Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Walking in the Wild West End Pt. 2 #TelegraphWoods #Conservation #Biodiversity #StopMoorhillDevelopment #CPRE #RichardStBarbeBaker #EnvironmentCentre

I was walking in the Telegraph Woods some weeks ago when I encountered a young man called Michael (early-mid twenties), exercising a German Shepherd puppy, my father having owned a long-lived German Shepherd, much beloved by the family, called "Jugo" (father also trained retrievers -at which he was occasionally successful-, in their traditional role as "gun-dogs" which he used on one of the shoots in Brecon -of which he was a senior and active member until illness forced him to curtail such activities-, #GWRHalesRIP), I struck up a conversation concerning the breed (incl. talking about the suffering inflicted as a result of inbreeding -as is common to many so called "pure-bred" canines-), eventually the conversation changed to one concerning the local environment and its ecology, during which my young interlocutor raised the hideous (to me), spectre of the possible development of the neighbouring "Moorhill" site (the possibility of which I was all too aware of).

Moorhill Hse. site on the left as one travels south on the A27 along the Eastleigh/Southampton boundary.

View between gate and fence (nb. tree-house on the right), to the back of the property shown in later pictures (through/over the fence),  as the southern boundary of the Telegraph Woods.

Southern entrance to the Moorhill Hse. site (nb. both entrances face west).

Michael claimed he had either seen or heard of plans to turn the Moorhill site into a car-park, I can't think of a worse, or less appropriate, fate for it, quote; "There is a footpath through Telegraph Woods which starts to the south of the radio transmitter mast and skirts the two reservoirs (OS Colour Raster, 2012). The trees in this part of the woods are a mixture of Douglas fir, Scots pine, sweet chestnut, sycamore, oak, beech, birch and several yew trees. Of note is a line of mature beech trees which could have marked the boundary of Moorhill House on the northern side and a fine wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) in what would have been the grounds of the house. Two mature holm oaks (Quercus ilex), which may have flanked the upper entrance, stand on Moorhill Road. Otherwise there is little evidence of the original house or gardens. In 2009 there was a very bad fire at the new Moorhill House causing considerable damage.



The original mid-19th century Moorhill House sited with fine views over surrounding countryside, was demolished in 1960 and a reservoir built on its site. The adjoining Fir Tree Cottage renamed Moorhill House badly damaged by fire in 2009. Site has many specimen trees remaining*." Go to: http://research.hgt.org.uk/item/moorhill-house/

*Italics/underline mine. Strictly speaking one should refer to the site as the "Fir Tree Cottage" site but as access is still through the original Moorhill site gateways (the northern of which still bears the "Moorhill" name). I will continue to refer to the area as the "Moorhill (Hse.), site".

The reservoir built on the original Moorhill Hse. site can be seen to the left of the gateway, the fence protecting which runs for the most part (except here where the gate faces east), along the southern boundary of the Telegraph Woods. To the east (behind the viewer), a somewhat dilapidated (and in some cases completely absent), wooden fence marks the boundary of the Telegraph Woods and the Moorhill site (see below).

Views through fence of parts of the eastern area of the Moorhill site... (follows), ..

The fence visible here marks the eastern boundary of the Moorhill site.

Serendipitously I met another young (in this case somewhat "proto-"), environmentalist called "T.J" today (17/08/2020), who was doing some digital photography as part of a Solent University course in design (studying colour palates), and I told him of the plans to develop the Moorhill site as we stood in more or less the same spot where many of the photographs published here were taken. Very interestingly he told me that it was his understanding that there had been some kind of familial dispute over the rights to the land and that consequently the property had been somewhat neglected for a number of years. I remarked to T.J that this ought to be grist-to-the-mill with regard to conserving the site as one of the best arguments for preventing it being inappropriately developed is to point out that the biodiversity of the area has been established and that reducing it now would be a crime against the local environment.

If one turns to face away from the boundary of the two sites, just in front of the damaged fence, and walks  along what would appear to be the avenue/driveway to the original Moorhill Manor (quote; "original 19th-century Moorhill House, a once fine manor that stood on a 4 acre estate with views in all directions. That was empty by the 1950s, and demolished in 1960 to make way for the two covered reservoirs that now lie here" go to: https://southamptonorbital.wordpress.com/tag/harefield/ 
), between the two rows of trees, which are really two woodland boundaries, and paces out as straight a path as the shrubs and bushes will allow one will discover that the gap between the proposed development and the "Boundary Lakes Golf Course" to the north is only (approx.), 100-120m at this point, the width of this avenue being at most only (approx.), 25m.

The following are views facing (approx.), north...

It was in this area (to the far left of this picture), that I surprised three European Green Woodpeckers which were sitting on the footpath one late-morning, they took to the wing and flew into the woodland opposite them (to the far right of this picture).

This is the Boundary Lakes Golf Course boundary.

