HMS Intrepid was one of two Fearless-class amphibious warfare ships of the Royal Navy built on the River Clyde in 1891 in the John Brown & Co. yard and the last ship for the Royal Navy which was built in this yard. At a full load of 16,950 tons she was the size of of an early World War One Battleship. She was manned by 580 Royal navy sailors and could carry  almost an entire 700-man Royal Marine Commando unit along with more than 40 tanks and vehicles and 8 landing ships. Up to 5 large helicopters could be accommodated on her flight deck and she carried defensive armament for anti-aircraft self-defence.  With its added landing platform dock she served from 1967 until 1999.
Based in the Royal Naval Base, Devonport and HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, she saw service around the world over her 32 years of life. In the process of being decommissioned for sale, she was rapidly returned to service to sail as part of the British operation to retake the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion in 1982. She landed troops in amphibious assaults on the Islands and the Argentine surrender was signed on her deck at the conclusion oif the Falklands War.
HMS Intrepid was place in the reserve status (mothballed) in 1991 with only a caretaker crew. On 31st July, 1999 she was officially decommissioned. By 2003 both HMS Intrepid and her sister ship were on the disposal list and moved to Fareham Creek. In 2007, HMS Fearless was sent to Belgium to be scrapped. HMS Intrepid was unceremoniously broken up in Liverpool.


Britannia was built at the shipyard of John Brown in Clydebank and was launched by Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953, and commissioned on 11th January 1954. For over 44 years the Royal Yacht served the Royal Family, travelling more than a million nautical miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. To Her Majesty The Queen, Britannia provided the perfect Royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, Royal honeymoons and relaxing family holidays.
The ship was designed with three masts: a 133-foot (41 m) foremast, a 139-foot (42 m) mainmast, and a 118-foot (36 m) mizzenmast. The top aerial on the foremast and the top 20 feet (6.1 m) of the mainmast were hinged to allow the ship to pass under bridges. 
Britannia was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war although this capability was never used. In the event of nuclear war, it was intended for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to take refuge aboard Britannia off the north-west coast of Scotland.
Britannia sailed on her maiden voyage from Portsmouth to Grand Harbour, Malta, departing on 14th April and arriving on 22nd April 1954. She carried  Princess Anne and Prince Charles to Malta in order for them to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the end of the royal couple's Commonwealth Tour. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh embarked on Britannia for the first time in Tobruk on 1 May 1954. Royal Yacht Britannia played host to some of the world’s most famous people, but above all was home for the British Royal Family for over 40 years. 
The crew of Royal Yachtsmen were volunteers from the general service of the Royal Navy. Officers were appointed for up to two years, while the "yachtsmen" were volunteers and after 365 days' service could be admitted to "The Permanent Royal Yacht Service" as Royal Yachtsmen and serve until they chose to leave the Royal Yacht Service or were dismissed for medical or disciplinary reasons. As a result, some served for 20 years or more. The ship also carried a troop of Royal Marines when members of the Royal Family were on board.

Now berthed in Leith, Edinburgh, you can discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences. During her 43-year career, the yacht travelled more than a million nautical miles around the globe. Now retired from royal service, Britannia is permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a popular visitor attraction with over 300,000 visits each year
The Royal Yacht's final foreign mission was to convey the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, and the Prince of Wales back from Hong Kong after its handover to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. Britannia was decommissioned on 11 December 1997. The Queen, normally undemonstrative, is reported to have shed a tear at the decommissioning ceremony that was attended by most of the senior members of the Royal Family.




HMS Invincible was the Royal Navy's lead ship of her class of three light aircraft carriers and was launched on 3rd May, 1977 as the seventh ship to carry the name.She took over as flagship of the British fleet when Hermes was sold to India. Invincible was also employed in the Yugoslav Wars and the Second Gulf War. In 2005, she was decommissioned and was eventually sold for scrap to the Turkish company Leyal Ship Recycling in February 2011.

Invincible's flight deck was 550 feet (167.6 m) long and 55 feet (17 m) wide. It was connected to the ship's hangar by two lifts, with dimensions of 54 feet 8 inches (16.66 m) × 31 feet 8 inches (9.65 m) and rated to carry aircraft with a weight of 35,000 pounds (15,900 kg). The hangar itself was 500 feet (152.4 m) long, with width varying between 74 and 40 feet (22.6 and 12.2 m) and a height of 20 feet (6.1 m). An upward-curved Ski-jump ramp at an angle of 6.5 degrees was fitted at the forward end of the ship's flight deck, this allowed the carrier's Sea Harriers to take off with a higher disposal payload, while shortening the take-off run, leaving more space for helicopter operations

     Invincible initially lacked any close-in weapon systems. As one of the lessons from the Falklands War Invincible had two close-in weapon systems  fitted but these were later replaced by three 30 mm Goalkeeper CIWS; there are nvinciblealso two 20mm cannons. Countermeasures were provided by a Thales jamming system and ECM system, Seagnat launchers provided for chaff or flare decoys. Initially the carriers were armed with a Sea Dart SAM missile system, but this was removed to enlarge the flight deck and to allow magazine storage and deck space for Royal Air Force Harrier GR7s. 


Warrior was designed and built in response to an aggressive French shipbuilding programme which saw the introduction of the first iron-clad warship La Gloire designed by the brilliant naval architect Stanislas Charles Henri Dupuy de Lome.
Determined to see off this challenge to the supremacy of the Royal Navy the then First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir John Somerset Pakington, determined to build a ship so superior in terms of quality, speed, size, armament and armour that it would be inconceivable to France that she could take Britain on in a sea battle.
When commissioned by Captain the Hon. Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane, on August 1st 1861, Warrior was the largest warship in the world, at 9,210 tons displacement she was fully 60% larger than La Gloire.
The ship underwent minor modifications after a sea trial. In June 1862, she started active service in the Channel Squadron, patrolling coastal waters and sailing to Lisbon and Gibraltar.
Having introduced a revolution in naval architecture, by 1864 Warrior was superseded by faster designs, with bigger guns and thicker armour. By 1871 she was no longer regarded as the crack ship she had once been, and her roles were downgraded to Coastguard and reserve services. In May of 1883 her fore and main masts were found to be rotten, and not considered worth the cost of repair, Warrior was placed in the reserve, eventually converted to a floating school for the Navy and re-named Vernon III in 1904.
Put up for sale as scrap in 1924, no buyer could be found, and so, in March 1929 she left Portsmouth to be taken to Pembroke Dock and converted into a floating oil pontoon, re-named again as Oil Fuel Hulk C77. By 1978, she was the only surviving example of the 'Black Battlefleet' - the 45 iron hulls built for the Royal Navy between 1861 and 1877 and is now on view in Portsmouth Naval Base.


The Mayflower is one of the most important ships in American history. This cargo ship brought the pilgrims to Massachusetts during the Great Puritan Migration in the 17th century. These pilgrims were some of the first settlers to America after they established the Plymouth colony. This journey made the Mayflower an icon of European colonization.
The captain of the Mayflower was a businessman named Christopher Jones and he was born in Harwich, England around 1570 and was the son of a mariner and ship owner, also named Christopher Jones. Around 1608, Jones purchased the Mayflower and became its Master, what we would call a captain today, but he was only a quarter owner of the ship. The other owners were Robert Childe, Thomas Short and Christopher Nichols. The Mayflower was a European cargo ship in the years before its voyage to the New World with the pilgrims. Jones’ first voyage on the Mayflower was to Norway in 1609 where the ship transported fish, lumber and tar. The ship began leaking during a storm on the way back to England and the crew had to dump some of its cargo overboard to save it. Jones never ventured into the North Sea with the Mayflower again and instead went back and forth between France and Spain delivering wine, cognac and vinegar.
In May of 1620, religious separatists known as pilgrims hired Jones and his ship to take them to the mouth of the Hudson River in North America where they had been granted permission to build a colony. The Mayflower set sail from England along with another ship, the Speedwell, on August 15, 1620. The Speedwell leaked so badly that both ships had to return to England. A few weeks later, the pilgrims all boarded the Mayflower and it set sail alone from Plymouth, England on September 16, 1620.
Although the Mayflower was a large ship measuring about 80 feet in length and 24 feet wide, the 102 passengers on board led to cramped conditions. The Mayflower had three decks, an upper deck, a gun deck below it and the cargo hold at the bottom.

The passengers sighted shore on November 9. Although the pilgrims had intended to land in northern Virginia, when they reached the shore they realized they were in New England. Nonetheless, after 66 days at sea, the pilgrims were relieved to see land, according to Bradford in his manuscript Of Plymouth Plantation: With winter approaching and a short supply of food and beer, they decided to go no further and dropped anchor off the coast of Cape Cod in Provincetown harbour.
While the ship was anchored in the harbour, the passengers drew up a social contract known as the Compact  that established a set of rules and laws for the colony. In December, after some skirmishes on land with the local natives, the pilgrims decided to pick up anchor and sail to nearby Plymouth harbor where they reportedly landed near Plymouth rock in mid-December.
The Mayflower crew spent the winter with the pilgrims in Massachusetts, living on the ship, and sailed back to England on April 5, 1621 and arrived on May 6, 1621. Christopher Jones passed away the following year, on March 5, 1622, and his widow, Josian, inherited the Mayflower. In May of 1624, the ship was appraised for the purpose of probate and was described by the appraisers as being “in ruinis.” As a result, it is believed that the Mayflower was eventually broken up and sold off as scrap.


