The Portsmouth gateway to history

LIGHT An ornamental wrought-iron arch complete with lamp once adorned Victory Gate. This picture is undated
LIGHT An ornamental wrought-iron arch complete with lamp once adorned Victory Gate. This picture is undated
Birthday toast for Violet Rowland as she prepared to give blood for the last time

THIS WEEK IN 1999: Last gift of blood as loyal donor ‘retires’

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Today this historic entrance to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is crossed by tens of thousands of tourists each year.

Victory Gate, off The Hard, Portsea, is the gateway to Nelson’s Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Museum.

Victory Gate in 2005

Victory Gate in 2005

Few of those visitors will pay much attention to the threshold which opens up to them the world’s greatest collection of maritime history.

Formerly the main pedestrian and vehicle entrance to the dockyard, it is constructed of Portland stone with golden ball finials.

Of course, there was a time when the powers-that-be would have been appalled at the thought of giving the public access to the dockyard.

It was the way into work and out again for thousands of workers.

TOURISTS Once the soul domain of a huge dockyard workforce, today only visitors cross the cobbles between the golden balls of Victory Gate

TOURISTS Once the soul domain of a huge dockyard workforce, today only visitors cross the cobbles between the golden balls of Victory Gate

The gate was widened in November 1943 to allow access for larger vehicles which rumbled into the ’yard virtually 24 hours a day during the Second World War.

Built between 1704 and 1711, Victory gate is listed grade 2*.

GIANT When I first published this picture, shot from Highland Road and looking down Prince Albert Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, I asked if anyone could explain the apparent giant emerging above the old Royal Mail van. Thanks to Dave Quinton, all has now become clear...  He says: The guy is standing in the back of a contractors lorry. Wessex road repairs and Tarmac contractors had yellow-bodied vehicles with black lettering and were around for many years and may even still be going.

GIANT When I first published this picture, shot from Highland Road and looking down Prince Albert Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, I asked if anyone could explain the apparent giant emerging above the old Royal Mail van. Thanks to Dave Quinton, all has now become clear... He says: The guy is standing in the back of a contractors lorry. Wessex road repairs and Tarmac contractors had yellow-bodied vehicles with black lettering and were around for many years and may even still be going.