Chalk mountain joined Portsmouth to mainland

The beast arrives. The new floating dock for super-dreadnought 1812
The beast arrives. The new floating dock for super-dreadnought 1812
The Purbrook team are, left to right, Jon Harvey, Elizabeth Norris and Peter Emmett

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Purbrook Park is a talking success

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In the view above we are looking north across Portscreek and see the huge roundabout which dominates the Portsbridge area under construction in 1969.

It was at this time that, for a while, Portsea Island ceased to exist because the channel was completely blocked by chalk. Small vessels could of course no longer sail around the island either. After some time a channel was made and Portsmouth people became an ‘island race’ once more.

Toys Were Us. Christmas 1969

Toys Were Us. Christmas 1969

To the left is Hilsea Lido and to the bottom right is the new News Centre, this paper’s former headquarters. We had recently moved to this northern gateway to the city from the traffic-clogged city centre and Stanhope Road. Now, we have been in our new home at North Harbour since last summer.

Meanwhile, the awe-inspiring marine photo was taken on August 22, 1912, and shows the Admiralty Floating Dock 5 built especially for the super-Dreadnoughts of the time. The photograph was taken from Victoria Pier, Old Portsmouth, and the monster is passing the Round Tower.

The sea-going tug to the right is the Malta with another, the Vulcan, astern but out of shot.

The dock was built by Cammell Laird of Birkenhead and varying reports state that she displaced 18,990 tons and could lift ships up to 31,5000 tons.

With no power or steerage facilities she must have made hard work for the tugs towing her across the seas.

Remaining in Portsmouth for two years she was taken to Invergordon, Scotland, on September 9, 1914, returning in 1920.

There are conflicting reports about her next move, but it appears she went to Alexandria, Egypt, on June 23, 1939, but anyone with full knowledge please let me know. I am just amazed as to how these monsters floated.

The final picture shows a selection of toys available from the Co-op, Fratton Road, Portsmouth, at Christmas 1969.

I don’t know how many of these boxed sets are still manufactured apart from Monopoly of course. It is one of those games everyone knows how to play without looking back at the instructions.