The Schneider Trophy


This afternoon Jackie drove us to Calshot and back in order to watch the sun go down.

Beaulieu River and Abbey 1

The tide was up in the Beaulieu River, offering reflections of Beaulieu Palace House

Beaulieu River and houses

and of private houses.

Fawley Power Sation and ponies

Along Rollestone Road the ancient and modern meet in the forms of ponies grazing freely on historic moorland and the towers of Fawley Power Station.

Calshot beach and ships 1

We arrived at Calshot shortly before sunset. The tide had ebbed; buoys were beached,

Calshot beach and ships 2

and large vessels glided past,

Sunset and beach huts

towards the low sun that lit the beach huts’ verandas.

Sunset 1

Swirling clouds splashed around the western sun

Sunset 2

while, to the east, smooth water reflected its effects.

Boat reflected in pool

Parked boats were mirrored in pools on the quayside.

Low tide, boats, beach huts

Shallow water glistened

Sunset 3

and gleamed,

Houston House

as did the windows of Houston House

Houston House Plaque

which bears this plaque.

Wikipedia tells us that:

‘The Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, commonly called the Schneider Trophy or Schneider Prize (sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Schneider Cup, a different prize), was a trophy awarded annually (and later, biannually) to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats. The Schneider Trophy is now held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London.

Announced in 1912 by Jacques Schneider, a French financier, balloonist and aircraft enthusiast, the competition offered a prize of approximately £1,000. The race was held twelve times between 1913 and 1931. It was intended to encourage technical advances in civil aviation but became a contest for pure speed with laps over a (usually) triangular course (initially 280 km, later 350 km). The contests were staged as time trials, with aircraft setting off individually at pre-agreed times, usually 15 minutes apart. The contests were very popular and some attracted crowds of over 200,000 spectators. An earlier trophy, also presented by Jacques Schneider in 1910, in France, was the Schneider Cup, which is now in the possession of the RAF College Cranwell.’


‘In 1931 the British government withdrew support, but a private donation of £100,000 from Lucy, Lady Houston, allowed Supermarine to compete and win on 13 September against only British opposition, with reportedly half a million spectators lining the beachfronts. The Italian, French, and German entrants failed to ready their aircraft in time for the competition. The remaining British team set both a new world speed record (610 km/h (380 mph)) and won the trophy outright with a third straight win.[7] The following days saw the winning Supermarine S.6B further break the world speed record twice, making it the first craft to break the 400 mph barrier on 29 September at an average speed of 655.8 km/h (407.5 mph).’

Sunset 4

As the sun gravitated towards

Sunset 5

the horizon,

Sunset 6

orange hues

Sunset 7


Sunset 8

and deepened.

Jet trail

A jet trail pierced the indigo backcloth,

Sunset 9

Sunset 10

and the palette introduced red pigments

Sunset 11


Sunset 12

across the firmament;

Sunset reflected in stream

finally dipping into the stream running alongside Jack Maynard Road.

This evening, for dinner, we enjoyed Jackie’s splendid beef and mushroom pie; boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage, with which I drank more of the madiran.




  1. You saved the best for last with these photos, Derrick, although there’s one with golden tones I like very much too. It reminds me of a Turner painting.

  2. Terrific pictures, as always, but I particularly like the one of the boat reflected in the puddle.

  3. I’m sure your sunsets are more lovely than mine – though it may be because I am not out hunting for them with my camera at hand that I miss out…… The first two shots show another world and would make quite challenging jigsaw puzzles!

  4. I was not aware of the history of Schneider Trophy. Those are amazingly noiseless low light shots –the sea-facing verandas look clean. The clouds were certainly on fire, and so was your camera. Is this all at the base ISO?

    1. It is all on automatic. Although back in the ’60s I knew about shutter speeds, apertures, manual focussing, and stuff, I got lazy as the years went by, and think, especially in this digital age, it is all too much to learn again. Many thanks, Uma

  5. Interesting history on the Schneider Trophy . I had not heard of it before. Always something new to learn here, Derrick!

    The cloud photos are spectacular, especially the ones where clouds sailing at different levels can be seen, giving the feeling of depth in the sky. It really is an ocean of sorts. The colors change rapidly at the beginning and end of the day. Nature’s ephemeral jewels.

  6. I had to go and read up on Lady Houston, am I glad I did.
    What a mighty woman she was.In one sense we might almost say it was she that saved England / Great Britain through her involvement with the Supermarine aircraft, forerunners to the mighty Spitfire of Battle of Britain fame.
    Thank you again Derrick, you area great teacher.You spike the interest and send us on the search for knowledge

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