Southampton | Wikipedia audio article
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Southampton | Wikipedia audio article

October 11, 2019

Southampton ( (listen)) is a city in Hampshire,
England, and the largest in South East England, 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and
15 miles (24 km) north-west of Portsmouth. A major port, and close to the New Forest,
it lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water, at the confluence of the River Test
and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south. The unitary authority had a
population of 253,651 at the 2011 census. A resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian.Significant
employers in the city include Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton,
Solent University, Southampton Airport, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, the NHS, Associated British
Ports (ABP) and Carnival UK. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic,
the Spitfire, as one of the departure points for D-Day, and more recently as the home port
of some of the largest cruise ships in the world. Southampton also has a large shopping
centre and retail park, Westquay.==History=====
Early Southampton===Archaeological finds suggest that the area
has been inhabited since the stone age. Following the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and
the conquering of the local Britons in AD 70 the fortress settlement of Clausentum was
established. It was an important trading port and defensive outpost of Winchester, at the
site of modern Bitterne Manor. Clausentum was defended by a wall and two ditches and
is thought to have contained a bath house. Clausentum was not abandoned until around
410.The Anglo-Saxons formed a new, larger, settlement across the Itchen centred on what
is now the St Mary’s area of the city. The settlement was known as Hamwic, which evolved
into Hamtun and then Hampton. Archaeological excavations of this site have uncovered one
of the best collections of Saxon artefacts in Europe. It is from this town that the county
of Hampshire gets its name. Viking raids from 840 onwards contributed
to the decline of Hamwic in the 9th century, and by the 10th century a fortified settlement,
which became medieval Southampton, had been established.===11th–13th century===
Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, Southampton became the major port of transit between the
then capital of England, Winchester, and Normandy. Southampton Castle was built in the 12th century
and surviving remains of 12th-century merchants’ houses such as King John’s House and Canute’s
Palace are evidence of the wealth that existed in the town at this time. By the 13th century
Southampton had become a leading port, particularly involved in the import of French wine in exchange
for English cloth and wool.The Franciscan friary in Southampton was founded circa 1233.
The friars constructed a water supply system in 1290, which carried water from Conduit
Head (remnants of which survive near Hill Lane, Shirley) some 1.1 miles (1.7 km) to
the site of the friary inside the town walls. Further remains can be observed at Conduit
House on Commercial Road.===14th century===
The friars granted use of the water to the town in 1310.Between 1327 and 1330, the King
and Council received a petition from the people of Southampton. The community of Southampton
claimed that Robert Batail of Winchelsea and other men of the Cinque Ports came to Southampton
under the pretence that they were a part of Thomas of Lancaster’s rebellion against Edward
II. The community thought that they were in conspiracy with Hugh le Despenser the Younger.
The petition states that, the supposed rebels in the Despenser War ‘came to Southampton
harbour, and burnt their ships, and their goods, chattels and merchandise which was
in them, and carried off other goods, chattels and merchandise of theirs found there, and
took some of the ships with them, to a loss to them of £8000 and more.’ For their petition
to the King somewhere after 1321 and before 1327 earned some of the people of Southampton
a prison sentence at Portchester Castle, possibly for insinuating the king’s advisor Hugh le
Despenser the Younger acted in conspiracy with the Cinque Port men to damage Southampton,
a flourishing port in the fourteenth century. When King Edward III came to the throne, this
petition was given to the king and his mother, Queen Isabella, who was in charge of the town,
and the country at this stage likely organised the writ of trespass that took any guilt away
from the community at Southampton. The town was sacked in 1338 by French, Genoese
and Monegasque ships (under Charles Grimaldi, who used the plunder to help found the principality
of Monaco). On visiting Southampton in 1339, Edward III ordered that walls be built to
“close the town”. The extensive rebuilding — part of the walls dates from 1175 — culminated
in the completion of the western walls in 1380. Roughly half of the walls, 13 of the
original towers, and six gates survive.In 1348, the Black Death reached England via
merchant vessels calling at Southampton.===15th century===
Prior to King Henry’s departure for the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the ringleaders of the
“Southampton Plot”—Richard, Earl of Cambridge, Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham,
and Sir Thomas Grey of Heton—were accused of high treason and tried at what is now the
Red Lion public house in the High Street. They were found guilty and summarily executed
outside the Bargate.The city walls include God’s House Tower, built in 1417, the first
purpose-built artillery fortification in England. Over the years it has been used as home to
the city’s gunner, the Town Gaol and even as storage for the Southampton Harbour Board.
Until September 2011, it housed the Museum of Archaeology. The walls were completed in
the 15th century, but later development of several new fortifications along Southampton
Water and the Solent by Henry VIII meant that Southampton was no longer dependent upon its
fortifications.During the Middle Ages, shipbuilding had become an important industry for the town.
