House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
Olaf Trygvasson was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. He was the son of Tryggvi Olafsson, king of Viken, according to sagas, the great-grandson of Harald Fairhair, first King of Norway. Olaf is seen as an important factor in the conversion of the Norse to the Roman Catholic religion. Many of these new converts were converted under threat of violence, he is said to have built the first Christian church in Norway, in 995, to have founded the city of Trondheim in 997. A statue of Olaf Tryggvason is located in the city's central plaza. Historical information on Olaf is sparse, he is mentioned in some contemporary English sources, some skaldic poems. The oldest narrative source mentioning him is Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum of circa 1070. In the 1190s, two Latin versions of "Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar" were written in Iceland, by Oddr Snorrason and by Gunnlaugr Leifsson - these are now lost, but are thought to form the basis of Norse versions. Snorri Sturluson gives an extensive account of Olaf in the Heimskringla saga of circa 1230, using Oddr Snorrason's saga as his primary source.
Modern historians do not assume that these late sources are accurate, their credibility is debated. The most detailed account is named Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta and is recorded in the Flateyjarbók, in the early 15th-century Bergsbók; the account in this article is based on the late sagas. There is the place of Olaf's birth; the earliest Norwegian written source, the Historia Norwegiæ of the late twelfth century, states that Olaf was born in the Orkney Islands after his mother fled there to escape the killers of Olaf's father. Another late 12th-century source, Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum, states that Olaf's mother fled to Orkney with Olaf when he was three years old for the same reason. All the sagas agree that Olaf came to Kievan Rus' the court of Vladimir I of Kiev; the version in Heimskringla is the most elaborate, but the latest, introduces elements to the story that are not found in earlier sources. It states that Olaf was born shortly after the murder of his father in 963, while other sources suggest a date between 964 and 969.
The dates cast doubt over Olaf's claim to be of Harald Fairhair's kin, the legitimacy of his claim to the throne. Snorri Sturluson claims in Olaf Tryggvson's saga that Olaf was born on an islet in Fjærlandsvatnet, where his mother Astrid Eiriksdottir, daughter of Eirik Bjodaskalle, was hiding from her husband's killers, led by Harald Greycloak, the son of Eirik Bloodaxe. Greycloak and his brothers had seized the throne from Haakon the Good. Astrid fled to her father's home in Oppland went on to Sweden where she thought she and Olaf would be safe. Harald sent emissaries to the king of Sweden, asked for permission to take the boy back to Norway, where he would be raised by Greycloak's mother Gunhild; the Swedish king to no avail. After a short scuffle Astrid fled again; this time their destination was Gardarike, where Astrid's brother Sigurd was in the service of King Valdemar. Olaf was three years old; the journey was not successful: in the Baltic Sea they were captured by Estonian vikings, the people aboard were either killed or taken as slaves.
Olaf became the possession of a man named Klerkon, together with his foster father Thorolf and his son Thorgils. Klerkon considered Thorolf too old to be useful as a slave and killed him, sold the two boys to a man named Klerk for a ram. Olaf was sold to a man called Reas for a fine cloak. Six years Sigurd Eirikson traveled to Estonia to collect taxes for King Valdemar, he saw a boy. He asked the boy about his family, the boy told him he was Olaf, son of Tryggve Olafson and Astrid Eiriksdattir. Sigurd went to Reas and bought Olaf and Thorgils out from slavery, took the boys with him to Novgorod to live under the protection of Valdemar. Still according to Heimskringla, one day in the Novgorod marketplace Olaf encountered Klerkon, his enslaver and the murderer of his foster father. Olaf killed Klerkon with an axe blow to the head. A mob followed the young boy as he fled to his protector Queen Allogia, with the intent of killing him for his misdeed. Only after Allogia had paid blood money for Olaf did the mob calm down.
As Olaf grew older, Vladimir made him chief over his men-at-arms, but after a couple years the king became wary of Olaf and his popularity with his soldiers. Fearing he might be a threat to the safety of his reign, Vladimir stopped treating Olaf as a friend. Olaf decided that it was better for him to seek his fortune elsewhere, set out for the Baltic. Heimskringla states that after leaving Novgorod, Olaf raided ports with success. In 982 he was caught in a storm and made port in Wendland, where he met Queen Geira, a daughter of King Burizleif, she ruled the part of Wendland in which Olaf had landed, Olaf and his men were given an offer to stay for the winter. Olaf accepted and after courting the Queen, they were married. Olaf began to reclaim the baronies. After these successful campaigns, he began raiding again both in Gotland. Holy Roman Emperor Otto II assembled a great army of Saxons, Franks and Wends to fight the Norse pagan Danes. Olaf was part of this army. Otto's army met the armies of King Harald Bluetooth and Haakon Jarl, the ruler of Norway under the Danish king, at Danevirke, a great wall near Schleswig.
Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, England. It is 70 miles south-west of 15 miles west north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is the closest city to the New Forest, it lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The city, a unitary authority, has an estimated population of 253,651; the city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian. Significant employers in the city include Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton, Solent University, Southampton Airport, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, the NHS, ABP and Carnival UK. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, the Spitfire and more in the World War II narrative as one of the departure points for D-Day, more as the home port of a number of the largest cruise ships in the world. Southampton has retail park, Westquay.
In 2014, the city council approved a neighbouring followup Westquay South which opened in 2016–2017. In the 2001 census Southampton and Portsmouth were recorded as being parts of separate urban areas; this built-up area is part of the metropolitan area known as South Hampshire, known as Solent City in the media when discussing local governance organisational changes. With a population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom's most populous metropolitan areas. Archaeological finds suggest. Following the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and the conquering of the local Britons in AD 70 the fortress settlement of Clausentum was established, it was an important trading port and defensive outpost of Winchester, at the site of modern Bitterne Manor. Clausentum is thought to have contained a bath house. Clausentum was not abandoned until around 410; the Anglo-Saxons formed a new, settlement across the Itchen centred on what is now the St Mary's area of the city. The settlement was known as Hamwic, which evolved into Hamtun and Hampton.
Archaeological excavations of this site have uncovered one of the best collections of Saxon artefacts in Europe. It is from this town. Viking raids from 840 onwards contributed to the decline of Hamwic in the 9th century, by the 10th century a fortified settlement, which became medieval Southampton, had been established. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, Southampton became the major port of transit between the capital of England and Normandy. Southampton Castle was built in the 12th century and surviving remains of 12th-century merchants' houses such as King John's House and Canute's Palace are evidence of the wealth that existed in the town at this time. By the 13th century Southampton had become a leading port involved in the import of French wine in exchange for English cloth and wool; the Franciscan friary in Southampton was founded circa 1233. The friars constructed a water supply system in 1290, which carried water from Conduit Head some 1.1 miles to the site of the friary inside the town walls.
Further remains can be observed at Conduit House on Commercial Road. The friars granted use of the water to the town in 1310; the town was sacked in 1338 by French and Monegasque ships. On visiting Southampton in 1339, Edward III ordered that walls be built to'close the town'; the extensive rebuilding—part of the walls dates from 1175—culminated in the completion of the western walls in 1380. Half of the walls, 13 of the original towers, six gates survive. In 1348, the Black Death reached England via merchant vessels calling at Southampton. Prior to King Henry's departure for the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the ringleaders of the "Southampton Plot"—Richard, Earl of Cambridge, Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham, Sir Thomas Grey of Heton—were accused of high treason and tried at what is now the Red Lion public house in the High Street, they were summarily executed outside the Bargate. The city walls include God's House Tower, built in 1417, the first purpose-built artillery fortification in England.
Over the years it has been used as home to the city's gunner, the Town Gaol and as storage for the Southampton Harbour Board. Until September 2011, it housed the Museum of Archaeology; the walls were completed in the 15th century, but development of several new fortifications along Southampton Water and the Solent by Henry VIII meant that Southampton was no longer dependent upon its fortifications. During the Middle Ages, shipbuilding had become an important industry for the town. Henry V's famous warship HMS Grace Dieu was built in Southampton and launched in 1418; the friars passed on ownership of the water supply system itself to the town in 1420. On the other hand, many of the medieval buildings once situated within the town walls are now in ruins or have disappeared altogether. From successive incarnations of the motte and bailey castle, only a section of the bailey wall remains today, lying just off Castle Way; the friary was dissolved in 1538 but its ruins remained until they were swept away in the 1940s.
The port was the point of departure for the Pilgrim Fathers aboard Mayflower in 1620. In 1642, during the English Civil War, a Parliamentary gar
The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU; the Parliament is composed of 751 members, that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. It has been directly elected by the European citizens every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters. Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do.
The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU, shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council. It has equal control over the EU budget; the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, approves the appointment of the Commission as a whole, it can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. The President of the European Parliament is Antonio Tajani, elected in January 2017, he presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections; the European Parliament has three places of work -- Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices. Meetings of the whole Parliament take place in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels; the Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.
