heavy lift


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The Chinook is a support helicopter they are used for trooping, resupply, and battlefield Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), and for carrying internal and/or underslung loads. They can carry up to 55 troops

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into the mist


Absolute quiet with thick mist on Southampton Water, the Isle of Wight ferries are cancelled and the views are only a few feet into the sea, the quiet only broken by fog horns and the Redshank calling.

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An Iron Age past.


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A bright Saturday morning walk in the countryside. Between Nether Wallop and Stockbridge Hampshire is Danebury Rings an Iron Age Hill Fort it is open to the public and in the care of the council. It was built around 550 BC and remained a regional centre until the 1st century when the Romans reached the area. By 50 AD the site appeared to have been abandoned. The fort covers some 31 acres; some 7 acres are within the ramparts.

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display at the Hill Fort

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lost at sea


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In Southampton opposite the main entrance of Southampton General Hospital is Hollybrook Cemetery just inside the main gate tucked away is the Hollybrook Memorial a WW1 memorial with the names of nearly 1900 service men and women who died in the war at sea and who have no known grave.

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They include Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War who was lost at sea on 5th June 1916 when the battle cruiser HMS Hampshire was mined off Scapa Flow.

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Also remembered are those lost by the sinking of Hospital ships Anglia,Glenart Castle and two ambulance transports Donegal and Warilda.

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A light on the Bill


The sky was blue but the wind was cold -Portland Bill Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1906 to guide vessels heading for Portland and Weymouth as well as acting as a waymark for ships navigating the English Channel.

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Height of Tower at Portland Lighthouse is 41 m and the intensity of light is 635,000-candle power giving it a maximum range to see the light of 25 nautical miles. The tower is now open to the public in the summer.

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What a difference a day makes.


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What a difference a day makes the rain has stopped and the sun has come out. The last time I visited Sandsford Castle in was unloved and overgrown. Investment has saved the site and works were undertaken in 2011.

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notice boarded at the fort

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The site today is Weymouth’s only scheduled monument and one of Henry VIII’s ‘Forts’. To be used in conjunction with Portland Castle, the whole of the Portland Harbour was able to be covered by the two fort’s guns, enabling protection of vital shipping routes and defend against possible attacks from the French and Spanish, a real threat at the time due to Henry VIII turning his back on Catholicism and forming the Protestant Church of England. The importance of the fort remained into the 17 century, being a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War that was eventually surrendered to the Parliamentary forces.

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Castle Gardens (modern)

After the Civil War, Sandsfoot Castle gradually fell into ruin, and some fell into the sea.

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view from castle to Portland

New Van shake down trip.


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goodbye to our old van

Having put best part of 63,000 miles on  our camper van since early 2012 and touring so much of the UK we decided to trade in and replace her with a new one. I hope the new owners continue to enjoy our old van and have as much fun and trips in her as we did.

Last week we collected camper van number 2 and have set off to Dorset to check all is working on board. So far so good. Already needs a wash.

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Spent today around Portland. Staying near the Fleet at Bagwell Farm  Chickerwell DT34EA 1st class private site for the next few nights (we will return here).

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our 1st van hope the new owners have as great fun with it as we did since 2012

 

 

 

 

Smew


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The male Smew is a small white diving duck with a black mask and a black back. The female is grey with a reddish-brown head and white cheek. It is a winter visitor to the South of the UK in small numbers from Russia and Scandinavia moving here from Holland and Denmark to escape freezing weather there.

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