Henry V’s famous warship HMS Grace Dieu was built in Southampton and launched in 1418.The
friars passed on ownership of the water supply system itself to the town in 1420.On the other
hand, many of the medieval buildings once situated within the town walls are now in
ruins or have disappeared altogether. From successive incarnations of the motte and bailey
castle, only a section of the bailey wall remains today, lying just off Castle Way.===16th and 17th centuries===
The friary was dissolved in 1538 but its ruins remained until they were swept away in the
1940s.The port was the point of departure for the Pilgrim Fathers aboard Mayflower in
1620. In 1642, during the English Civil War, a Parliamentary garrison moved into Southampton.
The Royalists advanced as far as Redbridge in March 1644 but were prevented from taking
the town.===18th century===
Southampton became a spa town in 1740. It had also become a popular site for sea bathing
by the 1760s, despite the lack of a good quality beach. Innovative buildings specifically for
this purpose were built at West Quay, with baths that were filled and emptied by the
flow of the tide. Southampton engineer Walter Taylor’s 18th-century mechanisation of the
block-making process was a significant step in the Industrial Revolution. The port was
used for military embarkation, including during 18th-century wars with the French.===19th century===
The town experienced major expansion during the Victorian era. The Southampton Docks company
had been formed in 1835. In October 1838 the foundation stone of the docks was laid and
the first dock opened in 1842. The structural and economic development of docks continued
for the next few decades. The railway link to London was fully opened in May 1840. Southampton
subsequently became known as The Gateway to the Empire.In his 1854 book “The Cruise of
the Steam Yacht North Star” John Choules described Southampton thus: “I hardly know a town that
can show a more beautiful Main Street than Southampton, except it be Oxford. The High
Street opens from the quay, and under various names it winds in a gently sweeping line for
one mile and a half, and is of very handsome width. The variety of style and color of material
in the buildings affords an exhibition of outline, light and colour, that I think is
seldom equalled. The shops are very elegant, and the streets are kept exceedingly clean.”
The port was used for military embarkation, including the Crimean war and the Boer War.===20th century===From 1904 to 2004, the Thornycroft shipbuilding
yard was a major employer in Southampton, building and repairing ships used in the two
World Wars. In 1912, the RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton. Four in five of the crew
on board the vessel were Sotonians, with about a third of those who perished in the tragedy
hailing from the city. Southampton was subsequently the home port for the transatlantic passenger
services operated by Cunard with their Blue Riband liner RMS Queen Mary and her running
mate RMS Queen Elizabeth. In 1938, Southampton docks also became home to the flying boats
of Imperial Airways. Southampton Container Terminals first opened in 1968 and has continued
to expand. Southampton was designated No. 1 Military
Embarkation port during the Great War and became a major centre for treating the returning
wounded and POWs. It was also central to the preparations for the Invasion of Europe in
1944.The Supermarine Spitfire was designed and developed in Southampton, evolving from
the Schneider trophy-winning seaplanes of the 1920s and 1930s. Its designer, R J Mitchell,
lived in the Portswood area of Southampton, and his house is today marked with a blue
plaque. Heavy bombing of the Woolston factory in September 1940 destroyed it as well as
homes in the vicinity, killing civilians and workers. World War II hit Southampton particularly
hard because of its strategic importance as a major commercial port and industrial area.
Prior to the Invasion of Europe, components for a Mulberry harbour were built here. After
D-Day, Southampton docks handled military cargo to help keep the Allied forces supplied,
making it a key target of Luftwaffe bombing raids until late 1944. Southampton docks was
featured in the television show 24: Live Another Day in Day 9: 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.Some
630 people lost their lives as a result of the air raids on Southampton and nearly 2,000
more were injured, not to mention the thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed. Pockets
of Georgian architecture survived the war, but much of the city was levelled. There has
been extensive redevelopment since World War II. Increasing traffic congestion in the 1920s
led to partial demolition of medieval walls around the Bargate in 1932 and 1938. However,
a large portion of those walls remain. A Royal Charter in 1952 upgraded University
College at Highfield to the University of Southampton. In 1964 Southampton acquired
city status, becoming the City of Southampton, and because of the Local Government Act 1972
was turned into a county borough within the Hampshire county in 1973.
The local council for the city of Southampton succeeded Hampshire County Council and became
a unitary authority in April 1997.===21st century===
In the 2010s several developments to the inner-city of Southampton were completed. In 2016 the
south section of West Quay, or West Quay South, originally known as West Quay Watermark, was
opened to the public. Its public plaza has been used for several annual events, such
as an ice skating rink during the winter season, and a public broadcast of the Wimbledon tennis
championship. Two new buildings, the John Hansard Gallery with City Eye and a secondary
site for the University of Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre, in addition to several flats, have
been built in the “cultural quarter” adjacent to Guildhall Square in 2017. In 2019 the retail
and accommodation-based “Bargate quarter” redevelopment, replacing the demolished Bargate
shopping centre, and enabling public access to the previously hidden sections of the city
walls, will be opened.==Governance==After the establishment of Hampshire County
Council, following the act in 1888, Southampton became a county borough within the county
of Hampshire, which meant that it had many features of a county, but governance was now
shared between the Corporation in Southampton and the new county council. There is scope
for confusion in the fact that the ancient shire county, along with its associated assizes,
was known as the County of Southampton or Southamptonshire. This was officially changed
to Hampshire in 1959 although the county had been commonly known as Hampshire or Hantscire
for centuries. Southampton became a non-metropolitan district in 1974.
Southampton as a Port and city has had a long history of administrative independence of
the surrounding County; as far back as the reign of King John the town and its port were
removed from the writ of the King’s Sheriff in Hampshire and the rights of custom and
toll were granted by the King to the burgesses of Southampton over the port of Southampton
and the Port of Portsmouth; this tax farm was granted for an annual fee of £200 in
the charter dated at Orival on 29 June 1199. The definition of the port of Southampton
was apparently broader than today and embraced all of the area between Lymington and Langstone.
