A gem from the files

On the evening of October 23,1970 two tankers collided six miles south of the Isle of Wight. 13 crewmen died.

Flames from the oil tanker Pacific Glory could be seen from Portsdown Hill

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While researching through old editions of The Evening News I inevitably come across what I call ‘little gems’ from days past.

This is a report from August 1940 and although no doubt all the relevant parties are long gone there might just be someone who was a nipper in 1940 who might have known the family concerned.

A congratulatory telegram from the King and Queen was received by Mr and Mrs Charles Hibberd of 37, Cardigan Road, Kingston, Portsmouth, who had celebrated their diamond wedding. Mr Hibberd was a former chief petty officer in the navy who had retired from the service 44 years previously and five years before Queen Victoria died.

Mr Hibberd was born in 1860 and joined the navy in 1875, retiring after 21 years in 1896.

Can you imagine talking to this man at that time?

By 1940 everything was mechanised but he had joined a navy in its transformation from sail to steam.

I wonder what he thought of battleships and battlecruisers?

To keep the tradition going, their five sons all saw service in the navy and in 1940 two were still serving. The couple had been married at St Peter’s Church, Fareham, in 1880 and had lived in Cardigan Road since 1886.

I absolutely love finding ‘gems’ like this and it is what this page is all about. I hope you do too.