Picture salute to the Mighty Ark

Opening of the new school by the home secretary in October 1927. The headmaster, Canon Barton, is on the lowest step, on the left. Dorothea Barton is possibly there, somewhere. (PGS Archive)

NOSTALGIA: A red bluestocking at Portsmouth Grammar School

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These pictures capture the majesty of HMS Ark Royal, now decommissioned and sent to Turkey for scrap.

In Picture 1, the ship is given a rapturous welcome in 1993 as she returns to Portsmouth from the second Gulf War.

HMS Ark Royal returns home to Portsmouth on 17 May, 2003

HMS Ark Royal returns home to Portsmouth on 17 May, 2003

Picture 2 shows a Sea King helicopter lifting off from the carrier before she departed for the Gulf.

Picture 3 is a reminder of her predecesor - and a moment of history, when a Harrier 91127 made the first vertical take-off from a naval warship.

Picture 4 shows the Ark entering Portsmouth Harbour in 1994 and Picture 5, taken in the same year, shows her sailing out of the harbour into a sunset.