The above picture published today by Geoff Hallum on the Hamble River & Its Villages Facebook Page raised an interesting perspective on progress over time.
Exactly one hundred years ago today the children of Hamble-le-Rice, a Village on the Hampshire Coast in England marched up the hill from the Quayside to the Village Square wearing their Sunday Best. Although the Armistice wasn’t signed for another couple of weeks the people of the UK celebrated on the 19th.
In 1919 most houses in the village did not have electricity, or inside toilets, or bathrooms. Measles and Flu were killer diseases. Motor Cars were just starting to more widely available to the better off, with echoes of modern days with Joseph John Sedgewick of the Parish of Hound being fined for “Driving a Motor Car in a manner dangerous to the Public” on Hamble Lane, at the outrageous and lunatic speed of 25 mph (!), he was fined £1.
20 years later the boys in this picture would be Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen fighting in WW2 and many of the girls were tilling the land as Land Girls and working in the Spitfire factories in Southampton, as German Bombers roared up the Hamble and Solent to attack the Spitfire airfield at Hamble and the Factories in Southampton, taking fire from the gun batteries along the Hamble Peninsula and Solent Shores.
25 Years and one day after the Children marched, WW2 was unexpectedly almost ended when a group of German Officers lead by Claus von Stauffenberg planted a bomb that would injure Hitler without killing him, meaning the war would carry on into another year. Claus von Stauffenberg was executed by the Nazis for the attempted assassination.
Exactly 25 years after the attempt on Hitler, and 50 years and one day after the Children processed through the Village Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. In only 50 years the world had gone from sailing ships and steamers moving crabs and strawberries along the Hamble River, and drivers being arrested for travelling at 25 mph to the Apollo Moon Rockets.
So the Moon Landing is exactly midway between today and the Children’s March in Hamble. How staggering that relative progress has slowed in the period between 1969 to 2019 compared to 1919 and 1969. Just think if we’d progressed at the same rate, we could have had colonies on Mars.
Happily some things remain the same, the houses visible in the Children’s picture are still there, one is a bed and breakfast, and the other a small shop, and the Hamble River still flows down to the Solent.