Thursday, 22 September 2016

Eastleigh, Hampshire

We have a fondness for railway towns so here's some interesting facts about one such place: Eastleigh.

Eastleigh is a railway town in Hampshire, about 5 miles north of Southampton.

There's been a settlement at Eastleigh since at least 932, although its name has changed slightly in more recent times. In 1868 local benefactor, Charlotte Mary Yonge, was asked to choose a name for the newly merged parishes of Eastley and Barton. She chose Eastley, but with a more modern spelling.

It's on a Roman road, in fact important routes have always passed through Eastleigh. 

Eastleigh's industry has been all about clearing a way to maintain and develop those routes, whether that's on the river, roads, rail or in the air. 
It could be said to have been making the way since 932...

Many related industries have brought travellers and settlers who have made it what it is today.

Eastleigh FC are nicknamed 'The Spitfires' because according to the club's website, 'Southampton International Airport (previously known as Eastleigh Airport) was home for the assembly of the Supermarine Type F37/34 Spitfire once the aircraft had been built in nearby Woolston. The F37/34’s maiden flight, piloted by ‘Mutt’ Summers’ and watched by designer R.J. Mitchell, took place at Eastleigh Airport on 5th March 1936.'

A neighbourhood of Nairobi in East Africa is also named Eastleigh. According to the newspaper 'Nairobi News', "due to Kenya's colonization by the British, some of its officials are said to have been using the airstrip [coming from England] Eastleigh in Hampshire. Hence the name Eastleigh was easily coined to refer to the (Nairobi) neighbourhood."

More information on Eastleigh's history:

Tim Lambert's local history
Eastleigh Museum
Eastleigh Civic Heritage
Eastleigh FC Club History

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