One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was a consultative assembly of 78 appointed parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states, having no legislative powers; the change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester: "For much of its life, the European Parliament could have been justly labelled a'multi-lingual talking shop'."Its development since its foundation shows how the European Union's structures have evolved without a clear "master plan". Some, such as Tom Reid of the Washington Post, said of the union: "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU"; the Parliament's two seats, which have switched several times, are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. Although most MEPs would prefer to be based just in Brussels, at John Major's 1992 Edinburgh summit, France engineered a treaty amendment to maintain Parliament's plenary seat permanently at Strasbourg.
The body was not mentioned in the original Schuman Declaration. It was assumed or hoped that difficulties with the British would be resolved to allow the Council of Europe's Assembly to perform the task. A separate Assembly was introduced during negotiations on the Treaty as an institution which would counterbalance and monitor the executive while providing democratic legitimacy; the wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. Its early importance was highlighted when the Assembly was given the task of drawing up the draft treaty to establish a European Political Community. By this document, the Ad Hoc Assembly was established on 13 September 1952 with extra members, but after the failure of the proposed European Defence Community the project was dropped. Despite this, the European Economic Community and Euratom were established in 1958 by the Treaties of Rome.
The Common Assembly was shared by all three communities and it renamed itself the European Parliamentary Assembly. The first meeting was held on 19 March 1958 having been set up in Luxembourg City, it elected Schuman as its president and on 13 May it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality; this is seen as the birth of the modern European Parliament, with Parliament's 50 years celebrations being held in March 2008 rather than 2002. The three communities merged their remaining organs as the European Communities in 1967, the body's name was changed to the current "European Parliament" in 1962. In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. Under the Rome Treaties, the Parliament should have become elected. However, the Council was required to agree a uni
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Woolston Floating Bridge
The Woolston Floating Bridge was a cable ferry that crossed the River Itchen in England between hards at Woolston and Southampton from 23 November 1836 until 11 June 1977. It was taken out of service. There was one ferry and owned by the Floating Bridge Company, increased to two in 1881. In 1934 they were sold to Southampton Corporation. In the 1970s two diesel ferries operated side by side during the day with a single ferry late in the evening. There was a bus terminus at both hards on either side of the crossing, connecting foot passengers with the centre of Southampton and the road to Portsmouth. A maintenance slipway and cradle were built to the North of the Woolston hard to enable the ferries to be hauled out of the water; the third diesel ferry was to be found moored off the wires on the Southampton side of the river to the North of the hard in years. The original plans were introduced in 1833 for a conventional bridge with a swivelling section in the middle. Opposition came from a number of sources including the Northam Bridge Company.
An attempt to obtain an article of parliament for the bridge's construction was made in early 1834 but at this point the Admiralty voiced its objection arguing that the bridge would interfere with the navigation of the Itchen. The Admiralty suggested a steam driven floating bridge as an alternative and a revised bill was passed on the 25 July 1834 despite further opposition from the Northam Bridge Company; the bridge began operation on 23 November 1836. The floating bridge company suffered from poor financial performance and a new Act of Parliament was obtained in 1839 allowing the company to raise raise tolls and borrow 12,000. Competition from railways resulted resulted in the company going bankrupt at the end of 1849 and bridge operations ceased. A further act of parliament in 1851 allowing the tolls to again be raised and the exemptions to be reduced resulted in the bridge returning to service. New railway lines resulted in further difficulties in the 1860s but these were resolved by an 1886 act of Parliament that removed most of the remaining toll exemptions.
In 1934 Southampton council, having gained compulsory purchase powers from parliament, purchased the company at a price of £23,013 set at arbitration. During World War two the bridges were under orders to cease operations during air raids but in practice they continued operating in some cases; the council stopped charging tolls for pedestrians and cyclists using the bridge in October 1946. In 1970 a report prepared as part of the planning for the Itchen bridge it was noted that all the floating bridges would need to be replaced or undergo significant refits by 1980 in order to remain seaworthy; this among other factors pushed the city council to move towards constructing a fixed bridge. During the construction of the bridge the building works blocked the view of the ferry up the river so a watchtower had to be placed on the construction jetties to signal when ships were approaching from upstream; the final public crossing by the ferries was a return trip on the 11 of June 1977 starting at 22:00.
