Picture salute to the Mighty Ark

Funding kicks off Stansted Park’s bid to restore glasshouse and add visitor centre

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These pictures capture the majesty of HMS Ark Royal, now decommissioned and sent to Turkey for scrap.

In Picture 1, the ship is given a rapturous welcome in 1993 as she returns to Portsmouth from the second Gulf War.

HMS Ark Royal returns home to Portsmouth on 17 May, 2003

HMS Ark Royal returns home to Portsmouth on 17 May, 2003

Picture 2 shows a Sea King helicopter lifting off from the carrier before she departed for the Gulf.

Picture 3 is a reminder of her predecesor - and a moment of history, when a Harrier 91127 made the first vertical take-off from a naval warship.

Picture 4 shows the Ark entering Portsmouth Harbour in 1994 and Picture 5, taken in the same year, shows her sailing out of the harbour into a sunset.