What a place for a workout – the upper deck of HMS Victory | Nostalgia

Here’s a marvellous view looking towards the stern of HMS Victory believed to have been about 1905.
Boy seamen exercising on the upper deck of HMS Victory about 1905. Picture: Robert James postcard collection.Boy seamen exercising on the upper deck of HMS Victory about 1905. Picture: Robert James postcard collection.
Boy seamen exercising on the upper deck of HMS Victory about 1905. Picture: Robert James postcard collection.

Robert James, who supplied the postcard, says that at this time – a century after Trafalgar – Victory was used as a saluting ship, along with HMS St Vincent.

The boys are taking part in physical training exercises on the upper deck. I thought the lad with legs wide apart was sitting on the sail cloth behind him but on closer inspection he is sitting astride the parallel bars.

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All the boys are wearing white duck suits apart from those in the background in full uniform who were perhaps on rifle drill.

Newcomers to The News in 1978. From left: Tony Upfold, Mark Wingham, Diane Perry, Chris OwenNewcomers to The News in 1978. From left: Tony Upfold, Mark Wingham, Diane Perry, Chris Owen
Newcomers to The News in 1978. From left: Tony Upfold, Mark Wingham, Diane Perry, Chris Owen

The catheads, seen above the cabins, were used for the lowering and raising the ship’s boats. These have since been removed.

To the right, astern of Victory, is what looks like a de-masted hulk. The vessels on the left look out of scale but as Victory did not have a full gun complement at this time, she stood well out of the water and hence this impression.

• Beloware four young journalists who, having passed out from after a year’s intensive training at Highbury College, joined The News at Hilsea in the summer of 1978.

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From the left are Tony Upfold, from Petersfield; Mark Wingham, from Southsea; Diane Perry, from Fareham, and Chris Owen from Brighton. Mark, an outstanding cricketer, now deals in antique postcards. Chris is the features editor of The News and my immediate guv’nor.

The photograph comes from Portsmouth & Sunderland Newspapers’ staff magazine which was supplied to me by Phil Waterman.

The third photo is also from that magazine but this time from 1972. The power cuts of the 1970s seem a lifetime away now but they brought disruption to every family in the land and nights spent around guttering candles. For butchers there was no end of worry when the fridges went off.

Remember when the first editions of this paper hit the shops about midday? That all changed in 1972 during the power crisis. The News Centre, Hilsea, was blacked out for long periods but the paper never failed to come out.

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Printers worked all hours to beat the blackouts and have those first editions on the streets by 8am. It was the first time readers could buy The News with their morning national daily.

In the photo are members of the press room enjoying a game of cards… until the lights went out. From the left, are: Alan Chambers, Jimmy James, Derek Ford, John Fyfield, Dave Poyner, Mick Dunford. In the foreground is Harry Eastman. Standing are Tony Shallcroft and Ian Baird.

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