Brian recalls Vanguard’s return after royal tour

Last month's Remember When story
Last month's Remember When story
Lieutenant Colin Churcher

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The pictures last month of the royal tour to South Africa in 1947 in the Portsmouth battleship HMS Vanguard brought back a striking memory for Brian Small.

And it comes with a request to readers to search their memories.

Brian, of Littlepark Avenue, Bedhampton, clearly remembers the day, at the end of that tour, when Vanguard returned to Portsmouth. He was seven.

He said: ‘Thousands turned out at Southsea Common to see the ship entering the harbour.

‘My parents took my brothers and sister to see the event, but one of my brothers, who was five, detached himself from us and became well and truly lost. My mother and father were going frantic.’

Brian said that after a fruitless search they ended up at a police station on the south side of Craneswater Park, Southsea, on the corner of Festing Road.

He added: ‘We walked up the drive and went into the police station which was a very large building.

‘My father reported him missing only to find that he was there in the office and would not leave until he had finished his milk and biscuits.’

Brian said: ‘Does anyone remember this large and imposing building that was the police station and when did it cease to be a police station. It is now a block of flats.’

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