If one includes the area of meadow recently sacrificed for parking on the other side of the B3035 from the Ageas Bowl and the controversial Hatch Farm development (go to: https://www.arafel.co.uk/2018/02/hatchfarm-heathland-west-end-village.html, https://www.arafel.co.uk/2018/02/greenfield-site-development-in-britain.html, https://www.arafel.co.uk/2019/12/journey-man-walkinginthewildwestend.html
),  the developers have taken a huge bite out of greenfield locations in the area already (and the coffers of Eastleigh Borough Council have been swollen). Isn't it time they gave something back? I propose that the Moorfield site should be developed (and that only in part, on the western half of the land -nearest the existing entrances-), by the construction of an environment centre, that this be done sensitively using sustainable materials and include sustainable heat and power systems (mainly solar but a small windmill could also be considered), this especially so given the exposed position which is ideal for the maximum efficiency of such. The area where nature has now established a toe-hold should be left as undisturbed as possible.

Views south up-the-hill facing the boundary with the Moorhill site...

This shot of the two paths being taken facing directly away from (and within 15m or so of), the boundary fence with the golf-course.

This whole area is also a great place to see dragonflies, butterflies and many other kinds of flying insect. There is in fact a "mere" in the Telegraph Woods where I saw a truly spectacular display of mature dragonflies only yesterday (17/08/2020), I have some pictures of the nymphaea water lilies waiting to be developed but I don't own a high speed camera so I'm sorry but I have no photographs of the dragonflies to show you, I have, however, never seen such a spectacular display or so many of the various dragonfly species in one small area! I very much fear that such wondrous biodiversity as exemplified by my siting of the three woodpeckers and the "cluster" (some say a "dazzle" which if true is great), of dragonflies would be terribly damaged (some of it beyond repair), if inappropriate development of the Moorhill site were allowed to proceed.

The blog post of August 2017 I quoted earlier is worthy of closer examination re: the entire area (esp. see the pictures of the remains of Fir Tree Cottage et.al), quote: "The blue van is still in the layby at Telegraph Woods on the north side of the A27 at West End, where the third leg of the walk started with a bit of a run for the dog. A little bit of exploring – at least around the top end of the wood, closest to the road. Not quite in as far as the Iron Age ‘fort’ that is here somewhere, but leastways round the corner to the ‘Armada beacon’

The beacon (a circular pit) is one of only a handful that survive nationally dating from at least 1595, situated on flat land at the highest point of a ‘gravel plateau’ known as Moorhill or Telegraph Hill, overlooking lower lying land to the west, north and east. The woods are known as ‘telegraph’ woods after the Napoleanic ‘Shutter telegraph’* that once stood here – part of a line of similar between London and Plymouth but nothing remains of that now, except the high ground.

Nothing much remains of ‘Moorhill’ either – the large house that once stood at the highest point on the road enjoying spectacular views to the north.
You can’t really see much of that either, thanks to the new development at the Rose Bowl (sorry, I really hate sponsorship names that I am not paid to say). Instead, this is the view over the new golf course, looking north over the cricket ground towards the South Downs in the very distance. Ah, the delights of corporate inhospitality. Good luck seeing over the fencing…*
*" Go to: https://southamptonorbital.wordpress.com/tag/harefield/

*Quote; "Shutter telegraph machines were vertical wooden frames with 6 shutters within them, designed by the Reverend Lord George Murray. To make a signal, the shutters were opened and closed in order to spell out different letters. This was a new means of fast communication in the 1790s and meant that the Royal Navy could now send any message between important ports and the capital.
The Portsmouth Shutter Telegraph line was built 222 years ago in March 1796. It established a line of communication between the Admiralty building in London and Portsmouth. The message was passed through several telegraph stations including Putney, Chessington, Haslemere, Bedhampton, and ended next to the King’s Bastion, Portsmouth. Workers at the stations would watch through telescopes and take down the message, then pass it on by pulling ropes attached to the back of the shutters to spell it out. This line could send important messages from the Royal Naval base in Portsmouth to London in 7.5 minutes, far quicker than any other method of communication at the time. The next fastest method was to carry a message by horse, which would take at least 4.5 hours. One telegraph station’s journal even notes that a message was sent from London to Portsmouth in one minute.
The signal system was, however, very dependent on the weather. Poor visibility could slow down messages considerably. The stations could also only operate in the daylight." Go to: https://www.nmrn.org.uk/news-events/nmrn-blog/murray-shutters

**Italics mine.

Should the inappropriate development of the Moorhill site go ahead the Telegraph Woods will (at this point), have been squeezed to a size hardly more than the shortest of Olympic sprint distances and one will be able see parked cars at one end and the golf-course at the other, both our social and environmental heritage deserve better.
 It may well be appropriate to approach Queens College Oxford with regard to these matters, quote;
"The site of Telegraph Woods is leased from Queen’s College, Oxford, but maintained by Eastleigh Borough Council. Within its 19 hectares can be seen remains of an Iron Age hill-fort, as well as remains of an Armada beacon." Go to: https://so18biglocal.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/HF01_Harefield-to-Telegraph_Woods.pdf

