Steam-powered floating bridge used for 95 years

The steam-powered floating bridge between Gosport and Portsmouth in the 1950s
The steam-powered floating bridge between Gosport and Portsmouth in the 1950s
HM Submarine  P556  is berthed at (as it was then ) Fort Blockhouse. Wrens are pushing the torpedo. (Mike Nolan coll.)

NOSTALGIA: Wrens show the boys how to do it

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The steam-powered floating bridge between Portsmouth and Gosport began service in 1840.

It was operated by chains which were drawn up as the ferry crossed and then dropped to the seabed to avoid impeding vessels using the harbour.

By the 1950s, when this picture was taken, the bridge had largely been superseded by the diesel passenger ferry and in December 1959 the service was abandoned.

The Alexandra, seen here unloading at Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, ran most services during the 1950s – no mean feat as she had started crossings in 1864.