HMS Royal George was a ship of the line of the Royal Navy. A first-rate with 100 guns on three decks, she was the largest warship in the world at the time of her launch on 18 February 1756. Construction at  Woolwich Dockyard  had taken ten years. 
The ship saw immediate service during the Seven Years‘ War, including the Rain on Rochefort in 1757 and was the flagship of the fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay  in 1759. The ship was laid up following the conclusion of the war in 1763, but was reactivated in 1777 for the  American Revolutionary War. She then served as Rear Admiral Robert Digby’s  flagship at the  Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780. 
Royal George sank on 29 August 1782 whilst anchored at Spithead off Portsmouth. The ship was intentionally rolled so maintenance could be performed on the hull, but the roll became unstable and out of control; the ship took on water and sank. More than 800 lives were lost, making it one of the most deadly maritime disasters in British territorial waters.
Several attempts were made to raise the vessel, both for salvage and because she was a major hazard to navigation in the Solent. In 1782, Charles Spalding recovered fifteen 12-pounder guns using a diving bell of his own design. From 1834–1836, Charles and John Deane recovered more guns using a diving helmet they had invented. In 1839 Charles Pasley of the Royal Engineers commenced operations to break up the wreck using barrels of gunpowder. Pasley's team recovered more guns and other items between 1839 and 1842. In 1840, they destroyed the remaining structure of the wreck in an explosion, which shattered windows several miles away in Portsmouth and Gosport.
The impact of the sinking of the “Royal George” upon the parishioners of the parish of Portsea was considerable, even a hundred years later when the present church was to be built, the Great West window was to be dedicated to the victims of the tragedy. When W.H. Smith died suddenly just after the present church was completed, it was decided that this window be dedicated to his memory, he having given over £28.000 of the £44.000 it cost to build this church.

Of the survivors, Lt. Hollingsbury became a Captain and Lt. Philip Durham later became Rear Admiral Sir Philip Durham, Commander in Chief of Portsmouth 1836-1839. He married Ann Henderson who inherited Eastney Farm and part of Milton. In 1858-60 the Henderson – Durham’s sold 50 acres of their estate to the War Dept. and Eastney Barracks was built. They also gave the land on which the 1st. Church of St. James was built.
Of the survivors, Lt. Hollingsbury became a Captain and Lt. Philip Durham later became Rear Admiral Sir Philip Durham, Commander in Chief of Portsmouth 1836-1839. He married Ann Henderso who inherited Eastney Farm and part of Milton. In 1858-60 the Henderson – Durham’s sold 50 acres of their estate to the War Dept. and Eastney Barracks was built. They also gave the land on which the 1st. Church of St. James was built.


PS Ryde was a paddle steamer  that was commissioned and run by the Southern Railway as a passenger ferry between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight from 1937 to 1969, with an interlude during the Second World War where she served as a minesweeper and then an anti-aircraft ship, seeing action at both Dunkirk and D-Day.
PS Ryde was commissioned by Southern Railway in 1936 as a sister ship for Sandown. Costing £46,800 (equivalent to £3,040,000 in 2019) she was built by William Denny Brothers in Dumbarton  on  Clydeside and was licensed to carry 1,011 passengers. After her launch on St George’s Day in 1937, by Lady Walker, wife of the General Manager of the Southern Railway she replaced the  PS Duchess of Norfolk on the Portsmouth to Ryde Pier passenger ferry service. 
In 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, PS Ryde and PS Southdown were both requisitioned by the Royal Navy. She was renamed HMS Ryde and initially both were used as Minesweepers in the Thames Estuary and Dover Straits as well as seeing action at Dunkirk, alongside PS Whippingham. In May 1944 she travelled to Portsmouth, from where she sailed to the Normandy coast to take part in Operation Neptune on D-Day, where she protected the Mulberry Harbours at Omaha beach.  At one stage during the landings, she was hit in her engine room by a shell, but it did not explode. In spite of being instructed to beach the ship, if she ran out of coal, Ryde's commander, Lt. Commander Beamer, was able to return her safely to Portsmouth. After D-Day, HMS Ryde was anchored off Bembridge to help to protect  Portsmouth Harbour from V-1 flying bombs.. 

Reverting to her pre-war name upon her return to Southern Railway on 7 July 1945, PS Ryde worked on her former route and undertook a variety of chartered trips as well, such as being chartered by Gilbery’s Gin to serve as a 'Floating Gin Palace' in London in 1968. However, the nationalised  British Railways started to commission more modern motor vessels after the war at the expense of the paddle steamers, starting with two diesel vessels in 1945 to replace PS Southsea and PS Portsdown. In July 1966, PS Sandown was retired and scrapped, and, in September 1969, it was decided to retire PS Ryde as well. At the time of her retirement, she had ferried passengers across the  Solent for thirty-two years and was the last sea-going coal-fired paddle steamer in the world.
In June 2018, it was reported that Ryde had been sold and that there were plans to restore the vessel. A charitable trust was to be set up with this aim. An assessment of the vessel was to be undertaken with the assistance of the National Ships Register.
Her funnel, which collapsed in 2006, was the first of her rusting components to give up the ghost. Then, in 2012,
the bridge collapsed into the Ryde’s decaying superstructure. Despite her place on the National Register of Historic Ships, and the ongoing efforts of preservationists to save her, the old paddle steamer has never been able to escape the abandonment that has gripped her for decades. 
After many years abandoned on moorings at Island Harbour Marina on the River Medina, she was purchased by the PS Ryde Trust in late 2018, with the intention of raising money for her restoration. That project was abandoned in January 2019.


HMS Elephant was a 10-gun storeship of the Royal Navy which saw active service during the American Revolutionary War. Formerly a merchant vessel named Union she was purchased by Admiralty in 1776 and sent to North America to resupply larger naval vessels in action against American rebels. She was captured by a 20-gun American privateer on 8 May 1779, following a brisk action which killed her captain and five of her crew. Retaken by the British two days later, she was sailed to Scotland where she was sold out of Navy service in December 1779. 
The outbreak of the American Revolutionary War  in 1775, and the need to service substantial fleets at sea, strained Royal Navy resources and necessitated the purchase of additional storeships, transports and victualler vessels. As part of this process, on 13 June 1776 the Admiralty instructed the Navy Board to obtain two new ships of around 300 tons, which would re-supply naval vessels then operating off the Gulf of St Lawrence in North America. Only one such ship was immediately available – a merchant barque name Union, was offered for sale by shipping agent James Wilkinson, with an asking price was £9 per ton for hull, masts and yards. A Navy Board counter-offer of £6.4s per ton was refused, and on 10 July the vessel was purchased on Wilkinson's terms for £3,438. Seven days later she was brought into Deptford Dockyard where she was renamed Elephant and placed in a dry dock for fitting out and for copper sheathing of her hull. 
Elephant was commissioned into the Royal Navy in July 1776, as a storeship  under the command of Lieutenant Benjamin Bechinoe. In 1779 her command was transferred to Lieutenant Robert Long, for service in New York harbour. On 21 April 1779 she set sail from New York for Portsmouth, and had reached Newfoundland Banks  by 8 May, when she encountered the 20-gun American privateer General Muffin. The equally matched vessels engaged in battle over the next six hours before Elephant was surrendered with the loss of five of her crew, including Lieutenant Long. A further ten men were wounded, and they and the other survivors were taken aboard General Muffin as prisoners. 



With the main fire fighting systems out of action due to the loss of the fire main the crew were reduced to fighting the fire using portable electrically powered pumps and buckets. The control of firefighting lacked cohesion and was uncoordinated with no emergency HQ being established, while crew members were unclear as to where Command was located. Arrow and Yarmouth assisted in fighting the fire from the outside (to little effect) by stationing themselves to port and starboard respectively. 
The crew of Sheffield fought for almost four hours to save the ship before Captain Salt made the decision to abandon to abandon the ship. HMS SHEFFIELD was a Type 42 guided missile destroyer and the second  Royal Navy ship to be named after the city of Sheffield in Yorkshire. Commissioned on 16 February 1975 the Sheffield was part of the Task Force 317 sent to the Falkland Islands during the Falklands War. She was struck by an Exocet air-launched anti-ship missile from an Argentinian Super Entard aircraft on 4 May 1982 and foundered while under tow on 10 May 1982. 

Ordered in 1968 Sheffield was laid down on 15 January 1970 and built by  Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness. Sheffield was launched on 10 June 1971 by Queen Elizabeth II and was estimated to have cost £23,200,000 to build.
In March 1982 the ship transited north through the Suez Canal to participate in In response to the Argentine Invasion of the Falkland Islands, Sheffield was ordered on 2 April 1982 to join the task force being assembled to retake the islands. Departing for the South Atlantic on 10 April, Sheffield reached Ascension Island on 14 April, accompanied by HMS Arrow, HMS Brilliant, HMS Coventry, HMS Glasgow to be later joined by RFA Appleleaf. They joined other vessels of the Task Force 317 and commenced operations in the Total Exclusion Zone around the Falklands on 1 May 1982.
At approximately 10:00 on 4 May, Sheffield was at defence watches (second degree readiness), the southernmost of three Type 42 destroyers (the others being HMS Glasgow and HMS Arrow) operating as a forward anti-aircraft picket 18 to 30 miles (29 to 48 km) to the west of the main task force which were south-east of the Falklands. The weather was fair and the sea calm with a 2-metre swell. HMS Invincible which was with the main task force was responsible for Anti-Air Warfare Coordination (AAWC). Sheffield had relieved her sister ship Coventry as the latter was having technical trouble with her Type 965 Radar. Prior to the attack, Sheffields radar operators had been experiencing difficulty distinguishing Mirage and Super Étendard aircraft, and the destroyer may have lacked effective radar jamming. Despite intelligence briefings that identified an Exocet attack by Super Étendards as possible, Sheffield had assessed the Exocet threat as overrated for the previous two days, and disregarded another as a false alarm. 