It ought to clear, to any reasonable reader, by now that the Telegraph Woods form part of a local environment that is steeped in history, only a mile or two to the north there are/were a number of Bronze Age barrows (at least one of which still remains fully intact situated within a modern housing estate), ..

quote; "A series of round barrows, dating from the Bronze Age (2000-600 BC), have been discovered in the Moorgreen area of the parish. There were five of these to the north of the former Moorgreen Hospital site.[2] A hilltop fort from the Iron Age was built on the ridge above the village around 600-100BC.[3] A shutter telegraph station operated from the site during the Napoleonic Wars, forming part of the line connecting London to Plymouth.[3] It was this station that gave the name to the nearby Telegraph Woods.[4]
The village was originally a hamlet which grew up around a track between Romsey and Portsmouth.[3] The hamlet had a chapel by 1552 primarily for the use of the lords of the manor of Allington.[3] When the track became a turnpike road in the early 19th century, the hamlet began to grow.[3]"
Environment Centre

The Telegraph Woods and Moorhill site sit directly opposite the housing estate of Harefield (an area originally part of the West End Parish, quote;
"Harefield House was a country house of Elizabethan style built in 1834 for Sir Edward Butler, chairman of the Southampton and Salisbury Railway Company, in what are now the grounds of Harefield Infant and Junior Schools on Yeovil Chase. Edwin Jones, the Southampton draper whose store ultimately became part of Debenhams bought the house in 1887. Harefield House is often mistakenly reported as burning down in 1915, this misconception is printed in the book Memories of Bitterne by Irene Pilson and seems to have stuck. The house actually burnt down on May 6, 1917 as seen in the article GREAT FIRE IN WESTEND.[2] The Jones family sold the estate in 1917 and there was some building in the 1920s but it was not developed in earnest until after the Second World War.
The area was part of the civil parish of West End when it was established in 1894, but was transferred into Southampton in 1954.[3]
), and close to Woodlands Junior School; the Parish of West End itself has also received a huge boost in inhabitants during the last few years as a result of both the Moorgreen and Hatch Farm developments, with around 150 new homes being built, it would therefore be churlish of anyone to suggest that an establishment that aimed to educate both adults and children concerning the ecology of both their local and global environment would not be properly utilised.
 I have twice been a volunteer at the Millbrook School/City Farm (once before and once after the amalgamation into the "Down to Earth Environment Centre"), which is on the other side of Southampton City (to the west), from the Telegraph Woods/Moorhill site and have found the following to be true, quote; 

"Furthermore we have found that the farm often brings out a side to young people rarely seen in the class room, offering opportunities for team work, leadership, problem solving, social development and self awareness." (http://www.downtoearthfarm.org/educational-days.html
). Down to Earth has been an extremely successful (and prize winning), venture combining organic agricultural practices and sustainable energy systems with a grounded community friendly ethos.
  It would be a breath of fresh air if West End Village could begin again to honour the memory of (probably), its most famous son Richard St Barbe Baker, quote; "The memorial to Richard St.Barbe Baker marks the completion of a programme of environmental improvements that has been undertaken in West End's High Street. Totalling £180,000 the project has been funded by the Borough Council with the support of the Hedge End, West End and Botley Local Area Committee*. The improvements have been undertaken in partnership with Vail Williams and include upgraded pavements, safety railings, better lighting plus the removal of graffiti and damaged planters. The scheme has also seen the introduction of a local CCTV system managed by S & P Southampton Ltd.

The bronze bas-relief of Richard St.Barbe Baker was made by sculptor Jill Tweed. The bronze was cast by Burleighfield Arts Ltd, High Wycombe and the Portland Stone column and granite top were supplied by Vokes and Becks of Winchester. This is Jill Tweed's third work in the Borough. Her first, completed in 1995, was "The Railwayman" statue - a prominent sculpture in Eastleigh's Leigh Road shopping precinct. Her second, completed in 2001, was the bronze "Angel of Mons" on the town's War Memorial.

            Richard St.Barbe Baker,OBE was born on the 9th October 1889 in West End. He was a forestry adviser and silviculturist and Founder of the Men of the Trees in 1922. This organisation is now known as the International Tree Foundation.

            He became Assistant Conservator of Forests in Kenya and Nigeria in the 1920's and was concerned for the rapidly decreasing fertility of the land. He believed it was necessary to plant more trees to combat the shifting methods of agriculture and he initiated the idea of voluntary tree planting by native tribesmen. He founded the society, The Men of the Trees, in Kenya in 1922.