The corporation had resident representatives in Newport, Lymington and Portsmouth. By a
charter of Henry VI, granted on 9 March 1446/7 (25+26 Hen. VI, m. 32), the mayor, bailiffs
and burgesses of the towns and ports of Southampton and Portsmouth became a County incorporate
and separate from Hampshire. The status of the town was changed by a later
charter of Charles I by at once the formal separation from Portsmouth and the recognition
of Southampton as a county, In the charter dated 27 June 1640 the formal title of the
town became “The Town and County of the Town of Southampton”. These charters and Royal
Grants, of which there were many, also set out the governance and regulation of the town
and port which remained the “constitution” of the town until the local government organisation
of the later Victorian period which from about 1888 saw the setting up of County Councils
across England and Wales and including Hampshire County Council who now took on some of the
function of Government in Southampton Town. Under this regime, The Town and County of
the Town of Southampton became once more a county borough with responsibility for all
aspects of local government. On 24 February 1964 the status changed again by a Charter
of Elizabeth II, creating the City and County of the City of Southampton.The city has undergone
many changes to its governance over the centuries and once again became administratively independent
from Hampshire County as it was made into a unitary authority in a local government
reorganisation on 1 April 1997, a result of the 1992 Local Government Act. The district
remains part of the Hampshire ceremonial county. Southampton City Council consists of 48 councillors,
3 for each of the 16 wards. Council elections are held in early May for one third of the
seats (one councillor for each ward), elected for a four-year term, so there are elections
three years out of four. The Labour Party has held overall control since 2012; after
the 2018 council elections the composition of the council is: There are three members of Parliament for
the city: Royston Smith (Conservative) for Southampton Itchen, the constituency covering
the east of the city; Dr Alan Whitehead (Labour) for Southampton Test, which covers the west
of the city; and Caroline Nokes (Conservative) for Romsey and Southampton North, which includes
a northern portion of the city. The city has a Mayor and is one of 16 cities
and towns in England and Wales to have a ceremonial sheriff who acts as a deputy for the Mayor.
The current and 797th Mayor of Southampton is Peter Baillie. Susan Blatchford is the
current and 582nd sheriff. The town crier from 2004 until his death in 2014 was John
Melody, who acted as master of ceremonies in the city and who possessed a cry of 104
decibels.Southampton City Council has developed twinning links with Le Havre in France (since
1973), Rems-Murr-Kreis in Germany (since 1991), Trieste in Italy (since 2002), Hampton, Virginia
in USA, Qingdao in China (since 1998), Busan in South Korea (since 1978), and Miami, Florida
(since 14 June 2019).==Geography==
The geography of Southampton is influenced by the sea and rivers. The city lies at the
northern tip of the Southampton Water, a deep water estuary, which is a ria formed at the
end of the last Ice Age. Here, the rivers Test and Itchen converge. The Test — which
has a salt marsh that makes it ideal for salmon fishing — runs along the western edge of
the city, while the Itchen splits Southampton in two—east and west. The city centre is
located between the two rivers. Town Quay is the original public quay, and
dates from the 13th century. Today’s Eastern Docks were created in the 1830s by land reclamation
of the mud flats between the Itchen and Test estuaries. The Western Docks date from the
1930s when the Southern Railway Company commissioned a major land reclamation and dredging programme.
Most of the material used for reclamation came from dredging of Southampton Water, to
ensure that the port can continue to handle large ships.
Southampton Water has the benefit of a double high tide, with two high tide peaks, making
the movement of large ships easier. This is not caused as popularly supposed by the presence
of the Isle of Wight, but is a function of the shape and depth of the English Channel.
In this area the general water flow is distorted by more local conditions reaching across to
France.The city lies in the Hampshire Basin, which sits atop chalk beds.The River Test
runs along the western border of the city, separating it from the New Forest. There are
bridges over the Test from Southampton, including the road and rail bridges at Redbridge in
the south and the M27 motorway to the north. The River Itchen runs through the middle of
the city and is bridged in several places. The northernmost bridge, and the first to
be built, is at Mansbridge, where the A27 road crosses the Itchen. The original bridge
is closed to road traffic, but is still standing and open to pedestrians and cyclists. The
river is bridged again at Swaythling, where Woodmill Bridge separates the tidal and non
tidal sections of the river. Further south is Cobden Bridge which is notable as it was
opened as a free bridge (it was originally named the Cobden Free Bridge), and was never
a toll bridge. Downstream of the Cobden Bridge is the Northam Railway Bridge, then the Northam
Road Bridge, which was the first major pre-stressed concrete bridge to be constructed in the United
Kingdom. The southernmost, and newest, bridge on the Itchen is the Itchen Bridge, which
is a toll bridge.===Areas and suburbs===Southampton is divided into council wards,
suburbs, constituencies, ecclesiastical parishes, and other less formal areas. It has a number
of parks and green spaces, the largest being the 148-hectare Southampton Common, parts
of which are used to host the annual summer festivals, circuses and fun fairs. The Common
includes Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre on the former site of Southampton Zoo, a paddling
pool and several lakes and ponds. Council estates are in the Weston, Thornhill
and Townhill Park districts. The city is ranked 96th most deprived out of all 354 Local Authorities
in England.In 2006–2007, 1,267 residential dwellings were built in the city — the highest
number for 15 years. Over 94 per cent of these were flats.There are 16 Electoral Wards in
Southampton, each consisting of longer-established neighbourhoods (see below).