The flagship, HMS Hermes, dispatched the escorts Arrow and Yarmouth to investigate, and a helicopter was summoned and a decision to abandon ship due to the risk of fires igniting the Sea Dart magazine, the loss of the combat capability of the destroyer, and the exposed position to air attack of Arrow and Yarmouth. Most of the Sheffield's crew climbed over onto Arrow, a few transferred by Gemini RHIB to Yarmouth, while some were taken by helicopter to Hermes as  Sheffield's crew departed in Arrow. 
Of the 281 crew members, 20 (mainly on duty in the galley area and computer room) died in the attack with another 26 injured, mostly from burns, smoke, inhalation or shock. Only one body was recovered and the wreck is presently a war grave.



At the outbreak of World War II HMS Havant was being built at JS White & Co., at Cowes, Isle of Wight, as one of six destroyers for the Brazilian Navy, and had been named Javary when launched on 17 July 1939.

Following the declaration of war with Germany on 3 September 1939 the Admiralty requisitioned her on 7 September 1939 and she was commissioned on 19 December 1939 as HMS Havant – the other five being names HM Ships Harvester, Havelock, Hesperus, Highlander and Hurricane. On 8 January 1940, HMS Havant went to Portland for her working up routine before joining Western Approaches Command, based at Plymouth. She spent the next two months on submarine patrol before going to Scapa on detachment to the Home Fleet, following the German invasion of Norway and Denmark. In April 1940 she took part in the landing of a Royal Marine detachment on the Faroe Islands. She returned to Greenock where she undertook convoy escort duty before taking part in the occupation of Iceland in May 1940. By now the situation in France had deteriorated and the evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk had started. HMS Havant left Greenock on 27 May 1940 and arrived at Dover on 29 May. She was immediately despatched to Dunkirk where she evacuated 500 French troops off the beaches at Braye-Dunes. Before returning, she attempted to tow HMS Bideford, whose stern had been blown off, but the tow parted. HMS Havant arrived back at Dover at 0400 on 30 May. She sailed from Sheerness the following morning and picked up troops from Braye-Dunes before entering Dunkirk Harbour for more, finally arriving back at Dover with 932 troops on board. After a quick turn round, HMS Havant returned to Dunkirk and picked up 1,000 troops, arriving back at Dover at 0230 on 1 June. By 0730 she was again alongside the jetty at Dunkirk where she embarked 500 troops. As she left the harbour at 0800, a heavy air attack started and HMS Ivanhoe was hit amidships. HMS Havant came alongside and helped take off all the troops and wounded. Moving down the channel, she was hit by two bombs and passed over a third as it exploded. She transferred all her troops to the minesweeper HMS Saltash. Despite attempts to tow her, HMS Havant finally sank at 1015 on 1 June 1940 with the loss of one officer and five ratings.. From a ship’s company of 145, a further 25 were wounded and a similar number of soldiers were killed or wounded.


PS Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world. Built in 1946, she sailed from Craigendoran on the Firth of Clyde to arrochar on Loch Long until 1973. Bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), she has been restored to her 1947 appearance and now operates passenger excursions around the British coast. 
PS Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel. She was built in 1946 to replace a PS Waverley that was built in 1899, served in the Second World War as a minesweeper and was sunk in 1940 while helping to evacuate troops from Dunkirk. Shipbuilders A & J Inglis of Glasgow launched the new 693 tonne steamer in October 1946. She entered service with the London and North Eastern Railway in June 1947, working the LNER's Firth of Clyde steamer route from Craigendoran Pier, near Helensburgh, up Loch Long to Arrochar. In her first year in service she wore that company's red, white and black funnel.
The 1948 nationalisation of Britain’s railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970. 
Waverley has had several colour schemes in her life. Early photographs show paddle boxes painted sometimes white and sometimes black. The gold stripe along the hull is in some photos and not others. Today Waverley has the LNER 1947 livery of red, white and black funnels, traditional brown-grained (or "scumbled") superstructure and black paddle-wheel boxes, decorated with gold lettering on each side.


Trincomalee is one of two surviving British frigates of her era and was built in Bombay, India in teak, due to oak shortages in Britain as a result of shipbuilding drives for the Napoleonic Wars. The ship was named Trincomalee after the 1782 Battle of Trincomalee off the Ceylon port.
Work on the Trincomalee began in May 1816. Ceremonially an engraved silver nail was hammered into the ship's keel by the master shipbuilder, this being considered vital for the ship's well-being, according to tradition.  With a construction cost of £23,000, Trincomalee was launched on 12 October 1817. Captain Philip Henry sailed her to Portsmouth Dockyard, where she arrived on 30 April 1819, with a journey costing £6,600. During the maiden voyage the ship arrived at Saint Helena on 24 January 1819, where she stayed for 6 days, leaving with an additional passenger, a surgeon who had attended Napoleon at Longwood House on the island.
After being fitted out at a further cost of £2,400, Trincomalee was placed in reserve until 1845, when she was re-armed with fewer guns giving greater firepower, had her stern reshaped and was reclassified as a sixyh-rate spar-decked corvette.Trincomalee departed from Portsmouth in 1847 and remained in service for ten years, serving on the North American and West Indies station. During her time, she was to help quell riots in Haiti and stop a threatened invasion of Cuba, and serve on anti-slavery patrol. In 1849, she was despatched to Newfoundland and Labrador before being recalled to Britain in 1850. In 1852 she sailed to join the Pacific Squadron on the west coast of America.
Trincomalee finished her Royal Navy service as a training ship, but was placed in reserve again in 1895 and sold for scrap two years later on 19 May 1897. She was then purchased by entrepreneur George Wheatley Cobb, restored, and renamed Foudroyant in honour of HMS Foudroyant, his earlier ship that had been wrecked in 1897.
She was used as an accommodation ship, a training ship, and a holiday ship based in Falmouth then Portsmouth. She remained in service until 1986, after which she was again restored and renamed back to Trincomalee in 1992. Now listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, following her recent restoration Trincomalee has become the centrepiece of the National Museum of the Royal Navy based in Hartlepool. Trincomalee holds the distinction of being the oldest British warship still afloat as HMS Victory, although 52 years her senior, is here in dry dock in Portsmouth Dockyard.


Humber Limited was a British manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles and motor vehicles incorporated and listed on the stock exchange in 1887. It took the name Humber & Co Limited because of the high reputation of the products of one of the constituent businesses that had belonged to Thomas Humber. A financial reconstruction in 1899 transferred its business to Humber Limited. 
From an interest in motor vehicles beginning in 1896, the motor division became much more important than the cycle division and the cycle trade marks were sold to Raleigh in 1932. The motorcycles were withdrawn from sale during the depression of the 1930s. 
Humber is now a dormant marque for automobiles as well as cycles. Following their involvement in Humber through Hillman in 1928 the Rootes brothers acquired 60 per cent of Humber's ordinary capital, sufficient for a controlling interest. The two Rootes brothers joined the Humber board in 1932 and began to make Humber the holding company for vehicle manufacturing members of what became their Rootes Group. 
By 1960 annual production was around 200,000 vehicles. Previous insistence on Rootes family control, however, may have led to under-capitalisation of the business. Building a brand new car, the Hillman Imp, proved beyond Humber and Rootes Group resources and their businesses were bought by the Chrysler Corporation in 1967. Our picture is of a Humber Tourer, 1912 vintage.


This year marks the 400 year anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey from England to America. It was in 1620 that an intrepid group of dissenters set sail across the Atlantic on what was then an incredibly dangerous journey. Underlying their journey was a belief that the reformation of English churches by Henry VIII and the creation of the Protestant Church of England was half-hearted and had resulted in something far too close to the original Catholic church, albeit with rules that suited the King and allowed him to divorce his wife in order to remarry.
Although no detailed description of the original vessel exists, marine archaeologists estimate that the square-rigged sailing ship weighed about 180 tons and measured 90 feet (27 metres) long. In addition, some sources suggest that the Mayflower was constructed in Harwich, England, shortly before English merchant Christopher Jones purchased the vessel
Some of the Pilgrims were brought from Holland on the Speedwell, a smaller vessel that accompanied the Mayflower on its initial departure from Southampton, England, on August 15, 1620. When the Speedwell proved unseaworthy and was twice forced to return to port, the Mayflower set out alone from Plymouth, England, on September 16, after taking on some of the smaller ship’s passengers and supplies. Among the Mayflower’s most-distinguished voyagers were William Bradford and Captain Myles Standish. 
Chartered by a group of English merchants called the London Adventurers, the Mayflower was prevented by rough seas and storms from reaching the territory that had been granted in Virginia (a region then conceived of as much larger than the present-day U.S. state of Virginia, at the time including the Mayflower’s original destination in the area of the Hudson River in what is now New York state). Instead, after a 66-day voyage, it first landed November 21 on Cape Cod at what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the day after Christmas it deposited its 102 settlers nearby at the site of Plymouth. Before going ashore at Plymouth, Pilgrim leaders (including Bradford and William Brewster) drafted the Mayflower Compact, a brief 200-word document that was the first framework of government written and enacted in the territory that would later become the Unites States of America. The ship remained in port until the following April, when it left for England. The true fate of the vessel remains unknown; however, some historians argue that the Mayflower was scrapped for its timber, which was then used in the construction of a barn in Jordans, Buckinghamshire, England. In 1957 the historic voyage of the Mayflower was commemorated when a replica of the original ship was built in England and sailed to Massachusetts in 53 days.