            For the remainder of his life Barbe Baker travelled extensively around the world, lecturing and writing to convey his message about the importance of trees. Through his determination and energy he influenced the protection of the giant redwoods in California, the replanting of large areas in northern Africa and stimulated a new world-wide direction for forest conservation.

            In 1978 Richard St.Barbe Baker received an OBE for his work. He planted his last tree in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on 5th June 1982 in a ceremony celebrating World Environment Day, and died four days later in his ninety-third year." (https://www.westendlhs.co.uk/home/richard-st-barbe-baker/ also see: https://internationaltreefoundation.org/history/ and http://themanofthetrees.com/treeoflife/)

  *Italics mine.

At present the only building that bears St Barbe's name is this one..

St Barbe Baker hall.

..I kid you not!

I therefore call on all who opposed the Hatch Farm Development, were/are concerned about the Moorgreen Development and/or worry about the ever land-hungry Ageas Bowl/Boundary Lakes Golf Course* to lobby their councillors and M.P and liaise with local conservation groups such as the Hampshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (https://www.cprehampshire.org.uk/), and/or Friends of the Earth to protect the marvellous natural asset that is the Telegraph Woods/Moorhill site and to promote its development as both an educational and recreational resource.

*As an addenda concerning the somewhat thoughtless and selfish attitude displayed by those behind the Boundary Lakes Golf-Course I feel that I must relate two incidents which occurred to me whilst walking in the Telegraph Woods recently. On the first occasion (some weeks ago), I was walking (north), along the path next to the boundary fence between the woods and the golf-course (in fact I have just turned to walk away from the fence and further into the woods), when I heard a "thwaaakk" from the foliage some 5 metres or so to my right, I then realised with a shock that a driven golf ball had only been prevented from (hopefully), just missing me by the summer tresses of the woodland! Naturally I was incensed. On further examination of the proximity of the fairway to the path it became clear to me that in no-way had the welfare of the users of the woodland been taken into proper consideration during either the planning stage or construction of the course; this fact was underlined to me when walking the same path (having made sure that the golfers using the nearest hole had tee-ed off before I began walking the same stretch), as research for this post weeks later, when I came across a young father and his child in roughly the same place that I had nearly been hit  (in fact somewhat further in to the woodland -I wasn't going to hang around in the "free-fire-zone"-), for just as I came across them the child handed their father a bright orange golf-ball they had just found on the ground! What contempt this shows for the welfare of those who don't share one's obsessions or partake of a similar lifestyle! This is not good enough Eastleigh Borough Council, you should be ashamed of yourselves!


Sunday, 26 July 2020

The Two Treason's Assassinations #IranContra #MullofKintyre #ShortsofBelfast #ShootToKill #TheDarkAlliance

Following up on a story we've looked at before on Arafel, the Mull of Kintyre Incident (was it an accident or assassination?),  I next read an article in "Village" ("Ireland's political and cultural magazine"), that expanded my horizons with regard to the possible motivation for the murder (if murder it was), of the 25 counter-insurgency operatives and four helicopter crew in the Chinook on  that June evening. I had initially surmised that it was U.S involvement linked to Republican Party support for the loyalist cause, effective especially through the orange lodges and loyalist paramilitary organisations, (quote; "The IRA may turn away and mumble into their hands whenever the subject of the deaths at The Mull of  Kintyre are mentioned but that merely exemplifies the maxim that "all terrorism is treason" -"yesterday's terrorist" may indeed be "tomorrow's freedom fighter" but not without an evolution in the consciousness of both State and Self-. Is it such a strange irony that the republican movement in Ireland should be supported by U.S Democrats and the Loyalists by the Republican Party?" https://www.arafel.co.uk/2016/12/a-place-to-talk.html ),  about to be further revealed, than John Stalker already had in his book "Shoot to Kill" ( https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/john-stalker-obituary-british-police-officer-who-led-shoot-to-kill-inquiry-1.3802110 ), by the U.K operatives on the fatal flight, that led to their deaths on the Mull, I was not, however, prepared for the revelations made in Deirdre Younge's article in "Village" which if correct compound the (possible/probable?),  treason with another, the Iran/Contra Affair.

Quote; "A telex * from the Irish Embassy in Paris quotes Sorj Chalandon, a journalist with the newspaper Liberation,​ as saying Little was the “demarcheur” or lobbyist for Ulster Resistance, on the Continent since 1987 and that his article also mentioned the finding of a Blowpipe missile in Markethill, in Armagh in November 1988. The Embassy telex went on “ he (Chalandon) also raises the possibility that the entire operation could have been set up as a provocation by extremists in the South African Directorate of Military Intelligence Service. He says that it was absurd for the transaction to take place in the heart of Paris and that the affair could cause damage not just in France but also in Britain since Mrs Thatcher’s Government has been attributed an essential role in the recent renewal of direct contact between Moscow and Pretoria”. (* Telex from the Irish Embassy Paris to the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs 24/04/’89)."..

