Romsey's Claim To Fame
Famous people to do with Romsey past and present
King Charles III
King Charles III visited Romsey many times over the years including
a Knatchbull family wedding at Romsey Abbey in 2016.
Queen Elizabeth 2nd and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth 2nd (Princess Elizabeth) married Philip Mountbatten, on Nov. 20, 1947. Her husband became Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Part of the honeymoon was at Broadlands, in Romsey. The Queen and Prince Philip have visited Romsey many times since, including the Charter celebrations in 1957 and 2007.
Sadly Prince Philip passed away on April 9th 2021
and also Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8th 2022
Prince Charles and Princess Diana
After their marriage the royal couple came to Broadlands,
in Romsey for the start of their honeymoon in July 1981.
Diana died on 31st August 1997
Prince Charles became King Charles on September 8th 2022
Sir William Petty
Sir William Petty FRS (26 May 1623 – 16 December 1687) was an English economist, scientist and philosopher. He was born in Church St. Romsey. He first became prominent serving Oliver Cromwell and Commonwealth in Ireland. He developed efficient methods to survey the land that was to be confiscated and given to Cromwell's soldiers. He also managed to remain prominent under King Charles II and King James II, as did many others who had served Cromwell. He was Member of the Parliament of England briefly and was also a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, and was a charter member of the Royal Society. It is for his theories on economics and his methods of political arithmetic that he is best remembered, however, and to him is attributed the philosophy of 'laissez-faire' in relation to government activity. He was knighted in 1661. He was the great-grandfather of Prime Minister William Petty Fitzmaurice, 2nd Earl of Shelburne and 1st Marquess of Lansdowne.
Lord Louis Mountbatten
Lord Mountbatten who died tragically in Ireland at the hands of the IRA in August 1979 lived at Broadlands Romsey for many years. Broadlands was once the country home of Victorian prime minister Lord Palmerston. He is here by the Crosfield Hall about to open The Edwina Mountbatten home for the elderly. He is accompanied by Princess Alexandra
Romsey was also the home of Lord Palmerston, the 19th century British Prime Minister who was born and lived at Broadlands, a large country estate on the outskirts of the town. A statue of Palmerston still stands in the Market Place outside the Town Hall.
Rev Edward Lyon Berthon
In addition to ministering to his parish, the Reverend Edward Lyon Berthon of Romsey, Hampshire, ran a boat building and engineering enterprise. In 1877, he started a company in Romsey, building folding lifeboats and "other floating machines", which (originally designed as lifeboats) were the mainstay of his business. The prototype was developed by him at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth where he was chaplain. A seaman was drowned in an early trial in 1854 after the boat was overloaded with a 13-inch mortar. The Berthon Boat Company is still operating today on the same site in Lymington that it moved to in 1918 and is still a boat yard with a workforce of 100 skilled craftsmen specialising in the refit and repair of yachts of up to 150 feet.
Todd Bennett was born in Southampton and brought up in Romsey, Hampshire. Todd was a member of the Southampton Athletic Club, had been a talented junior and first made his mark by winning the 400m gold medal in 1981 at the European junior championships. But he was physically small, only 5ft 7in and weighing around 10 stone.
Todd lived in St Blaize Rd and attended the Romsey School at Priestlands.
Todd sadly passed away in 2013
Was well known for his strong-man feats. In the 1986 Guinness Book of Records, he is listed as holding the record for the greatest number of motor tyres supported in a free lift, the total being 96. This record is dated 1984.
He appeared at many charity and fund-raising events. he's first tyre lift was at Braishfield Country Fair. About 1978.
Jim and Bobby Parkes
Cricketers Jim Parkes, who played for England (wicket keeper) and his son, Bobby Parkes who played for Hampshire and England once lived in Cupernham Lane, Romsey.
Oxlease House, Cupernham Lane, Romsey was once owned by football legend Kevin Keegan who once had dreams of turning the grounds into a golf course.
The site is of Important Nature Conservation and provides a haven for birds and the rare water vole.
Norman lived in Timsbury on the Romsey outskirts with his wife, Rhona - an artist in her own right. He was known as 'the unofficial artist of the British countryside' and one of Britain's finest cartoonists.
Norman Thelwell died early in 2004 at the age of 80, leaving behind a vast and much-loved body of work.
Smuzz (Simon Short)
Smuzz has been an illustrator and comic book artist since 1987. He started work as SMS, but is now known as Smuzz to avoid confusion with mobile phone services. He has won two "British Science Fiction Awards" and been regularly voted best artist for the UK SF magazine "Interzone".
Reginald Calvert (1928 – 21 June 1966) was born Pearce Reginald Hartley Calvert Spilsby, in Lincolnshire. He was the manager of The Fortunes pop group and singer Screaming Lord Sutch, and the owner of offshore pirate radio station Radio City. Calvert was killed by Oliver Smedley, owner of rival offshore station Radio Caroline, who was later acquitted of murder on the grounds of self defence. Reg spent a lot of time in the Romsey area in the late 1950's and early 1960's. At one time he lived in a flat over Tates TV shop in Church St, Romsey.