500 passengers were carried on each ferry with special tickets including a glass of wine in specially inscribed glasses. After the return crossings had been completed fireworks were launched from the west bank of the Itchen. On the 12 June a further crossing was made carrying Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy as part of the naming ceremony for the new Itchen bridge When introduced in 1838, it was a wooden-hulled chain ferry designed by engineer James Meadows Rendel. There was one pair of chains across the river, both being used for propulsion. With the introduction of the lighter iron-hulled ferry No 2 in 1854, only the north chain was used for propulsion, the second chain being for guidance only. In 1879 a pedestrian-only ferry was introduced, followed by a second in 1881 to service the growing workmen traffic heading for the Thorneycroft shipyard just downstream from the crossing; this necessitated the installation of a second set of chains to allow both types of ferry to operate simultaneously.
In 1880 the ferry was still using chains, replaced by cables between 1878 and 1887. They are first seen in pictures of Floating Bridge No. 7, built in 1892 by Day, Summers and Co. Each rope had an average life of nine months in normal use; each end was attached to a short length of chain, connected to counterbalance weights housed in chain wells to maintain tension. As the ropes stretched with use, chain links were removed to compensate; the periodical "Engineering" carried a full description, including drawings and sections, for Bridge Number 8 in the issue dated 26th November 1897. Floating Bridge No. 11 and the two subsequent ferries were powered by diesel engines. The ferries were lit by oil lamps. Ferry No 3 was fitted with gas lamps from new in 1862 but reverted to oil in 1869. In the early 20th century, electric lights were fitted to No 8, powered by a steam-driven dynamo, replaced by a Lister diesel in 1949. One of the last two diesel bridges delivered, thought to be number 14, was converted to a floating workshop and office at Kemp's boatyard below Northam Bridge on the East bank of the River Itchen.
By 2004 it was moored in a wet dock next to Belvidere Wharf on the West Bank. The superstructure had been removed to form a pontoon by 2007, it disappeared at some time before 2012; the Floating Bridge was technically called the Woolston ferry. Floating bridge is an affectionate description of the technology rather than the name of the crossing; the term was first used by the engineer James Meadows Rendel, who had implemented a similar design of chain ferry at Torpoint in C
Southampton Water is a tidal estuary north of the Solent and the Isle of Wight in England. The city of Southampton lies at its most northerly point. Along its salt marsh-fringed western shores lie the New Forest villages of Hythe and "the waterside", Dibden Bay, the Esso oil refinery at Fawley. On the steeper eastern shore are the Southampton suburb of Weston, the villages of Netley and Hamble-le-Rice, the Royal Victoria Country Park. Together with the Solent, Southampton Water is world-renowned for yachting, it served as one of the motorboating venues for the 1908 Summer Olympics. Geographically, Southampton Water is classified as drowned valley, of the English Channel, it was formed by the rivers Test and Hamble which flow into it, became an inlet of the sea at the end of the last ice age when sea levels rose, flooding many valleys in the south of England. In particular, it is that Southampton Water formed due to the submerging of the River Solent which flowed through the area, of which the River Test, River Itchen and River Medina are thought to be tributaries.
Southampton's emergence as a major port, as a port handling large vessels, depended on certain geographical features of Southampton Water. Its depth in its undeveloped state, was generous. An additional factor is the phenomenon of the "double tide", which results in unusually prolonged periods of high water; this facilitates the movements of large ships. Southampton Water is an estuary with major potential for land use conflicts. An area of urban development runs in the narrow band of land between Southampton Water and the New Forest National Park. Villages such as Marchwood, Dibden Purlieu and Fawley have all experienced significant growth. Between Hythe and Marchwood, an area of reclaimed land – Dibden Bay – was the site of a proposed port expansion by Associated British Ports; this was argued to be essential for the continued economic development of the Port of Southampton but the development was vigorously opposed by conservation groups. The intertidal marshlands of Dibden Bay have international significance.
The planning enquiry rejected the application from Associated British Ports recommending that the environmental value of the site could not be overruled when there were alternative sites for port expansion in southern England which had not yet been explored. The government accepted the recommendations of the planning inspector in April 2005. In July 2009, Associated British Ports launched a consultation on a 20-year masterplan for Southampton port, it sets out plans for future growth: "In identifying the Dibden reclaim as the only possible location for port expansion, ABP is aware of the nature conservation value of the site and the adjoining foreshore… Our demand forecasts indicate that expansion into the Dibden reclaim will become necessary between 2021 and 2027". In 1925 American hard-shelled clams were introduced into the River Test in an area warmed by cooling water discharge of Southampton Power Station in an attempt to breed them to allow them to be used as eel bait. Since their introduction the clams have spread through Southampton Water and into Portsmouth Harbour and Langstone Harbour