SS Canberra was an ocean liner, which later operated on cruises, in the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. She was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland at a cost of £17,000,000. The ship was named on 17 March 1958, after the federal capital of Australia, Canberra. She was launched on 16 March 1960, She appeared in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. In the 1982 Falklands War she served as a troop ship. P&O commissioned Canberra to operate the combined P&O-Orient Line service between the United Kingdom and Australia. However a refit in 1974 saw Canberra adapted to cruising. Unusually, this transition from an early life as a purpose built ocean liner to a long and successful career in cruising, occurred without any major external alterations, and with only minimal internal and mechanical changes over the years. She was the first British passenger liner to use alternating current as power.[2] 
There are several operational and economical advantages to such electrical de-coupling of a ship's propulsion system, and it became a standard element of cruise ship design in the 1990s, over 30 years after Canberra entered service. However, diesel engine and gas turbine driven alternators are the primary power source for most modern electrically propelled ships. 
Canberra had a bulbous bow, two sets of stabilizers, and two funnels side-by-side. The lifeboats, which were made from glass fibre, were placed three decks lower than usual for ships of her type.
On 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, which initiated the Falklands War. At the time, Canberra was cruising in the Mediterranean. The next day, her captain Dennis Scott-Masson received a message asking his time of arrival at Gibraltar, which was not on his itinerary. When he called at Gibraltar, he learnt that the Ministry of Defence had requisitioned Canberra for use as a troopship. Canberra sailed to Southampton, Hampshire where she was quickly refitted, sailing on 9 April for the South Atlantic.[3] 
Nicknamed the Great White Whale, Canberra proved vital in transporting 3 Commando Brigade to the islands more than 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km) from the United Kingdom.[3] Canberra was sent to the heart of the conflict.[3] 
After a lengthy refit, she returned to civilian service as a cruise ship. Her role in the Falklands War made her very popular with the British public, and ticket sales after her return were elevated for many years as a result. Age and high running costs eventually caught up with her and she was withdrawn from P&O service in September 1997 and sold to ship breakers for scrapping on 10 October 1997, leaving for Pakistan on 31 October 1997.



Mistletoe is a plant that grows on range of trees including willow, apple and oak trees. The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that's where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.
When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.
The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England. The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!
The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo Saxon words 'Mistel' (which means dung) and 'tan' (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as 'poo on a stick'!!! Not exactly romantic is it!
Mistletoe was also hung on the old English decoration the Kissing Bough.


     On April 15, 1912, a tiny vessel measuring no more than 170 metres in length was thrust into the limelight after answering a distress signal from the RMS Titanic. The RMS Carpathia was operating as a cruise ship at the time under the command of Captain Arthur H. Rostron, but when the call came through about the Titanic, the ship’s crew quickly sprang into action, and their actions saved countless lives and yet the RMS Carpathia has all but faded from history in the decades since.

     The Carpathia was launched by the Sawn Hunter & Wigham Richardson Company from their shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1902. It initially operated as a transatlantic service for immigrants eager to travel to America before being refitted as a cruise ship in 1905. By January 1912, Carpathia was operating under the command of Captain Rostron, making made transatlantic crossings that brought immigrants to America and the wealthy to the Mediterranean for pleasure cruises. It had embarked on one such cruise on April 11th, 1912 with some 700 people on board. By 8.15am, the Carpathia had rescued 705 survivors. Despite being dangerously over capacity, they set sail for New York, arriving on April 18th where they were greeted by thousands of people.
     Late on in the rescue operation, the Carpathia would be briefly joined by the SS Calfornian, a ship it would later emerge was only five miles from the Titanic during the sinking. Incredibly, the Californian only responded to the Titanic’s pleas for help a day after the initial distress signals were sent. The Carpathia's crew received medals from the survivors for their efforts. Crew members were given bronze medals and officers were handed silver while Captain Rostron received a silver cup and gold medal. Rostron was later knighted by King George V, and was invited to the White House by President Taft who presented him with a Congressional Gold Medal - the highest honour the United States Congress offers. The Carpathia’s moment in the spotlight was fleeting. Two years after its daring rescue mission the first World War began. Carpathia was transformed into a troopship, transporting Canadian and American troops into Europe during the war. On the morning of July 17th, 1918, it was struck by a German U-Boat torpedo in the Celtic Sea and began to sink. The ship’s captain and crew abandoned ship, escaping in lifeboats thanks to the protective force of the nearby HMS Snowdrop. The American and the British inquiries both praised Captain Rostron for his efforts in the disaster. He continued to command the
Carpathia for another year before moving on to command several other ships. Captain Rostron then served as part of the British Navey inthe First World War, earning a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1919 New Year Honours list. He later retired to Southampton and passed away in 1940, aged 71.
In 2000, the wreck of the Carpathia was discovered sitting upright in 500 feet of water 190km west of Fastnet, Ireland.



An experimental section of the Signal School and an Admiralty Signal Establishment had existed since 1917, when the task was devolved from HMS Vernon. It had moved to Eastney to study Radar direction finding, with appointments being made there from 30 December 1935, but the apparatus not arriving until 14 July 1936. With the moving of the main signal school to Leydene House the Admiralty Signal Establishment also moved, in April 1941, and was established in Lythe Hill House, Haslemere. The Production department had been set up in Whitwell Hatch Hotel at Haste Hill, Haslemere by the end of May that year, with a small part of the establishment remaining at the old Signal School in Portsmouth. This became independent in August when the main facility moved. Soon after the opening of the main centre of HMS Mercury, the Experimental Section in Lythe Hill House and the Production and Development Section at Whitwell House were commissioned as HMS Mercury on 25 August 1941, and opened as an independent command on 27 August. Later developments saw the establishment of laboratories and workshops at King Edward's School, Witley, valve production going to Waterlooville and aerial manufacture to Nutbourne. Trials were carried out at Tantallon, near North Berwick. 
During its time in operation, HMS Mercury II had two nominated depot ships, FMB 3521 from 27 August 1941 until July 1946, and MFV 1016 from July 1946 until she was sold in May 1947. This HMS Mercury II remained in operation until mid 1952. The name then passed to the Admiralty Signal and Radar Establishment in Portsdown, Portsmouth. This base remained HMS Mercury II until 1969. 


HMS Urge was a British U-class submarine of the second group of that class, built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 30 October 1939 and was commissioned on 12 December 1940. From 1941-2 she formed part of the Submarine Flotilla based in Malta and was the only Royal Navy ship to have borne the name. Urge spent most of her career operating in the Mediterranean, where she damaged or sank a number of mostly Italian warships and merchant vessels and took part in special operations. She was commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Edward P. Tomkinson, DSO, RN. In 1975 a building at HMS Dolphin in Gosport was named after Lieutenant-Commander Tomkinson, alongside others named after other leading Royal Navy World War II submarine captains. Reports in late October 2019 stated that remains of the submarine had been found off the coast of Malta.
HMS Urge put to sea on April 27th but failed to make an expected rendezvous in Alexandria on May 6th. with 29 crew and 10 passengers. Until the discovery of her wreck in 2019, her final fate was not completely certain. It was believed that the submarine was most likely sunk by a mine (while she was still on the surface) soon after exiting the Grand Harbour. Other reports suggested the vessel was sunk by an Italian dive bomber while attacking an Italian ship off Libya. The explosion was so violent that the bow of the submarine became detached and she sunk suddenly, with no survivors. 
The Second World War submarine which was built with money raised by the people of Bridgend, South Wales, has now been found 77 years after vanishing with 44 people on board in 130 metres (430 ft) of water two miles off the coast of Malta. The search was conducted by staff from the University of Malta, in an area that had been heavily mined during the war. The UK Ministry of Defence confirmed the wreck is the missing submarine. The wreck has heavy damage to the bow consistent with striking a mine. The rest of the wreck is said to be in "fantastic condition." A ceremony to declare the site an official war grave will take place in April next year.


Southsea Castle, historically also known as Chaderton Castle, South Castle and Portsea Castle, is an artillery fort originally constructed by Henry VIII on Portsea Island, Hampshire, in 1544. It formed part of the King's Device programme to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire, and defended the Solent and the eastern approach to Portsmouth. The castle was built on the southern end of Portsea Island to protect a deep-water channel running through the Solent to the royal naval base at Portsmouth. Work began in early 1544, under the overall direction of Sir Anthony Knyvett, the Governor of Portsmouth, supported by Richard Cawarden, the Dean of Chichester, and John Chatterton, the captain of the Porstmouth garrison; Thomas Bertie was appointed as the master mason. It is uncertain who designed the castle, although Knyvett described it as being "of his Majesty's own device", which typically indicated that the King had taken a personal role. The castle had a square central keep, two rectangular gun platforms to the east and west, and two angled bastions to the front and rear. The defences were upgraded throughout the century due to the fears of a French invasion and formed part of the plan for defending Portsmouth during the First World War. In the interwar years some of the fortifications were stood down, but the castle saw service again in the Second World War, when it was involved in Operation Grasp, the seizure of French naval vessels in Portsmouth harbour. In 1960, Southsea Castle, by now obsolete, was sold to Portsmouth City Council. It was restored to its pre-1850 appearance and opened as a tourist attraction, receiving over 90,000 visitors from 2011–12. 
The castle houses a collection of cannon. Two of these, a 68-pounder (30.8 kg) and an RML 9-inch 12 ton (22.8 cm 12.192 kg) gun, are location in the grounds, and within the castle itself is a 24-pounder (10.8 kg) from HMS Royal George, an RML 9 pounder 8 cwt (4 kg 406 kg) and two hexagonally rifled Witworth 3-pounder (1.3 kg) breech-loaders dating from 1876. The castle is protected under UK law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.


