Some Personal Reflections of an International Business Economist
Chapter 5: ‘Seeking the Bubble Reputation’: The Southampton Years
5. ‘Seeking the bubble reputation’:1 the Southampton years In 1952, the city of Southampton was still recovering from the devastation caused by the German bombers a decade earlier. The centre of the city around the Bargate and the Town Wall – both of which date back to Roman times – was largely destroyed in a short series of concentrated raids. The port, however, which is one of the largest in the UK, and is the home terminal to the Cunard and Peninsular & Oriental (P&O) shipping lines, remained largely unscathed. The Cunard ship Titanic sailed from Southampton on its fateful voyage in 1912. In 1952, partly because of the rationing of foreign currency to the British traveller,2 and partly because the liners such as Queen Mary were only then being decommissioned as troop ships, activity at the port was much subdued. But, to me at any rate, Southampton was a delightful place in which to live. With a population of half a million people, it boasted some of the ﬁnest city parks in the country. Its new library and civic centre were the envy of many city planners. It was (and still is) the gateway to the New Forest, a vast and beautiful area of woodland and open countryside which was home to hundreds of ponies who had (and still have) right of way throughout most of the forest. It was home to a ﬁrst-rate football team, and to the Hampshire Cricket Club. It was also only one and a...
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