End of semaphore

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Not some far flung island but Port Creek alongside Eastern Road, Portsmouth, earlier this week. I counted more than 50 plastic bottles along with other man-made filth.

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On this day in 1847, the last message was sent by semaphore from Portsmouth to London.

The system of signalling over long distances was established in 1795 and comprised revolving shutters set in a frame.

The first was on Southsea beach, the next on Portsdown Hill and there were 12 others on heights between the town and the Admiralty.

On a clear day a message could be transmitted in five minutes – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.