HMS Royal Oak was one of five Revenge-class battleships built for the Royal Navy during the First World War and this week commemorates the 80th anniversary of her sinking.  Launched in 1914 and completed in 1916, Royal Oak first saw combat at the Battle of Jutland as part of the Grand Fleet. On 14 October 1939, Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-47. Of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 834 were killed that night or died later of their wounds. The loss of the outdated ship—the first of the five Royal Navy battleships and battlecruisers sunk in the Second World War—did little to affect the numerical superiority enjoyed by the British navy and its Allies, but the sinking had considerable effect on wartime morale. Before the sinking of Royal Oak, the Royal Navy had considered the naval base at Scapa Flow impregnable to submarine attack, and U-47's raid demonstrated that the German Navy was capable of bringing the war to British home waters. The shock resulted in rapid changes to dockland security and the construction of the Churchill Barriers around Scapa Flow. 
Despite the relatively shallow water in which she sank, the majority of bodies could not be recovered. The wreck of Royal Oak, a designated war grave, lies almost upside down in 100 feet (30 m) of water with her hull 16 feet (4.9 m) beneath the surface. In an annual ceremony to mark the loss of the ship, Royal Navy divers place a White Ensign underwater at her stern.   
Marked by a buoy, the wreck has been designated a war grave and all diving or other unauthorised forms of exploration are prohibited under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.[126] In clear water conditions, the upturned hull can be seen reaching to within 5 metres of the surface. 
A memorial at St Magnus Cathedral in nearby Kirkwall displays a plaque dedicated to those who lost their lives, beneath which a book of remembrance lists their names. This list of names was not released by the Government until 40 years after the sinking. Each week a page of the book is turned. The ship's bell was recovered in the 1970s and, after being restored, was added to the memorial in St Magnus. Twenty-six bodies, eight of which could not be identified, were interred at the naval cemetery in nearby Lyness.


Wherwell is a village on the River Test in Hampshire, England. The name may derive from its bubbling springs resulting in the Middle Ages place name “Hwerwyl” noted in AD 955, possibly meaning “kettle springs” or “cauldron springs.” Pronunciation of the name has ranged from “Hurrell” to “Wer-rel” to present-day “Wher-well.” 
Before the Dissolution, the parish of Wherwell was in the hands of an important abbey of Benedictine nuns, whose abbess was Lady of the Manor of an area much larger than the existing parish. 

The town is associated with the Cockatrice. The story is that the cockatrice terrorised the village until it was imprisoned in the dungeons below Wherwell Priory. A prize of land was offered to anyone who could kill the creature. None were successful, until a man named Green lowered a mirror into the dungeon. The cockatrice battled against its own reflection until exhausted, at which point Green was able to kill it. Today there is an area of land near Wherwell called Green's Acres. For many years a weather vane in the shape of a cockatrice adorned the church of St. Peter and Holy Cross in Wherwell until it was removed to Andover Museum. 


In 1977 a hundred years of transport in the Portsmouth area spanned an era which linked horse trams and stage coaches with the hovercraft and motorway? Few parts of Britain have known such a variety of public transport, to say nothing of the stillborn brainchilds of inventors.
In August 1878, the Portsmouth NEWS recorded the sale at Tatersalls of the 55 remaining horses which had speeded passengers between the coaching inn staging posts along the road to London. By then the steam engine had outpaced the horses, which had sold for an average of 45 guineas.
Railways, which had sounded the death knell of another system of transport that left its mark on Portsmouth - the Chichester and Arundel canal - were a little tardy in actually reaching the port. By 1841, the permanent way was serving Southampton, Brighton and Gosport. The Portsmouth traveller wishing to catch a train had first to cross the water to Gosport Hard, and then make his way to the railway station threequarters-of-a-mile away.
This humiliating state of affairs continued for more than five years. Then direct links with the capital were established via Chichester (1847) and Eastleigh (1848). Not for another eleven years did Portsmouth get its own direct line via Guildford in 1859.
Our pictures show  tramcars in the garage ready to go on the road with one close up, both in the mid-1880’s.


Farlington is a district of Portsmouth and is located in the north east of the city and is not actually on Portsea Island  Farlington was incorporated into the city in 1932 and now forms a continuous development with Cosham and Drayton.
Farlington was a small rural community for the majority of its existence. In 1891 a racecourse, called 'Portsmouth Park', was built in Farlington, between the Havant road and the shoreline. This new course was built with all of the modern facilities available at the time, including its own railway station, with the intention of turning it into premier tracks. However race meetings were suspended during World War One and the War Office turned the course into one of the country's biggest ammunition dumps. After hostilities ceased, the War Office held control of the site and it was not released until 1929 when it was bought by Portsmouth City Council. The council then sold on the land for private housing development, eventually leading to the end of Farlington as a distinct community. 
Farlington is also home of the Portsmouth Water Company's filtration beds. In 1812 Thomas Smith built a reservoir to hold spring water from Farlington Marshes. The marshes now constitute a renowned nature reserve which hosts a vast number of migratory, overwintering wildfowl, including Brent Geese, Wigeons, Teals, Avocets, Redshanks and Dunlins. The waterworks were built in 1908 and by 1924 there were five reservoirs and eight sand filters. Many of the local roads to the north of the Havant Road were named after senior company officers. Amongst these are Grant, Woodfield, Galt, Gillman and Evelegh. 
The parish of Farlington has two churches - the ancient parish church of St. Andrew, as shown in our picture, and the Church of the Resurrection. St. Andrew's is situated at the eastern end of the district on the main Havant Road. Adjacent to the church on the west side once stood Farlington House which was demolished in the 1960s to make way for a new housing estate that extended Old Rectory Road. The Church of the Resurrection was built in 1930 and is geographically located in Drayton.
Farlington was also home to Farlington Redoubt which was part of the ‘Palmerston’s Folly’. defence ring of forts around Portsmouth. They were built to protect the city from a possible French invasion. The defences were ordered by the then Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. However, peace with France ensued before the defences were finished, hence the title "Palmerston's Folly". The redoubt was demolished in the early 1960s; however some of the other forts still remain, such as Forts Purbrook, Widley and Southwick. 



A hovercraft is an amphibious  craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. 
Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull  that is slightly above atmospheric pressure. The pressure difference between the higher pressure air below the hull and lower pressure ambient air above it produces lift, which causes the hull to float above the running surface. For stability reasons, the air is typically blown through slots or holes around the outside of a disk- or oval-shaped platform, giving most hovercraft a characteristic rounded-rectangle shape. Typically this cushion is contained within a flexible "skirt", which allows the vehicle to travel over small obstructions without damage.
The first practical design for hovercraft was derived from a British invention in the 1950s to 1960s. They are now used throughout the world as specialised transports in disaster relief, coastguard, military and survey applications, as well as for sport or passenger service. Very large versions have been used to transport hundreds of people and vehicles across the English Channel whilst others have military applications used to transport tanks, soldiers and large equipment in hostile environments and terrain.  
The idea of the modern hovercraft is most often associated with a British mechanical engineer Sir Christopher Cockerell. Cockerell's group was the first to develop the use of a ring of air for maintaining the cushion, the first to develop a successful skirt, and the first to demonstrate a practical vehicle in continued use. 
Cockerell came across the key concept in his design when studying the ring of airflow when high-pressure air was blown into the annular area between two concentric tin cans (one coffee and the other from cat food) and a hair dryer. This produced a ring of airflow, as expected, but he noticed an unexpected benefit as well; the sheet of fast moving air presented a sort of physical barrier to the air on either side of it. This effect, which he called the "momentum curtain", could be used to trap high-pressure air in the area inside the curtain, producing a high-pressure plenum that earlier examples had to build up with considerably more airflow. In theory, only a small amount of active airflow would be needed to create lift and much less than a design that relied only on the momentum of the air to provide lift, like a helicopter. In terms of power, a hovercraft would
only need between one quarter to one half of the power required by a helicopter. 
Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, is the home of the Hovercraft Museum, which houses the world's largest collection of hovercraft designs, including some of the earliest and largest. Much of the collection is housed within the retired SR.N4 hovercraft Princess Anne. She is the last of her kind in the world. There are many hovercraft in the museum but all are non-operational. 
Hovercraft are still in use between Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Southsea on the mainland. The service, operated by Hovertravel, schedules up to three crossings each hour, and is the fastest way of getting on or off the island. Large passenger hovercraft are still manufactured on the Isle of Wight. 



A hovercraft is an amphibious  craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. 
Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull  that is slightly above atmospheric pressure. The pressure difference between the higher pressure air below the hull and lower pressure ambient air above it produces lift, which causes the hull to float above the running surface. For stability reasons, the air is typically blown through slots or holes around the outside of a disk- or oval-shaped platform, giving most hovercraft a characteristic rounded-rectangle shape. Typically this cushion is contained within a flexible "skirt", which allows the vehicle to travel over small obstructions without damage.
The first practical design for hovercraft was derived from a British invention in the 1950s to 1960s. They are now used throughout the world as specialised transports in disaster relief, coastguard, military and survey applications, as well as for sport or passenger service. Very large versions have been used to transport hundreds of people and vehicles across the English Channel whilst others have military applications used to transport tanks, soldiers and large equipment in hostile environments and terrain.  
The idea of the modern hovercraft is most often associated with a British mechanical engineer Sir Christopher Cockerell. Cockerell's group was the first to develop the use of a ring of air for maintaining the cushion, the first to develop a successful skirt, and the first to demonstrate a practical vehicle in continued use. 
Cockerell came across the key concept in his design when studying the ring of airflow when high-pressure air was blown into the annular area between two concentric tin cans (one coffee and the other from cat food) and a hair dryer. This produced a ring of airflow, as expected, but he noticed an unexpected benefit as well; the sheet of fast moving air presented a sort of physical barrier to the air on either side of it. This effect, which he called the "momentum curtain", could be used to trap high-pressure air in the area inside the curtain, producing a high-pressure plenum that earlier examples had to build up with considerably more airflow. In theory, only a small amount of active airflow would be needed to create lift and much less than a design that relied only on the momentum of the air to provide lift, like a helicopter.
In terms of .........


