The 10:12 from Clapham Junction

Many times I’ve travelled on the 10:12 from Clapham Junction towards Southampton.

In the last year of my mum’s life, when I had become fed up with the drive, I would catch this train to visit her in her care home. I’ve also used it to carry on beyond Southampton to Brockenhurst and eventually Lymington, one of my very favourite places. From Lymington you can walk or catch the little ferry to Hurst Castle, you can walk around the coastal path, and you can catch the larger ferry to the Isle of Wight. I love ferries, large and small.

Over the past 12 months I’ve also caught the 10:12 in order to reach the starting points of the four sections of the Itchen Way walk – Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester (twice).

On most of these train trips, I’ve bought a coffee and KitKat from the on-board trolley service (I’m a creature of habit), and on most of these times I’ve been served by the same East-European lady with the lovely smile. And though I remember her, she probably doesn’t remember me.

On Tuesday I set off to start the last leg of the Itchen Way walk. I was standing on the Clapham Junction platform, waiting for the 10:12, when an express, non-stopping train shot past, but with its hooter blaring. The next thing I know is that station staff are active, moving waiting passengers away from the platforms. Someone had jumped under the express train. Chaos followed as trains were suspended in order to deal with the emergency. I abandoned any thoughts of doing my walk. Two days later I tried again, this time without incident.

I guess that forever, when standing waiting for the 10:12, I’ll spare a thought as the express train shoots through, for the person who had had enough.

The Bargate, Southampton

The Bargate is a Grade I listed medieval gatehouse in the city centre of Southampton, England. Constructed in Norman times as part of the Southampton town walls, it was the main gateway to the city. The building is a scheduled monument, which has served as a temporary exhibition and event space for Southampton Solent University since 2012. [Wikipedia]

The big wheel (circa 2017), which wrecks the view of the Bargate (circa 1180), will disappear at the end of October.

Hythe Ferry

The Hythe Ferry runs from Southampton, across Southampton Water, to the small village of Hythe. The future of the ferry, which was under threat, has recently been secured. Although Hythe village is not particularly interesting, it’s worth doing the return trip, not only because a boat trip is always interesting, but also because at Hythe the ferry docks at the end of a 640 metre pier dating from 1870, and where you can catch the most rickety of trains, dating from the 1920s, to take you to the village. All the images taken on my trip today can be clicked for larger pictures.

Hamble, again

I make no apologies for taking yet more pictures of the River Hamble and the pink ferries! It’s a lovely spot, with a small waterfront and a consistently reliable café. Hamble village is also charming, with several pubs.

The short ride on the ferry, across the river to Warsash, is well worth the modest fare.

The Itchen Way

walkOn a blog I follow there is a blog post (http://www.iwalkalone.co.uk/?p=38699) about walking along the Itchen Navigation, from Southampton to Winchester.

Intrigued, my Google search led me to these links about the Itchen Way, a walk from Southampton to Winchester and beyond:

http://www.britishwalks.org/walks/Named/ItchenWay.php
http://thomashallett.com/walking-itchen-way-river/

I also found a second-hand paperback from 1990, Exploring the Itchen Way by Richard Kenchington, which I’ve just ordered from Abe Book. Perhaps I’ll make the effort to walk the Itchen Way or the Itchen Navigation, in the spring….

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