1 Molly Lambert
Molly was almost born in Hamble to mother Becky Lambert (#34 in 100 in Hamble). Becky went into labour at home, and a midwife was on her way. Then, because Molly presented back-to-back they were rushed into hospital in an ambulance, where she arrived safely.
“She’s a livewire, high maintenance and definitely a daddy’s girl,” said Mum.
2 Darcie Gerber
Darcie has lived in the village with her parents, Mia and Frank, since she was born. Her grandmother is Janet Bradley (#57) landlady of the King and Queen. Her Uncle Mike also lives in Hamble.
Darcie loves dressing up, drawing and colouring, playing with her dolls and eating, especially Spanish and Italian. She attends gym tots in the village, along with ballet, horse-riding, paddleboarding and kayaking with her grandmother, Janet. She also has a dog, Charlie Brown, a working cocker spaniel.
3 Lillian McPherson
Lillian has lived all her life in the village with her parents. She loves to go sailing and rowing in her peanut dinghy, swims like a fish, and “is bubbly, out-going, a little book-worm with a thirst for learning and always doing crafts,” says self-confessed “proud parent” Vicky (#32).
Lillian's grandmother, Pam Mansfield is 100 in Hamble #62, and her great grandmother is Joan Marshall #88 - four generations of Hamble women!
4 Rafaela Fejzo
Rafaela has always lived in Hamble with her mummy, Claire (#40), her daddy Altin and her sister Liliana (#10). She goes riding at Pony Magic, to ballet classes at the Memorial Hall and “You’re a Star”, an acting and dance class run by her Mum at The Hamble School.
She has just finished playschool, and will be starting school next month. Rafaela has now learned to ride her bike without stabilisers, and rides it at the park in the village.
5 Delilah Loveridge
Delilah was born in Southampton, and moved to Hamble when she was two. “I live with my mummy and daddy, my brother Jude and cat... I was so happy when he could talk and walk and crawl and now he’s a toddler.” Another of Delilah’s most exciting days was when the family got Freddy the cat.
“I like going on trampolines, and I like going outside in the fresh air. I like sweeties and I like my friends.” She goes to gymnastics in Hedge End, “We do headstands, cartwheels, back flips and bridges.”
6 Pip Rogers
Pip moved to Hamble in 2010, although she didn’t know it at the time, as she was only born shortly after her Mum (Sally Rogers #39), Dad and big sister (Evie Rogers #8) arrived in the village. “I do PE and we go swimming after school on Friday.” And she used to go to Jiggy Wrigglers in the church hall. On the day that her photo was taken, the house roof was being taken off. “It’s an old house,” said Mum, “nothing’s simple.”
7 Lauren Grace Lukin Barber
Lauren was born in Hamble in 2010, and her first house was one of the Victorian terraces on Satchell Lane. She moved to Meadow Lane when she was six months old and lives there with her Mum [Caroline #44], Dad, older brother, younger sister and their cat, Casper.
“I first went to Hamble nursery, then Hamble Primary and now I’m moving to Portsmouth Grammar Junior School. I like going sailing, and playing with my friends. I’ve got my own boat so I can sail a lot. I do tennis, swimming and drama. The thing I most enjoy in Hamble is playing on the beach with my friend Ruby because we both go sailing a lot together.
“The most exciting thing was when I came home from school on my fifth birthday and I saw my Mum holding my brand new, little baby sister on my birthday. I thought Mum was staying [in the hospital] a week or something, then I came home and I heard a baby cry and I thought what’s going on!”
8 Evie Rogers
Evie moved to Hamble with her Mum (Sally Rogers #39) and Dad when she was just two years old. Soon after her little sister Pip was born (#6). They live together with their Labrador, Tess. “I like to go and see my friends and go to school. I also like to go swimming and crabbing and sailing. On Wednesday, I go to a special advanced class for drama.”
9 Ruby Sears
Ruby was born in Hamble and is one of four generations that live in the village. “I have four cousins, a granny (#71 Janet Motherwell), a grandad, mum (#47 Bexx Sears) and dad, my two aunt and uncles, and my great grandma (#99 Kathleen Motherwell).
“I do swimming, I’m an intermediate lane swimmer, I’ve been doing it since I was three, and I joined brownies like a year ago. I like the fact that Hamble’s very small, I don’t really like big and really busy places that much. Hamble’s small and there aren’t that many people out at once.
“I had a birthday party when I was eight, and it was at the sports centre — a swimming party, and we had this massive inflatable and it was in the water like an obstacle course so you had to jump over gaps in it, and go through massive pillars which tried to knock you off and if you fell into the water you had to swim all the way back and do it again. It was really fun, I got through it about five times and my Mum didn’t get through it once, I think my Dad got through it once.”
10 Liliana Fejzo
Liliana has always lived in Hamble with her Mum (Claire #40) and Dad Altin and younger sister, Rafaela (#4). “I have my nanny and granddad who live in Netley Abbey.” She plays the violin at school and has been going to 'You're a Star' for a year, where her Mum teaches drama.
“I go there every Saturday. You're a Star is an acting and dancing school and my Mum does the drama pieces, and her friend Hayley does the dancing, like hip-hop. She puts on a pop song and teaches the dance for it. We do performances at the end of term to the parents at the school.”
11 Poppy Baxter
Poppy was born in Hamble and lives in the village with her mum and dad, two brothers, and an aunt and uncle that also live in the village. “I do drama. I do two clubs of drama, at the Berry Theatre for about a year, and at Hamble Players Youth Theatre for a few months. I got the third main part in a play that I auditioned for a few days ago. It’s a Year 5/6 production and it’s called Rock Bottom.
“I support Southampton and Manchester women’s football teams. I was a mascot for Southampton woman’s team. I came to their first season match and my mum tweeted them that we really enjoyed it. And they asked if I wanted to be a mascot.
“I play a lot of football, mostly in the park, with my friends and some times my granny and mum. I want to be a footballer when I’m older. I play for a team, Southampton Under 12s. I train with them as well in Southampton. I did some trials two weeks ago and got in. I’ve wanted to be a football player since I started playing football. It was quite exciting that I got the Southampton trials.
“I like that Hamble is not all roads and buildings, it’s quite natural and there’s a park and you can just walk a few minutes and get to a park where there’s loads of birds and stuff.”
12 Tessa Tomson
I’ve lived here my whole life. I have my Mum, my Dad, my sister Peggy and my Aunt Emma in the village. I go to private school in Southampton and I do a lot of sailing and swimming here, and play hockey for my school and Trojans - so not Hamble hockey, but I might change to Hamble.
I sail an RS Feva and plan on doing the Feva Nationals this year. I’ve been sailing since I was really little. I did the sailing event last year in the River Hamble Games. It was really windy, I came in ‘cos I didn’t want to die! I won some other sailing races as well. Sailing is the main sport I do in Hamble.
13 Charlotte Wyatt
Charlotte was born in the village and has lived here all her life with her Mum and Dad. She started as a gymnast with the Dynamo School of Gymnastics in the village. “I got up to stage one, and then quit to pursue dancing, and since then I’ve done two dance shows, and I’ve done exams to move up to the next grade. We’re working on a dance show at the moment called Icons. And then there’s Hamble Players Youth Theatre where I’ve done Blue Stockings and Pride and Prejudice. And with Hamble Players Panto I’ve done Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast.” During the Jane Austen 200, the two hundred year anniversary of her death in 2017 the Hamble Players Youth Theatre performed Pride and Prejudice at the Abbey ruins in Netley.
Charlotte shares her favourite memory of growing up in the village with many others — the famous soap box derby. “They would come down through the village and we would throw water balloons at them... I used to do it with my friends, and we used to go into the sea and start swimming after that.” She also has happy memories of early school holidays. “When I was little my nan used to take care of me with my cousins over the holidays sometimes. And we went to Royal Victoria Country Park and got ice cream and walked along the beach.”
Charlotte has also played a part in the Southampton Women’s Survey, a study run by the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit from offices at Southampton General and Princess Anne Hospitals. It’s believed to be the only study in Europe to have obtained information from the mothers before conception of the child, aiming to learn more about the dietary and lifestyle factors that influence the health of women and their children.
Charlotte’s Mum said, “They have seen her pretty much every year of her life to see how she is developing, to look at her diet and the food that she eats, the amounts that she eats, they have also looked at her body mass, fat density and how she has developed as a child. We want to carry it on as long as we can, as long as we get the funding. It’s been quite interesting and important to participate in it as there was only a certain number of people that got involved in the beginning.”
14 Grace Emberley
Grace moved to Hamble from Romsey when she was just four years old, and has lots of family in the village including an aunt and uncle and two cousins, a granddad and her mum. She went to playschool and the primary school in Hamble, and then to the secondary school for just over a year. She volunteers as as helper at the Sunday School and will be doing a work experience in November at the Hamble Play School. The Sunday School will be part of her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, along with photography and walking.
She enjoys meeting her friends and going to the park, and taking their Labrador, Marley for walks. “The soap box derby was really good - basically it was people riding boats down through the village and you would throw water bombs at them. Then if you went further round past the car park and up the hill there was a funfair. It stopped four or five years ago. It got sabotaged, it was fun with water bombs and flour, but people from outside the village started throwing heavy objects... eggs!”
15 Eleanor Yonge
Eleanor was born in Hamble and lives in the village with her parents and brother. “I sail down at Hamble River Sailing Club and sometimes I help out there as an Assistant Instructor, I don’t know how long I’ve been sailing, since I could walk? Since I could sit in a boat? We just sold our Feva, so I’ve been doing a bit of Laser sailing and really recently just started doing some 29er sailing down at Netley. I play hockey and rounders at school.
“I like living by the sea, and there’re loads of walks and you always end up in the same place. The golden post box is pretty cool, we always see it when we walk to the bus to go to school in the mornings. I’m pretty sure I want to go to Uni and then do a conversion course and go into law. It changes quite regularly, but at the moment that’s what I want to do. I’d really like to go to Cambridge but I don’t know whether that’s viable!”
During Eleanor's time at Sarisbury Junior School, she had Tina Chisnell - the photographer - as a class teacher for a year. "You inspired her and believed in Eleanor at school, she enjoyed your year, and you inspired her English," said her Mum.
16 Amber-Rose Williams
Amber Rose has lived in Hamble her whole life, she was born in the village. “My nan and my granddad pretty much live next to me, that’s my dad’s mum and step-dad. My uncle that lives with me. I have a sister called Megan and she lives on the Isle of Wight.
“I lost my dad four years ago, and I feel Hamble has a lot of memories, as we used to do a lot of things together, go out as a family in the village. We’ve got a [memorial] bench in Viccy park [Royal Victoria Country Park].
She used to work in the Beach Hut cafe in Hamble. “I liked working there. Going to the gym with my Mum, and taking the dog out for a walk. It’s a really friendly place, you walk up to the shop and you can bump into five people that you know. The walks and the beach are really nice. It’s just a nice atmosphere. I’d like to stay here, I do love it, but I’ll probably have to venture out of the village when I get older.”
17 Sophie Carter
Sophie was born in Hamble and still lives here with her Mum and Dad and older brother. She went to school in the village, swam a lot at the pool at the Hamble School, and now works at Pickwell Farm. “I used to love Hamble Week, that was always fun, with the soap box derby and all the other stuff. We used to fill up loads of water balloons and chuck them at people!”
19 Leah Tuley
Leah has lived in Hamble her whole life with her Mum, Dad and - until he moved away - her brother. Her grandmother also lives in the village. “I’m a swimming teacher at Hamble [Community Sports Complex]. I was a lifeguard there, and work on reception.
“The youngest children I teach swimming to are three and the oldest is about 11. I’ve worked there for five years. I enjoy seeing the children progress, watching them as they move through the stages.” Leah is very drawn to the water. “Me and my Dad have sailed down the river, gone on our RIB down the river, kayaked down the river.”
“I also like to have coffee in the village, that’s quite a common one that we do. We go for quite a lot of walks as I’ve got two dogs, cocker spaniels. We walk around quite a lot, they love the sea, they love the fields.
“I love the freedom of Hamble, the walk from Netley down on the beach, down to Hamble, up the bottom of Hamble and then we can walk back home, so it’s nice. I don’t think I’ll ever move from Hamble, I like it here. My brother is in Manchester, and when we all go see him we all say how much we miss the open spaces here.”
20 Abigail Hatton
Abigail moved to Hamble from Botley when she was a child. “We moved when I was about three or four so my Dad could set up his veterinary practice in the village. My Dad’s the vet! My sister Katherine is also living at home while she does her Master’s degree at Southampton University.
“I was at the Primary School, but went to a different secondary school, and I went to Brownies when I was younger at the Church. I did a bit of work experience at the Water’s Edge bar down in the marina in Hamble. I’m now at Exeter University in my second year doing biological sciences which is really nice. Not sure what happens next to be honest...
“Me and my sister did yoga at the Hamble Sports College for about a year which was fun with Yoga Jo. Now I go to a load of fitness classes; LBT, yoga, pilates that sort of thing. There is a group of friends that I go with which is fun.
“I have a lot of good memories from the village when I was younger. We had friends that owned a RIB and we would sometimes go across the water to the Isle of Wight in the summer which was really lovely.
21 Charlot Dennis
Charlot moved to Hamble with her parents when she was seven. “We moved away to Netley and moved back when I was about 15. Just Mum and Dad live in the village, all my brothers have left home now.” She is working towards a fine art degree, and in September 2018 got a publishing contract for a book.
“That was quite exciting. It’s a self-help guide for obsessive compulsive disorder. I wrote and illustrated it, with activities for people to fill out. I have OCD and I was looking for a similar book and I couldn’t find one, so I thought I’d write one myself. For OCD therapy you have cognitive behavioural therapy and it’s quite structured; ranking your fears and tackling one at a time so the book is laid out to the CBT principles but in a really easy, understandable way.
“I guess it’s aimed at kids or young people; here are my fears — and I ordered them — what are yours? The publisher is Jessica Kingsley Publishers up in London and they mainly publish self-help and mental health type books, so it’s a good publisher to be with. It took me just over a year, not intensely, I would leave it for a few months and come back to it. I think I accidentally did it, I didn’t set out to do it, it just ended up going quite well.