Crazy and mixed-up, are you in a right pickle? No, not that but I’m thinking of a ship. Have you ever heard of HMS Pickle? - well, she was very famous.
HMS Pickle was a topsail schooner of the Royal Navy. She was originally a civilian vessel named Sting, of six guns, that Lord Hugh Seymour purchased to use as a tender on the Jamaica station. Pickle was at the Battle of Trafalgar, and though she was too small to take part in the fighting, she was the first ship to bring the news of Nelson's victory to Great Britain. She also participated in a notable single-ship action when she captured the French privateer Favorite in 1807. Pickle was wrecked in 1808, but without loss of life. In 1995 five replica Baltic packet schooners were constructed at the Grumant & Askold shipyard in Russia. One, named "Alevtina & Tuy", was in 2005 renamed "Schooner Pickle", although not a replica of HMS Pickle, to represent the 1805 vessel for the 200-year Trafalgar celebration. Retaining her adopted name, she is berthed in Hull Marina on the Humber. The vessel, owned by Historic Motor and Sail, is kept as a representation of the original Pickle and can be seen at ports throughout the East coast of England during the summer months. 
Originally named Sting, Pickle was built in 1799 in Bermuda, where this type of vessel was known as a Bermuda sloop. Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour, the commander in chief on the Jamaica Station, formally purchased Sting in December 1800 for £2,500, after having leased her for some time at £10 per day. His purchase was in defiance of orders not to purchase vessels. However, faced with a fait accompli, the Admiralty issued an order in February 1801 that her name be changed to Pickle. 
During the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805), Pickle and the other small vessels kept well back from the fighting, as a single broadside from a ship of the line would have sunk her instantly. Pickle herself was stationed to the north-west of the weather line, where Nelson was leading HMS Victory into battle. 
The prisoners in Pickle outnumbered her crew three-to-one, and were heard plotting to take her over to take her into Cadiz. Pickle's crew kept a particularly sharp watch over the prisoners, and nothing happened.
Pickle was the first ship to bring the news of Nelson's victory at Trafalgar to Great Britain, arriving at Falmouth on 4 November 1805, after a hard voyage in bad weather. Vice Admiral Collingwood, who had assumed command after the death of Nelson, chose her to carry his dispatches describing the battle and announcing Nelson's death. Collingwood sent Pickle, captained by John Richards Lapenotière, back to Britain with the dispatches telling of the great victory. This was a signal honour for any junior officer, as it almost guaranteed promotion. After arriving in Falmouth, Lapenotière took a chaise to London to deliver the dispatches to the Admiralty, stopping 21 times to change horses. The Admiralty duly promoted him to Commander for this service, and the Committee of the Lloyd's Patriotic Fund gave him a sword worth 100 guineas and £500 in cash. The route that Lapenotière travelled is now known as The Trafalgar Way.


120 years ago there was Newton Bakery in Bishops Waltham. The house and the bake house were in The Avenue and were built in 1899 by a Mr Mogg and it was not very long after that when the business was taken over by Mr Albert William Batchelor and his wares were delivered by horse and carriage like the one in our picture.
At the time the bakery would have been in direct competition with a Mr H. Smith who also has a bake house at the end of The Avenue situated behind the Post Office on the corner. His business also changed hands to a Mr Ted Hands who joined it to the number of business in the village.
There was certainly plenty of competition in the bakery trade and there was another sale in 1922 when Sidney Mesher took over. He ran the business for some years, until 1939 in fact, when Walter Stainer took over. He must have been quite a young man as already a Master Baker at 26 years old, he retired forty-five years later in 1985. The business was then bought by Mr and Mrs Blandford who kept the name of Stainers as it still is today.


Victoria and Albert was commissioned at Portsmouth 23 July 1901 by Commodore the Hon. Hedworth Lambton, who hoisted his broad pennant. Nearly all the ship's company of 230 men of the old HMY Victoria and Albert II were transferred to the new yacht, which with an additional 100 men had a total ship's company of 336.
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visited their new yacht in early August 1901, and used it for the first time when crossing the English Channel on 9 August 1901 to attend the funeral in Germany of the King's sister, Empress Frederick. She was the base for the royal couple during the fleet review held at Spithead on 16 August 1902 for the coronation of King Edward VII. Following the review, the royal couple toured the West Coast of Scotland and visited the Isle of Man, before the Victoria and Albert took Queen Alexandra to Copenhagen for her annual autumn visit. In late 1902 she was docked for several months to be fitted with telescopic masts. King Edward later used the yacht for summer cruises most years of his reign, visiting various countries in Europe. 
Victoria and Albert later served King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI, and took part in two fleet reviews (in 1935 and the Coronation Review of the Fleet, 1937), but was withdrawn after the latter and decommissioned in 1939. She served as a depot ship during the Second World War, as an accommodation ship to HMS Excellent, and was broken up in 1954. 
During 1947, while moored alongside at Whale Island, her caretaker was Mr J.G. "Tom" Cox BEM, RN. He was responsible for the care of her contents, some of which were selected for eventual use in HMY Britannia. 
Although there were plans for a new yacht to be built these were suspended due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Eventually HMY Britannia replaced Victoria and Albert in 1954 and she was the first Royal Yacht not to be powered by sail. It was built for Queen Victoria, but she never stepped on board, concerned about the yacht's stability. King Edward VII did sail on the Victoria & Albert, mainly in local waters and the Mediterranean. Having served four sovereigns over 38 years and not left Northern Europe since 1911, the Victoria & Albert was decommissioned in 1939. She was eventually broken up for scrap at Faslane in 1954.


The Royal Marines Band Service is the musical wing of the Royal Navy and currently consists of five Bands plus a training wing the Royal Marines School of Music at HMS Nelson. Its headquarters is at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth. It is currently the only branch of the Royal Marines which is open to women, although women are scheduled to begin Commando training in 2018.
The development of music in the Royal Marines is inextricably linked with the evolution of British military bands. Lively airs and the beat of the drum enabled columns of marching men to keep a regular step. The drum was the normal method of giving signals on the battlefield or in camp.  
Without doubt, groups of musicians existed in the Service before 1767, when Royal Marines Divisional Bands were formed at the naval dockyard-bases of Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth and the naval gathering-point of Deal in the Downs, and Marine bands (along with professional bands paid for by captains) plus their respective corps of drums provided music on board ships before and during battles of the Napoleonic Wars (e.g. during the long sail into action at the Battle of Trafalgar). 
Five Royal Marines earned the Victoria Cross in the First World War, two at Zeebrugge, one at Gallipoli, one at the Battle of Jutland and one on the Western Front. After the war Royal Marines took part in the allied intervention in Russia. In 1919, the 6th Battalion RMLI rose in mutiny and was disbanded at Murmansk.
By the end of the Second World War, 225 musicians and buglers had been killed in action, which was a quarter of their strength at the time, and the highest percentage of any branch of any service, after Bomber Command. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the service moved to Malvern, then divided with the Junior Wing moving to the Isle of Man and the Senior Wing to Scarborough
At approximately 8.20 am on 22 September 1989, the Royal Marines School of Music at the Royal Marine Depot, Deal was bombed by the IRA; this resulted in the death of eleven Royal Marines Musicians. A memorial garden is now situated in the grounds of the old barracks where the bomb went off. This was built in remembrance of the eleven who died. Our top picture shows the band marching through Portsmouth in 1905 the other two of the Band today.



Alton is between Farnham 9 miles (14 km) to the northeast and Winchester 16 miles (26 km) to the southwest. London is 52 miles (84 km). Nearby Brockham Hill, situated 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) northeast of Alton, rises to 225 metres (738 feet) above sea level. The nearby village of Bentworth is the highest village in Hampshire.

A battle was fought in Alton during the during the English Civil War. A small Royalist force was quartered in the town when on 13th December 1643 they were surprised by a Parliamentary army of around 5,000 men. The Royalist cavalry fled, leaving Sir Richard Bolle (or Boles) and his infantry to fight. Outnumbered, the Royalists were forced into the Church of St Lawrence, where Bolle was killed along with many of his men. Over 700 Royalist soldiers were captured and bullet holes from the battle are still visible in the church today. 
In 1665, Alton suffered an outbreak of bubonic plague, but soon recovered. On Saturday, 24 August 1867, an eight-year-old girl, Fanny Adams, was murdered in Alton. Her assailant, Frederick Baker, a local solicitor's clerk, was one of the last criminals to be executed in Winchester. Fanny Adams' grave can still be seen in Alton cemetery. The brutal murder, so the story goes, coincided with the introduction of tinned meat in the Royal Navy, and the sailors who did not like the new food said the tins contained the remains of "Sweet Fanny Adams" or "Sweet F A". The expression "sweet fanny adams" has an old-fashioned slang meaning of nothing.
Jane Austen Regency Week is a celebration of the time the author Jane Austen spent in Alton and Chawton and is held in June each year.
The Allen Gallery serves as Alton's art gallery. It houses a large, permanent ceramics collection as well as temporary exhibitions.
Holybourne Theatre is on the site of a former Nissen hut that was converted into a theatre by German prisoners-of-war during World War II. Plays have been performed there since 1950, but the official opening was not until 1971. 


PS Waverley is the last seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world. Built in 1946, she sailed from Craigendoran on the Firth of Clyde to Arrochar on Loch Long until 1973. Bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS), she has been restored to her 1947 appearance and now operates passenger excursions around the British coast. 
Since 2003 Waverley has been listed in the National Historic Fleet by National Historic Ships UK as "a vessel of pre-eminent national importance".
PS Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott's first novel. She was built in 1946 to replace a PS Waverley that was built in 1899, served in the Second World War as a minesweeper and was sunk in 1940 while helping to evacuate troops from Dunkirk. Shipbuilders A. & J. Inglis of Glasgow launched the new 693 tonne steamer in October 1946. She entered service with the London and North Eastern Railway in June 1947, working the LNER's Firth of Clyde steamer route from Craigendoran Pier, near Helensburgh, up Loch Long to Arrochar. In her first year in service she wore that company's red, white and black funnel colours. 
The 1948 nationalisation of Britain's railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970. 
After a revival of fortunes in the 1950s, the 1960s saw a gradual change in holiday habits that led to a decline in passenger numbers and the closure of many of the small piers. Since 1969 and the formation of the Scottish Transport Group, the CSP had been gradually merging with the West Highland shipping and ferry company David MacBrayne Ltd. In 1973 the company became Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd (CalMac).
The 1948 nationalisation of Britain's railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970. 

