Heritage: Southampton and the Basque children

by Martin Brisland. 85 years ago, in May 1937, around 4,000 Basque child refugees arrived in Southampton escaping the Spanish Civil War. Interest has grown in these events in recent years. Back in 2007 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the University of Southampton, in partnership with Hampshire Archives, a...

Book review: Secret New Forest

by Charlie Hislop. ‘And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul’ is the inscription at the front of Martin Brisland’s new book ‘Secret New Forest’. I go to the New Forest sometimes, cycle about, have a walk, stop for a beer, or show...

Heritage: what’s in a programme?

by Martin Brisland. Having reviewed a number of shows for In Common, I was at the Mayflower Theatre recently to review Matthew Bourne’s brilliant Nutcracker! production. Equal to the high standard of the ballet was a superb full size 24 page glossy programme. One of the premier theatres outside...

Southampton: a potted history, part 2

by Martin Brisland. Roman Southampton The Roman conquest of southern England started in 43CE under Emperor Claudius lasting until 84CE after the defeat of Boudica’s army. One early military crossing is thought to be from Boulogne to the Southampton or Chichester area.   The Antonine Itinerary VII,  (a register of...

Heritage: a potted history of Southampton, part one

by Martin Brisland. In this series of short articles I will look at the history of our area up to the present day starting with prehistoric times. There are various ways of understanding pre-history but the message is the same  – we humans haven’t been here very long. Prehistory is...

Electric bike tours launch in Southampton

Electric guided bike tours have been launched in Southampton, bringing an alternative outdoor activity to the city. The initiative has been launched by Made in:Here and See Southampton, in a first for Southampton. A group, of up to 16, will be provided with electric bikes, sanitised helmets, insurance, and map...

Heritage: Our wonderful Southampton Common

by Martin Brisland. Southampton is a green city. The City Council lists 56 parks and open spaces, eight greenways and 23 allotment sites. The Millbrook roundabout now has a living wall with green vegetation to help combat air pollution. In 2020 we were third in the UK for cities...

Southampton’s central parks

by Martin Brisland. The central parks are the jewel in Southampton’s crown. Southampton’s Grade II* listed Central Parks were established between 1854 and 1866 on former animal grazing land. The Victorians very strongly believed that fresh air and open spaces were good for your mind, body and soul.  The...