Lord mayor welcomes an Argentine cruiser to Portsmouth

Sir Denis Daley alongside the commanding officer of La Argentina, September 14, 1950
Sir Denis Daley alongside the commanding officer of La Argentina, September 14, 1950
Super parents Cora and Gerry Watson

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In September 1950 the Argentine six-inch-gun cruiser La Argentina visited Portsmouth.

Lord mayor Sir Denis Daley paid a courtesy visit and he can be seen, right, onboard and alongside the warship’s commanding officer.

Bagpipes in Guildhall Square in honour of foreign secretary Anthony Eden, May 1943

Bagpipes in Guildhall Square in honour of foreign secretary Anthony Eden, May 1943

La Argentina was built at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, by Vickers Armstrong and launched in March 1937. But because of war work she was not completed until 1939.

Based on the British Arethusa class, she had three triple six-inch gun turrets.

The ship was used for cadet training.

She was retired and scrapped in 1972.

Wings for Victory Week, 1943, in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

Wings for Victory Week, 1943, in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

Below, right, takes us back to May 28, 1943, and a visit to Portsmouth by foreign secretary Anthony Eden.

It was Wings for Victory week and a large parade of servicemen and women plus the police marched through the square. Eden can be seen on the dais at the rear in the suit.

What you don’t get an inkling of in that picture, is how the rest of Guildhall Square looked that day. The picture on the facing page tells that story.

The marvellous shot taken from the steps of the Guildhall shows a fighter on display on the edge of the square when it was on show for that 1943 Wings for Victory Week.

There was still two years of war ahead for the people of Portsmouth, but looking at them you would think they did not have a care in the world.

Apart from the steps in the foreground and the high level station in the background, little else can be seen today of this scene.