Southampton celebrates the city's nautical past with Maritime Festival

TS Tenacious, owned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, on show at the Southampton Maritime Festival

X Factor finalists Kingsland Road, on show at Southampton Maritime Festival

ST Challenge, which helped evacuate troops stranded on Dunkirk beach, is on show at Southampton Maritime Festival

HMS Medusa which played a part in D Day will be on show at Southampton Maritime Festival

First published in Leisure News
Last updated
Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THE MAJESTY of Britain’s naval past is on show at Southampton waterfront commemorating the role the city played in the two World Wars.

Visitors will be able to see the glorious crafts which helped British sailors and soldiers during times of crises as well as enjoy an eclectic range of music.

Fun for all the family can be had at Dock Gate Four over the weekend |which sees the centenary anniversary of the first shots fired by the British in the First World War.

But it won’t be all a sobering experience – children can get crafty in the kid’s zone and boat-building skills will also be on show, while musicians from across the region grace the stage.

South-coast singer-songwriter, |Charlie Woodford, the Wessex International Majorettes and cabaret artist, Sarah Batt, will perform songs from the 1940s today.

Highlights of today must be |national Teenstar competition finalists Lucy Smith and Issie B and singer Nicole McNally gracing the stage |from 11.30am. 

Expect plenty of screaming teenagers when last year’s X Factor favourites, Kingsland Road, appear at 2.30pm. 

Suitably nautical notes of sea |shanty singers, Bosun’s Call will |open the schedule for tomorrow before the Vox Pop Choir perform some |Blitz-era numbers. 

Talented dancer and singer, Isla Moir, musical duo Holloways and Perks, the St Andrew’s Pipe Band and the Igloo Ukulele Band will also provide some entertainment. 

History buffs will issue peals of delight when the Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Sue Blatchford, opens the event at 11.30am by ringing a bell from the shipwreck of a First World War vessel.

Steam trawler, Michael Clements, was part of the Auxiliary Patrol Force which monitored the Solent for submarine activity, and was sunk after being rammed off the Isle of Wight in August 1918. Fortunately all of the crew survived the sinking.

A flotilla of yachts, tugs and boats include the Woolston-built TS Tenacious, the largest wooden tall ship of her kind in the world, owned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Among the other historic vessels taking part are Second World War ST Challenge, which helped evacuate British troops from Dunkirk in 1940.

She towed Maunsell Forts and Mulberry Harbour Ports to defend the Thames Estuary, and was almost sunk by a German flying bomb.

The Coronia, a 40ft former fishing boat built in 1927 and the 60ft Thornycroft yacht Tahilla, which also took part in the Dunkirk evacuation – codenamed Operation Dynamo – will join ST Challenge in the line-up.

The array of vessels will also include |SS Shieldhall, the largest working steam ship in northern Europe.

Launched in 1955, she transported treated sewage sludge down the |River Clyde while in service for the Glasgow Corporation.

She will be joined by HMS Medusa, a motor launch used to protect harbours and estuaries.

She played a key role in the D-Day landings in 1944, when she was fitted with a state-of-the-art guidance system and escorted an Allied naval convoy to Juno beach.

The oldest craft in the line-up will be the Amazon, a Victorian steam yacht built 
in 1885.

A packed programme of talks on both days begins at 10am inside the Ocean Cruise Terminal, with a look at the |Arch-Manche project and its contribution to the EU coastal zone management.

That will be followed by talks on the Flying Enterprise, the SS Shieldhall, Trafalgar Dock, the Solent’s lost landscapes and forgotten shipwrecks of the First World War.

Tomorrow the programme will start at noon with a talk about the Royal Navy submarine HMS Thetis, which sank near Gosport during trials in 1939 with the loss of all 99 people on board, and their widows who launched legal action against the Admiralty.

There will then be talks on the steam tug Challenge, the social maritime history of the Itchen, Southampton’s trams and the history of the Red Funnel Group.

A series of four Titanic trail walks will be starting from the Southampton Tourist Guides stand inside Ocean Terminal each day, while there will be heritage bus tours around the city.

Places are limited and you can register online for some at: eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-heritage-bus-tour-of-southampton-tickets-11631717781

Motorists turning up on the day without tickets will be diverted to nearby public car parks, except blue badge holders.

Free vintage shuttle buses will run |back and forth between the city centre and the festival gates at Dock Gate Four, Ocean Terminal.

The buses will pick up passengers from the WestQuay Shopping Centre car parks, Southampton Coach Station, the London-side of Southampton Central Railway Station, SeaCity Museum and Platform Road.

Tickets, priced £6 for adults, £5 for over 60s and carers and £1.50 for children aged five to 15, will be available on the festival gates.

Advance tickets for tomorrow, |priced £5 for adults and £1 for |children for day tickets or £12 |for two adults and parking, are |still available online at: .

A souvenir guide with a more detailed map is available for £2 from vendors.

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