Seen back in 1977 when she featured on the television programme Sailor is HMS Ark Royal. She is so much more 'handsome’ than her modern counterpart, don’t you think?
Whereas our new aircraft carriers have a problem receiving enough aircraft, no such problem existed at that time.
For on her flight deck can be seen Phantom, Buccaneer and Gannet aircraft. The steam catapult seen on the port side (right side of the photograph) could launch an 18-ton aircraft at 160 mph.
The Mighty Ark, as she was known, was launched way back in 1950 as an Audacious-class aircraft carrier and commissioned in February 1955.
Although seen in Portsmouth from time to time her home port was Devonport.
She was the first carrier to be built with an angled flight deck at her commissioning. With air staff she had a ship’s company of 2,640. She was decommissioned in 1979 when just 24 years old.
• This view of HMS Victory is perhaps one of the most famous of the ship, framed in the entrance to one of the buildings in the former dockyard. Across the gate is now an iron fence making a retake of the photograph impossible. Another reason of course is that Victory has lost all her top, topgallant and royal masts along with the yardarms of course. All have been truncated to save weight on the hull and to stop her bulging.
It is a great shame because, to me, the ship seems to have lost all her pride. Any visitor who did not know the ship in her glory days might wonder what all the fuss is about. Let us hope it will not be many years before the rigging can be replaced.
• With the growing threat of war a Fleet Review took place in 1914 with the intention of showing the great strength of the Royal Navy.
A total length of 40 miles of ships included 59 battleships. This was before the age of the aircraft carrier which helped bring an end to the battleship.
In 1935 there was another review, for the Silver Jubilee of King George V, that time dominated by the great hulks of the carriers.
In this scene we see many cars on the beach. I do not think it is Southsea but possibly Browndown to the west of Portsmouth Harbour. As I mentioned, on Wednesday and Thursday there will be several photographs of the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review.
• No doubt many of you will have bought your turkey from a supermarket. At one time of course it was only butchers who sold your Christmas requirements. I don’t suppose there are many butchers these days who know how to gut (dress) a fresh turkey or chicken, I always wonder what they did with all the innards.