NOSTALIGA: Shackleton's famous ship on a 117-year voyage of Discovery

Many of you will know of the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery when she was HMS Discovery, located opposite the south bank of the River Thames in London.

Monday, 9th April 2018, 7:40 am
The barque-rigged Discovery in Portmouth Harbour, ossibly taken in 1923 after refitting at Vospers yard were we see the RRS Discovery.

Her first mission on being completed in 1901 was an expedition to the Antarctic carrying Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

In her later life she was a cargo vessel for the Hudson Bay Company, a munitions ship in the First World War, and as a hydrographic and oceanographic research vessel.

From 1929 until 1931 she was loaned to the British and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Once a passenger and goods railway line, the former Bishops Waltham branch has returned to nature. Picture: Les Sanders

In 1936 she was home to the Sea Scouts in London and during the Second World War Discovery was a depot ship for the River Emergency Service.

In 1951 she held an Antarctic exhibition for visitors to the Festival of Britain.

In 1954 she was transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Discovery and used for the Royal Navy Auxiliary Reserve.

With continuing deterioration she was transferred to The Maritime Trust and in 1985 to the Dundee Heritage Trust.

The bathing pond Portsmouth division RMLI The Royal Marines Light Infantry bathing pond possibly over at Gosport. Can anyone tell me? Picture: Robert James collection

They returned her to her home port where she was rebuilt and after considerable restoration she is now on public display – and quite superb she looks too

I have an idea that this hand-tinted photograph might be from 1923, after Discovery was refitted at Vosper’s yard in Portsmouth.

n At one time there were many branch railway lines around the Fareham area, to Gosport, Alton via the Meon Valley and to Bishops Waltham.

What you see below is the former trackbed of the branch line from Botley to Bishops Waltham.

As my late father used to say Theres fasands (thousands) of people out the front. Perhaps a Bank Holiday when Southsea was the place to visit?

There was a hope that the line could be extended to Petersfield or Droxford but it came to nothing.

The line closed to passengers in 1932 but held on until 1962 for goods traffic. A short section from Botley was used for aggregate.

Since those far-off days the line has returned to nature and only what might be called ‘railway anoraks’ would know of its existence.

This is part of the former trackbed at Curdridge.

Once a passenger and goods railway line, the former Bishops Waltham branch has returned to nature. Picture: Les Sanders

n Can anyone remember this bathing pond used by the Royal Marine Light Infantry, possibly over at Gosport?

The row of houses to the far left might give a clue to some of you.

n I do not know what the occasion was to attract so many people to Southsea seafront, on the opposite page, but as my late father used to say: ‘There were fasands (thousands) of people down there.’

It could be a Bank Holiday or perhaps a Review of Fleet, in 1937.

Southsea Common to the left is lined with a hedgerow and cars, all with free parking no doubt, pack the esplanade.

Decorative lights are strung between lampposts, the same as today, they run the whole length of the Esplanade.

The bathing pond Portsmouth division RMLI The Royal Marines Light Infantry bathing pond possibly over at Gosport. Can anyone tell me? Picture: Robert James collection

Surely they could be brought up to date especially as South Parade Pier has recently won an award.

Not as gaudy as Blackpool, but a little more than what we see perhaps.

As my late father used to say Theres fasands (thousands) of people out the front. Perhaps a Bank Holiday when Southsea was the place to visit?