Settlements outside the city are sometimes considered suburbs of Southampton, including
Chartwell Green, Chilworth, Nursling, Rownhams, Totton, Eastleigh and West End. The villages
of Marchwood, Ashurst and Hedge End may be considered exurbs of Southampton.===Climate===
As with the rest of the UK, Southampton experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb). Its southerly,
low-lying and sheltered location ensures it is among the warmer, sunnier cities in the
UK. It has held the record for the highest temperature in the UK for June at 35.6 °C
(96.1 °F) since 1976.===Energy===The centre of Southampton is located above
a large hot water aquifer that provides geothermal power to some of the city’s buildings. This
energy is processed at a plant in the West Quay region in Southampton city centre, the
only geothermal power station in the UK. The plant provides private electricity for the
Port of Southampton and hot water to the Southampton District Energy Scheme used by many buildings
including the Westquay shopping centre. In a 2006 survey of carbon emissions in major
UK cities conducted by British Gas, Southampton was ranked as being one of the lowest carbon-emitting
cities in the United Kingdom.==Demographics==
2016 mid-year population estimates suggests there are 254,275 people within the Southampton
area. At the 2011 Census, the Southampton built-up
area (which is a little larger than the area controlled by the City Council) had a population
of 253,651. There were 127,630 males and 126,021 females. The 30–44 age range is the most
populous, with 51,989 people falling in this age range. Next largest is the 45–59 range
with 42,317 people and then 20–24 years with 30,290. The ethnic mix is 86.4% white,
8.1% were Asian or British Asian, 2.0% black, 1.1% other ethnic groups, and 2.3% were multi-ethnic.Between
1996 and 2004, the population of the city increased by 4.9 per cent — the tenth-biggest
increase in England. In 2005 the Government Statistics stated that Southampton was the
third most densely populated city in the country after London and Portsmouth, respectively.
The average age of a Sotonian was 37.6 years in 2016, ranking Southampton as one of the
twenty most youthful cities in the UK.In the 2001 census Southampton and Portsmouth were
recorded as being parts of separate urban areas; however by the time of the 2011 census
they had merged apolitically to become the sixth-largest built-up area in England with
a population of 855,569. This built-up area is part of the metropolitan area known as
South Hampshire, which is also sometimes referred to as Solent City, particularly in the media
when discussing development issues and local governance organisational changes. With a
population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom’s most
populous metropolitan areas.==Economy==
In March 2007 there were 120,305 jobs in Southampton, and 3,570 people claiming job seeker’s allowance,
approximately 2.4 per cent of the city’s population. This compares with an average of 2.5 per cent
for England as a whole. In June 2006, 74.7 per cent of the city’s
population were classed as economically active.Just over a quarter of the jobs available in the
city are in the health and education sector. A further 19 per cent are property and other
business and the third-largest sector is wholesale and retail, which accounts for 16.2 per cent.
Between 1995 and 2004, the number of jobs in Southampton has increased by 18.5 per cent.In
January 2007, the average annual salary in the city was £22,267. This was £1,700 lower
than the national average and £3,800 less than the average for the South East. Southampton has always been a port, and the
docks have long been a major employer in the city. In particular, it is a port for cruise
ships; its heyday was the first half of the 20th century, and in particular the inter-war
years, when it handled almost half the passenger traffic of the UK. Today it remains home to
luxury cruise ships, as well as being the largest freight port on the Channel coast
and fourth-largest UK port by tonnage, with several container terminals. Unlike some other
ports, such as Liverpool, London, and Bristol, where industry and docks have largely moved
out of the city centres leaving room for redevelopment, Southampton retains much of its inner-city
industry. Despite the still-active and expanding docklands to the west of the city centre,
further enhanced with the opening of a fourth cruise terminal in 2009, parts of the eastern
docks have been redeveloped; the Ocean Village development, which included a local marina
and small entertainment complex, is a good example. Southampton is home to the headquarters
of both the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch
of the Department for Transport in addition to cruise operator Carnival UK.During the
latter half of the 20th century, a more diverse range of industry also came to the city, including
aircraft and car manufacture, cables, electrical engineering products, and petrochemicals.
These now exist alongside the city’s older industries of the docks, grain milling and
tobacco processing. University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation
Trust is one of the city’s largest employers. It provides local hospital services to 500,000
people in the Southampton area and specialist regional services to more than 3 million people
across the South of England. The Trust owns and manages Southampton General Hospital,
the Princess Anne Hospital and a palliative care service at Countess Mountbatten House,
part of the Moorgreen Hospital site in the village of West End, just outside the city.
Other major employers in the city include Ordnance Survey, the UK’s national mapping
agency, whose headquarters is located in a new building on the outskirts of the city,
opened in February 2011. The Lloyd’s Register Group has announced plans to move its London
marine operations to a specially developed site at the University of Southampton.Southampton’s
largest retail centre, and 35th-largest in the UK, is the Westquay Shopping Centre, which
opened in September 2000 and hosts major high street stores including John Lewis and Marks
and Spencer. The centre was Phase Two of the West Quay development of the former Pirelli
undersea cables factory; the first phase of this was the West Quay Retail Park, while
the third phase (Watermark WestQuay) was put on hold due to the recession. Work resumed
in 2015, with plans for this third stage including shops, housing, an hotel and a public piazza
alongside the Town Walls on Western Esplanade. Southampton has also been granted a licence
for a large casino. A further part of the redevelopment of the West Quay site resulted
in a new store, opened on 12 February 2009, for Swedish home products retailer IKEA. Marlands
is a smaller shopping centre, built in the 1990s on the site of the former bus station
and located close to the northern side of Westquay. In October 2014, the city council
approved a follow-up from the Westquay park, WestQuay Watermark. Construction by Sir Robert
McAlpine commenced in January 2015. Its owners, Hammerson, aim to have at least 1,550 people
employed on site at year-end 2016. Opened in 2016–2017, it has been renamed Westquay
South. Southampton had two disused shopping centres:
the 1970s Eaststreet mall, and the 1980s Bargate centre. Neither of these were ever commercially
successful. The former was demolished and the site earmarked for redevelopment as a
Morrison’s supermarket. It was announced in January 2017 that the Bargate Centre is also
scheduled for demolition, to be replaced by retail premises, student accommodation and
apartments. Included are also proposals to open access to a section of the medieval city
wall in that area. There is also the East Street area which has been designated for
speciality shopping, with the aim of promoting smaller retailers, alongside the chain store
Debenhams. In 2007, Southampton was ranked 13th for shopping in the UK.Southampton’s
strong economy is promoting redevelopment, and major projects are proposed, including
the city’s first skyscrapers on the waterfront. The three towers proposed will stand 23 storeys
high and will be surrounded by smaller apartment blocks, office blocks and shops. There are
also plans for a 15-storey hotel at the Ocean Village marina, and a 21-storey hotel on the
north eastern corner of the city centre, as part of a £100 m development. According to
2004 figures, Southampton contributes around £4.2 billion to the regional economy annually.
