1950 trip to the New Forest

In 1950, Raymond Crowther (Biology) took the Field Club on a camping trip to Brockenhurst in the New Forest. The trip also included the Isle of Wight

Camp, complete with camp fire, was established in the shade of a huge old oak tree near the Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst. At far left of the picture is George Moore; the next two people are unidentified. Raymond Crowther is standing in the roped-off area and Ian Scott is seated on the ground.

The photo was taken by Mick Tanton from the position of a large fallen tree trunk that provided a convenient seating area for meals!

John Thompson chopping wood for the fire.

Co-incidentally, Mick Tanton met John again in the early 1960s when working at the Nature Conservancy’s Monks Wood Experimental Station between Huntingdon and Peterborough. John was the Warden for the area and lived on a cottage adjacent to the Research Station.

A.C. ‘Charles’ Neville in pursuit of a butterfly near camp. Both he and Mick Tanton and some of the others in the group went on to Imperial College London to study Zoology and Applied Entomology and after a Doctorate pursued successful research in insect cuticle and flight. He joined the staff of Bristol University as Mick Tanton emigrated to Australia.

Brian Hill (left) and AC. ‘Charles’ Neville ready for a butterfly-hunting sortie. 1950 was a very hot summer and butterflies abounded in the New Forest, and as several of the group were keen entomologists, they were often our on forays.

Similarly in this Photo, with Mick Tanton in the centre and Charles Neville at left.

On one of the days of the two week camp Raymond Crowther took the party to the Isle of Wight. This is a trip that you could not do in the same fashion today, as they caught the train from Brockenhurst to Lymington, a line long since closed. Then it was ferry across the Solent to Cowes.

Mick Tanton cannot recall how the group got to Alum Bay at the western end of the island, but it may have been by train to Freshwater – the line was certainly in use then.

They walked across the downs and Mick remembers the myriads of Chalkhill Blue butterflies on the chalk grassland.

The group used Alum Bay for swimming, while Mr Crowther relaxed on the gravel beach.

Raymond Crowther walking along the beach. Unfortunately a blurred photo because of his and my movement, but it does show his typical field garb of the time, and the shadow cast on his shoulder by his inseperable pipe is clearly visible!


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