Day a battleship came calling

The superstructure of the battleship HMS Vanguard looms over The Seagull pub in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth. (Eddie Wallace)
The superstructure of the battleship HMS Vanguard looms over The Seagull pub in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth. (Eddie Wallace)
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At first glance you might think there’s nothing much to this photograph, but it needs ‘looking into’ as I always say.

It was taken by Eddie Wallace, a former Portsmouth police officer and regular correspondent of mine. It was taken on August 4, 1960, and towering above the Seagull pub in Old Portsmouth – the half-timbered building on the right – is the superstructure of the battleship HMS Vanguard.

As is well- known, when she was being towed out of the harbour on her way to the breakers she slewed to port and ran into the mud alongside the Still & West pub. She remained there for an hour, causing chaos in the surrounding roads as so many people wanted to see the incident before it was all over. To the left can be seen the walls of Point Battery. They have long since been demolished and the arches behind opened up and are now part of the new art gallery called Hotwalls Studios.