Think the latest carrier’s taking an age? Bulwark took a decade

Jim Gibsons picture of the Lavants flowing  across Woodberry Lane, Rowlands Castle, in 2016.
Jim Gibsons picture of the Lavants flowing across Woodberry Lane, Rowlands Castle, in 2016.
Sir Francis Chichester on Gipsy Moth IV.

NOSTALGIA: Chance to climb on board one of most famous yachts in history

0
Have your say

Last Thursday I published a feature on a new booklet by Ralph Cousins about the Lavant streams that flood through the Hampshire/West Sussex border, most notably at Rowlands Castle.

Jim Gibson sent me several photographs of last year’s events.

HMS Bulwark, then the Royal Navys newest aircraft carrier, arrives in the Solent in November 1954.

HMS Bulwark, then the Royal Navys newest aircraft carrier, arrives in the Solent in November 1954.

And the one I’ve used here gives those who are not familiar with the area some idea of the havoc these winterbournes cause during and after a wet winter when the ground is saturated.

Here we see the flood passing through holes piped through a wall to make a ford across Woodberry Lane, Rowlands Castle.

It was unpassable to traffic for several days.

• With all the news of the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving in Portsmouth ‘hopefully’ some time this year, in the second picture we see the latest carrier of its time in 1954.

The last Fairey Swordfish flying low over Gosport in the early 1960s in a picture from the Richard Hulse Collection.

The last Fairey Swordfish flying low over Gosport in the early 1960s in a picture from the Richard Hulse Collection.

She was the Hermes-class aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark.

The navy cannot yet tell us when Queen Elizabeth will arrive, and the birth of Bulwark was not exactly a pain-free labour either.

Laid down in 1944 at Harland & Wolff’s yard in Belfast, work almost ground to a halt when the Second World War ended a year later.

Work began again in earnest in 1950 and she was commissioned 10 years after being laid down, on October 29, 1954.

Anyone know anything about EXY437?

Anyone know anything about EXY437?

She had two sister ships, HMS Centaur and Albion.

• Richard Hulse’s late father kept a scrapbook of photographs from the old Portsmouth Evening News which now forms part of his collection.

Here we see a photograph from the early 1960s of the last Swordfish flying low over Gosport.

Always nicknamed ’stringbags’, Swordfish were the backbone of the Fleet Air Arm in the early years of the Second World War.

Indeed, it was a torpedo dropped from a Swordfish flying off HMS Ark Royal that crippled the German battleship Bismarck.

The Fairey Swordfish was a torpedo spotter reconnaissance biplane dive-bomber which went into service with the Fleet Air Arm pre-war in 1936.

Initially, Swordfishes operated from the large fleet carriers. Later Swordfishes operated from escort carriers, and were effective against U-boats. The nickname Stringbag indicated the versatility of the Swordfish, which could carry an unlikely combination of loads, but also referred to its jungle of bracing wires, which belonged to a past age. The Swordfish remained operational until the end of the war, the last biplane to see active service.

• Arthur Sainsbury owns this Austin 7 Big, four-door saloon, registration EXY437. It has a badge on the grill from Lennox Motors which once stood in Grove Road South, Southsea.

Arthur is trying to get information about the car from pre-1976. It seems all records from the DVLA were lost during the war.

If you can help please ring Arthur on (023) 8047 3410.