“I walk my dog, a spaniel, everyday around the village or the woods. I did some life modelling at Sea Sky Gallery for the drawing class, that was terrifying but fun — fully naked with lots of poses. I used to love Hamble Week, but they don’t do it any more. And I used to love jumping in off the quay, but that’s not encouraged now. I like being so close to the water, it’s just so pretty compared to anywhere else round here. But think I need to go away for a little while, I’d like to go to Bristol, it’s not too far, maybe in fifty years I’ll come back.”
22 Tilly Danby
Tilly can’t remember moving to Hamble, she was only two when her parents and older sister all arrived from California. The family have lived in the village ever since, although her older sister was in Tahiti working on a boat. She went to both the primary and the secondary school n Hamble and at the secondary school was on the hockey, basketball and cross-country teams. “I really enjoyed being part of that school.”
She had her first job in the village, starting at the White Hart when she was 16, and work there until she was almost 19. “I worked there for a good long period of time, which was great because it was my first job. It was really good fun.”
Tilly is studying psychology at the University of Bath, and on a placement year working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. “I’m working in the neuro-psychology department which I find really interesting, and afterwards... all I can think about right now is graduating and going travelling! Longer term is a bit more of a question mark, I love Uni and I love my degree so we will see where that takes me.”
23 Imogen Sullivan-Bell
Imogen moved to Hamble with her family in 2001. “We were living in London and my Mum was coming down here every weekend anyway, so when she got made redundant from her job there she saw it as a good opportunity to move down here as it was a lot nicer. My mum and sister have lived here continuously since 2001. My sister has just moved to Spain but my mum still lives here.
“I went to Hamble Primary, then I went to Hamble Secondary for a year, before going to school in Winchester and commuting. When I was younger I did sailing in Hamble as most people do, and went to Guides and occasional clubs up at the school.
“My first job was at Bonne Bouche in the village, back when it was just one tiny little shop, back when Carol was running it. And then I worked at some of the Farmer’s Markets in Hampshire before opening a cafe in Winchester, and then leaving to go to Uni in London. My friend was running a cafe and the manager left quite suddenly, and he was just going to shut it down. I was in college at the time and I was like, ‘well I could have a go’. So he just gave me the keys to the cafe for a while, which was great fun.
“Now I’m a nurse at the General. I work in cardiac intensive care. I’ll be leaving in September to become a psychologist. I got injured in December last year, I tore some cartilage in my wrist and that obviously puts you out of doing intensive care work.
“I was originally going to do psychology at Uni when I was 18, and then they raised all the fees and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much money and so I moved to London and ended up doing nursing. And then I had a friend who started doing psychology and I so started looking into conversion courses because I didn’t know how long I was going to be off for [with the injury].
“I saw this conversion course [1 year MSc] at Reading and thought I would go for it. Clinical psychology is quite an interesting area, and I’ve arranged to shadow some of the clinical psychologists at the General.
“I used to climb quite a lot, rock climbing down in Calshot, I haven’t tried the one in Fareham yet, Red Spider, it’s twinned with the place I used to go to in London, called White Spider which is the original one and then they’ve opened Red Spider down here which is handy.
“When I was younger there’s not a lot to do when you’re 16 in Hamble and my friends and I would go down to the beach and have bonfires and bbq’s down there. And one time, somebody called the Fire Brigade on us, and we were like ‘oh no, we’re going to get told off’ — and when they turned up it was one of our friends Dad’s, and he was just like, ‘ok, carry on, but just be careful’.
24 Chelsea Wadeson
Chelsea moved to Hamble about a year ago. “I do have an aunt and uncle in the village. I helped manage a few different pubs in London, and before that I was studying photography in West London. Now I work in the village at the King and Queen as one of the managers.
“I wasn’t planning on being here as long as I have. The pub was supposed to be a very temporary thing but I fell in love with it and everyone who works there. I don’t do any sports... I’m rather lazy that way. I spend a lot of my free time painting and I am in the middle of a project at the moment illustrating a children’s book that my sister has written.”
25 Robyn Williams
Robyn moved to Hamble when she was four with her Mum, Gaynor Williams (#55) and Dad. “I don’t really remember when I moved to Hamble, I moved down with Mum and Dad from Liverpool. I went to Hamble Primary, but I went to secondary school and college in Winchester, studying media, which I went on to do at University. I did do gymnastics at the gym at the high school in Hamble, but I finished that when I was about 14, maybe? I did it for about seven years.”
“My first job was in the village, I worked at Bonne Bouche for about two and a half years, I was there when Carol Hill still owned it. I’ve just spent the last two years travelling and working in Australia, and I’ve been back in Hamble about three weeks. That was incredible. I did some of South-east Asia as well; Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Bali. Lots of travelling but now back to the real world. I’ve just got a job in recruitment in Southampton, literally about an hour ago. I start that on Thursday, I’ve never done it before, so we’ll see how it goes!”
26 Ellie Brettelle
Ellie was born in Hamble. “I’ve lived here 26 years now bar three years when I went to Plymouth University. My Mum lives in the village, that’s Stephanie Tucker, with my step-dad and I’ve got a three year old little girl called Fiora.
“I don’t work in Hamble, I work in Havant. I’m a psychiatric social worker for the NHS. When I was younger I worked in the chip shop in Hamble and the antiques shop in the village. I don’t really do much in Hamble any more; maybe take my daughter crabbing, and she used to do swimming lessons and gymnastics here as well.
“I think the most interesting thing about my life is just bringing up my daughter. Spending time with her. I did go travelling to Ghana for three weeks when I was at University to work with orphans and build libraries and things, so that was a good experience.
“I like that it’s a small village, having grown up here you feel that it’s quite close-knit, everyone knows everyone... although recently I think more people have moved in, and you don’t always know everyone actually, so it is expanding a little bit.
“If you go on a night out down the village everyone is friendly, everyone knows you. There’s no crime, it’s peaceful, it’s good for children. There’s lots to do on the water and things... it’s good. We’ll definitely be staying here.”
28 Kirsten Houser
Kirsten moved to Hamble from London in January 2016, her parents already lived on Satchell Lane (Sue Houser #58). “I lived in South London about six years altogether. I was at Camberwell (College of Arts) doing an Illustration course, and then I worked at the University for about two or three years after that. And then it got too expensive and too stressful so I came here to get away from it.
Kirsten now works freelance, taking commissions and selling her prints in the Sea Sky gallery that her Mum runs. “It’s quite solitary, I spend a lot of time at a desk. I don’t mind working on my own at all, but I guess in a place like Hamble you can just walk out to the Co-op and be able to have a chat with somebody and grab some lunch — everyone knows everyone — even though I’ve only been here for a year and a half. And that’s also why I got the job at the dog rescue centre, because it’s something a bit different.
“I walk a lot, I don’t do any organised sports, but I go down to the beach everyday. My Dad has a boat, so we spend a lot of time at the moment at the Elephant Boatyard, sanding and varnishing the boat, it’s a wooden boat and I help him with that. And the kayaks, we kayak on the river. I have made a garden in the back of the shop, it was just lawn before, and I spent two years buying reduced price plants from all the garden centres and now it looks really good, really cool. Mostly I just walk around with my dog, Kiwi.”
29 Sally Thomlinson
Sally moved to Hamble four years ago, as her Mum lives in the village (#54 Chrissy Stanbridge). “I have my Mum, and my child’s dad and my little boy, Zach in the village. Before I came here I was working in a primary school as a one-on-one support teacher in Essex.
“I work at Harrier Vets, the local veterinary clinic. I’ve been there two years now, and apart from that I go to social things with my child, down at the Church, like Cherubs... and that’s about it really. Oh, and we go down to Victoria Country Park, we’re always down there, he loves it down there.
“My child was born here - it’s all about Zach isn’t it - this is his home town now, I’ve made it home for him, that’s the most exciting news that I can think of... I love the village mentality and the markets that we have down the front. I love the local produce that’s available from local farmers.”
30 Charmaine Read
Originally from Havant, Charmaine moved to Hamble 12 years ago to be with her partner, Karl, whose family all live in the village. They have two children together, Charlie and Darcy.
“I was only 18 when I moved down here. So I’d literally just finished college, started my first job and then moved down here with him. I work in the [Hamble Community] Sports Complex now, teaching exercise classes; Body Attack and Sh’bam. I get to see loads of local people, I have people from 16 up. I had someone who brought their Mum the other day and she was in her 60s. It was lovely, you know when you see the daughter with the Mum working out... it was really sweet.
“I used to go to the baby group, Cherubs, with my little one and met some really good friends from that. We do gym tots and I always try and get out as well. They love parks, which is why I love Hamble, because there is so much open space they can just run free. We went to Viccy park yesterday, me and Charlie — my Darcy was at playschool — and he loved it. There’s loads of grass, you haven’t got to worry so much because there’s no real roads.
“For me the exciting thing was starting a family. It keeps you on your toes because no day is the same. My little one doesn’t sleep that well, he gets up at half five so the days are so long and yet the years are flying by; and somebody said ‘the days are long but the years are short’ and that couldn’t be truer really, could it?”
31 Sophia Higgins
Sophia moved back to Hamble with her husband Marc and daughter Aubrey in September 2017, but she was actually born in the village and spent the first 18 months of her life in Hamble, returning when she was 29.
“We were living in Wickham near Fareham, I was a business development manager for a firm of financial advisors — that’s what I did when I went back to work after having my daughter. And then I moved here and I was exams officer at Hamble School. I stopped that about a year ago and focused on being a Mum for a bit, because I felt like I was missing too much, and luckily my husband gave me the opportunity, because we could afford it.”
Sophia has just started her own business, called Solo Designs, restoring or upcycling furniture. “I source pre-loved furniture that I think is still pretty and doesn’t need too much work but could maybe do with a lick of paint. And then I just put my stamp on it. I get it off Gumtree or Facebook marketplace, I try to keep the price point quite reasonable as well so people can afford to buy it... I spend a lot of time on my work and quite a lot of it is hand-painted, free-hand.
“I’ve always been quite an arty person, I’ve been quite lucky in that respect I could always draw and paint but it just went on the back-burner, when you kind of have to grow up and be responsible and chose what you do in life. So I thought now was a good opportunity when I don’t have so much pressure to earn a certain amount of money, and I can build it up over time.
“I try to keep myself fit and go to the gym, but apart from that I don’t really have much in the way of hobbies unless you count my business as a bit of a hobby -- it’s in the fledgling stage. I love home interiors so I like looking for inspiration online and also trying to keep a presence on social media, building that up through my business and trying to tie home interiors to my Instagram page. At the moment it’s just a hobby and an interest of mine but I find it really therapeutic.
“When I was 20 I did have a commercial and fashion modelling career, and I filmed the 2008 Ibiza Ministry of Sound advert. Three of us went out to Ibiza for a week and got to have the time of our lives -- but work as well -- it was a great experience, really fun, one that I will never forget. It seems like yesterday but also a long time ago as well, it’s eleven years ago now, it just flies by.
“We’re getting more into the community now through having our daughter and getting involved that way, getting to know mums and the younger kids. We’re not really involved in clubs or anything like that, we don’t get a great deal of time to be honest. I like the real community feel in the village.
“I love it in the spring and summer. I think Hamble comes into its own when the sun’s out -- even when it’s cold, it’s just lovely to be able to go down by the water and have that right on your doorstep. There’re new people all the time, it’s quite a destination Hamble -- it’s a really bustling place and that’s what I love about it. It’s just got great atmosphere, I love our home, and if we were to move I think we’d like to stay in Hamble in the future, it’s just a great place to be.”
32 Vicky McPherson
Vicky was born in Hamble, after her parents settled in the village, choosing to live ashore because Vicky was on her way. She has lived in the village most of her life, only moving away for a while when she was 16, initially to Southampton and then to Padstow where she worked for Rick Stein. She soon decided that she was bored with working in restaurants and got a job on a superyacht when she was 19. Until she was 23 she lived between New York, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean working as a chef on different superyachts.
Vicky’s grandmother has moved to the village, and her mum and dad still live here, although her brother has now moved to Oxford. “When I came back I was 23 and I set up a catering company, working in and around the village. I worked at the RAF Yacht Club, I had the catering contract down there. But when I found out I was pregnant I stopped doing the business. I ran two child playgroups, cherubs and gloop a messy play group, but now I’m just ‘child-focused’ for the time being!”
Her daughter Lillian is 100 in Hamble #3, her mother Pam Mansfield is #62 and her grandmother is Joan Marshall #88.
33 Chrissy McManus
“My husband, Duncan bought a house in Hamble in 2010, and instantly got told his job was moving to London, so he bought a flat in Farnborough. I met him as he moved there. He lived in the village for two weeks before he got told his job was moving to London and three months later he started in London. I moved in with him doing the same thing, so I got a job in London as well and we both weekend commuted until just before Ryan was born, so the end of 2014. Now he goes to London one day a week, and works from home.
“I was a Weapon Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy, and then I worked for the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances writing test standards. I travelled all over the world to agree the international and European standards. I’m currently a full-time Mum and we spend a lot of time kayaking, rowing and sailing, cycling and walking around the village.
“I’ve just taken over Hamble Beaver Scouts, and we’re very popular at the moment. Our record was 107 scouts and explorers on the river at the same time on a Friday night and we were hitting a hundred regularly that summer. It’s dropped a bit from that, which is a bit of a relief for the leaders because it was an undertaking to organise, when I was doing those Friday nights.
“I used to be Scout and Explorer leader, that’s why we were weekend commuting, we were coming back to run it. Duncan is still Explorer Scout leader. He’s trying to give up, but he’s got to get somebody to take over first. It’s just too much. We’ll probably get back involved when Ryan’s of an age to do it, but at the moment he’s not old enough to take part, so we’re better off doing some stuff with him, and getting back involved again when we’ve got more time.”
34 Becky Lambert
Becky moved to Hamble in 2012. Originally from Oxfordshire, while husband Colin is from the Wirral near Chester in north-west England. They were working in Southampton, and living in a city centre flat in Ocean Village. They wanted to get out of the city and chose Hamble for the river.
They now have two children, Harry aged three, and Molly aged one (#1 in 100 in Hamble), but no other family in the village. The children have made it harder to get afloat, but they are regular users of the paths, parks, cafes, restaurants and pubs. “We wanted to be by the water, my husband loves being by the water so Hamble seemed like a sensible place. We liked the village feel, just liked it.”