Pat Weedon writes : "I knew Reg Calvert very well as I used to help him set up for the Dances at the Drill Hall, and yes Chris. he did work at Tates TV shop in Church St, and after reading the info on Wikipedia, I find it difficult to say that he was aggressive in any way, I remember him as being a real gentleman, and of an easy going nature, and not type to kill anyone, and I'm very surprised that the other Joker got off with Self Defence, the mind Boggles"
Worzel Gummidge lived in the Romsey area for quite a few years in the 1970's and 1980's thanks to the series on Southern Television. Jon Pertwee starred as Worzel and Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally. Other stars included Geoffrey Bayldon, Mike Berry, Mike Reid, Lorraine Chase, Jimmy Jewel and Barbara Windsor. The main locations for filming were the villages of Stockbridge, King's Sombourne and Braishfield; all of which are near Romsey in Hampshire. The 'Scatterbrook Farm' scenes were filmed at Pucknall in Braishfield; Michelmersh was used for the scenes in the Scatterbrook barn. In the summer of 1980, during filming of the Christmas special musical episode "A Cup o' Tea and a Slice o' Cake" in the town of Lymington. The episode included songs sung by Worzel Gummidge, Saucy Nancy and Aunt Sally, (though Una Stubbs voice was dubbed by a ghost singer for the 'Aunt Sally Song'). During filming in Lymington sudden winds blew titanium dioxide — which was being used to create the illusion of snow — over nearby homes, shops, and businesses. As a result, clothing was ruined, food stock had to be disposed of, and some businesses had to close early, landing Southern Television with a considerable bill for damages
Jon Pertwee died on the 20th May 1996
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) lived near Romsey and is buried in a churchyard at nearby East Wellow. She was an English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence during the Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, and was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night to tend injured soldiers. Nightingale laid the foundation stone of today's professional nursing.
Norman Goodland (Woodley & Timsbury) was a regular broadcaster on Radio Solent and was employed by the south's first television company - Southern Television. He regularly appeared on the South's first news programme Day By Day talking about country life and wrote many country articles for Hampshire County Magazine.
Bubbly 45 year old Kerrie Taylor who played Beth in the TV series "Where the Heart is" was born in Romsey. She is also well known for her five year role as Lucy Benson on the long-running Channel 4 British television soap opera Hollyoaks. Other acting credits include Crossroads, Heartbeat, Clocking Off, Fallen, Casualty and most recently a role in BBC daytime serial drama Doctors.
Charlie Dimmock worked with Alan Titchmarsh on BBC's Ground Force, and also had her own garden show, called Charlie's Garden Army. Charlie who lived in the Romsey area formerly run the Mill Water Gardens, a water garden centre once situated in Romsey.
Wilbert Vere Awdry
Wilbert Vere Awdry, OBE born in Romsey (Ampfield) on15 June 1911. He was better known as the Reverend W. Awdry. He was an English clergyman, railway enthusiast and children's author, best known as the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine There are currently 41 books in the series, the first being published in 1945. Twenty-six were written by Rev. W. Awdry, up to 1972.
George Baker (Ruth Rendell Mysteries)
The TVS Ruth Rendell mysteries about Chief Inspector Wexford was filmed in Romsey which starred George Baker. Many scenes showed the Market Place, Romsey Abbey and the Memorial Park. A house in Woodley Close (No 48) was even used for one episode.
Sadly George died of pneumonia on Friday 7th October 2011.
Lawrie McMenemy has lived in the Romsey area for many years now. He was the manager of Southampton FC when they won the FA Cup in 1976. The "Saints" beat Manchester United 1-0. He also went on to become manager of Northern Ireland.
David Gower a close neighbour of Lawrie McMenemy was a English international at cricket. He ended his playing days with Hampshire County Cricket Club. He once featured in the BBC TV Quiz show called "They think it's all over"
David Frost who lived in Michelmersh, Romsey until recently is a very well known TV personality. He currently hosts "Breakfast with Frost". One of his earliest ventures was "That was the week that was". David died on 31st August 2013
Roger was the creative genius in the group PINK FLOYD. This Romsey based musician is still performing in concerts. For the latest info go to his website at www.rogerwaters.com/
Mike Vickers from Manfred Mann, he was born in Southampton but moved to Romsey. He and his family lived in Clarendon House, next door to The Three Tuns pub in the early 70's.
Robin Smith was a Hampshire Cricket Cub batsman, he lived next to the Romsey Memorial Park for a few years.
He was involved in the ownership of one of Romsey's most popular pub restaurants Judges Bar and Brasserie in Latimer Street.
Rex and Geraldine Trayhorne
Rex and Geraldine are well
respected artists living in the centre of Romsey.
Rex sadly passed away in July 2022 R.I.P
Famous visitors to Romsey
Famous visitors to Romsey include, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. who crowned our carnival queen in 1949, Frankie Vaughan who made frequent visits to the Romsey youth clubs, Gerry Dorsey (Englebert Humperdink) used to preform at Reg Calvert dances in the Drill Hall in Station Rd, Paul Gascoigne was seen drinking in the Bishop Blaize quite a few times.