Although there is no official motto in the United States Navy the phrase, "Don't Give Up The Ship", resonates throughout its history. Captain James Lawrence, who coined the phrase, did so as he lay dying on the quarterdeck of the frigate, USS Chesapeake, on the first day of June, 1813. The 12 minute battle with the British frigate HMS Shannon, took place at Saint Ann's Head off Boston.
In the event, the ship was captured and towed to the British base in Halifax, Nova Scotia (above). Eventually it was taken to England where it became HMS Chesapeake, and served with the Royal Navy for about 30 years until she was scrapped.
Many years later, in 1976, the old watermill in Wickham, Hampshire, England ground to a final stop. It then began to deteriorate for lack of maintenance, and in the new millennium the decision had to be made regarding pulling the mill down and redeveloping the site.
On surveying the building the local villagers were reminded that large portions of the mill had been rebuilt from whole sections of the Chesapeake. Although it was argued that this had rather more to do with American history than British, it was agreed that the Mill be maintained as a heritage site.
Today the mill is owned by Anthony and Sandy Taylor, and is now a large antique centre. I was introduced to them through the American broadcaster and writer, Chris Dickon, with whom I had been in a long correspondence, concerning the Chesapeake.
Last Sunday Pat and I drove down from Yorkshire to Hampshire and stayed in a hotel near Wickham.
Wickam lies on the old Roman road between Chichester and Winchester where it began as a market town, getting its first mention in history in 826AD.
Our first sighting of Wickham was the Square. The space is usually taken up with car parking but it is often the centre of village life.
|Morris Dancers - where else but England?|
passing the Barracks
and then the 'Dip hole'
Above the door was a small plaque, so tarnished it was easy to miss... and meant little to the ill-informed.
Sandy made us welcome and gave me the run of the place, two floors of pure Chesapeake
I shall add another posting later, as the blog won't let me import any more photographs