Demonstration outside Portsmouth Guildhall over BAE Systems shipyard closure

The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

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SCORES of workers turned up at Guildhall Square in Portsmouth tonight to protest against the closure of BAE Systems shipyard in the city.

Dockyard workers and GMB officials waved orange flags and shouted out in defiance over plans to transfer shipbuilding duties to the Clyde, in Scotland, putting 940 jobs at risk.

PROTEST Marc Talbot

PROTEST Marc Talbot

They turned up ahead of Question Time being filmed at Portsmouth Guildhall this evening.

Steel worker Marc Talbot, 24, said: ‘I have got bills to pay. I want to start a life with my girlfriend. I want to settle down with her. I thought shipbuilding was the way to go. I was told during my apprenticeship that it was a job for life.’

Dockyard joiner Mark Ward said the loss of shipbuilding work will be a hammer blow to the UK’s economy.

He said that he’s got practical skills and would struggle to fit in if his only options were office based work.

Mark, 40, of Queen Street, Portsea, said: ‘I went into shipbuilding when I was 16.

‘I am not academic. I am not going to be a software designer or going to work in accounting.

‘There’s a lot of practical people like me who won’t fit into the academic type businesses.’