NAVAL books and artwork have breathed new life into an old tourist information centre.
The Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel, cut the ribbon yesterday to open the new shop and art gallery in the building just outside of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The shop is a joint venture between artist Julia Pankhurst and naval book publisher Mike Critchley, who is originally from Gosport.
Mr Critchley said: ‘I am delighted to be back in Portsmouth.
‘Having the Second Sea Lord to launch this venture is the icing on the cake for us.
‘The Royal Navy operates very much out of sight, out of mind, these days.
‘We will do our best to remind the public that the navy’s here.’
The old tourist information centre, at the Victory Gate of the naval base, has been empty for the last eight months.
As well as a vast array of naval literature, the shop’s walls are lined with paintings and prints by Julia Pankhurst.
Many of them show warships and are signed by their commanding officers.