A painting of the Itchen Ferry

№1

A painting of the Itchen Ferry

The crew of the Shamrock IV.

№2

The crew of the Shamrock IV.

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Cheryl Butler

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Cheryl Butler

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The Story of Itchen Ferry Village

"At a very early time I can remember events in my life. My father was a sailor, fisherman, and yacht captain, born in the village of Itchen" so wrote Tom Diaper in his auto-biography Tom Diaper's Log an evocation of life as an Itchen Ferry man at the turn of the 20th century. The village grew up around the ferry crossing point, along an important coastal route to Southampton. The village was small, just a handful of families, who apart from running the ferry and fishing, were in the early days farmers and yeoman. Like many insular communities they developed local crafts and culture all connected to the water. They became good sailors and navigators and by the middle of the nineteenth century the iconic Itchen ferry boat had been developed into a racing vessel. Soon yacht racing became the staple employment for the men of the village, including providing crews for the famous J class yachts of America's Cup fame. The village also became the place where flying boats were developed and then the most famous plane of them all, the Spitfire. Being the home of the Spitfire was also the villages nemesis when it was bombed to almost oblivion during the Second World War.