NOSTALGIA: How I’d love to fulfil my dream of becoming king of this castle

Although not a castle in the proper sense, more a manor house, here we see Warblington Castle, east of  Havant
Although not a castle in the proper sense, more a manor house, here we see Warblington Castle, east of Havant
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I am not one for buying lottery tickets but when I saw that Warblington Castle, east of Havant, was on the market for a cool £2.6m, I went for it.

The castle, right, has been in my thoughts for most of my life after visiting the grounds when I was a schoolboy.

Taken from the Shotley Magazine of 1957, I am sure many ex-Ganges boys and sailors will appreciate the jest in this cartoon.

Taken from the Shotley Magazine of 1957, I am sure many ex-Ganges boys and sailors will appreciate the jest in this cartoon.

I often walk past it when strolling around Langstone Harbour to sketch old gates (yes, I should get out more).

I was taught about Margaret Pole who had Catholic leanings and was executed on the orders of Henry VIII aged 67.

She was the niece of both King Edward IV and King Richard III.

Her son Reginald became Archbishop of Canterbury.

On December 29, 1886, Pope Leo XIII beatified Margaret by making her the Blessed Margaret Pole, a Catholic martyr.

The manor was demolished by Parliamentarian forces during the civil war, leaving just one of the towers of the main gate remaining.

One thing that spoils the castle today is the continuous roar of traffic from the nearby Havant bypass.

But I can put up with that if my numbers come up!

n Any ex-HMS Ganges boys from the 1957 intake, who would be at least 75 years old now, might just remember this cartoon from the time, on the opposite page.

It comes from the Shotley Magazine produced by the ship’s company of the boys’ training establishment, HMS Ganges, at Shotley, near Ipswich.

The young sailor has been struck by the blushing girl after reading a semaphore signal sent by the telegraphist boy.

His flags lie alongside of him.

Notice the wide bell bottoms of the period they are wearing.

n Another item from Shotley Magazine was the estimate for one term (about 13 weeks) to feed 2,000 boys and ships’ company, below left.

The eggs – 9,541 dozen which equates to 114,492 – and more than 17 tons of sugar, would make many take a sharp intake of breath.

n If you want to know why we speak in the accent we do, look no further than this map of Portsea Island from 1600.

Hilsea is spelt (I think, but it is a little blurred) HYISLY.

There was no Portsmouth Harbour, but Portsmouth Haven, and Langstone is Langston.

On the eastern shore where Eastern Road now runs, there is an inlet called Gatecombe Haven.

The Camber, in what is now Old Portsmouth, is spelled Chamber.

Stamshaw was then Stampsey, and I would imagine Boldsland, in the centre, is Buckland today.

On the south of the map, which I had to crop, there is no Solent but the British Sea. Oh yes, I like that.