The Bedhampton Miscellany is full of village ghosts and royal visits – nostalgia  

A country scene at Bedhampton with cows at rest on Bidbury Mead, Bedhampton. Pic: Ralph Cousins collection.
A country scene at Bedhampton with cows at rest on Bidbury Mead, Bedhampton. Pic: Ralph Cousins collection.
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Historian Ralph Cousins has published a new book, Bedhampton Miscellany. The 95-page booklet has been written by several co-authors and there are many photographs of Bedhampton – from Victorian times up to the 1950s and 1960s.

It contains many interesting tales – from royal visits, to the history of the two churches, and even Bedhampton ghosts. 

The same scene in Bedhampton today, where the cows rested cars are now parked.

The same scene in Bedhampton today, where the cows rested cars are now parked.

The peaceful scene, above, was taken at Bidbury Mead, Bedhampton, with the roof of the Parish Church of St Thomas peering over the wall that protected the gardens of the manor house.

And, below, today, the cows have departed and it is a car park. The church still peeks over the wall and the bell still tolls to call parishioners to prayer.

I am glad to say the area is still  very quiet although the noise from the A27 can get tiresome. 

Behind the camera there are now two football pitches, a cricket pitch and a recently extended children’s play area. 

Just a century ago, and long before the bikini, Portsmouth ladies had to be wheeled out to sea. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

Just a century ago, and long before the bikini, Portsmouth ladies had to be wheeled out to sea. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

Copies of Bedhampton Miscellany can be obtained from Ralph at £6 plus £1.50 p&p by calling (023) 9248 4024. It can also be obtained from the Spring, Havant. 

It seems odd that less than a century ago ladies were not to be seen in bathing gear of any kind. For them to swim in the sea a long trailer with exceptionally large wheels was pushed (or towed) out into the tide. The ladies could then drop into the surf without being seen. 

In the picture below we are looking across to Gosport from Southsea beach at the the turn of the last century.

Picture: Barry Cox collection.