Marcella's Fawley fascination from afar

Over the years, we have often come across unusual stories to share with our readers. Here is a unique tale of devotion through the lens of Marcella Klein from the Netherlands – a passionate enthusiast of all things Fawley. Marcella recently wrote to us to share her enduring ‘love affair’ with our iconic British oil refinery.

"I first set foot in Southampton in 1997, not realising then that this trip would mark the beginning of a lifelong connection," Marcella reminisces. "Accompanying my brother to the Southampton Boat Show, I stumbled upon the colossal Fawley Refinery. Its grandeur, the intricate units, and the sheer scale of operations fascinated me instantly.”

From that moment, Marcella's connection with Fawley began. Although not an employee, over the years, as her visits to Southampton became more frequent, our Fawley Refinery became a high point of her trips. Her passion for photography found a perfect subject in Fawley, capturing the refinery's essence in various lights, seasons, and weathers. “Every visit was a new opportunity to capture the refinery's magnificence. It's incredibly photogenic – a true marvel of industrial architecture," she enthuses.

Yet, Marcella's connection with Fawley goes beyond the lens. A fervent collector of legacy and vintage items, she actively preserves the refinery's history from afar too. "I've collected original press photos from the 1950s, the opening folder from the refinery's inauguration in 1951, and many more artifacts. My house is adorned with these refinery treasures – each piece carrying a story of its own."

But there's one element of the refinery that holds a personal significance – the flares. For Marcella, they symbolise resilience and inner strength. "The flares, those bright beacons atop the refinery, are my life candles. They remind me never to let anyone extinguish my inner fire. They hold a profound, symbolic meaning in my life."

Marcella's enthusiasm doesn't stop at admiration. Through interactions with refinery staff, joining the local Facebook group community and completing an online course on petroleum processing, she has delved deeper into the industry's intricacies. "The invaluable knowledge I gained from the refinery workers and the course sparked a new possibility – a future career in this field. Who knows what the future holds!"

Marcella's story is a testament to the power of passion and the profound connections people can forge, transcending borders and backgrounds. Her love affair with Fawley Refinery not only enriches her life but through her lens and dedication, the spirit of Fawley continues to shine brightly.

We recently launched a Facebook page for Fawley and would encourage everyone with an interest in the site to follow it.