NOSTALGIA: Falklands war heroines, side by side until the bitter end

HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid awaiting disposal in Portsmouth Harbour in 2006. Picture: Mike Nolan
HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid awaiting disposal in Portsmouth Harbour in 2006. Picture: Mike Nolan
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I was going to include this photograph earlier this week but these ships are such an important part of recent history I have made a feature of them toda.

Mike Nolan was in the harbour on his boat Sonner Brook when he took this marvellous picture of L10 HMS Fearless and L11 HMS Intrepid in 2006

Both ships, called a Landing Platform Dock, were veterans of the Falklands war in 1982. In fact, the signing of the Argentine surrender was signed on Intrepid’s deck.

Nearest the camera is Fearless (they were both Fearless-class landing platform docks) and was in service for 37 years. She was the last steam-powered surface ship in the Royal Navy, launched in 1963 and commissioned in 1965.

She served in Aden and in 1968 was the venue for talks between Harold Wilson and Ian Smith over the future of Rhodesia. She also saw service in Northern Ireland and in 1977 became a film star when she rescued James Bond from an escape pod in the film The Spy Who Loved Me.

During the Falklands conflict one of her landing craft,  Foxtrot 7, rescued 41 crew members from the stricken HMS Antelope in which Royal Marine Coxswain, Corporal Alan White, received a commendation from Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse.

From 1991 to 1995 she was used for officer sea training. Decommissioned in 2002 she was sent for scrap in Belgium in 2007

Intrepid served the navy for 32 years and was to be decommissioned and sold to Argentina, believe it or not, when the Falklands intervened and she was brought back into service. She took part in the San Carlos Water amphibious landings.

in 1969 she was the first naval ship to be fitted with satellite communications. As a result of defence cuts she was put into reserve in 1976 but bought back into service in 1979 to allow Fearless to be refitted. Intrepid was placed on the reserve list in 1990. In 1996 she was sent to Liverpool to be recycled. 

I am sure there are many with memories of them. Please send them in.

• I recently published a photograph of Sultan Road, Portsmouth, from, perhaps, the mid 1950s asking about a shop and where it stood.

Vernon Baker says: 'I lived in Nelson Road from 1954 to 1963 and then at 136 Sultan Road until it was demolished in 1970. From memory (which may be distorted), the shop on the corner of Hertford Street and Sultan Road was Carson’s. 

'The next shop in the row of three shops was a general store, the middle of the three was a butchers, and the third, this was in the late 50's, was a general store with a side of bacon on a marble slab which was hand sliced if you wanted rashers. 

'This shop then became a sweet shop called Candies, owned by Len Tall. At the end of the block on the corner was a Gales off licence run by Don Baxter. About three houses coming back towards Hertford Street was a greengrocer’s owned by Bill Spreadbury.

On the opposite side of the block was the junction with Cressy Road with Gordon Gauntlett’s wholesale newsagent. On the other side of the junction was Mr Berry’s chemist. At the other end of the block, at the junction with Malins Road was the Co-op and on the other side was The Elephant and Castle.’ 

Barry Atrill also contacted me: 'This is  tricky because my Kelly’s for 1925 says Frederick J Godding & Son had two shops, one a newsagents and one a stationers, both on corners, but not the corner of Agincourt Road (No 127) where Usherwood’s grocer’s was, but on the corners of Cressy Road, No 147 a newsagents, and Buckland Street, No.161 a stationers.

‘The terrace has gone, taken down by the blitz along with the factory behind it, on the corner of Buckland Street. In place of them is Barrington House. The corner of Cressy Road still exists, so that’s all there is to compare the photo with.’