Saturday the 14th March saw the return of over 150 former Naval personnel to unveil a Blue Plaque to celebrate the history of HMS Mercury. The 55 acres which is now the Sustainability Centre, was once part of the 120 acre Leydene Estate. This was home to HMS Mercury, the Royal Naval Communications and Navigation School between 1941 and 1993. Over half a million personnel served or trained at Mercury during the 52 years of its existence.
Phill Humphries welcomed everyone before the blue plaque was officially unveiled by Commodore Tony Morrow, who was Captain of Mercury from 1988-1991.
Since 1993 there has been another season of change as the site has been transformed from one which educated so many in the technology of communication to one where communication is our means of educating people today, and especially young people, in the ways of sustainable living.
David Smith and his committee worked alongside our staff to make it a day to remember.
Launching the Blue Plaque Trail
The aim of the Blue Plaque scheme is to commemorate HMS Mercury Communication and Navigation School and its place in history. Further blue plaques are being placed at other locations which had a special association with Mercury and which are fondly remembered by those who served at Leydene.
This little ditty tells the story of all the HMS Mercury Blue Plaques written for the launch by Ollie Butler.
A Blue Plaque Ditty
After all the nitty gritty, I just have a little ditty.
It’s to thank the Blue Plaque Team, for the great success of this worthy scheme.
Thinking back when it begun, first and launch was the Rising Sun.
Bat and Ball hit number two, the Mercury site, was quite a coup.
The Pinkie wrapped up number four, the BCC the next to score.
Isaac Walton netted number six, the Hurdles took a while to fix.
Number eight The Bird in Hand, Red Lion Chalton, nine as planned.
The Heroes made it half a score, next stop found us at the door.
Of the Hampshire Hog, the eleventh place, this worthy scheme did embrace.
The penultimate there was no flagon, it’s merely the site of the old Green Dragon.
The thirteenth and final one of all, Adorns the Mercury Museum wall.
Now, with all plaques on display, there’s only one thing left to say.
Who’ll be left with the final chore, of planning the route for the run ashore.
BCC Broadhalfpenny Down Cricket Club