The vast majority of this is from the service sector, with the remainder coming from industry
in the city. This figure has almost doubled since 1995.==Culture, media and sport=====
Culture===The city is home to the longest surviving
stretch of medieval walls in England, as well as a number of museums such as Tudor House
Museum, reopened on 30 July 2011 after undergoing extensive restoration and improvement; Southampton
Maritime Museum; God’s House Tower, an archaeology museum about the city’s heritage and located
in one of the tower walls; the Medieval Merchant’s House; and Solent Sky, which focuses on aviation.
The SeaCity Museum is located in the west wing of the civic centre, formerly occupied
by Hampshire Constabulary and the Magistrates’ Court, and focuses on Southampton’s trading
history and on the Titanic. The museum received half a million pounds from the National Lottery
in addition to interest from numerous private investors and is budgeted at £28 million.
The annual Southampton Boat Show is held in September each year, with over 600 exhibitors
present. It runs for just over a week at Mayflower Park on the city’s waterfront, where it has
been held since 1968. The Boat Show itself is the climax of Sea City, which runs from
April to September each year to celebrate Southampton’s links with the sea.The largest
theatre in the city is the 2,300-capacity Mayflower Theatre (formerly known as the Gaumont),
which, as the largest theatre in Southern England outside London, has hosted West End
shows such as Les Misérables, The Rocky Horror Show and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well
as regular visits from Welsh National Opera and English National Ballet. There is also
the Nuffield Theatre based at the University of Southampton’s Highfield campus, which is
the city’s primary producing theatre. It was awarded The Stage Award for Best Regional
Theatre in 2015. It also hosts touring companies and local performing societies (such as Southampton
Operatic Society, the Maskers and the University Players).
There are many innovative art galleries in the city. The Southampton City Art Gallery
at the Civic Centre is one of the best known and as well as a nationally important Designated
Collection, houses several permanent and travelling exhibitions. The Solent Showcase at Southampton
Solent University, the John Hansard Gallery at Southampton University as well as smaller
galleries including the Art House in Above Bar Street provide a different view. The city’s
Bargate is also an art gallery run by the arts organisation “a space”. A space also
run the Art Vaults project, which creatively uses several of Southampton’s medieval vaults,
halls and cellars as venues for contemporary art installations.
In August 2009, work began on a significant project to create a Cultural Quarter in the
city centre, on land adjacent to the Guildhall.====Music====Southampton has two large live music venues,
the Mayflower Theatre (formerly the Gaumont Theatre) and the Guildhall. The Guildhall
has seen concerts from a wide range of popular artists including Pink Floyd, David Bowie,
Delirious?, Manic Street Preachers, The Killers, The Kaiser Chiefs, Amy Winehouse, Bob Dylan,
Suede, Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. It also hosts classical concerts presented by the Bournemouth
Symphony Orchestra, City of Southampton Orchestra, Southampton Concert Orchestra, Southampton
Philharmonic Choir Southampton Choral Society, and the City of Southampton (Albion) Band.The
city also has several smaller music venues, including the Engine Rooms, The Talking Heads,
The 1865, The Joiners and Turner Sims, as well as smaller “club circuit” venues like
Hampton’s and Lennon’s, and a number of public houses including the Platform tavern, the
Dolphin, the Blue Keys and many others. The Joiners has played host to such acts as Oasis,
Radiohead, Green Day, Suede, PJ Harvey, the Manic Street Preachers, Coldplay, the Verve,
the Libertines and Franz Ferdinand, while Hampton’s and Lennon’s have hosted early appearances
by Kate Nash, Scouting for Girls and Band of Skulls.
The city is home or birthplace to a number of contemporary musicians such as popstar
Craig David, Coldplay drummer Will Champion, Alt-J singer Joe Newman, singer-songwriter
Aqualung, former Holloways singer Rob Skipper, 1980s popstar Howard Jones as well as Grammy
Award-winning popstar Foxes. Several active rock and metal bands were formed in Southampton,
including Band of Skulls, Bury Tomorrow, Creeper and The Delays. Southampton had a prominent
UK Garage scene, championed by the duo Artful Dodger who formed in the city in the late
90’s, as well as the UKG, grime and bassline producer, Royal-T, part of the TQD group formed
with DJ Q and Flava D. Notable bands who are now defunct include Thomas Tantrum (disbanded
2011), Kids Can’t Fly (disbanded 2014) and Heart in Hand (disbanded 2015).===Media===
Local media include the Southern Daily Echo newspaper based in Redbridge and BBC South,
which has its regional headquarters in the city centre opposite the civic centre. From
there the BBC broadcasts South Today, the local television news bulletin and BBC Radio
Solent. The local ITV franchise is Meridian, which has its headquarters in Whiteley, around
nine miles (14 kilometres) from the city. Until December 2004, the station’s studios
were located in the Northam area of the city on land reclaimed from the River Itchen. That’s
Solent is a local television channel that began broadcasting in November 2014, which
will be based in and serve Southampton and Portsmouth.
