Why Woolston and The Channel Islands are Linked in History

 Woolston and The Channel Islands have been inextricably linked over the last few centuries!

Steamers to Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney left from docks just across the Itchen Ferry from Woolston for over a century and previously by sail. In fact before that, in the 18th century, Jersey was the fourth largest shipbuilder in the UK.

I’ve just found a wonderful new website which tells the history of Steamers to Alderney Click on the link to read more details.

With the advent of flight around the beginning of the 20th century, especially flying boats, it was not long before successful attempts were made to reach the islands by air.

The end of the First World War, of course, was a turning point. What to do with all those redundant aircraft and aircraft factories, let alone capable pilots at a loose end, those who remained intact anyway?  

Many of the factories could revert to making cars and various motor vehicles, which they had produced before the war, but what of the others? To many entrepreneurs, the Richard Branstons of their day, commercial flight was the most obvious solution and by autumn 1919 Supermarine were flying passengers from Woolston, Southampton to Bournemouth, The Channel Islands and to France. 

Following this Imperial Airways continued an international service using amphibians from Woolston between 1924 and 1929, whilst using Croydon for their land based aircraft.

Where does my interest stem?

With a Great Grandfather born on Guernsey and a Great Grandmother born on Alderney and parents brought up in Woolston, this history seeps into my soul and makes my heart sing!

 

With a Great Grandfather born on Guernsey and a Great Grandmother born on Alderney and parents brought up in Woolston, this history seeps into my soul and makes my heart sing!

It was not a coinicidence that the many early flights to The Channel Islands were made from the Woolston area and that

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Filed under Alderney, Channel Islands, Early Flight, Family History, Flying Boats and Sea Planes, Southampton, Supermarine, Woolston

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