Walking around Lee-on-the-Solent provides tantalising glimpses into its past - whether it’s the balconied Victorian buildings in Pier Street, the Art Deco frontages above the shops in Marine Parade West, the airfield with its gliders soaring peacefully overhead, the hovercraft museum, the sight of yachts on the sparkling waters of the Solent, or the lengthy list of names on the War Memorial. And perhaps you remember, or have heard talk of, the Tower with its ballroom and cinema, the Pier Hotel in its heyday, and the outdoor swimming pool?
But what’s the real story behind the history of Lee-on-the-Solent? Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you are bound to discover something new in this fascinating account. Why would Isle of Wight monks build a windmill at Lee? Why would you have needed the help of the baker’s boy if you wanted to get a train at Elmore Halt? What was on offer at Bulson’s Stores and Pleasure Retreat? Why was a rainstorm so popular at the Anglican church? Why did the last two Englishmen to fight a duel choose Browndown as the venue? What made prefabs the envy of many residents? And why was a patch of grass in the wildgrounds always tended in the shape of a cross? You’ll find the answer to these questions and many more in Exploring the History of Lee-on-the-Solent.
Best of all, you’ll discover why you should raise a glass to John Robinson, the Victorian entrepreneur without whom Lee-on-the-Solent would surely not exist.