Portsmouth Dockyard was once the finest in the British Empire – Nostalgia

When Portsmouth Dockyard was the largest in the world we see workers and families at the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 1913.
When Portsmouth Dockyard was the largest in the world we see workers and families at the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 1913.

A story in Monday’s edition of The News reported on a new mega dock to be constructed in Portsmouth Naval Base in the coming years.

All very good, but there was one word missing from the opinion given by Councillor Donna Jones. That word is ‘again’.

Although an Edwardian period photograph the lady to the left is obviously of Victorian birth. Osborne Road, Southsea.

Although an Edwardian period photograph the lady to the left is obviously of Victorian birth. Osborne Road, Southsea.

She stated: ‘The creation of a super dry dock in Portsmouth would make HM Naval Base Portsmouth one of the top three in Europe and one of the best in the world’.

Do these people not know that our dockyard was once the finest in the British Empire?

Through successive governments Portsmouth Dockyard – and later Naval Base – has been continuously run down to such an extent that now we are starting to put together something like a navy once again – although a long way to go – we need the modern workshops for servicing and repairs.

If and when Brexit takes place, and if Scotland decides to leave the UK, would they stop us sending Royal Navy ships to Rosyth, I wonder?

Looking as trendy as could be in 196, here we see some of the entertainers at the Sunshine Holiday Camp, Hayling Island.

Looking as trendy as could be in 196, here we see some of the entertainers at the Sunshine Holiday Camp, Hayling Island.

In the photograph, right, reproduced with permission from the PRDHS we see more than 60,000 workers and their families about to cheer the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth on October 16, 1913.

Looking west along Osborne Road, Southsea in Edwardian times, we see well dressed ladies and, perhaps, their horse drawn carriage, below.

The lady to the left caught in close-up must be of Victorian vintage with her dark dress and hat with a veil.

Perhaps a warm summer day judging by the ladies with their parasols shading their delicate skin.

Another from the Mick Cooper collection. Is it a production of Gilbert & Sullivans Iolanthe perhaps?

Another from the Mick Cooper collection. Is it a production of Gilbert & Sullivans Iolanthe perhaps?

To the right is Handleys Ltd, the only place to shop in this part of Southsea. The road to the right is Portland Road.

Below right, we see some of the entertainers at the Sunshine Holiday Camp, Hayling Island, in 1967.

In the white suits are Michael Giles, Dave Peters and David Giles with George Callow in the black hat.

The three girls kneeling at the front are Jane Lewin, Linda Pickess and Susan Micklethwaite.

Across the middle we have Joan Iddins. Next are Melanie Rowland and Jackie Brown. Where are these people now, I wonder?

Another local production photograph, on the opposite page, sent in by Mick Cooper, taken by an Evening News staff photographer.

There is no date for the production or details on where it was performed.

But I have a funny feeling it might be Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe.

I do hope that someone might be able to recognise themselves although the photograph may have been taken many years ago.