When Old Portsmouth built warships for the world

The Kris-class patrol craft Tombak being built for the Malaysian navy in 1966 and, below, the corvette Tobruk under constructions for the Libyan navy in 1965
The Kris-class patrol craft Tombak being built for the Malaysian navy in 1966 and, below, the corvette Tobruk under constructions for the Libyan navy in 1965

THIS WEEK IN 1993: ‘Despicable’ attack on Armistice Day

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It seems hard to believe today, but there was a time, not so long ago, that warships were built for the world in Old Portsmouth.

Relative newcomers to the city will have assumed they would either have been built in the Dockyard/naval base or at Portchester.

Warships built for foreign navies in the Camber, Old Portsmouth PPP-151002-102131001

Warships built for foreign navies in the Camber, Old Portsmouth PPP-151002-102131001

Of course, we’re not talking giants such as Dreadnoughts or parts for the enormous new aircraft carriers, but much smaller vessels, often for foreign navies

Even so, the Vosper yard was a marvellous sight in the bustling heart of the Camber docks dominated then by the coal wharf supplying the power station.

These pictures were sent to me by Graham Stevens who says: ‘The corvettes were about the biggest they could manage to avoid hitting the Camber dock at the end of the slipway, the stern wave usually swamping onlookers on the dockside.’

He adds mischievously: ‘One could argue the Ainslie empire is an improvement over the coal berth...’