"Sources maintain to Village that the UR share of the weapons was supposed to go to one of the UR leaders, in Markethill, about four miles north of Glennane, but suspicion fell on one of the leaders, believed to be working for M15 so the UR men insisted their share be diverted from his chosen location, a property near Markethill. The owner was a dedicated Paisleyite.

‘Despite an arms embargo the UK Government covertly supported Ollie North’s efforts to arm Nicaraguan Contras’.

The weapons, say the sources, had initially been collected by a man connected to the Portadown UVF, driven in an articulated lorry to North Armagh and stored in a container in the barn between Tandragee and Armagh. The weapons’ distribution remained under UVF supervision. The UR share was, eventually, loaded onto a Territorial Army ambulance and ultimately ended up in Armagh TA barracks. Where it is today, remains a closely guarded secret."

"Peter Kornbluh in ‘The Pinochet Files’ has some fascinating details of North’s relationship with Shorts:

Their elaborate scheme (North and fellow conspirators) called for Short Brothers, the Belfast-based manufacturer of the Blowpipe missile, to facilitate the transfer of the weapons from Chile to the Contra forces through El Salvador, using falsified end-user certificates.*"..

 "North reported:

The VP from Short Bros sought me out several months ago and I met with him again…Short Bros, the manufacturer of the Blowpipe is willing to arrange a deal, conduct the training and even send UK “tech reps” fwd if we can close the arrangement. Dick Secord has already paid 10% down on the delivery and we have a (country deleted) EUC (end user) which is applicable to Chile." https://villagemagazine.ie/a-recent-bbc-spotlight-programme-reinforced-the-inconvenient-truth-that-there-was-widespread-collusion-across-the-loyalist-spectrum-from-the-dup-to-the-uvf-to-mi5/

Reagan was having trouble both in the Senate and in the House by the time of the mid-term elections of 1982 (it seems Reaganomics and his aggressive foreign policies weren't universally popular so his administration began to resort to tactics reminiscent of that of Nixon's), 

quote: "President Ronald Reagan, who won the White House in 1980, wasn’t able to maintain the political momentum for his Republican colleagues, and the GOP was swept from the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives in the 1982 mid-term elections.

The results would complicate the president’s agenda. During his campaign for the White House, Reagan had promised to assist anti-Communist insurgencies around the globe, but the so-called “Reagan Doctrine” faced a political hurdle following those mid-term elections."..

"Meanwhile, in the Middle East, where U.S. relations with many nations were strained to the breaking point, two regional powers—Iraq and Iran—were engaged in a bloody conflict.**

At the same time, Iranian-backed terrorists in Hezbollah were holding hostage seven Americans (diplomats and private contractors) in Lebanon. Reagan delivered another ultimatum to his advisors: Find a way to bring those hostages home.

In 1985, McFarlane sought to do just that. He told Reagan that Iran had approached the United States about purchasing weapons for its war against neighboring Iraq.

There was, however, a U.S. trade embargo with Iran at the time, dating back to that country’s revolution and subsequent overthrow of Shah Pahlavi of Iran, during which 52 American hostages were held for 444 days in a diplomatic standoff known as the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Although several members of Reagan’s administration opposed it—including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger—McFarlane argued that an arms deal with Iran would not only secure the release of the hostages, but help the United States improve relations with Lebanon, providing the country with an ally in a region where it desperately needed one.

And, as an aside, the arms deal would secure funds that the CIA could secretly funnel to the Contra insurgency in Nicaragua. With the backing of McFarlane and CIA Director William Casey, Reagan pushed ahead with the trade, over the objections of Weinberger and Schultz.
Oliver North

Lebanese newspaper Al-Shiraa first reported the arms deal between the United States and Iran in 1986, well into Reagan’s second term.

By that time, 1,500 American missiles had been sold to Iran, for $30 million. Three of the seven hostages in Lebanon were also released, although the Iran-backed terrorist group there later took three more Americans hostage.

Reagan initially denied that he had negotiated with Iran or the terrorists, only to retract the statement a week later.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Edwin Meese launched an investigation into the weapons deal, and found that some $18 million of the $30 million Iran had paid for the weapons was unaccounted for.

It was then that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, of the National Security Council, came forward to acknowledge that he had diverted the missing funds to the Contras in Nicaragua, who used them to acquire weapons.