Waverley has had several colour schemes in her life. Early photographs show paddle boxes painted sometimes white and sometimes black. The gold stripe along the hull is in some photos and not others. Today Waverley has the LNER 1947 livery of red, white and black funnels, traditional brown-grained (or "scumbled") superstructure and black paddle-wheel boxes, decorated with gold lettering on each side.


Dockyard bosses ran into trouble when they decided to take down the original St Ann’s Church in the yard and build another. They found the first church, built in 1704, was constructed on consecrated ground and they had to apply to Winchester Cathedral to have it deconsecrated.
The second St Ann’s Church and the one which still stands today, was opened in 1786. 
Another famous part of the Navy’s history in Portsmouth is mixed up in the story of St Ann’s. The bell of the Royal George which sank at Spithead on 29th August, 1782, was salvaged from the wreck and put in the church. The disaster which befell the Royal George was one of the city’s great naval tragedies. She took 673 crew with her. A subsequent court martial found she had been so long neglected that decay had eaten ’deep into her vitals’. On the day concerned, the underwater parts of the ship had literally dropped from under her.
During the second world war the church was bombed and the ship’s bell was smashed. A new one was made from the fragments found, and a new one was cast. The bell still hangs in St Ann’s to this day.
The wreck of the Royal George, which had been a menace to shipping for sixty years, was removed in 1940 when she was blown up. 


The first postcards in Britain were produced in 1870 by the Post Office. They were plain with a printed stamp already on the address side. On 1st September, 1894, the Post Office allowed cards printed by other people to be used, with an adhesive stamp placed on the address side.
Rapidly printers started producing cards with a small picture, with sufficient space to write around it, as only the address could be written on the stamp side. In 1902, the Post Office changed the rules to allow full ;pictures to be printed on one side and half of the address side to be used to be used for a message. Britain was the first country in Europe to allow this practice.
From September 1902, manufacturers started printing a vertical line to divide the address from the message. Instructions were printed on the left hand side: “You may now write your message in this space”.
The Edwardian period was the height of postcard sending and there were several deliveries each day. Local messages could be sent and an answer received the same day, or certainly the next.
Old postcards are invaluable in showing the development of our towns, how the buildings have changed, just like ours of Portsmouth Grammar School in 1903 below. Old forms of transport, and even disasters such as fires, floods and shipwrecks were often subjects used. 


The Franciscan Friary of Southampton was founded c.1233. It occupied a south-eastern area of the city, within the walls and adjacent to God’s House Tower.. The friary was notable for its water supply system, which supplied water for use by the friars themselves and by the other inhabitants of Southampton. The friary was dissolved in 1538 and the last remains were swept away in the 1940s. The site is now occupied by Friary House. Elsewhere, remnants of the extensive water supply system still survive today. 
Conduit House, was a remnant of the medieval water supply system devised by the friars. The water supply system was originally devised by the friars for their own use. In 1290, Nicholas de Barbeflet granted them access to the springs on his manor of Shirley in the town, out to the north west of the medieval town. The friars constructed a system of water pipes to bring the first of the water to their friary in 1304. In all, the water had to travel some 1.7 kilometres from the spring to the friary within the town walls. There were several other springs supplying water to the friary; these were located around the Polygon but no traces remain above ground. 
In 1310, the friars granted use of their water supply to the people of Southampton but in 1420, the friars were struggling to maintain the water supply system in good order, and therefore passed on ownership of the supply system to the mayor and community of Southampton. The water supply system remained in their hands for the rest of its lifetime and was eventually superseded by the boring of new wells for use by the townspeople.
Conduit Head was used to channel one of the water sources acquired by the friars. 
Although long since disused, remnants of the water supply system can be seen today, albeit outside of the town walls. At the site of the former manor in Shirley, the original water source is marked by Conduit Head, a stone building comprising a small locked gateway and several underground chambers which channelled fresh water rising from the springs. Though in disrepair and hidden away behind new housing developments, the site can still be accessed. Elsewhere, more visible remnants can be seen at Conduit House on Commercial Road. The purpose of this stone building in our photograph remains uncertain.


The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway was not one of Hampshire’s greatest achievements back in the 1890s and only existed for about 30 years. It is recorded trains were often brought to a standstill by a heavy load, while it was not unknown for the steam locomotives to run out of water, and level crossing gates, in the countryside, were opened and shut by a member of staff on a bicycle.
The line was opened on 1st June, 1901 with no formal ceremony, the dignitaries having to stand on a truck behind the first train, as our picture shows. At first there were three passenger trains each way daily, and this was increased to six in 1909. Nevertheless the line was far from profitable, and it was closed and the lines taken up for the war effort in 1917. The track was relaid and the line reopened, however in 1924, though it finally closed for passengers in 1932, and for goods in 1936, after which most of the track was once more taken up. Two stretches remained at either end of the railway and these were used for shunting goods traffic until 1967. Lack of profitability beat the Doctor Beechings cuts of the 1960s.


On the 23rd April, England celebrates St George’s Day. Everyone knows the legendary image of St George slaying the dragon, a motif that has featured on English Sovereign coins for 200 years.
The legend of St George rescuing a whole town from the ferocious dragon, that was demanding sheep and maidens as sacrifices, has been told for centuries and is one of the most popular legends in British mythology.
There are two Portsmouth area churches dedicated to St George - one in Portsea which dates back to 1753 and having been built by shipwrights from the Dockyard.
The other, St George the Martyr in Waterlooville is the second church on the site, the original being built in 1831 which, in 1970 was replaced because of the expanding parish.
The Isle of Wight has one, at Arreton, is one of the oldest in the Island, and regarded as the most beautiful by far. It was built in the late Saxon period and the parish itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book on 1086.



In 1969, Andromeda was deployed to the Persian Gulf and Far East as leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, taking part in the Beira Patrol, a deployment that was used to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia via Mozambique. On 1 June 1970, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Ennerdale, on her way to refuel Andromeda, struck an uncharted pinnacle of rock off the Seychelles, and sank. Andromeda was the first ship on the scene of the accident, and helped to rescue the crew of Ennerdale, the wreck of which was later destroyed by explosives.[
On 23 October 1970, the Liberian-flagged tanker Pacific Glory collided with the tanker Allegro off the Isle of Wight and caught fire with 13 killed aboard Pacific Glory. The blazing Pacific Glory ran aground on 24 October, and Andromeda took part in the large scale clean up operation.

In 1973, Andromeda took part in the Second Cod War, patrolling to intervene in case of interference on British fishing by Icelandic vessels. On 11 August 1973, Andromeda was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat 

In 1977, Andromeda took part in the Fleet Review of the Royal Navy, during the Silver Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II.[28] Between November 1977 and December 1980, Andromeda underwent modernisation, including the addition of Exocet and Sea Wolf missiles at Devonport dockyard.[19] Andromeda took part in the Falklands War in 1982, returning to the United Kingdom from a deployment in the Western Atlantic in April 1982
Between 1990–91, Andromeda underwent a refit. She was decommissioned two-years later. Andromeda was sold to the Indian Navy in 1995, where she was commissioned as the training ship, INS Krishna. Her armament had been reduced to two Bofors 40 mm guns and two Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
Our picture shows the launching of HMS Andromeda on She was launched on 24 May 1967. 

Why did I choose this vessel?  Well, between 1982 and 1984 Andromeda’s Commander was Captain James Weatherall. He died in Essex just two years ago and was one of my uncles.


The Square Tower, which stands dramatically between High Street and the sea, is an important feature of Old Portsmouth - and has been since 1494. On the north face of the tower is a fine gilded bust of Charles I. It was sculpted by Hubrecht le Sueuer and presented to Portsmouth by the King in 1635. The inscription reads: ‘After his travels through all France into Spain and having passed very many dangers, both by sea and land, he arrived here on 5th day of October 1623’. It originally ended: ‘there was the greatest applause of joy for his safety throughout the Kingdom that was ever  known or heard of’, but this was removed at a later date.
The tower was possibly a residence of the military Governor of the town frore the Domus Dei was adapted. In the seventeenth century it was used as a magazine. During the Civil War, when the Royalists were besieged in the town, Colonel Goring, the Governor, threatened to fire the building and so destroy the whole town unless he was given honourable terms of surrender. The tower continued to be used as a magazine until the 1780s when it was converted into a meat store serving the ships anchored at Spithead.
In 1823 a semaphore station was built on the top of the tower as part of a chain of stations between Portsmouth and the Admiralty in London that dated from the previous century. This functioned until the introduction of the electric telegraph in 1848. At that time the seaward defences were reorganised and the tower was armed again, this time with three eight-inch guns of the roof. A major programme of restoration was started in 1978.


Unless you know where to look, it’s easy to miss the last remaining part of the gatehouse of Warblington Castle, situated in the tiny hamlet of Warblington in Hampshire but this once splendid, fortified house, was the setting for some of Englands most important families and the political games they had a part in.

Warblington is thought to be named after Saxon invader, Weorbald, who, in about 500AD found a quiet port within Langstone harbour. The area had been previously settled by the Romans who built a farmstead on the fertile land. 
It is mentioned in the Domesday Book with a population of about 120 people. 
The Black death of 1348-9, ravaged Hampshire as it did the rest of the country and the population of Warblington was considerably diminished. 

Henry VIII then granted the manor to Sir Richard Cotton. In October 1551, Mary of Guise the widow of James V of Scotland stayed a night in the castle as the guest of Sir Richard Cotton.[6] Edward VI visited the manor in 1552. Elizabeth I may have visited for two days in 1586. The Cotton family continued to hold the house until the English civil war.
In January 1643 Parliamentarians under Colonel Norton garrisoned the house with a force of between 40 and 80 men. It was besieged and taken by Lord Hopton although Colonel Norton managed to escape.
The Cotton family were Royalists which resulted in the manor being largely demolished by Parliamentarian forces. One turret of the gatehouse was left as an aid to navigation for ships in Langstone channel. The turret is octagonal in form and four stories in height. It is largely built from brick with stone dressing and battlements.
Today, the turret, the arch of the gate and the drawbridge support in the moat still survive. The land the remains stand on is private property. The site is a grade II listed building and a scheduled monument.


