Looking back: When a dinosaur briefly ruled Southsea Common

The dinosaur on Southsea Common in 2010 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (102445-8758)The dinosaur on Southsea Common in 2010 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (102445-8758)
The dinosaur on Southsea Common in 2010 Picture: Malcolm Wells (102445-8758)
TODAY it has been revealed that a 59m landing craft will sit proudly outside the revamped D-Day Museum on Southsea Common.

It will be unveiled in 2019, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in which the craft was used.

The size of the landing craft means it is sure to become a landmark - and it is hoped that it does not have a similar fate to the last super-structure unveiled on the Common - the much-loved dinosaur that was installed in 2010.

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The ultrasaurus - an artwork called Luna Park, was brought to the Common by Aspex Gallery. Portsmouth City Council hoped to make it a permanent fixture after it had finished touring round other UK cities.

The remains of the dinosaur on Southsea Common in October 2010 Picture: Sarah Standing (103332-30)The remains of the dinosaur on Southsea Common in October 2010 Picture: Sarah Standing (103332-30)
The remains of the dinosaur on Southsea Common in October 2010 Picture: Sarah Standing (103332-30)

But unfortunately, the sculpture burnt down on October 1, 2010. Initially believed to have been arson, it was later found that an electrical fault caused the blaze.

Scott Yule, a firefighter from Southsea who helped put out the fire, said at the time; ‘People here have children that were excited when they heard that the dinosaur was coming, so it was a shame to see such a focal point on the seafront destroyed in a matter of minutes.’