Queen Elizabeth 2 at Southampton
I became interested in ocean liners around 1976 or '77 after reading Clive Cussler's novel Raise The Titanic! . I first became aware of the QE2 about a year later; I still have a 1978 brochure advertising voyage's on the ship. Registered in Southampton, she departed from the city's old Ocean Terminal on her maiden voyage to New York on May 2, 1969. She remains the flagship of Britain's merchant fleet but, sadly, 2003 is her final season of regular transatlantic crossings. In early 2004, she will be replaced by the massive 150,000-ton Queen Mary 2 , currently under construction in France (when completed, the QM2 will be the largest liner ever built).
City and Port of Southampton.
Many cruise ships depart from Southampton, as well as ferries to Isle of Wight.
The port exports a lot of products from the British motor industry: e.g. Southampton-built Ford Transits, Cowley-built Minis, Solihull-built Land Rovers and Luton-built Renault Trafics.
Some are stored in the open, others in multi-storey dockside 'car-parks'.
Southampton is a major import centre for secondhand Japanese cars.
Southampton has a lot of parkland literally next to the city centre (East Park).
There are 2 city-centre shopping malls: the smallish Marlands and huge, impressive West Quay. These have meant the established 1950s/'60s-style shopping street looks a bit run down, with empty shops and fast-food outlets.
"The Southampton accent."
Famous examples of a Southampton accent are Southern Television's Worzel Gummidge and Benny Hill, who came from Eastleigh.