NOSTALGIA: Home to Portsmouth and a hero’s welcome

Lively Lady amid the  welcome-home flotilla of 400 small vessels off Southsea.'All pictures: Graham Stevens
Lively Lady amid the welcome-home flotilla of 400 small vessels off Southsea.'All pictures: Graham Stevens
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Yachtsman Alec Rose received a hero’s welcome as he sailed into Portsmouth after his 354-day round-the-world trip.

The 59-year-old was escorted into the city on July 4, 1968, by 400 motor-boats, yachts, catamarans and canoes blowing sirens and whistles.

The family greengrocer's in Osborne Road, Southsea, decorated for the occasion.

The family greengrocer's in Osborne Road, Southsea, decorated for the occasion.

A crowd of more than 250,000 people had gathered to congratulate the Southsea greengrocer on his 28,500-mile solo trip around the globe.

Anyone who was there that momentous day will never forget it, and as the 50th anniversary approaches, the city is planning several events to pay tribute to Sir Alec, who was knighted the day after his homecoming.

Mention of those plans on these pages prompted Graham Stevens to find his pictures from that day.

A gun was fired from the Royal Albert Yacht Club at 11.52am as Mr Rose crossed the finishing line in his 36ft pale blue ketch Lively Lady.

The welcoming committee.

The welcoming committee.

And as the weary seafarer stepped ashore at 12.33pm he was presented with a telegram from the Queen.

It read: ‘Warmest congratulations on your magnificent voyage. Welcome home - Elizabeth and Philip.’

Part of the huge crowd at Southsea on July 4, 1968.

Part of the huge crowd at Southsea on July 4, 1968.

Alec Rose amid part of the welcoming reception on the Guildhall's steps.

Alec Rose amid part of the welcoming reception on the Guildhall's steps.

Alec Rose  and his wife Dorothy are driven to the Guildhall in a Rolls-Royce where the yachtsman spoke to reporters.

Alec Rose and his wife Dorothy are driven to the Guildhall in a Rolls-Royce where the yachtsman spoke to reporters.