The Yacht Tavern ~ Woolston, Southampton

UPDATE UPDATE! I WILL BE POPPING INTO THE YACHT TAVERN WOOLSTON

AT 2.15PM

ON SATURDAY 16TH MARCH 2013

to have chat to Woolston folk as promised! (before the match)

UPDATE: APOLOGIES THAT, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND MY CONTROL, MY BOOK SIGNING THIS SUNDAY AT THE YACHT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO TAKE PLACE IN MARCH NEXT YEAR. IF ANY WOOLSTON PEOPLE WOULD LIKE SIGNED COPIES OF ANCASTA FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS THEN THEY WILL BE FOR SALE IN ‘THE FUN SHACK’ ON VICTORIA STREET AND ‘CRAFT DEVIL’ ON THE PORTSMOUTH ROAD, WOOLSTON, IN A FEW DAYS TIME.

On Sunday 2nd December 2012 I am happy to be returning to The Yacht Tavern Woolston, where the friendly landlady Jacqui was so interested in my novel that she suggested I return to do a book signing at the pub! An unusual venue but it should be fun meeting and talking to local people. It is a tavern where you would more often be there to see a football match, cheering on the Saints as they play at home just over the River Itchen, or away.

Having said that, Jacqui has built up quite a library of books to enable the single visitor to feel content to enjoy a drink and perhaps a home cooked meal whilst reading. These books include those of local interest as well as a varied selection of novels. An excellent idea, I thought, on my first visit there a month ago. Some of the pictures on the walls have a local flavour too. Well worth a look!

The Yacht Tavern is in fact in the old village which was called ‘Itchen Ferry,’ and not Woolston, which was on the other side of the Floating Bridge hard. There had been a ferry across the River Itchen for hundreds of years, hence the name, but many locals still think back to the days of the Floating Bridge with nostalgia, and even fondness. Whilst rummaging though a cupboard recently I found the ‘Woolston Ferry Song‘ brought out when its service came to a halt back in June 1977, when the new bridge was opened. Click on the link for a bit of fun!

Mind you, it was a sad day for Woolston, as the little town was effectively bypassed and people are still heard to say,

“It’s just not been the same since they built the bridge!’

The whole area was bombed during the Second World War, to destroy the Supermarine Works, famous for designing and building the first Spitfires. In fact, The Yacht Tavern was the only one of three pubs in Itchen Ferry to be rebuilt after the bombing in 1940 and it still offers a warm welcome for food and drink and a place for locals to enjoy watching Saints play, even though, if they step outside, they can hear the roar of the crowds at the stadium just over the water.

The original Yacht Inn featured in my novel Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home, and so it is apt that I should be there just before Christmas gossiping to local people, just as my menfolk did in 1912, when rumours abound as to why such famous people as Pemberton Billing were visiting the boatyards, where many of the locals worked.

So, if you are in the Southampton are on 25th November, or even better living in Woolston, then drop in at lunch time and say hello! I will be there to have a chat and sign copies of my new novel, which is set in the area. If you can’t make it then it is available in Waterstones, West Quay or you can click on the book cover to find Ancasta on Amazon:

Ancasta available on Amazon

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6 Comments

Filed under Ancasta, Events, Southampton, Supermarine, Words

6 responses to “The Yacht Tavern ~ Woolston, Southampton

  1. Diana – thanks for the memory. My father’s family was from Itchen Ferry. My grandmother’s house, where my father grew up, is I believe one of the last standing. My 92 year-old mother worked at the Supermarine during WW11.I’ve passed the Yacht Tavern many times, but never been in. But I shall on next trip to Blighty. I shall look for a copy of your latest novel. Best wishes. Robert Harland, now living in the sunny Philippines.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts too Robert. Much appreciated! I would like to share memories of others on this site too in the new year, especially of their early days in Woolston. I don’t know when you were last there, but I have hopes that it is ‘on the up’ after quite a difficult period in its history. I’d like to think I’ve gone a little way to put Woolston’s famous past on the map. Oh to be in the Philippines….with storms and floods I was feeling quite happy that it’s a sunny day here, if not trimmed with a bitterly cold wind. Oh to be by the sea in the sunshine. Thanks again and if you’d like to share any more let me know.
      ps Ancasta is available on Kindle if you’d like some nostalgia whilst soaking up the sun:-)

  2. Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs
    use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    • WordPress is quite easy to use and you don’t need to know HTML code. The best way is to set it up and then spend some time working out what you can do with it but the instructions are pretty good. I had some help from the lady from Novel Publicity. Once you are up and running let me know. I’m no expert but I might be able to help. Good Luck!

  3. Bob Nicklen

    Hi Diana
    I have just found your page by accident, while looking for a picture of The Yacht Tavern to send to a friend in France. Great!!! I have just ordered the last two hard copies of Riduna and Ancasta from Amazon (only Kindle copies left now), and look forward to reading them – you’ve got some first class reviews!

    Though The Yacht is my local, (and I’ve contributed extensively to its library), Jacqui has never told me of you (then again, I never asked!), so I was delighted to discover this. The interweb is a modern marvel (sic)!

    I was posted to Bitterne nick as a new green ‘bobby’ in 1980, and Woolston was my assigned beat. I got to know the ancient night watchman (he was in his 80’s then), at what was Wilments shipyard very well, and he entertained me with great stories of events there over his lifetime. The old ferry was beached by then, and became ‘Floaters’, a night club.

    In 1984 I moved house to Southampton, and since then have lived in Sholing Road – a straight line from The Yacht up Sea Road will bring you to my front door. My neighbour was Arthur Bailey, aged 70 then, and he shared many memories, e.g. how he and his mates would take a dinghy out fishing in the flying boat take-off path of the Itchen, and the occasion the wing of one went right over the top of them and their dinghy was lifted up clear out of the water! His wife Winnie worked in the Spitfire factory, so woulld have known Robert Harland’s mother mentioned above.

    I’m so sorry to have missed your book signing in March, but should you happen to pass this way again, I would be delighted to take a glass with you at The Yacht, and maybe you could put your pen to the paper of my copies of your books? By the way, I loved ‘The Woolston Ferry Song’ link!

    My greatest compliments to you.
    Bob Nicklen

    • How lovely to hear from you Bob. The internet is truly wonderful for surprises like this. I’m aiming to put a request in the Echo and other publications this summer for stories about Supermarine from local people. I already have one from my father and from the historian who designed the covers of the books and I’d like to put them here on my blog in the autumn to celebrate the birth of Supermarine. If there are enough I’ll print a small booklet for posterity. I am back in Southampton for a book signing at Waterstones, West Quay on October 12th as a matter of fact, so meeting at The Yacht afterwards would be a delight, and maybe a good time for people to share some of their stories. What do you think? If you think it’s a good idea then please send me an email diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk and also let me know what you think of Ancasta. I love receiving emails from readers too!
      Best wishes to you
      Diana

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