THE PAST IN COLOUR
The year is 1938 with what looks like a busy harbour in an industrial town. The letters BEA stand for British Electricity Authority but all is not quite as you might imagine because today, not far from this grimy scene, is one of our most expensive areas of real estate. The church in the middle is St. James.
In the foreground, unloading coal at the power station, is the Norman Queen. Just under 1,000 tons, she was built at Burntisland in Fife in 1937 and belonged to British Channel Islands Shipping. In 1941, however, she was part of Convoy FN- 26 when it was attacked in the North Sea off Cromer by a flotilla of German E- boats. Six ships were sunk in total, including the Norman Queen who lost 11 of her crew.
The harbour today is ranked 14th in terms of national trade and has grown steadily over the last 20 years. Although the water is relatively shallow, there is a great deal of cargo traffic and in 1973 ferry services were added which now carry almost one million passengers a year to both France and the Channel Isles.
In the background is Sandbanks, now nicknamed Millionaire’s Row, which lies close to the chain ferry at the mouth of the harbour within whose confines is Brownsea Island, made famous by Baden- Powell who based his first Scout camp there in 1907. Got it yet?
Poole in Dorset is the answer from where you can sail away on holiday to the Continent!