Hamble

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Hamble these days is primarily known for its marine leisure activities, village and marina facilities such as Mercury, Port Hamble and Hamble Point, sailing clubs include The Royal Southern Yacht club, The Royal Air Force Club and Hamble River Sailing Club. The village has many popular pubs and restaurants and is also home to Hamble River Inshore Rescue which is manned by local volunteers.

Settlements in Hamble go back to the Bronze Age. There was and still are many fresh water wells which together with access to the river made the village an ideal location to habitat. The flat mud beds were ideal for oysters and for laying up wooden boats, where like Bursledon and Warsash many ships were built for the Royal Navy and in 1418 the “Grace Dieu”, the largest warship of its time was brought to the Hamble for fitting out.

Hamble used to have an airfield and during 1931 this was taken over by Air Service Training, an aviation school which became known as 'Britain's Air University'. In 1936, a factory was built by British Marine Aircraft, later to become Follands and then British Aerospace. Many famous aircraft have been connected with Hamble, including the "Ensign" which was built by Armstrong Whitworth and A.S.T in the late 1930's, the largest airliner ever produced in Britain at that time. During the Second World War Hamble became a repair shop for warplanes and 2,575 damaged Spitfires were serviced here. The Folland ‘Gnat’, flown by the "Red Arrows" R.A.F aerobatic team, and the Harrier jump jet were also built here, the area has been linked with aviation through the years and through its maritime links early seaplanes were the first to be built here by local boat builders. Currently BAE builds and supplies aircraft parts for the Airbus.

Hamble also has an oil terminal, amongst other things this currently supplies aviation fuel directly to Gatwick and Heathrow airports via underground pipelines.

Hamble is one of the most popular locations for evening and weekend social gatherings, especially from spring when the yachting fraternity come out of hibernation.

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