Herald - Issue 448

Page 56 • The HERALD • 26th October 2023 Calling All Bookworms Chas – A Lifetime Fighting Fire The Heartbeat of Hythe Alan Titheridge’s book “Chas – A Lifetime Fighting Fire” which relates the remarkable career of local re ghter Chas McGill is available from e Herald o ce, Norris Gi s in Beaulieu High Street, publisher Ceratopia Books on its website or direct from Alan and Chas themselves at awt1950@sky.com priced £9.95. Chas only ever wanted to be a reman. As a ten year old boy he would give the Hythe firemen responding to the siren alerting them to an incident, a good run for their money in getting to the re station rst. Chas loved to watch the big red machines race from the station. At the age of seventeen he joined the ranks at Hythe and began a service career that has lasted almost 56 years. He was already a much-decorated re ghter when in 2016 he was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at a ceremony at Windsor Castle. During his career that spans six decades, Chas has seen action in numerous high pro le incidents along the Waterside including res in the Fawley re nery, aboard oil tankers at the Fawley jetty and the former Marchwood Power Station. At the age of just 21, he was one of the rst re ghters sent aboard the stricken and still burning oil tanker Paci c Glory o the Isle of Wight. Although he retired from frontline duties in 2018, Chas is still very much a part of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue, involved with a number of di erent projects for the service. He is also a governor with South Central Ambulance Service, a governor of Black eld Junior School and serves on Fawley Parish Council. e railway on Hythe Pier has been operating for over 100 years, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest continuously operating electric pier railway. ‘The Heartbeat of Hythe – The Story of the Hythe Pier Railway’ is a book written by Hythe based ferry historian Alan Titheridge which not only relates the history of this quirky little train that transported King George VI along the pier in 1944 but covers the special place it has in the hearts of community. Very many men and one woman have driven the train over the years, their contribution to the story is acknowledged in a chapter containing brief biographies with photographs. Another chapter tells how to drive the train. e train has had its ups and downs throughout its history including mechanical failures, derailments, and threats of disposal in the 1930’s and in 2003. It has carried many celebrity passengers and acted in the role of ambulance, fire engine and wedding carriage. With its clickety-clack soundtrack being an intrinsic part of everyday life in the village, it truly is the “Heartbeat of Hythe”. Copies can be ordered from Alan himself using email: awt1950@sky.com or you can pick up your copy from e Herald o ce or from the Hythe Ferry o ce. Local History Book for Sale! Robin Somes local history book titled ‘Digging up the Past’ is on sale in e Herald o ce. e book includes a collection of 28 illustrated articles, rst published in e Herald between 2021 and 2023, featuring historical events, family connections, and personal recollections of life around Fawley and the Waterside villages. e book is on sale for £5 (cash only) from e Herald o ce or via Robin’s online shop: shop.robinsomes.co.uk HYTHE’S HOTSPURS Alan Titheridge’s new book, “Hythe’s Hotspurs and Other Boats” is now available. It relates the history of the three most popular boats to have plied between Hythe Pier and Southampton, the Hotspurs II, III and IV, so fondly remembered by so very many residents of Hythe and the Waterside. ere have been three other boats bearing the Hotspur name, all covered in equal detail as well as are all other boats that both preceded and succeeded them. e book, which has 176 photographs and plates in its 176 pages, is sized as his previous books ‘ e Heartbeat of Hythe – the Story of the Hythe Pier Railway’ and ‘Chas – A Lifetime Fighting Fire’ and similarly priced at £9.95. It is available from Alan direct at: awt1950@ sky.com or through Facebook Messenger. It is also available from e Herald o ce, the Hythe Ferry ticket o ce, Hythe Post O ce and Norris’s Shop in Beaulieu. Fans of Patricia Hedley-Goddard’s Tales from the Graveyard regularly featured in e Herald can purchase her book: Tales from the Graveyard of All Saints Church Fawley, while stocks last. Each story is a history of an individual buried or interred within the Graveyard. It encompasses boating tragedies, intrepid airmen, firearms accidents, brave soldiers and sailors. All set out in a rich tapestry inspired by their memorials at All Saints Church in Fawley. e book is available for £4 (cash only please) from e Herald O ce. TALES FROM THE GRAVEYARD – LAST FEW COPIES LEFT