Southampton also has 4 community FM radio stations, the Queens Award-winning Unity 101
Community Radio broadcasting full-time on 101.1 FM since 2006 to the Asian and ethnic
communities, and Voice FM located in St Mary’s, which has been broadcasting full-time on 103.9
FM since September 2011, playing a wide range of music from Rock to Dance music and Top
40. A third station, Awaaz FM, broadcasts on DAB digital to South Hampshire and on the
FM dial (99.8 FM) to Southampton. Awaaz FM is the biggest ethnic community radio in Hampshire.
It caters for the Asian and ethnic community. The fourth community station is Fiesta FM
and broadcasts on 95 FM. Fiesta FM is the only fully licensed Latin and Hispanic community
radio station in the UK. As of November 2017, the most popular commercial
radio station is the adult contemporary regional radio station Wave 105 (11.6% listening share
in its total survey area) followed by the hit music station Capital South Coast (7%)
a networked station from London with local breakfast and drive shows. Other stations
include Heart Hampshire and The Breeze (2.2%), and 106 Sam FM (2.7%). In addition, Southampton
University has a radio station called SURGE, broadcasting on AM band as well as through
the web.===Sport===Southampton is home to Southampton Football
Club—nicknamed “The Saints”—the club plays in the Premier League at St Mary’s Stadium,
having relocated in 2001 from their 103-year-old former stadium, “The Dell”. They reached the
top flight of English football (First Division) for the first time in 1966, staying there
for eight years. They lifted the FA Cup with a shock victory over Manchester United in
1976, returned to the top flight two years later, and stayed there for 27 years (becoming
founder members of the Premier League in 1992) before they were relegated in 2005. The club
was promoted back to the Premier League in 2012 following a brief spell in the third
tier and severe financial difficulties. In 2015, “The Saints” finished 7th in the Premier
League, their highest league finish in 30 years, after a remarkable season under new
manager Ronald Koeman. Their highest league position came in 1984 when they were runners-up
in the old First Division. They were also runners-up in the 1979 Football League Cup
final and 2003 FA Cup final. Notable former managers include Ted Bates, Lawrie McMenemy,
Chris Nicholl, Ian Branfoot and Gordon Strachan. There is a strong rivalry with Portsmouth
F.C. (“South Coast derby”) which is located only about 20 miles (30 km) away.
The two local Sunday Leagues in the Southampton area are the City of Southampton Sunday Football
League and the Southampton and District Sunday Football League.
Hampshire County Cricket Club play close to the city, at the Rose Bowl in West End, after
previously playing at the County Cricket Ground and the Antelope Ground, both near the city
centre. There is also the Southampton Evening Cricket League.
The city hockey club, Southampton Hockey Club, founded in 1938, is now one of the largest
and highly regarded clubs in Hampshire, fielding 7 senior men’s and 5 senior ladies’ teams
on a weekly basis along with boys’ and girls’ teams from 6 upwards.
The city is also well provided for in amateur men’s and women’s rugby with a number of teams
in and around the city, the oldest of which is Trojans RFC, which was promoted to London
South West 2 division in 2008/9. A notable former player is Anthony Allen, who played
with Leicester Tigers as a centre. Tottonians are also in London South West division 2 and
Southampton RFC are in Hampshire division 1 in 2009/10, alongside Millbrook RFC and
Eastleigh RFC. Many of the sides run mini and midi teams from under sevens up to under
sixteens for both boys and girls. The city provides for yachting and water sports,
with a number of marinas. From 1977 to 2001 the Whitbread Around the World Yacht Race,
which is now known as the Volvo Ocean Race was based in Southampton’s Ocean Village marina. The city also has the Southampton Sports Centre
which is the focal point for the public’s sporting and outdoor activities and includes
an Alpine Centre, theme park and athletics centre which is used by professional athletes.
With the addition of 11 other additional leisure ventures which are currently operate by the
Council leisure executives. However these have been sold the operating rights to “Park
Wood Leisure”.Southampton was named “fittest city in the UK” in 2006 by Men’s Fitness magazine.
The results were based on the incidence of heart disease, the amount of junk food and
alcohol consumed, and the level of gym membership. In 2007, it had slipped one place behind London,
but was still ranked first when it came to the parks and green spaces available for exercise
and the amount of television watched by Sotonians was the lowest in the country. Thousands enter
and run the Southampton Marathon in April every year. Speedway and racing took place
at Banister Court Stadium in the pre-war era. It returned in the 1940s after WW2 and the
Saints operated until the stadium closed down at the end of 1963. A training track operated
in the 1950s in the Hamble area. Greyhound racing was also held at the stadium from 1928
to 1963. Southampton is also home to two American football
teams, the Solent Thrashers, who play at the Test Park Sports Ground, and the Southampton
Stags, who play at the Wide Lane Sports Facility in Eastleigh.
