Did you recognise this location in Chandler’s Ford? Tim Deacon from Southampton sent us this unique photo to share with Chandler’s Ford readers.
The photo shows two R.A.F. Launches (built by The British Power Boat Company in Hythe) being transported by lorries through Chandler’s Ford over the road/rail bridge near the station in the 1950/60s.
Tim is a volunteer boat builder at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Tim also showed us a photo he took in August this year, in approximately the same place as the above photo was taken. The date of the old photo is unknown but it was probably taken in the 1950s.
Tim shared that:
The RAF launches were possibly en-route to either Calshot (as it is the nearest RAF Rescue Base here) or maybe were going to Southampton Docks for the boats to go overseas, as the hulls are painted ‘white’ and normally they were painted ‘black’ in this country. They probably would have gone as ‘deck cargo’ on a ship. I believe that the boats were built at the ‘British Powerboat Company’ in Hythe. T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) had a hand in the development of these types of boats in the late 1930s, when he was stationed at Calshot, as ‘Aircraftsman Shaw’ and worked on the ‘200’ Class Seaplane Tenders.
The photo caused quite a stir amongst the ‘military boat’ enthusiasts (I’m a volunteer boatbuilder at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard….we have three similar RAF boats there!) and I was amazed when it was stated that the photo was taken in Chandler’s Ford!”
Thank you Tim for sharing this with Chandler’s Ford Today readers.
For more information, visit The British Military Powerboat Trust