Hamble Point Car Park is an excellent location to see shipping activity on Southampton Water but it also has historical interest. At its northern end is a concrete emplacement for two anti-aircraft guns that were sited there in WW2 to defend Southampton and the neighbouring oil terminals from low level air attack.
Today a solitary 40mm Bofor anti-aircraft gun represents the role the site played during the war. Although a later model than those used during the war in most respects it is indistinguishable from its forbears. Without care the gun would deteriorate and every year Hamble Conserva
tion Volunteers clean and repaint the gun with appropriate paint kindly provided by locally based BP.
Recently there has been a very alarming development. The relentless forces of the tide have undermined the foundations of the gun emplacement and without urgent restoration work it will be impossible for the gun to remain where it is.
Removal of the gun would deprive Hamble of one of its historic landmarks and while renovation of the foundations might be costly, timely repair might turn out to be more cost effective than the effort that would be required to remove the gun and its emplacement.
For the time being, a fence has been erected around the gun to keep the public off the structure while repairs are investigated. As with all things like this there are various stakeholders (EBC, Hamble Parish Council, Historic England, The Environment Agency) all of whom have to be consulted before any decision can be made on the future of the gun, so don't expect anything to happen soon!
An Eastleigh Borough Council spokesperson said, “The Council has taken action to fence off and secure the site in the interests of health and safety. The Council will be exploring various options for the best way forward for the AA Gun emplacement at Hamble Point. We will need to work with a number of agencies including Historic England to establish the best way forward.”