NOSTALGIA: PortsmouthÂ warship which served the nation for 69 years
Taken from the recently published book Parents at War here we see the ship-rigged third class cruiser HMS Calliope in Portsmouth HarbourÂ in 1884 shortly after her launching.
Originally a corvette, she was re-classed as a third class cruiser and survived until 1951. She was scrapped in 1953.
In 1940, Don Bickerman spent two months training on the ship before service in HMSÂ Mauritius. The 308-page book thenÂ tells of his naval service in coastal forces. It isÂ a book of love letters between Don and his soon-to-be wife Linda Russell with many anecdotes of the navy during the Second World War. It's aÂ touching and personal book well worth buying for the naval historyÂ let alone reading other people's love letters.
Written by their son David the book is available atÂ NauticaliaÂ in the Historic Dockyard;Â WaterstonesÂ in Commercial Road;Â One Tree BooksÂ in Petersfield;Â New to You Books, High Street, Cosham, and Amazon.
'¢Â I'veÂ published a few photographs of HMSÂ Victory's anchor in different forms recently but the one below, left, is of the Portsmouth Pageant, possibly in 1905, which celebrated the centenary ofÂ Trafalgar, but I think it might be later. On the reverseÂ it saysÂ 'Nelson and Captain Hardy visit Victory's anchor'. Unfortunately there's no date. The children look a picture dressed in costumes of the period.Â
'¢Â Dorothy Bone, of theÂ Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust (Emsworth Museum) tells me that, untilÂ September 30,Â Steve Miller is putting on an exhibition of personal memories, images and memorabilia describing lifeÂ for a child growing up in the post-war years.
With particular emphasis on Emsworth, it covers family life, the town, shops and businesses, schools, entertainment, leisure and pastimes and travel.Â Further information from 01243Â 373780.
'¢ Visit the Isle of Wight today andÂ the chanceÂ of seeing more than one vessel tied up at the end of RydeÂ pier is remote. It was not always like this, as the picture on the facing page shows. At one time there would be perhaps two ferries from Portsmouth arriving or departing plus visiting vessels.
The picture isÂ from TheÂ Portsmouth-Ryde Passage by John Mackett and comes fromÂ Mike Nolan who says the four vessels are, from the left: Sandown, Shanklin, Brading and Red Funnel ferry Vecta.Â Â
There were also four platforms for steam-hauled trains that ran to all parts of the island. Two trains areÂ waiting to leave platforms on the left. Alongside the pier there was also an electric tram which saved the long walk along the near half-mile pier '“ 745 yards to be precise.