North said he had done so with the full knowledge of National Security Advisor Admiral John Poindexter. He assumed Reagan was also aware of his efforts." https://www.history.com/topics/1980s/iran-contra-affair

*An article by the Consortium News goes into detail as to how the purchase of the blowpipe missiles fitted in to the general strategy of support for the Contras, quote; "When North arrived, Channell told him that O'Boyle was willing to contribute funds for the purchase of weapons. North immediately began to describe from a notebook the Contras' needs, including several million rounds of "NATO" ammunition, Eastern bloc ammunition, Blowpipe and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and Maule aircraft. North explained that Blowpipe missiles cost $20,000 each, but that they had to be purchased in packs of ten".. as-well as intimating that the Channell Organisation of which North was an integral part; "North told Channell that henceforth "continued" contributions to NEPL for the Contras should be passed to IBC for proper dispersal. From shortly after this meeting through the fall of 1986, NEPL made all Contra assistance payments to IBC or to I.C., Inc. [R. Miller Dep., 6/23/87, at 28-30]. Miller heard, in the diplomatic community, about a possible public relations effort for another resistance movement -­Afghanistan. Sometime in 1985, probably/ early June, he went to see North in his office about obtaining work for IBC in this area." may also have been involved in funding/supporting terrorist organisations in Afghanistan***.... https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/lostchapter.pdf

  **Nb. It should be remembered that Iran and Iraq were at war with each other at the time and that the "fog" of that war could hide dealings and manoeuvrings which might be far more "visible" (and -hence-, less "acceptable"), today.

***Also see "Dark Alliance", quote; "Mr. Webb is the author of Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. He discussed his book, headline news and responded to audience telephone calls, faxes, and electronic mail." That's on this video from C-Span's Washington Journal... https://www.c-span.org/video/?109876-1/dark-alliance  Gary Webb later shot himself...twice..quote: "Gary Webb was American investigative journalist, Pulitzer prize winner. He examined origins of the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles and claimed that members of the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua had played a major role in creating the trade, using cocaine profits to support their struggle. He also suggested that the Contras may have acted with the knowledge and protection of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Webb was found dead in his home on December 10, 2004, with two gunshot wounds to the head. His death was ruled a suicide by the Sacramento County coroner's office" https://archive.org/details/GaryWebbDarkAlliance1999.

For more detail on the Mull of Kintyre Incident please see my previous post,  "The Mull of Kintyre Incident; Accident or Assassination? What is extant #MullofKintyre" quote; "Was it the British establishment or that of the United States that stood to gain the most ?" https://www.arafel.co.uk/2017/01/the-mull-of-kintyre-incident-accident.html Nb. links to http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk/the_mystery_of_flight_zulu_delta.htm .

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Journey-Man #WalkingintheWildWestEnd #HatchFarmDevelopment #Holbury #NewForest #StMarys #SouthamptonSpa #Archaeology #MentalHealth

West End 

Hatch Farm Development

The pictures below document the extent and type of the Hatch Farm Development, the planning permission for and controversy surrounding which having been examined in the following previous posts; "#HatchFarm #Heathland: West End Village, Eastleigh Borough Council, #GreenfieldSites #NatureReserves": https://www.arafel.co.uk/2018/02/hatchfarm-heathland-west-end-village.html & "Greenfield Site Development in Britain: #GovtPolicy #MilitaryInvolvement #TheCampaignfortheProtectionofRuralEngland" : https://www.arafel.co.uk/2018/02/greenfield-site-development-in-britain.html
 The housing development has turned the beautiful, picturesque village of West End in to just another dormitory. It defeats me how those already living in the other smaller but more prestigious new estates thought they were benefiting by allowing Hatch Farm's to go ahead, there is now nowhere for their lucky kids to go trail biking, kite, radio-controlled/glider aircraft or drone flying and nowhere for the green-wellies to walk their hounds either neither is there now any prospect for the previously pristine heathland to become an educational resource as a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The thing is if one is (deliberately), never taught to value the works of nature one only (as Joni Mitchell sang), misses them once they are gone.
 The crime has been compounded by the total disrespect shown to the legacy of West End Village born (international), arboriculturist and conservationist Richard St.Barbe Baker's (also see; "Barrows, Hatch End (West End) and an SSSI (for St. Barbe Baker)": https://www.arafel.co.uk/2019/11/barrows-hatch-end-west-end-and-north.htmln
 Interestingly if one examines the nature of the housing that characterises the development one is left with the feeling that the lives of the members of the "community" that now inhabits it may not (to paraphr. Professor J.Clarkson); "have worked out quite as well as they had planned", this would seem to be a function of the economic philosophy that drove the project; the younger apparatchiks must be rewarded and encouraged but care must be taken not to let too much "trickle down" that would affect the profit margins!

West End

The picture above is of the now refurbished and reappointed Moorgreen Community Hospital (a former workhouse), in West End Village, go to: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/SouthStoneham/
Converted to residential use "without benefit of clergy" (as the saying goes and whilst eschewing any sectarian notions), and a shiny new sculpture "sealed" its fate!

