Remembering a dockyard stalwart

Those in the picture are: (back row l to r) Dan Whittle, Michael Loader, Graham Norris, Len Day, Johnny Beach.''Middle: Arthur Leat, Alan Evans, Harry Harris.''Front: Harold Tilly, Fred Harrington, Bob Whitehead, George Fenney, Ron Seager, George Pollard.
Those in the picture are: (back row l to r) Dan Whittle, Michael Loader, Graham Norris, Len Day, Johnny Beach.''Middle: Arthur Leat, Alan Evans, Harry Harris.''Front: Harold Tilly, Fred Harrington, Bob Whitehead, George Fenney, Ron Seager, George Pollard.
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The man in the front row, fourth from the left, is George Fenney, and this was the day he retired from Portsmouth dockyard at the tender age of 70.

The photograph comes from Graham Norris (third from the left in the back row) who said it was taken in 1970.

They were Bob Whitehead’s gang of shipwrights gathered for George’s farewell.

Graham said: ‘George was born in 1900 and he told me that when he was of school age he could remember seeing the 240 crane being built as he passed Unicorn gate.

‘After leaving school George went to work in the dockyard and started work there as an apprentice shipwright.

‘At the age of 22 he could remember HMS Victory being dry-docked for the last time.’

Graham said George made the dockyard his life until ‘management forced him to retire’.

‘He was a very interesting chap to talk with and there was not much that he did not know about ship’s wood or metal.’