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Mike Roussel

The Story of Southampton Docks

The Story of Southampton Docks

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This book offers a fascinating delve into the history and development of Southampton Docks. It is fully illustrated throughout with over 250 photographs and drawings many having their first outing.

Southampton has a long maritime history that can be traced from the invasion of Britain by the Romans in AD70, but the construction of the docks really began from an Act of Parliament in 1803 that made it possible to develop quays and warehouses.

The book looks at dock management and the construction of both Old and New Docks during the period when the docks were known as 'railway docks', managed by London & South Western Railway and later the Southern Railway.

With the outbreak of the Second World War the docks came under the control of the War Department, a time when the docks were heavily bombed. From 1945 the dock management was faced with competition for trade from abroad.

21st century trade is increasing in Southampton Docks, with larger container ships and car carriers visiting, but the biggest change is the development of the cruise industry.

About the Author

Mike Roussel has always had a deep interest in history, especially local history. Later as a professional musician, he found the life stories of the older musicians he worked with fascinating and an excellent way of recording living history.

This interest developed in more depth when he was a teacher with visits to museums and projects with children that combined research and oral history interviews that really brought history to life for children and adults alike.

He has always had an interest in maritime history and after watching daily life on Southampton Water and Southampton Docks in the 1990s he decided to write this book.

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