The Disembarkation

The beauty of our National Book Token service is that these gifts can be exchanged in most bookshops, and are valid indefinitely. This was just as well when I discovered one I had received from Maggie and Mike about 20 years ago. I could add it to the W.H.Smith token Ron and Shelly gave me for Christmas. With that in mind, Jackie drove me to Smiths in Lymington where I bought Jonathan Dimbleby’s history, ‘The Battle of the Atlantic’.

Smith’s is really a stationer’s that also sells books, music, and other similar items. It is situated further up the steeply rising High Street than Quay Street and its environs which I have featured on several occasions.

High Street 1High Street 2

The rooftops of the downward sloping Quay Hill can be seen in the middle distance of these photographs.

The Angel & Blue Pig

Beyond the blue covered scaffolding visible on the left, lies The Angel & Blue Pig, Pub and Rooms, that, like many other buildings, retains its original facade, including the awning covered balcony.

Ashley LaneNew Look and ElliottsNew Look

On the opposite side of the road, the old and the new are sharply juxtaposed at the corner of Ashley Lane, where New Look stands by Elliotts. On the lane side of the New Look building, the signage of a long departed outfitters clings to its red brick ground.

Solent Mews

A little further down the hill, the gated Solent Mews, with its ancient cobbles, looks intriguing enough to invite investigation on some future visit.

Lymington River 1

Before returning home, we drove alongside Lymington River towards the Isle of Wight ferry. Gainly would not have been n adjective applied to my clambering over a wooden stile to take this shot.

Ferry arriving

I was, however, rewarded by the Isle of Wight ferry coming into view.

Ferry docking 1

Ferry docking 2

Using a certain amount of poetic licence, I nipped back over the stile and walked through the car park to what I hoped was the docking area. Again I was rewarded by the sight of the ship coming to a standstill

Cyclists disembarking

and, having lowered the drawbridge, beginning with cyclists, unloading its cargo.

Cars disembarking

Cars, freed by a couple of men in yellow jackets, rapidly followed.

We drove around the back roads a little more, before returning home. This evening, noticing Jackie opening a bottle of Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012, I mentioned that I thought I still had a glass of the malbec left. ‘You had’, The Cook replied, ‘it’s in the casserole.’ So now you know what I had to drink. The casserole was Jackie’s classic sausages, served with creamy mashed potato and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. She, of course, drank Hoegaarden.


  1. You are my own memory campanologist, aren’t you? First restaurant meal at the Angel in December 1969, followed by a night’s sleep that preceded moving into our new home; and many happy ours up and down Lymington High street. I still have the overcoat Dad took me to buy at Elliott’s in, circa 1993 to mark the occasion I became head of my department – ‘something fitting, boy’ – he liked the odd pun. Thanks Derrick. As for the ferry, once a year at least, in May dad, my bro and I would make for Yarmouth and hike across the island on the disused railway to the Undercliff where the Marsh Fritillary breeds to check the breeding grounds hadn’t fallen into the sea and to collect a hundred caterpillars to breed through at home and then take the imagos back to a new area to try and ensure the colony moved inland as the erosion reduced the area between road and cliff edge. Happy days…

    1. From a fellow IoW fan, what dedication! A friend has a tiny 2nd home at Niton, and we’ve embarked on a Round the Island walk with a difference. We both love our butterflies, so next time I’m on the Undercilff in the summer, I’ll go and check that your entomological efforts have not been in vain. I’ve never seen a Marsh F. in the flesh. (My dad didn’t force me to spell Fritillary as a joke: he had a rather different sense of humour).
      And is your entomology enthusiasm inspired by your dad’s etymology? 🙂
      [If those of you outside this miniature geographic triangle are struggling with this esoteric conversation, you’ll need Bing maps zoomed way huge. The Undercliff is on the south east coast of the Isle of Wight, and is one of the few haunts in the UK of the MF butterfly]. Yarmouth, which Geoff mentioned as his route to the Island, is on the diametrically opposite coast. The old railway line went dead east to Newport, the Island’s capital, then snaked further east to join the line north-south between Ryde and Ventnor near Brading (look on a less enlarged map and all these towns will be marked). Part of this is preserved as a steam railway, and the line as far south as Shanklin is still used as public transport, though the rolling stock was 1930s London Underground (“Tube”) carriages when I last used it in the 1970s. 2 years ago, i walked up to the old, boarded up, tunnel mouth on the route from Ventnor].

  2. “Gainly would not have been n adjective applied to my clambering over a wooden stile to take this shot.”

    Dude, you’re missing a vowel. 🙂

    I got stuck by some wire the other day when trying to capture a shot, although I wouldn’t describe it as gainly. More like… gamely.

  3. (Solent Mews put me in mind of a certain Christmas carol.) And although it looks intriguing enough to invite investigation on some future visit, such a deed can undo the magic. Some little cobbled paths are best imagined and not explored!

  4. Thanks for that great picturesque tour Derrick, thoroughly enjoyed it, the Solent Mews would definitely be worth investigating, it bought Charles Dickens to mind.
    Your Casserole sounds fantastic and gives me the urge to resurrect one of my old Casserole favourites.

  5. POETIC LICENCE!!!! Unknown to you sir I was observing every painful inch of your battle with the stile, parked across the road and poised to pick you off the ground at any moment, poetic it wasn’t. Bless X

  6. Twenty years is a long time, but it never hurts to ask, does it? Loved going around town with you. Glad you made it safe and sound over the stile.

  7. Indeed, the gated Solent Mews, looks intriguing enough to be investigated, Derrick. As you said, it looks like an ancient place 🙂
    I look forward for your amazing photos.

  8. The sign with “Solvent Mews” was a really neat photo. The book and other wares store and other shops on the street were so pretty, with a gorgeous sky overhead! 🙂

    1. Can I join Derrick’s august band of poof-redders by pointing out that Solvent Mews is NOT the sort of place to be encouraged by the occupants of Lymington’s “Millionaire’s Row”? Solvent Abews is even more likely to inspire their disapproval [you won’t believe how carefully I checked over this posting 🙂 ].
      However, I’m going to add it to Sous Cheffing, as a potential location for a sitcom!

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