Little Victory takes a bow in front of her big sister

The model of HMS Victory with HMS yarmouth behind
The model of HMS Victory with HMS yarmouth behind
jpns-19-08-17 retro Aug 2017
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You might remember a picture my colleague Bob Hind published recently of a scale model of HMS Victory, a popular attraction in Portsmouth in the 1930s.

It was one sixth the size of Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar and was built by shipwright apprentices in the Dockyard.

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Eric Eddles, of Westover Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, has sent me these three photographs which puts the model in perspective.

He says they were taken in 1929-1930 shortly after she was constructed, but before she first put to sea in 1931.

In the picture on the right we see her under full sail in Number 3 basin.

In the background in the light cruiser HMS Yarmouth.

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Eric says: ‘HMS victory is special to me as during my 33 years employed in the naval base as a plumber I had the great pleasure of working on Victory, mainly doing sheet lead work.’

The memorable picture below, taken in Number 1 basin, shows the model set against her illustrious namesake – the real Victory.

It was taken shortly after the model’s launch in 1929.

And (bottom, right) she has received her masts and is berthed alongside, also in Number 1 basin, says Eric.

The model became a regular and popular attraction at Navy Week in the 1930s, before it was shorted to run over the August bank holiday weekend and had its title abbreviated to Navy Days.

The trainee shipwrights constructed a frame around a 40ft navy pinnace.

They attached plywood to the sides and then dressed and painted her to look like Nelson’s Victory.

The model sailed or motored down to Exmouth and back before appearing at the 1937 Coronation Fleet Review before it was taken apart to be used again as a pinnace.