35 Rosie Moore
Rosie Moore moved to Hamble in 2012, after working abroad. “My brother and sister-in-law live here, I grew up in Southampton. I decided that Hamble was a nice village to live in, as I’d spent a lot of my social time here, so I decided to rent a flat. I met my husband in the village, we were both helping a friend who was going through a bad patch at the time and ended up meeting through that which was quite sweet. That was four years ago, and now I live here with my husband Dylan and my little boy Percy.
“I trained as an architect. I did that for about eight years, and then in 2008 I went off to New Zealand and joined a boat. I was a chef for a while on superyachts and I was permanently on a boat for two and half years working in the Med and the Caribbean. When I came back I went into graphic design with a boat influence, now I work for a marine graphics company.
“I take part in quite a lot of creative things, so I do courses at Sea Sky Design and Gallery. I’ve done a printing course, this time last year, and I did the sketch book club before that, and at the moment I’m doing one of their creative paper courses. When I can I like to get out, I’ve got quite a good social life, lots of friends, lots of mummy groups that I have started to join, swimming... with Percy as well.
“I’m not really a sporty person, I don’t get a chance to do any sailing any more which I did use to do a bit of, but never competitively. I do a lot of walking, we live on the edge of the country park, so I walk my dog every day for 45 minutes to an hour. That’s really nice — there’re places I can take the dog without her being on the lead — and we live next to the beach which is really great.
“I’ll go back to work in January, designing exhibition stands for companies; the London and Southampton Boat Shows and all those in between. A lot of our clients are marine based, so we do tend to get a lot of repeat work on that side. I’m looking forward to going back to that now, but it’s been nice having a bit of a break.”
36 Katie Loucaides
Katie was living in Holland with her husband, Socratis, who was doing a PhD. When that was completed he got a job at the National Oceanography centre in Southampton and they moved to Hamble. They have two children, Dylan, 12 and Lucas, aged seven. “It was the first time we’d come here, but my brother lives close by in Eastleigh.
“I was a stay at home Mum when we were in Holland, but once the youngest got to school age, I went back to work. I started working for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Southampton. I started as an admin support there, and went on to be a community fundraiser and I’m now the My Guide Ambassador for Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands.
“I run a voluntary service for the Guide Dogs where we match people with sight loss with sighted guides, who are trained in sighted guiding techniques. They meet with them once a week to help them get out and about independently. And that might be people who are trying to go for a guide dog but maybe they haven’t got the work load for the dog yet, so they need help on building their local routes. I really like my job, it’s really exciting, I do five days a week most of the time, it takes up a lot of my time.
“All our activities and sports are around the kids outside of school hours. Lucas plays football with the Bursledon Sharks and with his school, Dylan goes to the local Sea Scouts in Hamble as well. My husband is from Cyprus, so we have a few Cypriot traditions, and we go to Cyprus in the summer to see his family which is always exciting.
“I think the memorable thing for me in the village was last year when the Christmas tree was vandalised and they put the word out for every family to bring a Christmas decoration to put on the tree. There was a really nice community spirit which is what I really like about the village.”
37 Sacha Kemp
Sacha moved to Hamble from London in 2001 after getting her first real job at the RYA. Her then boyfriend, and now husband was living in the village so she moved in with him and his best friend. She had always been drawn to the village because of the river and the sailing, her father kept a boat in Hamble when she was younger. She started to race and then went to Southampton University and spent quite a lot of weekends and evenings racing on or from the river. She grew up in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, by the River Thames, and weekends were always spent messing about in boats.
“It’s such an amazing way of life and I was always drawn to water and the sea, so when I got the opportunity to come back down here it was always a very natural thing that I would end up being back in Hamble. Now on the weekends we just try to enjoy the river as much as possible. We have a Foxer and sail in the Foxer fleet from Hamble River Sailing Club. We can wander down there in the morning and come home five hours later just having bumped into people. I think that’s the nice thing about the village, sometimes you don’t have to have a plan you can just bump into people and that makes it always interesting.”
38 Jo Clatworthy
Jo moved to Hamble with her husband Sean in 2013, coming from the neighbouring village of Netley Abbey where they had lived since 2000 — so they have been in the area for a while. Prior to that, they had worked on superyachts as captain and first mate, and/or chef and sailed the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the America’s.
“We moved here purely because of the river and the watersports, we lived in Netley and we loved the area. It’s great for bringing up our girls, and we mess around on the river all the time. I don’t work here — except for having an office in the garden — but I wish I did. I work as an architectural consultant and in interior design.
“We just decided, Sean and I to buy a small yacht, a little Contessa 26 which we bought completely off the hoof in February, and we’ve done it up and it’s going to be arriving back here next weekend. We’re going to have massive adventures over the summer!”
39 Sally Rogers
Sally moved to Hamble in 2010 with her husband Tim and daughter Evie (#8), with Pip (#6) being born soon after. “I was having Pip, and Tim was working here in Hamble and commuting to our last house, and I said that with two children we have to be near work.”
“Since having the children, I’ve gone back to what I really want to do, what I’ve always wanted to do and what I trained in; which is antiques. I’m an antiques dealer now. It’s really good. I love it. It’s not so much the value of things that gets me, it’s what they tell you about the people that have gone before.
“We take the kids sailing, and I’ve recently done some running. I’m keen to do the Thursday night sailing — Women on Water — I really want to get into that. I’ve got enough miles to do my RYA Yachtmaster, but I haven’t got a clue. I’ve done offshore stuff and I’ve done racing with Tim, but I’m a complete fraud when it comes to sailing.
"But while the children are young it's fair to say I don't get out much; but through work, people and places come to me instead. I 'meet' people who died 150 years ago and I travel to places which no longer exist. You can poke around in a sale room on a drizzly November afternoon and find yourself in the heat of 1880s colonial India, or a dark Georgian cottage, or in 1982 back in your grandparents' sitting room. The more you look, the more you find. I think that's why I love it - closest thing we'll get to time travel for the time being."
40 Niki Fitzgibbon
Niki moved to Hamble with her parents and family when she was just two, and grew up and went to school in Hamble. She left to study nursing at Guildford and then Chichester when she was 18, returning when her son, Josh was eight years old, “to be close to the family.”
Her grandmother is Betty Dymond (#96) and her aunt, sister, parents and grandmother’s sister and family have all lived, or live in the village and the surrounding area.
“I work in the village as well, up at Harrier Veterinary Surgery. I’ve worked there for six and a half years as a nurse, I love it there, it’s nice. I get to see everyone from the village a lot.”
41 Claire Fejzo
Claire has lived in Hamble since 2003; she grew up in Netley and went to Hamble Secondary School before going to drama school in Birmingham. She now lives with her husband Altin and two daughters, Rafaela [#4] and Liliana [#10]. “I was living in London with my husband before we were married and I was going round auditioning and acting after I had left drama school. So I was a jobbing actress for all of that time. I worked stage and tv, commercials, you name it - whatever came up I did it.”
Claire acted under her stage name Rebecca Fern. “I worked at the Criterion Theatre in London and that was amazing. I’ve worked at the Nuffield and the Mayflower here in Southampton. I did a Burger King commercial. I worked on a Ruth Rendall Mysteries where I was murdered in a dark alleyway, I got strangled with a piece of rope. So everything acting is really exciting and not your usual Monday morning thing.
“Now I have a company called You’re a Star, it’s an acting and dance group which we do at the Hamble Sports Complex. That’s every weekend and holiday workshops, I’m the drama teacher. I’d love to do more, but once I got married and had a family it was not practical to keep commuting to London. My life now is the school run and making sure my children are fed and their activities are organised. I do go to the gym and do the exercise classes at the Hamble Sports Complex.
“My aim once they have grown up and got their own lives is to go back into it, because it’s not like football where you have to retire, actresses can be 100 years old and still be going. So I’ve always got that option which is really good. My ideal job - and I know that people really frown upon it - but I’d love to be in a soap. A lot of actors say, oh no, you have to be in the theatre darling, but I would absolutely love to be in a soap. Coronation Street would be my absolute ideal, but my accent would probably suit Eastenders better!
“I really love Hamble. I really love the community spirit, we have got great neighbours where we live in our road, everyone knows each other. All my excitement generally is with my children now. I love to go down to the village, I love to sit in the cafe down the front and look out over the water. You kind of feel like you are on holiday, which is really lovely. Whenever I tell people - that don’t live here - that I live in Hamble, they are always like... oh wow, Hamble’s so lovely. So I feel quite proud to live here.”
42 Kate White
Kate was brought up in Bahrain, and lived in Bristol before moving to Southampton. She sailed and worked on boats for a long while, but had always wanted to live in Hamble. “I had a gut feeling that I had to live in Hamble, I moved there and rented a room, and eventually bought a house in the village,” where she now lives with her husband and her dog.
“I’d heard that it was cliquey when I moved here and I decided that the best way to meet people was to work in the pubs and restaurants. So I got a job in the deli at Bonne Bouche when Carol Hill was there, and I also worked in Banana Wharf, the River Rat, King and Queen and the Blue Bijou shop. I also do corporate events and team-building activities as an instructor, so I was in and out of the village. Now I just work for an events company four days a week, and every now and again I will help out at the River Rat.” She used to do a lot of sailing, but now walks with her dog instead, and does Tai Chi at The Hamble School gym.
43 Sarah Deacon
Sarah knew the area because she did a degree at the Warsash campus when it was part of Southampton Institute. “That was back in 1993 when I started there, and I lived in Southampton. So I knew the area.
"I came to Hamble because of Debbie Fitzgibbon, now Debbie Phillips. We worked on a boat together and we were out in the States. The boat went in for a refit, and the Captain — Captain Charles Shawcroft, another Hamble person — said it was a good time to take some holiday. And Debbie said come to Hamble and stay with her parents, and that was my real introduction to Hamble. I’ve been coming back ever since.
“I first lived in Hamble in 1998, in a house on the Square, only for the summer as I was working on boats. I had the summer here and then I was away working on boats after that until 2004, when I moved here full-time. I was crewing on superyachts; winters in the Caribbean, summers in the Med, through the Pacific.
“I’m still on maternity leave at the moment. I’m a florist, and I work in Stubbington, east of here. I don’t sail anymore, I find the sailing here is a bit difficult, you have to be totally immersed in it and go every weekend.
"Before I got pregnant, I used to play tennis up at the school, Gem Tennis, I love doing that — but my life has changed so much, it’s all about the babies at the moment. We get out and walk around the Common a lot and into the Country Park, enjoying Hamble for the river and getting out and about walking.
“I don’t have a husband, but I have my two children Kit and Wren who are six months old. I decided to have the babies on my own, and make a little life with the three of us, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
44 Caroline Barber
Caroline first started to live in Hamble in 2001, and bought her first house in the village in 2003. She now lives with her husband, Sean and three children (including daughter Lauren #7). “I worked for Meridian, the Southampton branch of ITV as a graphic designer on Northam Bridge for about ten years from the late 90s to about 2006.
“When I first moved to Hamble I sailed a 1720, and I got to know most of the sailing crowd through spending a year doing that, but I’ve never fully embraced it, because I’ve never felt that comfortable with the wind. It’s very much part of my life. I didn’t grow up sailing, but I’ve always been on and around boats. The vibe here is what I love so much, the young people, the old people, the community spirit, everything about village life is encompassed in Hamble and I’m so proud to live here.
“I go out on our RIB a lot, and my Dad has a boat on the Hamble River, a motorboat and we’re out on that a fair bit. I’ve been in Sean’s Foxer [small sailing dinghy] a few times, and I’m yet to learn how to rig an Oppie [junior international sailing dinghy], but I know that’s coming any day now. I play tennis, and I love walking and cycling, but I’m happiest on the water, having a glass of wine with the girls taking the RIB up the river is one of my perfect evenings. I do love it, I embrace the water and paddle boarding and swimming and everything else about it.
“I’m so involved in Hamble, at one point I thought I’d even be on the Parish Council, but children have taken over and I’m a bit too busy for that at the moment. There isn’t much about the village that I don’t completely love and embrace. I couldn’t believe that such a wonderful place that was right up my street was on my doorstep when I was living in Southampton and I didn’t even really know about it, until I was introduced to it in about 2001. I’m in my fourth Hamble property now, and I can’t see us moving out of Hamble anytime soon, so I wonder if there might be a fifth, but who knows.”
45 Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie moved to Hamble in 1998, and now lives in the village with her husband Nick, and their six year old daughter Darcy. She was previously a yacht rigger for sailing boats, before working for marine photographer, Kos Evans. Rosie helped her to publish the limited edition (1,000 copies) 20 x 20, a metre wide and 20kg celebration of Kos’s twenty years in the business.
She now helps to organise the Royal Southern’s youth sailing week, Splash Week and had just completed a two year project. “I’ve just finished rebuilding a Crowsport property that was originally built in the 1930s. They were built to be sold to sailors for the weekend, but they were so badly built, and so damp, and then the war came along and nobody bought them. So they rented them out to the J-yacht crews and they used to live in them during the summer. They are built in single breeze blocks in 1930s cubist architecture.”
“We managed to get our hands on one of the really good ones, with a lovely view of the Hamble River and a 400-year old oak tree in the garden. We put a fairy door on the bottom of it and a swing. It’s our home for the rest of our lives.
46 Fiona Best
Fiona comes from West Wales, where she met her husband Will. They have a seven year old son, Thomas. “Will was my neighbour in West Wales where both of our families originate from, but we both ended up migrating down here through work. When he was a student in Southampton I was working in Farnborough, but I ended up working in London in the ski industry and commuted down at the weekends.
“Then I got a job at the RYA [Royal Yachting Industry] in 2007 and I moved in with him down here, and then in 2008 we bought our first home just after we got engaged — it was a whirlwind romance of ten years before we got engaged! I work from home, I still do freelance PR and marketing for the snow sports industry.
“We do use the river quite a bit on weekends, my husband is a Foxer sailor, Thomas likes to paddleboard and go crabbing. We like to play rugby on the field behind the house. Thomas is always practising his kicking, he wants to play for Wales though! I mostly ski, I’m a skier rather than a sailor, so the stuff I do down here is with my friends, I go out on the speedboats rather than sailing.
“One of our highlights as a family was buying the old farmhouse on Satchell Lane and putting the time and effort into making that our first family home — whilst keeping it looking like it’s always been here, because there are so many modern developments going on. We were very fortunate to have one of the original Hamble houses that still exists and I’m quite proud of that.
I’m involved in quite a lot of what goes on in the village. I’ve got a really good network of girlfriends here — being the wife of a sailor you’re left on your own quite a bit throughout the year and it’s amazing because you don’t have to use your car to have fun at the weekends; to visit your friends; to take the kids out. There is everything on your doorstep whilst you live here. So we’re always out and about doing things.
47 Bexx Sears
Bexx was born in Hamble, and is one of four generations of her family still living in the village. “We moved away for a short time and came back again, but the houses have always been here, so it’s always been the family base and I’ve spent most of my life here. I live here with my daughter (#9 Ruby Sears) and my husband, and we’ve got my brother who lives next door with his family, and I have another brother in the village, further up with his family — and my grandmother (#99 Kathleen Motherwell) also lives next door with my parents (#71 Janet Motherwell).
“I work at the sports centre as a swim teacher, I have done for about 11 years. It’s lovely to see all the children small and then suddenly seeing them all grown up. I’ve had some of them working under my wing as a helper who are now swim teachers themselves, so it’s quite a nice community spirit.
“When I was younger, for a time my parents looked after the Copse, it was a large house, it had ten bedrooms with servants quarters. It was a fantastic building, it was quite spooky, it had its haunted moments through the night, but it was such a massive playground when I was eight, and it was just down the road from the old school. So I used to just walk up the road there to school at the time before it became the bigger school where it is now. The Copse was knocked down to build houses.
“I’ve just watched the whole place growing up around me, I remember when none of Meadow Lane was here, just these pre-fab houses. There were no houses over the back in what’s now Spitfire Way. I remember when the old aircraft hangers were here and the last of the aircraft, when we had the odd thing buzzing, coming in and out. It wasn’t as busy as it had been prior to that.
“It’s wild seeing all the changes, it used to be such a quiet place, and now it’s so busy and the traffic’s horrendous... but there is still some community spirit here, and it’s a quiet enough place for my daughters to grow up, not a busy town. I remember being able to leave doors open, everything was unlocked — but that was going on everywhere, people trusted more back in the days of the seventies. Everything has changed on that front, it’s all locked and bolted now sadly.”
48 Camilla Wood
Camilla moved to Hamble in 2003, but had visited the village since she moved to the south coast from the Midlands in 1987. She moved to Bournemouth to study and stayed on the coast, living in Southampton and on the South Downs before moving to Hamble. “I’m married and we’ve got a little boy (Christopher age three), so we have all moved into the village. Sadly, with us being older we’ve lost our parents. I’ve still got cousins in the Midlands. My husband Malcolm is from the West Midlands and he’s got family still there as well.
“I just love it here, it’s very friendly, I love the community spirit, I love being by the water. I like the pubs and places to go out and eat, and I love the fact that when you get home from work and you come here you just feel like you’re on holiday. You can put your shorts on and walk into the village and meet loads of friendly interesting people. It’s just very diverse and I really, really enjoy it.
“I work in Portsmouth in the Naval Base, but there are plenty of things that we do in the village. We take Christopher to all the different parks. We’re also quite active within the Church, so we’ve done Cherubs [toddler group], and we go to the Lighthouse Service which is lovely. We like to take Christopher to the services that are children friendly. We’ve got a dog, and we love to take her out walking. We go cycling, as well as lots of walking, lots of longer distance walks with Christopher in a rucksack on our backs — absolutely love the countryside around here.
“We’re hoping that as Christopher gets a bit bigger he’ll get into sailing. The thing that’s so lovely about the village is the link with the sailing. I just remember being in the King and Queen some years back and being a bit cheeky because I’d had a glass of wine, I said to the chap that was stood at the counter next to me — who looked a bit wizened — “you look as though you’ve been out in the sunshine.” And he said, “I’ve just sailed round the world.”
“He was maybe 65, 68 years old and he’d retired and lost his wife to cancer, which was very sad, and their dream had been to travel around the world, so he’d done it on his own. We chatted for about an hour and that to me was just the most inspiring story. And I think that for me is the thing about Hamble, you just meet so many different and interesting people.”
49 Fay Rusling
Fay moved to Hamble with her Mum and Dad when she was 8 years old. It was 1976, the year that Southampton won the FA Cup Final. The family had previously lived in Pinner, Middlesex, but used to stay in a caravan in Warsash at the weekends. They sailed on the river and her parents fell in love with the place and decided to move to Hamble.
So Fay grew up in the village, and attended both the Hamble Schools until she was 18 when she moved to London. “I moved up to London because I didn’t want to live in a village any more because it was too small and I thought I wanted to spread my wings. Then I spread my wings, and then when I was 33 I said I don’t want to live in London any more I want to live in a village. So I came back, my Dad had just recently died and I bought my husband with me. My Mum (Margaret Rusling #78) lives down the road, and I live with my husband and my son.
“I trained to be an actress but then half-way along we started writing sketches for ourselves to perform. But then by some sort of weird fluke we managed to get some sketches on a programme back in the nineties, called Smack the Pony, which opened the door. Then the person that gave us the Smack the Pony job gave us the Green Wing job, so we went on to do Green Wing which did very well.
“We went on to do other programmes, and then last year we went on to do our first drama called Brief Encounters, about the first women who sold Anne Summers products in the 1980s — that was our most recent thing. My friend and I write together, although she lives in London and I live down here, so we do our whole work on Facetime.
“I don’t do any sports, but I do run the Hamble Players Youth Theatre. We’ve been working with these young actors for about three years now. First we did Midsummer Night’s Dream with them when they were all about aged ten, last year we did a play called Blue Stockings and this year we did Pride and Prejudice.
“I think it’s my biggest joy; working with them for five months getting the play together — tearing our hair out — and then having 280 people come in and watch them up there to do it. And it’s the best thing in the world. That’s the highlight of my village life.”
50 Meraid Griffin
Meraid moved to Hamble just three weeks before her photo was taken, but her heart’s been in the village for a lot longer. “It’s like something out of a book, it’s idyllic, a perfect English village with yachts... a yachtie village and I love that about it. The people are very friendly because they come and go. I haven’t met a lot of people that have long-term roots in Hamble and it’s one of those places where you can come and live for several years and you feel as if you belong for the period that you live there.”
Her journey to life in Hamble was not the normal one. “Several years ago I decided I wanted to go sailing, and I gave away everything that I owned and I quit my job and went sailing. I came here on the sailing boat with my partner Dan six years ago. I had never been to Hamble. A month earlier, Dan had said to me, ‘do you think you’d like to come and live with me in England?’ He lived and worked in the village at the time. So I said why not?
“Off we went and eleven days after leaving the Azores I arrived in Hamble at around about 10 o’clock at night. We got to the Whyte Harte just before it was closing to get a pint. And some of the people I met in the pub that night have been great friends, and so it was particularly difficult when Stewart died last week (Stewart Barnard was the legendary landlord of the Ye Olde Whyte Hart). He was one of the first people that I met, so the Whyte Harte was a very important place for me.
Meraid lived on the yacht on the river for a few months before finding a place to live in Butlocks Heath. Five and a half years later, they have now moved into Hamble village. “I’m a writer, I do some travel writing and some opinion pieces, and I write about food. I do a lot of cycling so I write adventure stories, I love cycling and going on cycling adventures. You’ll often see me in the village on my bicycle sometimes pulling a little trailer. I have the honesty veggie stall just beside the Old House (off the village square). So I sell surplus veg and plants from my garden and from my allotment. I opened on Sunday and it’s been a sell out every day.”
51 Jane Roelvink
It was fifteen years ago when Jane first lived in Hamble, spending four years based in the village while she pursued her career as a chef on superyachts. “All my working life I’ve been chef’ing on boats in the South of France. I moved back here in 2014. I had cancer, so I gave up yachting and I moved back to Hamble which I love. Before, I was working away and coming back here to see friends, and then when I had all that other rubbish going on, I decided that this was where I wanted to live.
“I have a good group of friends here, we do a lot of walking, a lot of partying, just really sociable. I don’t sail anymore, I used to, but after sailing and working on boats all my life, it’s not a pastime for me anymore. I work in London at the moment, so I commute Monday and Tuesday, cooking at the house for the owner of a particular boat that I worked on for 12 years. And the rest of the time, it’s dog-walking on the lovely beach and socialising.
“A lot of good times, a lot of sad times, like any other village life I guess. I’ve lost a couple of friends to cancer down here, but also had good times. I’ve travelled the world and been paid for it, and had a life of very nice luxury. I could spend hours telling stories, but I’ve been a bit spoilt... I used to work with Gordon Ramsey on a boat, he was good fun!”
52 Stephanie Bull
Stephanie moved to Hamble in 2000, the first in her family to move to the east side of the Itchen Bridge. “In Southampton there’s this big thing about what side of the water you live. So I used to live on the other side and when you talk to people about where they want to live they always say one side of the Itchen Bridge or the other. I was the first one to cross to the other side, that was a big move to come this side of the water.
“My background was knitwear design so I started off working in fashion textiles, and with the administration. And then the administration side grew out of the textile side and that’s why I now know more about business and marketing and work more on that. I worked in fashion retail, worked for Jaeger for quite a few years. And then I taught at Southampton Solent University for about 15 years. I was working in the fashion department. I used to teach retail, management, marketing and corporate identity, that kind of thing.
“I left there when my daughter reached her teenage years so I could keep more of an eye on her — have a part-time job. So that’s when I left Solent University and joined the RYA.” The Royal Yachting Association have their headquarters in the village. “Then I went back into teaching for a year and then after that contract I came back and got a job down at the front here at the Royal Southern Yacht Club. So that’s why I see more of Hamble now than ever before. I walk to work and that’s part of the beauty... do you want to go back to commuting long hours, or do you want to walk to work?
“When I go to work in the morning, I see everyone opening up, all the pubs and the deliveries, and you get a real sense of the community and Hamble life. When you are working in the city you just don’t see that, because by the time you have driven in, everything is up and happening, whereas you see the whole village waking up and unfolding in front of you, and you get to know the people. Although I’ve lived in the village, I’ve not actually felt engaged with it until now, when you actually work in the peninsula, in Hamble village.
“When you stand in the building [Royal Southern] and look up and down the marina every day and see the activity going on, it’s quite breathtaking, that river view just laid out in front of you. I’ve always wanted to live by the water, to me water is the thing, it’s like a lifeblood. And you know how the day is going to run by how the water is — if it’s flat and calm it almost depicts how the day is going to be. Whereas if it’s rough and stormy, everyone is a bit more tense and uptight and excited. And so in some ways the River Hamble reflects how the day is going to be, which sounds a bit corny, but it does — everyone is sort of geared up to how it works.
“My sport of choice at the moment is marathon kayaking, I’m a member of Southampton Canoe Club, and that’s based at Woodmill Activities Centre on the Itchen, and I’ve actually paddled from the Itchen all the way round to Mercury Marina [on Hamble River]. A lot of canoeists actually train up and down the Hamble and they do that on a Wednesday night, but I have my boat in Bitterne. If I had a house with a garage, I’d have a canoe here, a sea kayak, and I’d go out there and do more, but now I just catch up with friends every now and again and go out and paddle on the Hamble.”
53 Jennie Austin
Jennie Austin moved to Hamble in 2002, although she had been coming to the village to sail at weekends for many years. “Before that I lived up in London, over the last 30 years I’ve been working in the City. So I had a flat just outside St Katherine’s Dock near Tower Bridge. I’ve done a little bit of everything from being a fund manager to being a trader, business development through to marketing and comms.
“I’ve never worked in the village, I’ve helped out at the yacht club with Splash Week and things like that, that’s at the Royal Southern Yacht Club where I am a member. I do lots of sailing, dog walking, we’ve got working cocker spaniels, so we work them during the winter. And from a sports perspective I ought to do more, I’m going to try and do some yoga and pilates because I need to stretch more.
“I haven’t got a boat at the moment. My partner Tim and I share a little Foxer which is down at Hamble River SC and needs to be sailed more by us rather than other people. He and I met racing 40 foot boats against each other at the national championships just before I moved to the village.
“I did own a boat for a period of years. It was a 40.7 and then we sold that and took the sponsorship of that and brought it together with another set of boat owners, and so had progressively bigger sponsored boats up to TP52 level... but now I’m mostly looking after the dogs and keeping busy. My partner Tim works for the RORC, the Royal Ocean Racing Club in Cowes.
“I guess one of the things that I’ve been particularly working on and campaigning against is over-development of the greenfield space around the village. At the moment the field behind our house is impacted by that. The Council, Eastleigh Planning, turned it down but it’s gone to planning review by the Department of State, so we’re waiting to see how that goes in October, and we’ll be rallying forces around that appeal process.
“I love the community. Everyone that comes to visit me that hasn’t been to Hamble before or hasn’t been for a while is always blown away by the fact that you can walk through the village and you know people wherever you go and everybody says hello and has a natter. I think it’s just such a great community, everybody looks out for each other. It really is like a tiny village but it’s actually a big village and it’s right on the water... it’s a nice place to live, apart from the traffic!”
54 Chrissy Stanbridge
Chrissy moved to Hamble in October 2011, and rented for a while before buying a house in 2013. The move was inspired by the purchase of a business, a nanny agency based in Botley. She was living in Richmond at the time, so she sold up. “I moved down here lock, stock and barrel. I didn’t know anybody and created a new life for myself.” She has three children all in their late twenties or early thirties; Sally has an 18 month old son and lives in Hamble, while the two boys, James and Simon both still live in London.
“I’m totally absorbed with work at the moment and building the business. But I love socialising with my friends here, I’ve made some really lovely friends. I like getting out on the water, I used to have a boat, a RIB, I love speed, I love getting out on the water and pulling that throttle back. I’ve done a little bit of sailing and would like to do some more.
“I love walking my dog, she’s a field spaniel, 15 years old coming up. Walking by the water and being by the water’s edge is a great comfort. I’ve always lived near the water, be it the River Thames or when I was at school by the sea in Sussex. I’m a big, big family person so I get the family down to Hamble to enjoy it all as much as I can.”
55 Gaynor Williams
Gaynor Williams moved to the south coast from Merseyside in 1994 with her husband Bead and twins, Jack and Robin who were just four years old. They rented a house in Bursledon initially, before moving to Hamble in 1996. The children attended Hamble Primary, and as Gaynor was working as a supply teacher the inevitable happened and she found herself teaching their class, “Jack was like, ‘Gaynor... oh, Mum... oh, Mrs Williams!’”
“I was a teacher until 2002. I’d volunteered one day a week in London at Childline for about four years and that’s what got me interested in the therapy. So I did my training in Winchester and once that was all done I set up my own practice, my own counselling business which I’ve now run for eight, ten years. I love it, I absolutely love my work.
“When the children were about 11 or 12 and we had just bought a RIB... during the summer holidays it was sat idle so I did my RYA Powerboat Level 2 so I could take them to the Isle of Wight for an ice cream! I’ve got loads of friends in the village, as you know it’s a very sociable village. And I go to Hamble School gym, purely so I can have cake!”
56 Ancki Danby
Ancki came to Hamble 26 years ago. “I’m from Sweden originally but lived in the States for many years in my 20s, in Manhattan and San Francisco and Key West. And there I met a sailor, who was born in Titchfield and who had strong ties to Hamble. So when I fell pregnant we ended up in the village. We have two children, one is #22 (Tilly Danby), the other one is aged 25 and she lives in Sydney at the moment. The rest of my family is all in Sweden.
“I made some money standing in front of a camera in my youth in Stockholm, not even for a year, to help with my travels. I don’t call that modelling... I just did some adverts - CocaCola and a sporting goods store - but it did pay money. I worked all kinds of jobs in the States, massage therapist mostly.
"I’ve always been into complementary health which is what I am still doing, I’m a Bowen therapist right now, and I also study to be a naturopath... which is a little bit scary at my age, but I love it, so I figure it will be all right.
“I’m not that active in the village anymore, I used to be when the children were little. I was involved in the school and Hamble Week — all kinds of things, but now I just have my little clinic in my converted garage, and I make cushions that are sold in the gallery in Hamble and also in a shop in Winchester.
"I have great friends in the village, it’s a really good fun place to live. The most exciting thing is the French Market, I love it, they have fantastic things, they were so friendly and I was so sad that very few people were there."
57 Janet Bradley
Janet moved to Hamble from South Africa in 1999 with a very clear objective. “I came here for a safer place to bring my children up. And with the aim of getting British passports for them so they could travel and make choices in their lives which — as South Africans — they couldn’t make; of where to live and where to work.”
Both her sons live in the village along with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. “I feel very fortunate to live in this community, I think it’s a very, very special place and it’s embraced my family and I think there are very few people who, with two boys of 30 and 32, live within 500m of each other. As a parent I feel very fortunate to be able to have my granddaughter so close and both my boys so close.”
Prior to the move to Hamble, Janet had been a teacher and a librarian in South Africa, but in her new home she took on a much more entrepreneurial role. “I own the King and Queen pub, and I also have the Blue Bijou shop [flowers, collectibles and nauticalia]. The King and Queen is the best yachting pub in the world. We’re big on supporting local events and try to be a hub for the village and visiting yachtsmen.” Her youngest son Michau is the head chef at the King and Queen, while eldest Frank works for North Sails.
Janet has a sailing background. “One of the biggest life changing things for me was to do a trans-Atlantic in 2001 with an American team on a yacht called Team Adventure... it’s influenced my life magically. We broke the world speed record, we averaged 24.8 knots for 48 hours which no one had done at that time. It was pretty life-changing.”
Janet has also worked on charter yachts, was with the France 2 and 3 America’s Cup teams and has worked for numerous brokers selling yachts and RIBS. “Now I like to kayak on the river as much as I can, usually once a day, and I try and swim and walk. And I have a new puppy, Coco, as in Chanel.”
58 Susie Houser
Susie moved to Hamble from Winchester in 2011. She has a daughter who lives in the village, “but she’ll be moving on soon. We came here because we were down-sizing from Winchester and the kids had all left home.
When we moved here I was a freelance designer and I thought that I would just carry on with that, but Grenville, my husband settled in here really quickly and joined the lifeboat, the RAF Club and found lots of things to do, and I found myself a little bit at a loose end.
“I met Sandy Curry who was running the gallery about three years ago and started making small things for her to sell. And when she moved on, Debbie Phillips and I decided that we would like to take on the gallery [now called Sea Sky]. So I was thrown at something I wasn’t expecting to be doing at all... And it has been a joy. It’s been something I’ve always thought I’d quite like to do, but never been brave enough. So with Debbie — who’s a do-er — we’ve made it work.”
“I trained as a theatre designer and I worked at the Bristol Old Vic and lots of other places. I apologise for the fact that I’m kind of blase about working in the theatre as a designer, because for most people it sounds incredibly glamorous and I take it for granted that I had that opportunity.
“I got to work with some fantastic people. I was really lucky to go to college at just the right time, and I graduated at the beginning of the eighties and there were theatres to work in that still produced shows every four weeks and I was working with top actors, prop makers and carpenters. So I got to do it at the highest level. And now I’m reaping the benefits by having fun with much more control in a small shop in Hamble.”
59 Pat Stephens
Originally from Portsmouth, Pat moved to Hamble in 1990. “When I remarried we were looking for somewhere permanent to live and my husband noticed some houses being built in Hamble which he said was a nice area. So we came to look at the house, and thought we like it here, so we bought the house and we’ve been here ever since. I love the area, especially the quay, the people are nice, the Church... got lots of friends here and I don’t see myself moving out of Hamble; hopefully, I shall stay here for the rest of my life.
Pat spent 42 years with the civil service, 38 of them with the Inland Revenue (now HMRC) in Southampton, until retiring last year. “I retired two years earlier than originally planned and I’m enjoying it very much. The main thing that I like is St Andrews Church, that’s been an absolute rock for me. I started going to the Church regularly in 2005. I wish I’d gone earlier to be quite honest with you, it’s one of those things with work etc, and you suddenly reach a point in life where you think; I am going to go to Church more regularly... I’ve met some lovely people at the Church, and made some really good — what I would say — lifetime friends from going there.”
She spent seven years as Church Warden, including the twenty month interregnum after Father John Travers left in February 2013. “That’s when the Church Wardens really come into play, because the responsibility is on them. So you are having to deal with any issues that crop up. It could be a problem with a member of the congregation not well, anything like that. It’s all to do with the fabric of the Church, and to make sure that everything is running ok.
“I’ve got plenty of hobbies that I like doing at home, I like reading, I like doing cross-stitching, jigsaw puzzles and crafts, making cards and things like that, going for walks. And obviously we’ve got a good choice of pubs and restaurants here so we’re very lucky. In summer it’s lovely to sit down on the quay with a book. So that’s a big part of my life, and then meeting up with friends for lunch, people that I used to work with and they have now retired. So that’s all good fun.”
60 Trish Butt
Trish moved to Hamble with her husband, young son and daughter 26 years ago. “We originally came from Thornhill. My husband had a major accident and he couldn’t work any more. We had a bit of compensation and decided we needed to move somewhere where it would be easier for him, and put money into property, so we bought a house in Cirrus Gardens.” Her son now works at the Hamble Community Sports Centre, but neither he nor her daughter live in the village.
“I used to work in retail most of the time. When my husband had his accident I went to work for my uncle in Woolston, at the butchers. It’s not there any more. I had flexitime; that was good for me because if I was needed at home I could just go whenever I wanted.
“When we first moved here the children were still young so I used to take them to school and met a few friends there, but I needed to meet more people in the village. So I volunteered for mother and toddlers just round the corner, I worked there for about three or four years. When I moved on I worked in the Co-op in the village for about eight or nine years, and then got taken ill and haven’t worked since.
“I love gardening. I love music. I love holidays when we can get them. I’m also involved very much in Church, but in Sholing, not in the one in Hamble so our time is taken up mostly with Church activities.
“Family life is very important to me, so since I’ve had my grandchildren who are three and 18 months, my daughter comes to me most of the time because they are both still young - until they are off at school I help her out a bit.
“When my husband and I were courting years and years ago, we used to come down here and used to look at the place and think that there’s not much to do down here - but we loved the waterfront.
“When we got older and started coming down we could see the beauty of it. The walks along the waterfront, the bars you could pop into - so when we had to decide where we’d go... the walking was just lovely to get my husband out of the house. There’s always something going on down the front, even though we’re not boat people, there’s always something going on that you can go and watch... I love Hamble, it’s relaxing, peaceful.”
61 Valerie Archibald
Valerie moved to Hamble five years ago to look after her father. She had previously lived and worked in Berkshire as an accountant for the Government. “I’m a very keen walker, so last year — when I retired at the end of February — in April I went on a walk which started here. So I left my front door and I walked 1200 miles to Spain on my own, took three months. So that was me, I suppose, getting from being a working person to being a non-working person, it gave me some thinking time, time to do things that I wanted.
“I’m just back yesterday from walking the Pennine Way which was in some ways tougher than walking all the way to Spain. I am part of the Hamble Ladies walking group, so I led a walk for them over to the Isle of Wight recently, we did half of the coast path, but most of the walks I do on my own. I’m involved with the conservation volunteers doing beach cleans, I help a little bit at the Church with events, although I don’t actually attend Church myself. I’m involved in a number of activities like the Hamble Ladies Group, there’s a culture club group, a book club.
“I was surprised when I moved here how much goes on in the village, for such a tiny place. Within a year of moving here I had more friends than I had where I lived before and I had lived there for 23 years, so it’s a very different place. It’s a really lovely place to be.”
62 Pam Mansfield
Pam moved to Hamble in 1981 with her husband Chris and now has lots of family in the village. “My mother (Joan Marshall #88) lives in a granny flat on the side of the house. And my daughter (Vicky McPherson #32) also lives in Hamble with her husband and my granddaughter (Lillian McPherson #3).
“My husband and I run a business which started in my dining room in Hamble and then moved to an office in Port Hamble, and currently we have offices in Netley Abbey, so still fairly local. We do property maintenance on commercial property. We started when Vicky was very young, in fact my first computer arrived while I was in hospital having Vicky. So I didn’t touch it for six months after it arrived!
“We sail from the river. We’re members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, my husband has just finished a term as Commodore, which was fairly demanding with lots of social activities for me which was great. While Chris was Commodore the yacht club finished the Prince Philip Yacht Haven in front of the club and Prince Philip came to open it, and I sat next to him at dinner.”
63 Janet Thompson
Janet Thompson has lived in the village with her husband Andy since 1993, having been born in Southampton and brought up in Bitterne. “We got married in 1977 and we lived in Bitterne and we had a dog and we were just desperate to move into a village and be part of a community. We planned to have children and we wanted to bring them up somewhere we could go for a walk from our front door, without using the car — Hamble has it all. Our two children have enjoyed and benefited greatly from living in such a lovely place.
“We have really just immersed ourselves in family and village life. Whatever was going on locally. When the kids were small we used to have a River Teign Egret, a rowing boat, and we used to enjoy going out on the river and having picnics. There’s a little beach called Havoc Beach and we used to go up there and have picnics and BBQs — that was nice. Now we enjoy caravaning. We have always had a Labrador dog, and do a lot of walking, when we were younger we used to do a lot of gym work. Both my husband and I were involved in motor clubs, we both enjoyed driving, but now it’s more walking the dog and enjoying the village really. My husband’s a parish councillor, so he gets involved in a lot of stuff. We are quite busy.
“Mainly I suppose it’s been supporting the kids and what they want to do. My husband, daughter and I have supported Hamble Players Amateur Dramatic group who have put on excellent productions in the Hamble Memorial Hall for many years and my husband and I run the bar for them. Our daughter Cara is now acting with Hamble Players. Both my two children are still here; Ben is 24 and he works locally, and our daughter Cara is 18 and has just got her first job. She’s very lucky she’s got an apprenticeship with the Mayflower theatre. It’s her dream job, she wants to be an actor.
“I am currently an exam invigilator at The Hamble School and prior to that I spent many years volunteering at my children's school, Hamble Primary. I then trained as a Teaching Assistant. When our children were very young I did child-minding. Most of my working life has been working in Personnel at Meridian TV and formerly TVS. I have always enjoyed meeting new people and being amongst people.
“I do love Hamble. It’s a little bit of an oasis in a desert. It’s definitely the best area around here. The fact that you’ve got the huge Tesco’s and the big busy Windhover roundabout and then as you come down Hamble Lane — not so much now — but it used to be that it would just get less and less and less, and then you enter this lovely village.
“It’s not an ordinary village, is it? Because you’ve got all the summer visitors with the sailing, so you share the village and you feel like you’re on holiday and many times we’ll get up early and walk the dog and go through the village, and you see people opening things up and sitting having a coffee and the smell of bacon and eggs, and you think gosh... we live here. And then in the winter it’s a lot more quiet, I suppose you could say a bit bleak but then the village returns to the locals, I really like that aspect.
“I am concerned about the amount of building and traffic congestion that is occurring in and around Hamble, especially air pollution. As I get older I hope to become more involved in the local community and help to look after and preserve all that l, my family and many other Hamble residents and visitors enjoy — all that makes Hamble great. Hamble needs to continue to thrive and be preserved so that future generations can also enjoy living and visiting here.”
64 Sally Rowe
Sally moved to live in Hamble in 1979, her mother had remarried after her father’s death and they had retired in Hamble and she came to join her. Before that she had lived in the Midlands with the rest of her family, going to school in Worcestershire and training to be a teacher.
“I’ve lived in and owned seven different houses in Hamble. I started off living in Creek Cottage, which is where my mother and step-father lived, I lived above the boat house there. I’ve taught all over Southampton, and I eventually settled teaching in Netley Court school, which is now a home for elderly people, but at the time it was a school for children with learning difficulties.
“We ran a bed and breakfast business, and my husband had a marine business in Hamble. I met him at the Royal Southern Yacht Club. We sailed, we were all as a family very keen sailors. The river has been a big part of my life and it’s influenced my sons, because they have gone off to have careers in the marine industry, or to live by the sea as a result of having been brought up on the river.
"We saw a barge for sale in Badnam Creek in the village, and that sparked off a decision to go and live on a barge. So we went across to Holland and bought a barge, and brought it to Southampton and converted it and lived on that for a while.
"We moved away in 2006, we waited till the children had all grown up and finished University and then we bought a house in Mallorca, which we restored. I returned five years ago, and now I do all sorts of different things. I’ve joined a choir, and I take part in an art class, go to the gym and I’ve joined Hamble River rowing club.
"I do a little bit of bed and breakfast and it allows me to travel to visit my sons who have all moved away. I’m always happy to return here, as Hamble is such a great, friendly place."
65 Kay Baker
Kay moved to Hamble on the 31st October 1970, she can remember the date so accurately because it was the date of her first marriage. She now lives here with Roy, her second husband. She was a civil servant until the birth of her daughter. “After I had her, I helped Sheila Amin (#77) at the playgroup. I went back to work when she [her daughter] was seven. I was divorced in 1982 and remarried in 1986.
After the civil service Kay worked in funeral care. “I worked with the Indian community in Southampton and did a lot of Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim funerals and they just opened their hearts to me which was wonderful. For which I thank god every day that I had that opportunity, because I felt I could express how I felt about people at their time of need.
“I retired in 2015, retirement was never going to be sitting on my sofa doing nothing, so I joined the flower club and the sewing circle and I volunteered in the library up at Bursledon. Retirement meant I could spend more time in Hamble which was lovely. I’m in my second time as Church Warden. My husband and I used to run the Sunday School and I organised the Church Fete and Christmas Fair. I’ve been a member of the Hamble Players since 1980, so I’ve acted and directed for them. It was about five years ago they made me President which made me really proud because it’s been such a big part of my Hamble life.
“When I moved here there was about 750 inhabitants so I’ve seen the village grow from a village to a bit of a sprawl now, but it still has its community which I think is great. There are things that I think we miss in terms of community events but there are other things that have replaced them. I’ve seen the shops come and go, that makes me sad. There were three banks when I moved here, now there’s not one, and only one post office. On Coronation Parade we used to have a wine merchant and a little electrical shop and a haberdasher's and a green grocer, it was wonderful, you didn’t have to go out of the village. Obviously with the coming of Tesco it all changed and I think sometimes that makes villages lose their identity. Those are the things that sadden me about the village, but there’s still so much heart here.
66 Tuppy Turner
I’ve known the village since 1977, and we moved here in 1991. I knew this place better because this is where my mother-in-law lived. I feel like I have taken on the mantle from my old mother-in-law who was married to the doctor who started a practice here in the village in 1932, old Doc Turner. She’s buried in the church yard, and I just feel that she made Hamble her home, and having had divorces in both generations, I just feel as though I’ve taken up the baton and run with it from Grace Turner’s time.
I lived in London [before moving to Hamble] and worked in conference production and event management on the fringes of theatre, pulling together freelancers — actors, lighting, set designers, painters — everything that goes to put a show on, or a video.
I have one son, James, he went to the primary school, and the high school. And that’s where Hamble is so brilliant, because you can do the whole of your education — other than sixth form college — in the village. I have no family in the village now.
I’m retired now. I started Waterside Properties with Peter Halliday who lives in the village. I was the longest serving member of staff, with something like 14 years. I’m so busy now, I don’t know how I had time to work. I walk, I play bridge, I’m a member of the book club. I have coffee with friends. This year, the Hamble Ladies Walking Group walked half-way round the Isle of Wight, and we’re going to do the other half in 2018.
Eddy, my partner is retired now but he’s a partner in a yacht charter company that’s been around since 1985. He’s always bought boats to put into the charter company, but never had one for himself — he now has one for himself, and we’ve just brought it back from Brixham. It’s been down in Brixham for the summer.
I was social secretary at the Hamble River Sailing Club. I was appointed by the then Commodore Jonti Sherwill to work alongside the legendary Malcolm Donald who had been Sailing Secretary since the seventies and had a reputation of being grumpy and a bit of a chauvinist. I was the first woman to be appointed to the office for decades and I'm sure the sailing committee at the time were waiting for blood and feathers too fly! Needless to say Malcolm and I got on brilliantly.
67 Bobby Conduit
Bobby moved to Hamble when her daughter was three, in 1977. Her mother, Betty Dymond (#96), her niece, Niki Fitzgibbon (#40), along with her mother’s sister and husband all live in the village.
“When we first moved here, I managed to get a job in the local shop up the road, part-time, and then I ended up working at Petters which was a big engineering works, where Ensign Way now is, that used to be a factory. I got made redundant from there, and then I went to work at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, in the office. I loved that, that was really nice.”
“I was on the committee for Hamble Carnival, this is going back a long time. Now I’m the chairman of the Hamble Ladies Group and I find that very interesting, we meet once a month. Mainly my activity is walking around the village, and swimming, I like to go to swimming although I don’t do that a lot.”
68 Carol Thompson
Carol moved to Hamble with her husband 1978. “I was born in London, and went to train to teach in Bath, and for some mad reason in 1970 — when swinging London was all the rage — I decided to teach in Kensington and Chelsea. But I forgot that Notting Hill was part of Kensington and Chelsea and it was when Notting Hill was a very unhappy place, with lots of racial problems. I taught 40 children, nine year olds and it was nightmare, I couldn’t cope, so I left teaching and joined the Air Force. I only taught for a year.
“I decided to go adventure sailing and went out on a Nicholson 55 and ended up marrying the skipper, Ken Burges, and we decided that we wanted to sail as a hobby. Hamble seemed an obvious place to come to, so we moved to Hamble when we both left the Air Force. Sailing has been part of my life, all my life, and I still have a boat which is currently being sailed by my family.
"My first husband and I belonged to the RAF Yacht Club, and we were very active and made lots of lifelong friends there. A few years after he died, a friend who was also sadly a widower thought I needed looking after, so I married my second husband and we continued sailing together, but he died last year, so I’m a widow for a second time. I don’t have any family in the village, my parents — I’m an only child — moved here in 1980, my Mum survived my Dad who died in 1996, and Mum died in 2015 aged 93.
“I’ve found a new me, thanks to all the super people in Hamble because it’s a great place to live. I joined a ladies walking group, I joined something called the Culture Club where we discuss books and activities, which is fun and I’m just joining a book club. I go to an art class, I go to St Andrews Church and help volunteer with a lot of the activities. Just loving life in Hamble with great friends and enjoying being here.
“My second husband was an American and he was a great traveller and he opened me to travelling the world. In fact, we did Bora Bora and Hawaii six months before he died. And I’ve booked to go to Vietnam and Cambodia in January and I’m carrying on travelling. I’m blessed with three step-daughters from my second marriage, and five grandchildren and we’re very close and have a lot of fun together.”
69 Angela Lilly
Angela moved to Hamble in 1983 to be close to her father, who was moving into Hamble Manor, and for her husband who had been headhunted for a job at Marconi’s in Portsmouth. Previously she had lived in North London, in Barnet, and worked in a children’s home.
“The area is so totally different from North London. We chose Hamble because my father was here, but also because my husband liked sailing, and he always wanted to get back to it. I don’t sail now, we had a small day sailer that we used to use until my husband became ill.
“I worked from day one when we moved down here, as a cleaner at Petters and Shell first of all, and then I took a job in the primary school kitchen. After that I was then a council carer, until I had to retire... I have a son in Cornwall, and my daughter still lives in the village, she owns The Thread Studio, down Ensign Way. She does embroidery and heat pressing for logos for corporate or personalised clothing.
“I do aquacise, I do gym, I do a lot of walking. I was an assistant guider, we did a lot of good things, we went to Normandy with the children for a big camp out there. We’ve done Broadlands camps for international camps and things like that. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
“Hamble Carnival was the main thing I enjoyed when they used to do that, it was a whole week, that was always the highlight of the year. I can’t remember when it finished, it was in the summer with different activities going on. There used to be a procession from the recreation ground by the school down through the village to the hard. There were stalls and things like that...
“The village has changed over the years, it was a much freer atmosphere when I first came down. It’s because we have so many people in, outsiders if you know what I mean. When we first moved down here Mercury Gardens was the only building that was going on and since then the airfield has closed up. I was one of the people saying ‘Hands Off Hamble’ and I’m now living in a house that was built there, so I feel like a fraud.
“It’s got big, you could walk down any of the main roads beforehand and you would see tons of people that you knew and have a chat. Now you can go out and not see anybody you know. So many of the houses are rented out to sailors who come down for the weekends and go off and come back again, and then go back off to wherever they have come from. It just changes the atmosphere a bit.”
70 Kathy Cole
Kathy Cole moved to Hamble about 19 years ago, arriving on her boat, Shropshire Lady, a Bavaria 350. “She’s 23 years old now and I’ve had her 20 years. I charter her out, take her racing occasionally — although she’s not particularly suitable for racing, but we do it to take part. And latterly I’m doing loads of Airbnb, Trip Advisor holiday rentals. She’s moored up in Port Hamble, a fabulous mooring, right on the front outside Ancasta. So I get quite a lot of Airbnb people just staying onboard; as well as being chartered out. I love my boat, I love sailing and the people I meet through that.”
Kathy was born in Leeds, and lived in York and Huddersfield before moving south. She worked in London for the Formula 1 team Frank Williams Racing, and then Mike Spence Racing. She’s now settled in Hamble with a son, daughter-in-law and grandchild up in Battersea, London.
“I’m a member of the Church and I sing in the choir, I really like doing solos. I’m a member at the RAF Yacht Club, I do Pilates, I play tennis at the David Lloyd club in West End. I used to sing in the ukulele group as well, and with the West End singers a few years ago.”
71 Janet Motherwell
Janet Motherwell is one of four generations of her family living in the village of Hamble. “I was born in Hamble and have lived here all my life. I went away to school and then came back. I have three children (including #47 Bexx Sears) and five grandchildren (including #9 Ruby Sears) all living in the village. My husband was born in Hamble as well, but I didn’t know him until much later. And my mother-in-law (#99 Kathleen Motherwell) also lives in Hamble.
“I used to cycle every day to Southampton where I worked for a building company and then at the [Daily] Echo Office. I cycled up to Bursledon, down to Woolston and across the Itchen River on the floating bridge; this was before the Itchen Bridge was built.
“I used to sail a lot, until I married my husband, a widower with six children. With such a large family I had to give it up. I had two children of my own and then we added one more making it nine. My life has not been exciting but always busy. It seems I have always been looking after someone – my children, my parents when they were old, then moved on to the grandchildren and now I’m looking after my mother-in-law who is almost 100, which is a 24/7 job.”
The family has been in the village for a long time. Her grandfather, the painter Gregory Robinson, was a founder member of the Hamble River Sailing Club and also introduced main drainage to the village. “The villagers were furious with him and threatened to throw him in the river and drown him, because it put 1d. on to the rates.
“My grandparents used to live in what is now the Royal Southern Yacht Club, they were in the end house by the water so they got flooded a lot. My father was born there during a flood at Christmas, they were going to call him Noah, but they called him Nicolas because it was Christmas Eve. They had to carry the doctor and put him on the stairs a few steps up because of the flooding.
“They gave up living there and built a house in Satchell Lane at the cost of £450. They had already built one for my great-grandmother at a cost of £400 and a ‘studio’ next door for my grandfather so he could keep an eye on his mother during the day.
“After my great-grandmother died my grandparents took over her house and my parents took over theirs. When my grandparents died, my parents stayed where they were and I took over the grandparents’ house. When my parents died my children took over their house and we are still all living next door to each other. There have always been three generations living in the two houses at the same time, for years.”
72 Allanah Hoarton
Allanah moved to Hamble from Greece via Ascot five years ago with her husband, Douglas so they could be near to their son who lived in Twyford. He brought her to the quay in Hamble. “I just looked at the view, and my son said, ‘the house behind’ and I turned around and said that’s it. It was a wreck, it was offices for forty or fifty years and it was a huge amount of work.”
“I’ve been very lucky, I met Douglas when I was 15, we married at 20 and had our only son. And then because he worked for Del Monte we went to America for a year, and then we went to Greece for six years, and Latvia for seven years, and then Greece again for another ten years. But we always had our house in Ascot, we never gave that up until we sold it to come here.” Allannah rents part of the cottage for holiday lets. “I have people from all over England, Germany, Sweden and Tokyo. That’s my project, I keep it in very good condition. I enjoy showing people around, and it’s really going well.”
Douglas had a stroke in 2004, but they had stayed in Greece until 2010. They wanted to be in the centre of the village so she could leave him for a while and, “walk out and go to the shops, for coffee and it worked out so well. But when he went into a home about two years ago I joined everything; the book club, the flower club, the choir, the pilates, theatre... all in Hamble.”
“I have a need to fill my life, I just do. It’s been hard for so long with Douglas, and I see him every two or three days, he’s failing a bit now, but he’s very loving. It’s me, he doesn’t know anyone else. My dog, my fire and my television, those are the biggest parts of my life.
74 Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith came to live in Hamble in 1972. She now has three daughters, two of whom live locally (one in the village), and five grandchildren. “I used to run the post office in Lowford for many years before I was married, because I just liked being with people.
"When I was married in ‘69 we lived in Bursledon and we wanted to move to Hamble because it has much more of a centre, and Bursledon does not. We then bought a 1930s house in Beaulieu Road and we spent all our time spending money on it, before we moved to Mercury Gardens when they were new, and then I moved to my current house in 1990.
“I retired in 2003, and I used to work at Hamble Point Marina as a secretary for a yacht agent for some years, and before that I was a dental receptionist at a couple of reasonably local dental practises. Now I’m an avid walker, I walked half the Isle of Wight last July with a group. And I do Aquafit twice a week, and I belong to the Hamble Ladies Group and I’m a member of the yacht club as well."
77 Sheila Amin
Sheila moved with her family to Hamble at the end of the war, when her father took a job in the village. She was six years old, her brother was 11. The family built a bungalow on the edge of the village square. She went to the infant school, and worked in the Bugle when she was a student, then studying music in London.
She married Tony when he was working in Coventry, and they spent 8 months in India and a few years in Fair Oak before moving back to the bungalow in Hamble with her mother. It was after her father had been killed by a drunk driver. They have been here ever since, and now live in a new house on the redeveloped plot of the old bungalow.
Both their children, Miles and Alison grew up in the village, and Sheila started the original playgroup in the 1970s, using the old scout hut, now knocked down. “It was freezing in the winter, but the playgroup was such a lovely time, before all the extra ‘does and dont’s’ came in. I got myself in a lot of trouble with the mess the children came home in.”
“My own children’s and my life in Hamble was wonderful, it was the freedom. I don’t know if children can have that now. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. We did seriously start to think about moving, and Alison said, ‘Mum, you’d die if you didn’t live in Hamble’ and I thought ‘yeah, you’re probably right.’”
78 Margaret Rusling
Margaret moved to Hamble in 1976 with her husband and eight year old daughter (Fay Rusling #49). Her daughter, son-in-law and grandson all now live in the village. Before that she had worked in London for Arthur Guinness. After Fay was born she stayed at home before retraining as a teacher. “I always had a house full of children. And my husband said, ‘why don’t you learn to be a teacher.’”
They were first invited to stay with friends at a caravan in Solent Breezes in Warsash in 1971. And after just one trip, they bought their own caravan and a boat. “Then in 1975 my husband’s business wasn’t going very well, so he said, ‘Let’s move to where we want to be when we’re 65, let’s go and look for a house down here, in Hampshire.’"
“I’m a joiner, I join everything going. I’ve always joined things all my life on my own. I was the original treasurer in the Hamble Ladies Group when they first started in 1993. I also joined art groups, the flower club, a culture club I go to now, there’s loads of things you can do, so many things you can participate in and be part of, if you want to. It is a village, it’s very villagey and I think that’s why I like it. My life has always been happy. My husband died, but then you have to make your life afterwards... [moving here] was the best thing we ever did.”
79 Rosemary Dorman
Rosemary Dorman was born on Hamble Lane, moved to The Close off Satchell Lane, and now lives on Satchell Lane itself. She has three cousins still living in the village. “The oldest is Tony Williams, he used to be the lollipop man up at the Junior School quite a few years ago. And there’s Andrew, who’s a year younger than me, and David who’s six years younger than me.”
She worked in Southampton until she got married. “I got married in 1960, and early in 1961 I started working up at Folland’s, I think it was called Hawker Siddeley Aviation at the time. I worked as a secretary up there for a few years until I had my daughter. When she was five and started at school I worked part-time for the harbour master in Hamble. Then I had my son two years later and I gave up work. After that I worked in the chandler that was opposite the slipway entrance, it’s now a B&B, I worked in there part-time. Then I had grandchildren and I used to look after them, because my daughter was a community psychiatric nurse.”
Rosemary’s husband was a maintenance engineer at BP. “He and two others were doing all the maintenance. BP were going to put it out to contract, and said if you would like to form your own business you will get the contract. So I was then doing all their office work until they sold it about ten years later. And I haven’t worked since, that was enough.
“I used to play badminton, I now belong to the David Lloyd Club in West End and I do aquarobics. I became a member there when it was the Hampshire Tennis and Health Club. And I used to go in the gym a little bit and do other exercises. Until I broke my ankle and I’ve just done the aquarobics since then two or three times a week.
“I’m the secretary of the Hamble Flower Club, I was the chairman of Hamble Ladies Group, before I resigned and Bobby [#67] took over. My husband went sailing, I like the water but I’m not into the racing. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. A lot of it is being near the river. I think if I lived away anywhere else it would have to be near a lake or something. Obviously I know a lot of people, I’ve got friends I grew up with that I still have; one of them still lives about three doors away from me, and her sister also still lives in the village.”
80 Margaret Greenfield
Margaret has lived her whole life in Hamble. Her mother and father lived in Verdun Avenue when she was born, and she eventually moved into another house on the same road with her husband and two children, where she has lived for the last fifty years. Her son now lives in Totton, and her daughter lives in Fremantle, Southampton.
“I went to what was the little infant school in Hamble which is on School Lane where the houses are now. I went there at five in 1942 during the Second World War. We had to take gas masks. We used to walk down to school in those days. I was there till I was 11, it was five to 11 then, there were that few children in the village.
“I was very, very good at English and they put me in for the scholarship as it was then, subsequently the 11-plus and I passed it with five others. They decided we were going to Eastleigh County High School which is now Barton Peveril College and I went there for six years. I did O-Levels, I didn’t do A-levels because my mother was taken poorly, she had strokes and I left early to look after her. She didn’t live too long after that, and I used to work locally because I was looking after my father.
“I worked in a factory, in an office. After that I went to work at a local chemist, there was a chemist down this end of the village where Robinson compass adjuster was [next to Cinnamon Bay restaurant]. I worked there for about 18 months, during which time I met my husband. I was only 19. I left school at 17, and married at 19.
“I love the river, but we’ve never had a boat. I was a Brownie till I was 7 or 8, and then I was a Sea Ranger. And we joined the Hamble River Sailing Club and we used to go sailing on Wednesday nights. In those days the TS Mercury was in the river and we used to row up there and back. We used to have regattas, rowing races and this sort of thing.
“When my husband retired we had a new car, he was a lorry driver and he always said he never retired because we always used to go out and about. We didn’t go too far. I’ve been all over this country. I have only once been in a hotel, and I have never flown in an aeroplane. I never passed a driving test either, I had a pushbike and I used to cycle all round the village. I walk now, I like reading. I used to like sewing. My husband died in May last year, but he drove up until the end of January.”
81 Diana Hoskins
Diana Hoskins was born in Southampton, moving to Hamble “about 30 years ago” — a return to her Southampton roots after she had owned and managed an 18-bedroom hotel in Friars Cliff, Christchurch on the outskirts of the New Forest. It was just one stop in a diverse and adventurous life that has included teaching PE, English and business studies.
“Hamble’s got a river, it’s got a ferry [like Mudeford]. I used to have a beach hut in Mudeford, so I love that area very much, but I couldn’t stay there so I came back to Hamble. And I love this area because you’ve got the forest which I love and the sea — I don’t know which I love best.
“My first husband died when I was 31, and I had a family, but he was of the old school type and didn’t approve of me doing anything he didn’t want me to do. I was on my own at 31, and within six months I had started an outdoor education centre in Norway and ran that with 60 pupils. I’d say that was one of the first interesting things I did...”
When she returned to England, Diana worked as administrator for Southampton Art Gallery and five museums in the city. “I had a staff of 27, I was head of a department... that was hard work.” Hard work was something Diana wasn’t afraid of though, as her next adventure was to buy the hotel. “I ran that for about five years, beautiful hotel in Friars Cliff, 18 bedrooms, I reckon it was an 18 hour day. And they still want to see you late at night, when all you want to do is sleep — but it was interesting.
“After the hotel I was in the superyacht business, I was an administrator, most of my jobs have been administrative. I looked after the money — there were an awful lot of noughts in the superyacht business — and personnel work.” Diana’s next adventure was to tour Europe in a motorboat, “We toured Europe, we did France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Wallonia — places I’d never heard of. We did that for ten years. It was a four thousand kilometre trip.”
“I sail, I love sailing, and I do still sail. I sailed in the Bay of Biscay this year. I came to Hamble to continue sailing and became Secretary of the Cruising Association for eight years (Solent section) holding winter meetings at the Royal Air Force Yacht Club (RAFYC), and events along the south coast. The first yacht club I joined was the Royal Southampton, then Parkstone, then the RAFYC [where Diana became Rear Commodore] and the Royal Southern Yacht Club.
“I also belong to a writing group, I love writing. And I belong to the History Society and I do their proof reading... I recently joined Hamble River Rowing Club, I’ve taken a painting course and writing course. I ran the ladies walking group for ten years, I still walk when I can but not so much now. There is so much to do in Hamble if you investigate.
“I’m quite a social person so I like to join in with people. I like the village, but I have to think about moving, because of my age — I don’t need four bedrooms and a large garden. I think I will stay in the village if I can find what I want: a ground floor flat with a view of the river, but I can’t find it!”
82 Joan Clothier
My husband and I came to Hamble in 2000. We retired to Wales and my son came with us, but he couldn’t get enough work there to support a mortgage. So he came back and now lives in Netley.
We came to Hamble so that I could be a hands-on grandma. I’d been retired about three years when we came to Hamble, and I’d been a social worker for most of my working life, mainly for Hampshire, in the north of Hampshire.
I’ve always been quite keen on keeping well, so I go to the Sports Centre and I do activities for old people quite a lot, like aquarobics. There’s quite a group of us and we have regular aquasessions so we all know each other. We have tea and chat afterwards and then if there are other classes sometimes I join those as well. I’ve done Tai Chi, Pilates that sort of stuff.
I’m much more interested in people and ideas than things, like whether this Hub takes off or not.... the Mercury Hub. It was going to be a library; it’s not now, it’s going to be a book exchange and they want lots of volunteers to make something of it. They are still calling it a library, but it’s not going to be attached to the Hampshire system it’s going to be a book exchange.
There will be no paid staff, so whether it works or not depends on whether the community wants it. There’s a lot of community work going on here anyway, so it’s whether another place will provide something extra.
I’m secretary of the sewing group and we’re currently making a textile map of Hamble. Hopefully that will go in the Hub, but it’s not finished yet. And I do reading at the school to Year Twos for two afternoons a week. So life is quite interesting.
I’m quite committed to trying to make the community work, and do what I can to that end. So when we’ve gone there is something here that everybody has got access to, because I think all the pressures are against that sort of thing now. I just don’t think we ought to let that happen.
I’ve lived other places that I loved as well. I loved living in Wales which was beautiful. I went to New Zealand to see my brother - because he lives over there - when my husband died. That was about the most exciting thing I’ve done. He moved there for his daughter. She married a Kiwi so he went over there to help her and stayed there. And I had one visit there, which was the most expensive thing I’ve ever done!
83 Barbara Haines-Ray
Barbara moved to Hamble 18 years ago, after living in Netley for 34 years. “I worked for Aerostructures for a number of years, but that was before I came to live in Hamble.” She also has a son and a daughter now living in the village. “We used to go sailing, we liked gardening. We liked walking and cycling up until quite recently. I live overlooking Southampton Water, which has been of great interest as we watch everything go up and down.
“I’ve been involved with children at church, we’ve done a lot of voluntary work which we’ve enjoyed in relation to St Andrews. We’ve just enjoyed life in Hamble, and being relaxed. We’ve had holidays, but generally we liked to do local things. It’s quiet, we have a nice bungalow to live in. Life is generally relaxed and peaceful which is what we like.”
84 Jackie Chant
Jackie’s family came to Hamble in 1934 when she was just a year old. She grew up in the village. “At that time it was a village, it was very friendly and there was lots going on. We could wander for miles, we could go out and make camps in the woods, and all sorts of things... as my Mum used to say, ‘She’ll come home when she’s hungry’ because she never knew where I was.”
The Second World War had a big impact. “My friend and I were playing on the beach, Southampton Water beach and we saw this plane coming towards us and we thought what is it, what is it? We were told if we saw a plane to run towards it, which we did. We ran towards it and dropped down. When we got up there was grass... and all the holes where he had machine gunned us.
“The first bomb in Hamble landed in School Lane and it was unexploded. I was five or six and at the infant school — which is now houses — on School Lane, and they kept us there until someone sorted it out. My family were asking where is she, what’s happened? All the dads got together and said you must bring them out. It was seven o’clock and we were still at school. We couldn’t come along School Lane, we had to go out the back of the school and walk across the Churchyard and out on the Church path. My dad was there and I rode home on his cycle crossbar.
“My first job was in the village in a shop and I didn’t like that, and then I eventually went to Folland Aircraft and I was trained as a tracer, which I loved and I stayed there until I left to have my first baby at 23. I went back twice more, each time if they were short staffed I went back and helped.
“When we came to Hamble we were living in Sydney Avenue, number 17. When I got married we moved about a bit, but we wanted to come back to Hamble because my husband liked it as well. I eventually ended up 31 years in Beaulieu Road, which is an extension of Sydney Avenue. And we moved from there to our bungalow 21 years ago, on Grantham Avenue.
“I brought my own children up in Hamble, they went to all the various schools. And they were happy here, and they both made homes in Hamble, but unfortunately I lost my son 21 years ago. But my daughter lives in Barton Drive and her and her husband are very supportive because my husband is in a nursing home now.”
85 Margaret Robinson
Margaret moved to Hamble in 1981 after marrying her second husband who lived in the village. “I was born in Cornwall and living in Dorset when my mother died, and Dad was doing war work in Gosport, so we all came to Gosport. I was a civil servant in Titchfield at the Office of National Statistics, it was called something else then.
“It was a change of life when I met Geoffrey and came to Hamble to live. He had a boat, a 34ft Westerly and we had a lot of fun with that. Then Geoffrey had a massive stroke and I looked after him for nearly four years and didn’t see any point keeping the boat.
I couldn’t manage it on my own, I could steer it, I could haul up the sails but I wasn’t a navigator. I ran us onto the Brambles Bank once. Geoffrey was a master mariner, born on the Isle of Wight. It changed my life meeting Geoffrey. Unfortunately it didn’t last very long, we only had 11 years together, but it was 11 good years and it made up for all the earlier ones.
“Since Geoffrey died in 1991 I’ve been all over the place to Singapore, to Hawaii, I’ve been to the Caribbean. I’ve been to America, the east coast, places on the coast in Europe with friends with boats. I like boats. And I used to play badminton, not very well, but I loved it. And I did yoga until I fell downstairs, top to bottom twice, which shook things up a bit and I can’t bend very well any more.”
88 Joan Marshall
Joan moved to Hamble in 1999, just after her 70th birthday. She lives beside her daughter Pam Mansfield (#62) and her husband Chris, Vicky McPherson (#32) is her granddaughter, and Lillian (#2) is her great-granddaughter.
“I help with the Church cafe that we have every fortnight, I got involved with that soon after we moved here, and I still do the cooking for the cafe.” She also helps look after Lillian, and goes line dancing in Burslesdon.
89 Pat Gilman
Pat moved to Hamble from Woolston in 1954, at the age of 26. She still has two children and a nephew living in the village. She stayed at home to look after her own children, before working at Hamble School for 26 years, “In the office doing all the office work. I retired in 1993,” and will be familiar to several generations of Hamble children.
