowle Hospital. At the beginning of the 20th century, Knowle Hospital was home to over 1000 patients and staff and was a self […]


Free Data in the Members’ Area

For some time HGS has had the intention of making some of its large collection of Family History data available to members in the Members’ Area of our website. With the development of our website we have now been able to begin this process and the first set to be introduced is of various ‘small churchyards’ […]


RIP Private Herbert Frank French

Herbert Frank FRENCH was born on 21st April 1884 at 11 Hyde Close in Winchester, the illegitimate son of Emily. On 18th January 1908 he married Sarah Ann (Annie) BIGNELL in Meonstoke and then settled in the village to raise their daughters Emily and Ivy. Herbert was initially in the Territorial Army then when WWI […]


Can you help

 We have recently been passed a copy of a photograph with a request for more information, maybe the location or the purpose. A comment with the photo says that the men were in training but didn’t say what for. 


All News...


Archives: