Defending Southampton Water


On another splendid September summer’s morning, Jackie drove us to Calshot and back.

Man and dog

Calshot Beach had just two occupants: the proverbial one man and his dog.

Beach hut refurbishment

A woman was discussing the refurbishment of her beach hut. What had at first seemed a simple carpentry job had developed into a bit of a rebuild because of the discovery of dry rot and woodworm.

Betsy's beach hut

Betsy, at number one, was able to enjoy the sunshine outside her delightfully appointed summer house.

Beach Hut shadows

These huts threw long shadows in the sunshine.

Boat moored near Calshot Beach

Some boats were moored;

Yachts and cricket stumps

others sailed behind the cricket stumps –  –  (Info courtesy of, deep on the boundary.


A seaplane droned overhead.

Calshot Castle 1

Calshot Beach is on a sand and shingle spit leading to Calshot Castle,

Calshot Castle through boats 1Rusting tackle

first seen through boats old

Calshot Castle through boats 2

and new.

Masts and lines

These masts belong to members of the Calshot Cats yachting club.

Fawley Power Station

Across the water lies Fawley Power Station.

Photographers on beachCouple on beach

I was not the only photographer interested in the scene;

Tug of war with dog

and crossing a lead with fishing rods, a young man engaged in a tug of war with his dog.

Speed Boat

Turning my attention to the water, I tracked a speedboat

Speedboat passing Red Funnel ferryboat

as it sped past the Red Funnel ferryboat,

Speedboat, yachts, Spinnaker

then yachts, with the Spinnaker ( on the horizon.

Ham, egg, and chips

Since the Olympics breakfast on 19th, I have been unable to face my favourite full English, so when we decided to lunch at the Activities Centre, I opted for ham, egg, and chips, which could be considered as breaking me in gently. Jackie chose vegetable soup and a baguette.

Silhouettes on spit

Whilst enjoying this, I watched silhouettes making their way along a distant sand spit.

Defending Southampton Water

Here is the history of the castle (enlargement should help).

We dined this evening on Chicken Kiev, Jackie’s piquant cauliflower cheese, and creamy mashed potato. I finished the malbec.


  1. I like the beach huts. We don’t have them here. I remember reading a novel once where someone was suspected of living full time in a beach hut. From the looks of the one, they could certainly provide nice shelter.

    1. There are a few basics, like plumbing, missing. Still, you’ve always got the sea, and it’s a “drop in the ocean”, if you get me…

    2. It is generally not permitted to sleep overnight in them, but further along, there is a private section to this beach where owners can do so. Those huts are larger, and better appointed.

  2. ah more memories; as a boy scout we went to the activity centre when it opened in the 70s for things like abseiling and rafting. Dad worked at a chemical plant that sat next to the Esso oil refinery at Fawley – I had summer job there once. Not sure if it still going. It wasn’t too far from the power station.

  3. Another enjoyable post, it’s grey and dull as grey and dull as it gets today in Toronto, and the sound of Jackie’s piquant cauliflower cheese, and creamy mashed potato (not to mention the malbec.) sounds like the perfect comfort food. Cheers, Harlon

  4. The only cricket match I managed to watch and enjoyed was in the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea. The men in our party played the local tribe. It was hilarious. We had no chance. They had their medicine man casting evil spells on us, war cries and victory dance every time they scored and whenever we lose a man. I was weak from laughing.

  5. I enjoyed this post very much, Derrick–the photos and the history of the castle. So many wonderful photos. I like the shadows of the beach huts, and I’m particularly taken with the sailboat and sand spit photo. It has sort of an Impressionistic quality.
    Those chips look really good. 🙂

  6. As a kid, I used to participate in broadcasts on local radio from various places of interest. One of these was Calshot* Signal Station the [possibly now removed] structure next to the castle. I can’t now remember if, at the time, the station was a windowed box ON the castle top, this being before the days of respecting heritage of all sorts (those of you abroad, especially in countries of younger vintage than the UK, may break out in a sweat at the possibility of modern accretions on architecture older than the nation you live in, but Britain has just SO much of it, that only the most significant was accorded special status, back then: early 70s. So, even a castle built for Henry VIII might have been so treated. I rather think the castle as it is now has a Victorian restored face to it, so that may be one reason for its downgrading).
    Despite living only 5 miles from it, I’d never heard of St Andrew’s Castle.
    *note that auto-correct insists it’s Chalcot, twice in one caption, early on

  7. I liked the interior view of No. 1 and the long pointy shadows they project. This is my first glimpse inside a beach hut and it answered the many questions I have wondered about concerning them. Though they must all be different, I can certainly see how much one would add to the beach experience. Fascinating. Love the shot of the man and the big pug pulling against each other. Who owns who is the question.

  8. I love the beach hut idea…I don’t believe we have them here.Somewhat akin to the current rage of “tiny houses” albeit even smaller. Perhaps I might build one like that to retire in during the coming of old age..and one for my spouse with a breeze way… 🙂 Pleasant post, as ever, Derrick!

  9. You made me laugh again to hear your post-Olympic breakfast blues. It’s probably a good thing. I did read that post with close attention but didn’t ‘like’ it as I didn’t think I ought to encourage you to eat another!

      1. People still sing that song occasionally at my folk club.
        I gather you can post links, by copying and pasting the cyber-gobbledygook in the address-bar (beginning “http://”). Usually, if you triple-click it, the whole lot is highlighted, including the bits too long to show in a single view. Then paste that into your reply. On Facebook (“other websites ARE available”), that makes the image appear as well, but it doesn’t matter if that effect isn’t replicated here.

        1. Thanks, Paul. I do that copying and pasting bit on my own site and on a couple of others, and it works perfectly. This is the second time, though, I have
          had trouble on Derrick’s site.
          On WordPress, you can give the link address only if you keep it within the
          message. If you give it its own line, you embed it, and get the actual video itself. I’ve tried both, here, without success. (By carefully reasoned choice, I avoid Facebook. 🙂 )

      2. And I should say: I know exactly what you mean about the connection. Places like Brighton, a popular resort some way east of us, the line of huts stretches for MILES. From the ‘sea’ road, you can’t see the sea along great portions.

  10. I took a ferry at Southhampton to the Isle of Wight a few years ago. Sorry I didn’t spend more time poking around the beaches. They look lovely. My favourite two photos: The shadows of the beach huts look like a picket fence; the dog tugging away from his human. I have a small 13 pound fluffy white mutt who does this, too, despite all efforts to rein him in, he just seems to like the tension. I can’t eat eggs anymore but you sure do make them look tempting.

  11. Just to let you know I am able to forward your post on a cell phone picture message. I hope you don’t mind, Derrick!? I will hold as a draft just in case, if not okay. . . 🙂
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post! The lady in hut One has quite a special place and the castle and beach photographs were spectacular!

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