“I used to do line dancing and aquafit, and that sort of thing. I don’t do that anymore. I do belong to several groups; St Andrews Fellowship. I go to chair exercises... I also go to a needlework group at the Priory Centre, not that we do much needlework, it’s mostly crochet, knitting and talking. I go to the Priory lunches, and I think that’s about all at the moment.”
91 Monica Matterson
Monica Matterson moved to Hamble with her husband in 1991, after living in the Midlands for most of her life. She started a career in nursing when she was 16, working in orthopaedics on the North Yorkshire Moors. “Then I went to Scarborough Hospital to do my general training for just over three years, and then I did six months mid-wifery but didn’t do my second part because I’d got engaged and I was only earning seven pounds a month, and I thought, ‘well you can’t get married on that’. So I went to be a sister at an orthopaedic department at Leicester, I didn’t like it at all, so I gave it up, got married, had children, and in those days when you were a mother you didn’t go out to work.”
She also had to look after her mother. “She took herself to bed when she was about 66 and wouldn’t get up. She insisted we move to this big house... It was a large five bedroom house with a lot of big rooms. And it was hard work, so I couldn’t go out to work as I’d got her to look after... so that kept me at home, until 1970.”
They were introduced to Hamble when they kept a boat on the river in the village for several years. When they moved to Florida for her husband’s work, they wanted to keep the boat so they bought a flat in Bursledon, and their sons would come down and stay, and use and maintain the boat while they were away.
After three and a half years away, they returned to England when her husband retired. “When we came back, we thought we can’t live here, in a flat with nowhere to hang your washing out and that sort of thing. So we started to look in Hamble, and we were still wanting to go away a lot sailing so we thought we don’t want anything that needs too much upkeep. And we found this one, right in a corner with a back gate onto School Lane which was only then three years old and didn’t need any maintenance. So we thought that would do fine to lock up and leave which is what we did, we went off sailing for several years.”
The sailing boat was followed by a motorboat, then a motorhome, and then a smaller motorhome. “We did a lot of the South of France, and coming back through the canals and the rivers up through France, and ended up at Avignon, because we couldn’t get any further because of the bridges. So we sold that and bought a motorhome and took that all across Europe to Montenegro. We wanted to go to Greece, but it meant we had to go through Albania... We don’t sail anymore now, we’re a bit frightened of either of us going overboard and not having the strength to help, or manoeuvre the sails. There’s a lot of work and expense.”
Monica and her husband still belong to the sailing club in the village though, and she has recently written and illustrated three books on her experiences. “While we were away such a lot my grandchildren were young and we missed out on seeing them grow up and doing things with them. And it just dawned on me that I didn’t know anything about my grandparents either, you never thought to ask in those days, you were seen and not heard you know. So I thought I’d write it down, so I wrote three lots down in longhand, with pictures. And I gave it to my neighbour to see what she thought, if it was ok to give them, and she said you should have it published.”
The three books (all available on Amazon) are: French Dressing — with Italian seasoning and the zest of two ripe lemons; A Capful of Wind: Useless information for aspiring skippers; and The Brief Presence of an Absent Granny - “When I’d ring up, you could hear Mum say,’Who is it?’ ‘It’s granny?’ ‘Which granny?’ ‘Absent granny.’”
“I don’t write anymore,” added Monica, “just sort of at a standstill. I’ve got no projects, and I’m getting frustrated with myself for not having a project! We walk when we can, down through the woods to the point and back, I don’t think at the moment that we’re doing anything very exciting. This is the trouble, why it upsets me, because I know how active... and what we have done, and now we’ve slowed down, and can’t do these things and its frustrating.”
92 Peggy Buxton
Peggy was born in Surrey, and moved to Hamble twenty years ago. When she was 19 she joined the Land Army, it was towards the end of the Second World War. “I said, oh I’ll drive the tractor, you know, being me, and I got on the tractor and there was a rake and I didn’t see it and I ran over it and that was the end of that.”
She moved to Hamble from Cornwall, where she had managed hotels. “Long ago, I had two hotels in Cornwall, which I quite enjoyed. Nicholas, my son that lives here now, he hated the school in Cornwall, he couldn’t settle in at all, so we came back here and sent him to a private school and he was a lot happier there.”
“We moved into a house in Broadway, we were there for quite some time until my husband died... then it was too big for me and I couldn’t cope with it.” Peggy now lives in assisted housing, but still drives. “I belong to the church, and my son does a lot for the church. He loves cooking, so he does a lot of supplying food for the church.
“I liked it [the village] better a few years ago than I do now, it’s getting overcrowded if you know what I mean. There’s so much traffic. The roads are absolutely horrendous. And when people move into all those houses at the top of Hamble Lane, I don’t know how... traffic will come to a standstill. They will all want cars, and if they’ve got children the children will want cars. It was much quieter and calmer before. I had lots of friends in the village. I’ve lost some of my friends now.”
96 Betty Dymond
Betty moved to Hamble in 1970, and at the moment has one daughter and one granddaughter living in the village. She was born just down the road in Butlocks Heath, but her family had moved west by the time the Second World War started. “I was in Southampton, we got bombed out of there, my father bought a house in Bedford Place and we came back to Newtown Road in Woolston. We no sooner got there than we had a couple of bombs within arms length and after that it was pretty hectic. I was young then, I could cope with things and it didn’t really worry me until my eldest daughter [was born] and the first air raid she was in — in those days you had to stop in bed for a fortnight after you had a baby — and I remember the landlord of the pub opposite, he carried me down the stairs, and my Mum carried the baby to the shelter.”
After the war, the family moved to Harefield, “A lovely house, we lived there for 16 years, but I always had a yearning to get back to Butlocks or Hamble and we eventually did it... I’ve loved Hamble since I was a child. My Dad used to bring us down here in a pony and trap, that was our Sunday outing, our Sunday treat. It’s always got something going for it, the river, we’ve got lovely fields and lovely country walks, you don’t have to get in your car to get to them.”
“I worked at Fairey Aviation, and Follands as it was then. I worked at Mercury for a couple of years, it closed down and then I got a job at Coronation Parade with Mrs Woodhouse in the draper’s shop. That was my last job, after that I’ve been looking after the grandchildren. I was involved with a lot of people, but not involved in any of the activities. I used to help my daughters, they were all involved... I was a tea lady at the bowling for a long, long time. I retired from that last year. I don’t think I’ve done anything really exciting. My husband was in the Navy for years, so I brought our family up.”
97 Betty Stanley
Betty Stanley moved to Hamble in 1996 with her second husband, and now lives next door to her daughter, Fiona and her husband Richard Rowlands and their two children Jessica and Ben. Jessica was the first baby of the new millennium to be born in Eastleigh Borough. Originally from the Liverpool area, Betty has travelled and lived all over from Cheshire to North Wales, Paris and finally Hamble.
“My husband was attached to a producer, called Claudie Ossard, a film producer, and he was there when they made Delicatessen, her favourite, a famous film. So I had ten years in France, five in Paris - perfect! My husband moved to Paris with his job, and then we bought a farmhouse down there in Vichy and he was very bored there.
“So when my daughter’s husband Richard asked us would we like to share a house in Hamble - he was coming to a business here - my husband jumped at it. So we just came and looked in the pouring rain and saw this great big house - two staircases and two front doors - but they all said that will be fine.
“Hamble has everything — you can walk through our rear gate and onto the old airfield. And having great-grandchildren and grandchildren we all went crabbing in the river. I had raced boats, Fireflies, and they were still being raced in Hamble at the time [we came to live here], so it was like home from home...
“We joined the sailing club, Hamble River Sailing Club but neither child was interested, we are both sailors you see. The children wouldn’t sail, I didn’t want to sail singe-handed — you’ve got to not sail, but race really, if you go to a good club.
Betty has always sailed, buying a Firefly from Fairey Marine down at Hamble Point in the 1950s — long before she moved to the village. “Currey, who was running the business [Charles Currey, 1952 Olympic silver medallist in the Finn], showed us all these hulls and my husband looked up — being a naval officer they like being a bit different I think — and said ‘I’ll have that hull there’ which was two different shades. So he made it into stripey and every time we capsized you knew it was us underneath because of the stripes.”
When the Second World War started, Betty had wanted to join the Wrens, the Women's Royal Naval Service and part of the Royal Navy. “The war began and my aunt had a business, and her three staff went to the war — the Land Army — so I went, while I was waiting to go in the Wrens, to help her. When I came to go in the Wrens they asked me what I had been doing and I said baking. ‘Baking bread?’ Oh yes. And that was it, if you baked bread you were pushed out, you can’t go in the Wrens. So we were just bombed. This was in Liverpool, the other side, Birkenhead and roofs came down but we just kept on baking. So we felt we were doing our bit.
“We’d been in bed one night and there was heavy bombing and they were using the parachute bombs so they left the plane and floated and when they made contact they exploded. So we‘d get a heck of a lot of damage... It killed all the people in the next road, devastated everywhere, but we only lost our roof.
“My aunt said at 3 o’clock in the morning, ‘Well, what shall we do, let’s go and try and get the oven going and bake because everyone will be hungry.’ So we started making buns and bread and by 7 o’clock we were open. We’d no windows, but we cleared the glass and I don’t know... you just got on with it.
“Everybody had lost their houses, and their families many of them. The air raid shelter was blown flat. I think there were 50 or 60 people in there, and they were all our customers, we knew them all personally. It was Birkenhead, where the big shipyards are; Cammell Laird was the big one. They were building big naval vessels there.”
Betty also survived another horrific incident after the war, the tragic 1955 Le Mans disaster in which Pierre Levegh’s car was catapulted into the crowd by a collision with Lance Macklin’s Austin-Healey. The car disintegrated and burst into flames, it was built from a lightweight magnesium alloy and burning fragments were hurled into the grandstand killing at least 84 people.
“I was only a spectator, we were there camping with our two little boys, seven and five I think they were. We didn’t buy seats, just found a good spot and stayed there.
“My husband had put his foot into a rabbit hole, so he had an utter swollen ankle. So we thought we’d best get back to the campsite — we camped in a Rolls Royce, so we did it in style. We were just leaving and I’d put a lovely little girl, with five nuns in our place... [by the track, opposite the pits] and we’d just walked about ten steps to go down into the tunnel to get to the other side when there was a terrific crash. We were in the tunnel. My son says we were actually starting to come out of the tunnel when we heard the crash.
“We came out and there was a huge fire, it was a Mercedes Benz that had been made of a combustible material — especially light — so we went back to the campsite to see if everybody was all right. And we were amazed that it was so quiet. They had turned the tannoy off that was giving a record [commentary] of the race. We couldn’t understand, we knew a car had crashed, and then we saw all the fire brigade and ambulances coming.
“It got very confused at that time, the other people camping said that there had been a big accident, the car engine had hit the edge of the tunnel that we had gone in and it had gone right across the crowd so everyone was decapitated.
“The newspapers came out at 1am and so we picked one up and the little girl that I’d given this place to and the nuns had all been killed. I think 94 were killed, they were never sure, because so many strangers were there and perhaps wives didn’t report their husband was missing.”
98 Gwendolen Lewis
Gwendolen arrived in Hamble with her family just before the Second World War, although she no longer has any family in the village. “I was at school in Cheltenham, we lived in Cheltenham and then we moved to a place called Yate that was outside Bristol and I started working in the aircraft factory there until we moved here.
“I first came to Hamble must have been about 1938, just before the war. Of course I lived with my parents then. We lived in Chalmers Way, and those houses had just been built then, of course everybody was coming down because people were preparing really for the war. So I worked in Folland Aircraft, my father worked in Folland’s.
“We eventually moved down into the lodge, Hamble Cliff Lodge, down on the slip there. It’s been knocked down now and rebuilt. In our day it was a lodge, I think it was part of the big estate. We lived in the lodge there after the war broke out. My future husband… everybody had lodgers in those days because they were bringing all the workers down to fill the factories and get the armaments going.
“It was all fields and factories in the war, and now there’s all those houses between Hamble and where I live. The shops have changed and it’s all got busier and busier. There wasn’t much activity, people were busy working because of the war. If we did anything we went into Southampton, to go to the pictures or things like that. I’m not a very sociable person and once you’ve got a boyfriend or something like that... and we had to rely on my parents for transport so that was it.
“A couple of years after the war broke out we were evacuated up to Cheltenham because they scattered the factories, and after the war my father couldn’t get a house in Hamble so we lived in Totton for many, many years. I was widowed and then I married a friend of my husbands and we moved back to Hamble when I was 55. So I’ve been in Hamble now for 40-odd years, all in the same place.
“I don’t have much to do with life in the village. Up our end it’s quite quiet, nobody interferes with you. It’s nice up there, I live in a nice place and when we first moved where we are you could see through the trees and see the water all the time but it’s all overgrown now.”
99 Kathleen Motherwell
Kathleen Motherwell was the youngest of eight children when she was born in Freemantle, Shirley in June 1918. “The year the First World War ended... I wasn’t expected to live when I was born.” The doctor labelled her a ‘weakling’ and she was very sickly. When she was five years old the family moved to Woolston. Her mother died when she was only nine and she had to look after the rest of her siblings.
She left school at 14, and went to work in the laundry at The Royal Victoria Military Hospital at Netley Abbey, which at the time was England's biggest building. She met her future husband there, and married at the age of 18. They had five children, four of whom were born in Hamble, and one of her sons, Jim (James) was subsequently a choir boy at the Hospital Chapel.
“I moved to Hamble when I married,” she said, and that was in 1936. They lived with her mother-in-law in Hamble Lane, near the train station. When a bomb dropped on the train lines of Hamble Halt in the Second World War, it blew the roof off the house and Kathleen and her family had to move. They went to Hound Road and then Netley Abbey when her husband became ill. Her husband passed away in January 1969, when Kathleen was just fifty.
“I tell you what kept me going, the cycling. We used to cycle everywhere.” In fact, she was still pushing her bike around the village when she was over 90. “I’ve had a very exciting life,” she added. Kathleen moved back to the village three and a half years ago when she became unwell and moved in with her son Jim and daughter-in-law Janet (#71 Janet Motherwell), who has lived in the village all her life. Three grandchildren (including #47 Bexx Sears) and five of her great-grandchildren (including #9 Ruby Sears) still live in the village.