The gentle giant of the sea is known as invincible no more

Karel Doubleday, who used her mum's blue badge so she could park close to her workplace

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I was a bit sad last week.

It started off because the glorious Ark Royal, a ship I’ve grown up with, was towed out of Portsmouth harbour to be stripped for scrap.

It was always a pleasure of mine to see whether there was an aircraft carrier in the harbour whenever I came back from France on the ferry, and an even bigger pleasure if it was Ark Royal.

She was a gentle giant of the sea, a home for scores of sailors. I was lucky enough to go on board and see for myself her austere beauty up close.

I guess as her horn sounded across the Solent for the final time, the hundreds of people standing watching her leave thought that, as the third and final vessel of the Invincible class of warship, she was invincible no more.