Triumph’s trials team faced a Force 11 storm

Dockyard workers around 1960
Dockyard workers around 1960
A little fuzzy perhaps but here we see Portsdown Hill Road where it meets London Road. The George pub would be on the right behind the soldiers. 'Picture: Barry Cox Collection

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Many thanks to Barbara Pink and Archie Malley for a swift response to the picture of dockyard workers in the 1960s.

Both suggested the same thing – that the picture featured the trials team in HMS Triumph.

Barbara, from Portchester, spotted her brother-in-law, Laurence Monk, in the top right-hand corner of Eddie Bergin’s photograph.

She says Laurie retired in 1996, and lives with his daughter Julie at Idsworth Road, Copnor.

He believes the photograph was taken in 1966, since it coincided with the birth of his older son, David.

He says it was taken during 10 days of sea trials on Triumph. Those present may recall that the day after the photo was taken the ship hit a force 11 storm, according to Laurie.

The top row, sitting on the bunk bed are all painters, who were completing damage control markings. Some of the others were shipwrights and other trades . Left to right on the bunk were: Johnny Cox, Brian Gammons, Jimmy Streets, Derek Stokes, and Laurie Monk. Arms crossed by Laurie’s legs is Barry Yeates, and Bob Emery is third from right in the bottom row. In addition to all the normal naval work, Laurie and others also worked on the former Royal Yacht Britannia.

Archie, of Hayling Avenue, Copnor, a member of the support group of Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust, dated it to 1964/65. His late father, Arch Malley Snr is second left in the front row.

Archie adds: ‘He was a ship fitter’s assistant to the bespectacled gent in light-coloured clothes fourth from the right in the front row – Michael Pople.

Archie says that Triumph had been in Dockyard hands since 1958. She was a Colossus class light fleet carrier launched in 1944. She joined the Pacific fleet in 1945, served in the Mediterranean in 1947 and was deployed to Malaya in 1949 during the communist insurgency. In June 1950 she was the first British carrier to arrive off Korea.

She was converted to Heavy Repair Ship, put into reserve at Chatham in 1975 and broken up in Spain at the end of 1981.