The world’s oldest surviving bowling green is the Southampton Old Bowling Green, which
was first used in 1299.==Emergency services==Southampton’s police service is provided by
Hampshire Constabulary. The main base of the Southampton operation is a new, eight-storey
purpose-built building which cost £30 million to construct. The building, located on Southern
Road, opened in 2011 and is near to Southampton Central railway station. Previously, the central
Southampton operation was located within the west wing of the Civic Centre; however, the
ageing facilities and the plans of constructing a new museum in the old police station and
magistrates court necessitated the move. There are additional police stations at Portswood
and Banister Park as well as a British Transport Police station at Southampton Central railway
station. Southampton’s fire cover is provided by Hampshire
Fire and Rescue Service. There are three fire stations within the city boundaries at St
Mary’s, Hightown and Redbridge. The ambulance service is provided by South
Central Ambulance Service. The national headquarters of the Maritime
and Coastguard Agency is located in Commercial Road.==Crime==
According to Hampshire Constabulary figures, Southampton is currently safer than it has
ever been before, with dramatic reductions in violent crime year on year for the last
three years. Data from the Southampton Safer City Partnership
shows there has been a reduction in all crimes in recent years and an increase in crime detection
rates. According to government figures Southampton has a higher crime rate than the national
average. There is some controversy regarding comparative crime statistics due to inconsistencies
between different police forces recording methodologies. For example, in Hampshire all
reported incidents are recorded and all records then retained. However, in neighbouring Dorset
crimes reports withdrawn or shown to be false are not recorded, reducing apparent crime
figures. In the violence against the person category, the national average is 16.7 per
1,000 population while Southampton is 42.4 per 1,000 population. In the theft-from-a-vehicle
category, the national average is 7.6 per 1,000 compared to Southampton’s 28.4 per 1,000.
Overall, for every 1,000 people in the city, 202 crimes are recorded. Hampshire Constabulary’s
figures for 2009/10 show fewer incidents of recorded crime in Southampton than the previous
year.==Education==Southampton has two universities, namely the
University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University. Together, they have a student
population of 40,000. Though students numbers had increased in the 80s, 90s, and up to 2011,
they began to reduce due to changes in immigration rules and dropped further after 2016 due to
Brexit. Of these, 2,880 are from EU, and the rest are from UK, Asia and Africa.The University
of Southampton, which was founded in 1862 and received its Royal Charter as a university
in 1952, has over 22,000 students. The university is ranked in the top 100 research universities
in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2010. In 2010, the THES – QS
World University Rankings positioned the University of Southampton in the top 80 universities
in the world. The university considers itself one of the top 5 research universities in
the UK. The university has a global reputation for research into engineering sciences, oceanography,
chemistry, cancer sciences, sound and vibration research, computer science and electronics
and optoelectronics. It is also home to the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
(NOCS), the focus of Natural Environment Research Council-funded marine research.
Southampton Solent University has 17,000 students and its strengths are in the training, design,
consultancy, research and other services undertaken for business and industry. It is also host
to the Warsash Maritime Academy, which provides training and certification for the international
shipping and off-shore oil industries. In addition to state school sixth forms at
St Anne’s and Bitterne Park School and an independent sixth form at King Edward’s, there
are two sixth-form colleges: Itchen College and Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, and
a further education college, Southampton City College. A number of Southampton pupils travel
outside the city, for example to Barton Peveril College.There are 79 state-run schools in
Southampton, comprising: 1 nursery school (The Hardmoor Early Years
Centre in Bassett Green) 21 infant schools (ages 4 – 7)
16 junior schools (ages 7 – 11) 24 primary schools (ages 4 – 11)
8 secondary schools (ages 11 – 16) 2 secondary schools with sixth forms (ages
11–18) 2 academies (Oasis Academy Mayfield and Oasis
Academy Lord’s Hill) 5 special schoolsThere are also independent
schools, including The Gregg School, King Edward VI School and St Mary’s Independent
Road===Southampton is a major UK port which has good
transport links with the rest of the country. The M27 motorway, linking places along the
south coast of England, runs just to the north of the city. The M3 motorway links the city
to London and also, via a link to the A34 (part of the European route E05) at Winchester,
with the Midlands and North. The M271 motorway is a spur of the M27, linking it with the
Western Docks and city centre.===Rail===Southampton is also served by the rail network,
which is used both by freight services to and from the docks and passenger services
as part of the national rail system. The main station in the city is Southampton Central.
Rail routes run east towards Portsmouth, north to Winchester, the Midlands and London, and
westwards to Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester, Weymouth, Salisbury, Bristol and Cardiff.
The route to London was opened in 1840 by what was to become the London and South Western
Railway Company. Both this and its successor, Southern Railway, played a significant role
in the creation of the modern port following their purchase and development of the town’s
docks. Local train services operate in the city and
are operated by South Western Railway, with stations at Swaythling, St Denys, Millbrook,
Redbridge, Bitterne, Sholing and Woolston. Plans were announced by Hampshire County Council
in July 2009 for the introduction of tram-train running from Hythe (on what is now a freight-only
line to Fawley) via Totton to Southampton Central Station and on to Fareham via St.
Denys, and Swanwick. The proposal follows a failed plan to bring light rail to the Portsmouth
and Gosport areas in 2005. The town was the subject of an attempt by
a separate company, the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway, to open another rail
route to the North in the 1880s and some building work, including a surviving embankment, was
undertaken in the Hill Lane area.===Air===
Southampton Airport is a regional airport located in the town of Eastleigh, just north
of the city. It offers flights to UK and near European destinations, and is connected to
the city by a frequent rail service from Southampton Airport Parkway railway station, and by bus
services.For longer flights, Gatwick Airport is linked by a regular rail service, and Heathrow
Airport is linked by National Express coach services.===Cruise shipping===Southampton’s tradition of luxury cruising
began in the 1840s, one of the pioneers being P&O who advertised tours to Egypt.Many of
the world’s largest cruise ships can regularly be seen in Southampton water, including record-breaking
vessels from Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation & plc. The latter has headquarters
in Southampton, with its brands including Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Cunard Line.
