Southampton: 5 Facts You May Not Know About Our Great City
Mon 01 Apr 2019
What can we say about our great city? It has a population of around a quarter of a million people, it is popular with tourists to the UK and its port is the start of many journeys for people cruising all around the world.
We love our city and we are proud to be a part of community serving the residents of Southampton since 1981 with our professional lettings and property management service.
So, here are some facts that you may know or (hopefully) may not know. If you do share these with your friends and family, please do not hesitate to let them know where you heard them.
Let’s get started…
1. A Dinner Time Favourite
Did you know that a Southampton claim to fame is that it was pivotal in the success of fish fingers? The dinner time favourite was known as ‘cod sticks’ but when their popularity rose, news spread and so did the sale of fish fingers across the UK.
It was Clarence Birdseye who started this craze with Herring and Cod Sticks amongst the shoppers in Southampton.
2. Funny Man Benny Hill Was Born in Southampton
This popular comic was a big hit on the television screens between 1955 and 1991 entertaining people all around the world with his funny sketches and scenes that are still shown today on our screens. Famously, Benny Hill’s sketches always finished with a chase scene with himself and many females.
Many people do not know that his idol was in fact Charlie Chaplin and he visited his home shortly after his death in Switzerland.
Benny Hill later died in 1977, leaving a hole in British TV comedy and will be much remembered by the generations who proceeded him.
Other famous people who were born in Southampton include, singers Craig David and Howard Jones.
3. The Unthinkable Happened To The Unsinkable
On the 10th April 1912, the supposedly ‘unsinkable’ ocean liner set sail from the port of Southampton carrying 3,327 passengers and crew destination; New York. However, only 4 days into its historic journey, it collided with an iceberg and within just two hours forty minutes later, it sank leaving the world devasted with such a loss of life. With only 20 lifeboats on board, over 1,500 people lost their life.
The infamous journey lasted only a few short days but was hailed as a great in the engineering world. There are many factors that could have saved many more people when the cruise liner was sinking. Was it human error? Should they have had more life boats on board or were the shop owners over confident about its sheer prowess.
An interesting fact (that wasn’t divulged in the 1998 Oscar winning film, was that Southampton was not the last stop on this maiden voyage. The White Star cruise liner also stopped in Cherbourg (France) and Cobh (County Cork).
4. Southampton Has A European Twin
Not many people know that our great city is twinned with Le Havre, which is in the Northern Normandy region of France. There are five ways to travel from Southampton to Le Havre. These include by train, bus, bus and ferry, car, car ferry, car train or by plane.
The two cities are now celebrating a forty six year partnership and with EU funding over the years, the popularity rose for finding twinned cities across Europe.
One of the strengths of cities being twinned is that each city will engagement with its twin to ensure that a relationship continues for many generations. This responsibility falls to the residents of both cities and various organisations get together each year to celebrate this.
Southampton is also twinned with other cities across Europe which include Bremen (Germany), Bilbao (Spain), Cherbourg (also in France), Patras (Greece) and finally the Italian city of Trieste.
Interesting to note, Southampton also has a sister city and another port in Qingdao in China.
5. Sense & Sensibility Was Written In Southampton
This novel was originally published anonymously in 1811 by ‘A Lady’ which appears at the top of the book where the author’s name would normally have featured. However, it was written by Jane Austin, who briefly lived in Southampton whilst writing this well known book.
Its original print run of 750 copies sold out in 1813 which marked great success for the author. The novel continued to be republished in the 19th, 20th and 21st century and later adapted for stage and film.
For some Sotonians, these facts may not be too ‘amazing’ for them but for those who were not aware, we hope you have enjoyed them as much as we did in finding them for this blog.