Quote; "Health services, which include services for the elderly and adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs, would move under one new building on pasture land in the east called the Donkey Field.
The Countess Mountbatten Hospice, which gives palliative care, and listed buildings like the former workhouse would remain."..."Eastleigh Southern Parishes Health Action Group has said it was “extremely alarmed”* by the proposals, particularly the lack of car parking and the use of more NHS-purpose land than expected." Go to: https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/12880761.eastleigh-borough-council-are-proposing-to-re-home-health-services-at-moorgreen-hospital-and-replace-them-with-hundreds-of-homes/

*Italics mine. I don't blame them either!

Quote; "Moorgreen Hospital History
Originally the South Stoneham Union Workhouse, the hospital was built in 1848 but the name was later changed to West End Institution. Spread over 20 acres" Read more: https://www.higgypop.com/urbex/moorgreen-hospital/?fb_comment. Read more at _id=1364431620344334_1853593604761464


There is considerable precedent for this type of "displacement activity" in  and around Southampton, even the city's status as a spa town has been forgotten, quote; " Southampton became a spa town in 1740,[39] thanks to the discovery of a spring of chalybeate water.[39] The area was laid out as Spa gardens[39] and earned royal patronage.[39] That further encouraged fashionable society to Southampton[39] and aided its prosperity and development." Go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Southampton .
 Both the Victoria Park Military Hospital (the largest military hospital in the world -ever-, built in 1863 and used during the Boer War, WW1 and WW2), and Tatchbury House (used for a hospital and recuperation centre for merchant mariners wounded during the Second World War), have been demolished, the former after a fire in the sixties, the latter during recent decades. Southampton and the surrounding area have been and are currently a major centre in the south for the treatment of mental health conditions. 

Tatchbury House next to Tatchbury Mount
Victoria Park Military Hospital

"Tatchbury was a settlement in Domesday Book, in the hundred of Redbridge and the county of Hampshire" Go to: https://opendomesday.org/place/SU3214/tatchbury/
"Tatchbury Mount House which was an early 19th century country house. Three villas and a temporary hospital were built in 1939" Go to: https://www.freshford.com/Richard%20%20mattingly.htm

What has been discovered recently is that both (the area around), Totton (incl. Tatchbury Mount), and the Solent are both of major importance and have histories that date back to the Mesolithic era (documents I have read date the building of Tatchbury Mount to the Iron Age but I believe that it is very possible that insufficient research/excavation has been done on the site and that future explorations may well find that the mount dates back to at least the Bronze Age -excavations and finds in the area would also seem to bear this out-, quote; "

England's oldest bridge


In 1998 another bridge was found nearby in Testwood Lake, which was the earliest complete bridge in England.

In 1998, two years after the excavation at Meadow Lake, more timbers were found, this time during work on a lagoon. The lagoon was a temporary structure excavated and then filled with water before its removal a year later as part of the construction of Testwood Lake.
Buried deep in the gravels of the lagoon, two parallel rows of timbers were found, similar to those found at Meadow Lake. There were two rows of upright stakes, set about 1.5 metres (almost five feet) apart, running for about 22 metres (72 feet).
The timbers crossed an old river course, showing that they were from a bridge. The bridge was about 26 metres (85 feet) long and between 1.5 metres and 2 metres wide (5 feet to 6.5 feet). It would have stood for about 100 years.
A radiocarbon test on the timbers dated them to around 1,500BC, the oldest definitely established bridge in England. (Slightly older timbers found jutting into the Thames at Vauxhall might have been a jetty).
There were 143 timbers driven into the river bed, the largest being a quarter of a metre in diameter (10 inches) and three metres tall (ten feet). None of the stakes were complete – the tops had been exposed and had weathered away. Also found were parts of 15 planks which formed the top of the bridge.
The wood used was mainly oak, with some alder and ash, and a little hazel and willow. People had used bronze tools to fashion the wood, using sophisticated carpentry techniques to create pegs, notches, bevels and mortice holes.

The Boat
Part of a boat dating again to the Middle Bronze Age, (c1,500BC) was found at Meadow Lake. The part found was a curved piece of wood called a cleat, which was used to help fasten crossbeams to the hull of the boat." Go to: https://www.wessexarch.co.uk/our-work/testwood-lakes

Quote; "Marine archaeologists have published stunning images of what they think is an 8000-year-old shipyard located just off the coast of England. They have just found a large number of timber boards that may have once been a platform on the seafloor. Researchers believe that the submerged structure may provide new insights into Stone Age technology and society.
The find was made by divers from the Maritime Archaeology Trust. They made the discovery at the “submerged Mesolithic landscape at Bouldnor Cliff, [which] lies on the edge of the drowned palaeo-valley and is now 11m underwater” according to the  Maritime Archaeology Trust . This location is now located half a mile (1km) east of Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight." Go to: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/oldest-shipyard-0012465