The city has a particular connection to Cunard Line and their fleet of ships. This was particularly
evident on 11 November 2008 when the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 departed the city
for the final time amid a spectacular fireworks display after a full day of celebrations.
Cunard ships are regularly christened in the city, for example Queen Victoria was named
by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in December 2007, and the Queen named Queen Elizabeth
in the city during October 2011. The Duchess of Cambridge performed the naming ceremony
of Royal Princess on 13 June 2013. At certain times of the year, the Queen Mary
2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria may all visit Southampton at the same time, in
an event commonly called ‘Arrival of the Three Queens’.
The importance of Southampton to the cruise industry was indicated by P&O Cruises’ 175th-anniversary
celebrations, which included all seven of the company’s liners visiting Southampton
in a single day. Adonia, Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, Oceana, Oriana and Ventura all left
the city in a procession on 3 July 2012.===Ferry===
While Southampton is no longer the base for any cross-channel ferries, it is the terminus
for three internal ferry services, all of which operate from terminals at Town Quay.
Two of these, a car ferry service and a fast catamaran passenger ferry service, provide
links to East Cowes and Cowes, respectively, on the Isle of Wight and are operated by Red
Funnel. The third ferry is the Hythe Ferry, providing a passenger service to Hythe on
the other side of Southampton Water. Southampton used to be home to a number of
ferry services to the continent, with destinations such as San Sebastian, Lisbon, Tangier and
Casablanca. A ferry port was built during the 1960s. However, a number of these relocated
to Portsmouth and by 1996, there were no longer any car ferries operating from Southampton
with the exception of services to the Isle of Wight. The land used for Southampton Ferry
Port was sold off and a retail and housing development was built on the site. The Princess
Alexandra Dock was converted into a marina. Reception areas for new cars now fill the
Eastern Docks where passengers, dry docks and trains used to be.===Bus===The main bus operators are First Southampton,
Bluestar, Xelabus and Wheelers. The other large service provider is the Unilink bus
service (running from early in the morning to midnight), which was commissioned by the
University of Southampton to provide transport from the university to the town. Previously
run by Enterprise, it is now run by Bluestar. Free buses were provided by City-link’, but
the subsidy provided by Southampton City Council was pulled in 2014 and the service now charges
passengers £1 flat-rate single fare, with Red Funnel ticket holders continuing to travel
free. The service was rebranded as QuayConnect in May 2016, with a red and white livery on
the bus instead of blue. It runs from the Red Funnel ferry terminals at Town Quay to
Central station via Westquay and is operated by Bluestar. There is also a door-to-door
minibus service called Southampton Dial a Ride, for residents who cannot access public
transport. This is funded by the council and operated by SCA Support Services.
There are two main termini for bus services. First uses stops around Pound Tree Road and
Vincent’s Walk, except the X4 to Portsmouth and X5 to Gosport, which start and end their
journeys from Westquay. This leaves the other terminal of West Quay available for other
operators. Unilink passes West Quay in both directions, and the Salisbury Reds X7 service
to Salisbury drops passengers off and pick them up there, terminating at a series of
bus stands along the road. Certain Bluestar services also do this, while others stop at
Bargate and some loop round West Quay, stopping at Hanover Buildings.===Tram===There was a tram system from 1879 to 1949.
More recent proposals to reintroduce them surfaced in 2016 and 2017 and a monorail system
was proposed in 1988.===Cycling===
Cycling within Southampton is becoming popular and Southampton City Council announced that
it would adopt a new ten year ‘Cycling Strategy’ from 2017, which would include the construction
of multiple cycling highways throughout the city and surrounding suburbs.==Notable people==People hailing from Southampton are called
Sotonians. The city has produced a large number of musicians
throughout its history, ranging from hymn writer Isaac Watts, who was born in Southampton
in 1674 and whose composition O God, Our Help in Ages Past is played by the bells of Southampton
Civic Centre, to more recent musical acts such as singer Craig David, who grew up on
the Holyrood estate, Coldplay drummer Will Champion and solo popstar Foxes.
Television personalities from Southampton include comedian Benny Hill and naturalist
Chris Packham, and in recent years the city has also produced a number of competitive
reality television winners such as Matt Cardle (The X Factor, 2010) and Shelina Permalloo
(MasterChef, 2012), who operates a Mauritian restaurant named Lakaz Maman in Bedford Place.
Radio personality Scott Mills was also born in Southampton.Novelist Jane Austen lived
in Southampton for a number of years and the city has also been home to a number of artists,
including Edward John Gregory, Hubert von Herkomer and John Everett Millais. The feminist
and suffragist Emily Davies was born there in 1830.Sports people born in Southampton
include rugby union player Mike Brown and Australian tennis player Wally Masur.Being
a port city, Southampton has been home to a number of seafarers including Charles Fryatt,
who rammed a German U-boat with his civilian ship during World War I; John Jellicoe, who
served as Admiral of the Fleet during the same war and later became Governor-General
of New Zealand; and the last survivor of the RMS Titanic, Millvina Dean.Richard Aslatt
Pearce, the first deaf-mute Anglican clergyman, was born in Portswood, Southampton.Ally Law,
Youtuber and parkour practitioner, was born in Southampton

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