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The Southampton Maritime Festival

Monday 25th August 2014

What a brilliant two days FoSOC had at the ‘Maritime Festival’, there were so many events taking place and so many wonderful pictures that it has taken me a little bit longer to write up this story than usual and apologise for it being a bit late. We had a very good position for our stand and Val had really pulled out all the stops on this one and our display looked absolutely superb and Brian Ticehurst’s model of ‘Titanic’ as always drew great attention. On Friday, Val, Billy and Bruce who had set everything up the day before were joined by Geoff Watts and Julia Wetherall and were kept busy all day meeting and greeting many visitors and on Saturday our ‘Mascot’ Barney joined us and he really pulled in the crowds! Julia Smith, Sandra Rose, Terence Pook and Steuart Thomson also attended which allowed some of us to take a break to explore some of the many other exhibits. Val and Julia had a go at ‘Tram’ driving while Billy, being more mechanically minded explored the ‘Dunkirk’ little ship - steam tug ‘Challenge’ and after having inspected the engine room to ensure we had a full head of steam then took charge of the helm which, I have to say was a bit of a worry! The Tall Ship ‘Tenacious’ (barque rigged) and one of the only tall ships in the World to enable able-bodied and physically disabled people to share the challenge of crewing a tall ship at sea was certainly a sight to see and the historic steamship ‘Shieldhall’ the largest of her working type in Europe took several passengers each day for a voyage around the port. The Southampton ‘Tram Project’ and the Dunkirk 'Little Ships’ restoration workshop was totally fascinating and attracted many visitors. There was also a pipe band who played a superb medley of tunes and between each one the nearby traction engine 'Volunteer' just couldn't resist joining in with a couple of cheeky 'peep's’ on its whistle! The attractions were endless and FoSOC were so pleased to have been a part of it. However, at one point Billy and Barney had to dive for cover under the nearest lifeboat when a Hurricane and Spitfire roared overhead and were last seen sailing off into the sunset stowed away aboard the ‘Tenacious’!