Quote; "The discoveries, after analysing a mile-long stretch of seabed, are of "international importance" the trust says, because it sheds new light on how people lived in the Mesolithic period.
"One area they were doing boat building, nearby they were on riverbanks and sand bars collecting reeds or doing a bit of fishing or elsewhere they would be hunting game," said director Garry Momber.
"Effectively you have all these activities happening which have strong parallels with the modern high street, but they've all just been a bit consolidated."
"We have found a pit with burnt flints, and evidence they were working wood, using technology that was 2,000 years ahead of its time."
Work to get the seabed to give up its secrets though, has required the removal of sediment that has protected the settlement for thousands of years - and this removal has given the tides the opportunity to erode that evidence away." Go to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-17046338

Quote; "Remarkable new archaeological discoveries are likely to completely rewrite a key part of British prehistory.
Scientific tests suggest that a major aspect of the Neolithic agricultural revolution may have reached Britain 2000 years earlier than previously thought.
The research - carried out by scientists at the universities of Bradford, Birmingham and Warwick - reveal that wheat, probably already ground into flour, was being used at a Mesolithic Stone Age site in around 6000 BC.
The discovery - just published in the academic journal, Science - is likely to be viewed with some degree of consternation by many archaeologists  because it completely  changes accepted views of what happened in Britain (and indeed most of western Europe) in pre-Neolithic times.

The species of domesticated wheat - an early form, known as einkorn - was identified by scientists from the University of Warwick, using DNA analysis. Although no einkorn seeds as such were found,  a small discrete area  of intense einkorn DNA was detected when geneticists tested samples of sediment, recovered by archaeologists from an underwater Mesolithic site in the Solent, just off the coast of the Isle of Wight." Go to: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/history/the-remarkable-archaeological-underwater-discovery-that-could-open-up-a-new-chapter-in-the-study-of-10073458.html

Quote; "Below the bridges at Meadow Lake archaeologists found a bronze rapier buried in mud. The rapier is 32 cm long (13 inches) long. No trace of its handle, which would have been made of wood, horn or bone, was identified.

This may have been because the rapier was accidentally dropped into the water, but it is more likely it was thrown into the water as part of a religious ritual. We know that people in the Bronze Age showed their veneration for water by putting important objects, often weapons, into it." Also see: https://www.wessexarch.co.uk/our-work/testwood-lakes ), and as I know from my own explorations of the ancient sites in the New Forest there are plenty of examples of Mesolithic and early Neolithic ritual and communal activity in the area.

Quote; "Police launched a manhunt for ‘mad scientist’ Daniel Rosenthal, 58, who was jailed for life after dismembering his mother’s body with a hacksaw in 1981.
He was accused of hacking his father to death in France and dumped his body near Paris before returning to the family home in Hampshire to kill his mother.
There was a full-scale alert after police revealed Rosenthal, who is a paranoid schizophrenic, fled from his hospital on the fringe of Hampshire’s New Forest.
He had been allowed to go for an ‘unsupervised walk’ around hospital grounds.
Police warned the public not to approach the ‘dangerous’ patient and to contact police immediately by dialling 999 if he was spotted. After 20 hours 30 minutes on the loose, Rosenthal was finally found around seven miles away in Southampton, Hants, at 11am today.
Rosenthal, who wears glasses and walks with a hunch, is a patient at Tatchbury Mount Hospital in Totton, Hants." Go to: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/daniel-rosenthal-how-one-britains-2153069

The large brick-built structure is the old Waterside Sports and Social Club (WSSC), building, quote; "Fears have been raised that a community building which has lain empty for nearly three years could be lost to redevelopment.
The former home of the now defunct Waterside Sports and Social Club in Holbury was raised at a meeting of New Forest District Council when assurances were sought over its future.
The site includes a theatre and social club, plus football, cricket, tennis and bowls facilities. It is owned by ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso, which runs Fawley oil refinery on the other side of the A326 Long Lane.
Although the sports pitches are still used, the building itself (pictured) was closed after the club went bust in late 2016. Holbury Community Sports Association was formed to help keep activity alive in the area, under licence from Esso." Go to: https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/waterside-club-building

My friend's father was a member of the WSSC whilst he was working for ESSO as a hazardous (mostly aviation), fuels tanker-driver, shortly after retiring he contracted cancer and died, consequently he never got to enjoy his pension (drivers of hazardous materials/fuels are supposedly adequately financially rewarded for the risks they take but one wonders how managed they really are), now his son lives directly under Fawley's stacks (not to mention those of the nearby Marchwood municipal waste incinerator -also see; "The False Philosophy that Underpins the Oil Industry" #Incineration, go to: https://twitter.com/i/events/937997845344473088 ).

New Forest

All the (large), pictures were taken with Olympus automatic film cameras (the most recent being purchased for 50p at a charity shop in West End Village). the smaller pictures (below), were all taken using a tiny digital camera (unfortunately now lost), I got as a free-gift with something else. I will perhaps purchase a better digital camera this year, however, at the moment I like the simplicity of using the Olympus preferring to only slowly orientate myself in the direction of mastering more "push-button" technology and its programming.