I joined the Gosport Society towards the begining of this year, after looking at the list of talks they had planned all of which (Even the Pubs Of Gosport) sounded very interesting.
And, My Golly, this evening was no disappointment . One was the meeting itself, which has inspired me to see if I can go to their Christmas Lunch, the second was the talk. This evening it was “Embarking the D-Day Armada” by Stephen Fisher. Stephen is a military archaeologist, who has an interest in concrete. Doesn’t sound very exciting does it? His talk takes you through the lengths the allies went through yto ensure that when D-Day came, they would be able to embark the soldiers and equipment needed for the invasion, get them off the other side of the channel and even through the countryside over bridges destroyed by the German army.
It includes the “Hards” the concrete ramps that enabled the landing crafrt to be loaded, the supporting roads that would be needed to get the men & materials to the Hards, the repair facilities needed for battle damaged landing craft and the Mulberry Harbours, in particular there is a museum in Welcheren in the Netherlands that comprises 3 intact mulberry caisons, you enter through one, the centre is a museum of Mulberry, and is partially buried – in this context, they were used to bolster the dykes that were damaged during the 1953 storms & Floods (this saw the beginnings of RAYNET in the UK) . There remains a lot of evidence of the infrastructure that was put in place, especially here in Gosport. Southwick Park, and the Map Room for the D-Day landings is there, I’ve had the honour of going to see that.
At the start of the evening, the Chair did his introductions, and talked about, amongst other things, the Gosport Railway Society, which I had no idea existed. It looks like they do an interesting range of talks as well.
What a fascinating evening. Just goes to reinforce just stuffed with history is Gosport.
Here are some totally random pictures for you. Of of interest is the picture of the grey night sky, with the streak of light in it. I don’t understand it, it can’t be the moon, it’s the wrong colour, but the source was static, and it was behind the clouds. Unusual.