NOSTALGIA: A year in the life of an old Portsmouth wreck

I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast, so I am always astounded by the length, and accuracy, of readers' memories.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 6:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 7:55 pm
Tom Glovers mid-1970s photograph of the remains of the old Gosport ferry Viva.

A prime example is Tom Glover. He recently unearthed from his collection the two maritime pictures on this page which he took in the mid-1970s.

They rang bells and he recalled that on November 11, 2013, I published the four-picture montage on the facing page by Mike Fooks.

Tom was spot on. Mike’s quartet was entitled A Year in the Life of a Wreck, pictures taken in the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour.

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A wider view by Tom Glover of the wreck site which he took in the mid-1970s. Compare the condition of the old ferry and the background with those taken about 40 years later by Mike fooks, below.

Mike said: ‘Back in the 1950s I used to think it was an old Gosport ferry as it had the profile of the old ferries with the tall central smoke stack. But these days it’s unrecognisable and has captured a smaller wreck.’

Back to Tom, who says: ‘I have it on good authority that the prominent wreck is of the Viva, a Gosport ferry built in the 1890s.

‘I took my photos 40 or so years earlier from almost the same angle.

‘It’s interesting to see how much has corroded away and how much the background has changed.’

Mike Fookss study of the Portsmouth Harbour wreck about 40 years after those above were taken.

As the old song almost goes Tom: thanks for your memory...

• With the 50th anniversary fast approaching of Sir Alec Rose’s monumental single-handed voyage around the globe, Jean Henwood sent me this picture.

It shows the one-time Southsea greengrocer when he was Havant Scout District President taking part in the old Bob-a-Job Week.

The group putting a shine on his shoes and a smile on his face was 2nd Havant, now 1st Homewell after merging with 1st Warblington.

Shoe-shine boys on Alec-a-Job patrol.
A wider view by Tom Glover of the wreck site which he took in the mid-1970s. Compare the condition of the old ferry and the background with those taken about 40 years later by Mike fooks, below.
Mike Fookss study of the Portsmouth Harbour wreck about 40 years after those above were taken.
Shoe-shine boys on Alec-a-Job patrol.