Two name for one part of Old Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on the southern coast of England. The name Spice Island comes from the area's seedy reputation, as it was known as the "Spice of Life". Men were easily found and press-ganged into Nelson's navy from Portsmouth Point due to its hostelries and for being where prostitutes plied their trade. The area forms the eastern side of the narrow entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, facing Gosport on the western side. 
Historically, the Point lay outside the boundaries of Portsmouth, with access being controlled by various fortifications over the centuries. Walls and gates separating the point from the rest of Portsmouth are attested in the 16th century, in 1571 the gate was known as the north gate. It was rebuilt as Point Gate sometime around 1600 before being renamed King James's Gate after further work in 1687. On the south side military defences protecting the harbour entrance were built. 
Civilian building in the area began in 1590 with storehouses of various types. During the 17th century an increasing range of businesses had taken hold in the area with four taverns being recorded by 1610. By the 18th century the point had become a popular destination for sailors on leave from ships moored at Spithead. This resulted in the area becoming notorious for lewd behaviour and was mainly composed of pubs and brothels, and appeared as such in Thomas Rowlandson's etching named after the Point which we used as our picture today. This etching was also the inspiration for William Walton's musical piece of the same name, written in 1925 for full orchestra. 
The advent of steam meant that more ships entered Portsmouth harbour proper and as a result fewer sailors visited the point.[3] The gates that controlled access to the point were removed in the 1860s.
Now the area is part of the desirable and historic city of Portsmouth containing the majority of the remaining early defences of the city and Camber Dock. In 2015, the Land Rover BAR yacht racing headquarters was completed. The nearby Camber Dock still retains a small fishing fleet and a fish market. 


HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–1861. She was the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France's launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior conducted a publicity tour of Great Britain in 1863 and spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. Obsolescent following the 1871 launching of the mastless and more capable HMS Devastation, she was placed in reserve in 1875, and was "paid off" – decommissioned – in 1883. 
She subsequently served as a storeship and depot ship, and in 1904 was assigned to the Royal Navy's torpedo training school. The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987. 


In 1902, the brewing industry was a key player of the local brewing economy of Portsmouth. There were some fourteen breweries in the town but by 1914 they had been reduced to just four: Brickwoods, Longs, Portsmouth United Breweries and Youngs. But mergers, bomb damage, little investment and the need to compete in a national market in the post-war years, led finally to the sale of the one remaining local brewing enterprise, Brickwoods and United, to Whitbread in 1971. Brewing ceased finally on their Portsea site in 1983. Some idea of the scale of the local brewing enterprise in the 19th and early 20th century exists to this day in the many public houses which were built mainly on street corners in the densely built parts of the town which survived the bombing. Brickwoods had a distinctive house style at some time when their pubs had black and white half-timbering on the upper floors and the ground floors and the walls were often clad with lively, coloured, glazed tiling. Small spires and turrets sometime adorned the roofs and made a distinctive contribution to streets lined otherwise only with small, terraced houses.
Our picture shows a typical Brickwoods pub, named The Talbot, which was built in 1896 in Goldsmith Avenue which closed in 1981.


A happy story involving the embarkation of troops from Southampton occurred in August, 1899 when the troopship HMT Britannic was boarding the 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment for South Africa and the South African wars.
A black retriever kept trying to board the ship but was each time driven back. When the ship cast off its moorings, the dog was seen jumping into the water and swimming after the ship. The determination of the animal was admired and a boat was sent off to fetch the hound and bring it aboard. The dog remained with the regiment in South Africa.
Following what has become known as the Modder Engagement, the Cheshire Regiment was on outpost duty when the Leinster Regiment marched past. A strange whistle was heard and the dog dashed off to join the Leinsters who explained that he was their dog and that he had been lost when they were boarding in Southampton and they were forced to leave without him.
Our pictures show the RMT Britannic and the dog’s rescue.


No, not that one but the one in the High Street in Portsea. It was here that George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham lived and who was the notorious favourite of Charles I. He was described as the most glorious star that ever shone at any court; for a time he was the most powerful man in the country, but he was very unpopular with the public. He was Lord High Admiral of England and was responsible for improving the condition of the King’s ships. He organised an unsuccessful expedition for the relief of La Rochelle which set out from Portsmouth in 1627 and in August the following year he was back in the town arranging another expedition. He was staying in the house of John Mason in the High Street and there he was assassinated by an aggrieved soldier, John Felton. The building still stands, though it hs been much altered since Mason’s time.
John Mason was born in East Anglia but adopted Portsmouth as his home. He led an amazing adventurous life - he had been a pirate and Governor of Newfoundland before he came to Portsmouth - and, among other things, he founded the colony of New Hampshire in 1622. Mason was later made Captain of Southsea Castle where he carried out many improvements before his death on 1635.


More than 90 years after a unique Island-built electric tram was last used to transport visitors up and down Ryde Pier, it will be once again be back on public display. The train is the only surviving example of trams built by Pollard and Sons of Ryde, and was designed to carry 20 passengers along the half-mile of Ryde Pier. After leaving service in 1927, it spent much of the last 90 years being used as a holiday chalet in Brighstone and even a chicken coop before being saved.
The tram was given to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway last October 18th at an official ceremony after having been restored by a Manpower Services Commission as a project.  


The Cathedral of St Thomas was consecrated as a chapel-of-ease to St Mary’s, Portsea in 1188, it became a parish church in 1320 and cathedral in 1927. It was enlarged in 1934 and interesting plans to extend it were made after the last war, but to date not all of them have been implemented. The result is an oddly shaped and rather unsatisfactory building. However, the earlier part of the church, the twelfth-century east end, is the finest medieval building in the City of Portsmouth.
A central tower was added in the fourteenth century and this was used as a lookout. During the Civil War it served as an observation post and was damaged by Parliamentarian guns when the town was under siege. The tower and nave were rebuilt in the 1690s.
In the chancel aisle is the memorial to the murdered Duke of Buckingham by Nicholas Stone (the Duke was buried at Westminster Abbey). In the north tower transept is a beautiful majolica plaque of the Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia made in about 1500 - this is the Cathedral’s greatest treasure.
Also in the Cathedral is the Golden Barque, the original weathervane. It was made in 1710 of guilded copper, appropriately for Portsmouth it is a fine sailing ship. This was blown down in a gale in 1954 and the vane now on the tower is a replica.


Did you know that Havant’s first hospital was an isolation hospital which was built at the end of what was, until more recently, Potash Terrace, next to the railway line. It opened in 1894 and became known locally as the ‘fever hospital’. Following its closure in 1939, the site and buildings were taken over by the Council and used as their works depot.
At the outbreak of the First World War, an auxiliary military hospital was established at Langstone Towers. Langstone High Street, which continued in service until 1919. After the war there was considerable agitation in the town for a hospital to be built as a memorial to the local men who had lost their lives in the conflict.  Many fundraising events were organised but it was not until 1927 that sufficient money was available for a start to be made. The site in Crossway was obtained and the Havant War Memorial Hospital opened in 1929. A particularly fine feature of the children’s ward, which was opened in 1935, was a frieze of nursery rhymes depicted on Wedgwood tiles which, thankfully, have been preserved.
Our picture shows the 16th November, 1927, when Miss Bannister, 100 years old and the daughter of a former Havant doctor cutting the first sod for the new hospital.


Lysses House (originally pronounced ‘Lizziz’) was built during the period 1820-1840 in High Stree, Fareham by Stephen Barney. He was an attorney and chose this spot because of the good view over the surrounding countryside. He appears to have pulled down several small houses to be able to build it.
Stephen Barney’s claim to fame was as Recorder of the Mutiny on the Bounty trial in Portsmouth in the late 1700s. His transcript of the trial was sold at auction in London in the 1980s for several thousand pounds.
Mrs Connie Barney, who died in 1992 just two weeks before her 100th birthday, was the widow of John Barney who died in 1960 and who was the last direct descendant of Stephen. She lived next door at number 50 High Street, Fareham until 1990. Connie confirmed Lysses has a ghost ( a headless lady) who walks the upper corridors of the main house.
The Barney family owned Lysses until 1949 when it was sold for approximately £5,000 to a schoolmaster, Mr Godefroy, who transformed the building into a boys’ private day school. The school ran very successfully for about ten years, in conjunction with Heathfield House which was another private school in west Fareham, near Peak Lane. After this time, Mr Godefroy moved the school to Rhinefield in the New Forest.
Lysses House, although externally unchanged from its schooldays, has now been converted into a hotel.


No county was more affected by the Civil War than Hampshire where Cromwell finally closed in on Charles I . Over the years more followed even up the last century - the Battle of Twyford Down.
In 1990 the M3 motorway was still unfinished and to complete it there would have to be a tunnel or a cutting trough Twyford Down, just outside Winchester. The tunnel would have cost the government £75 million more than the cutting, so you can guess which option won the day!
However, ‘the natives were revolting’ and in December 1991 Twyford Down became the site of the UK’s first road protest camp. A year later the first camp was evicted but a new one attracted even more public support (sometimes over 5,000 people) and obstructed the work, However, the battle was eventually lost and in 1994 the final link completing the M3 was opened., with 4.7 acres of Twyford Down lost.


The street pattern shown on early maps can still be recognised and High Street is clearly visible. Until the late eighteenth century it was the shopping and commercial centre of Portsea Island. The ‘Town House’ used to be in the middle of the road, then a more convenient town hall was built in 1838 on the eastern side of the street. But gradually the centre of power moved and in the 1880s a grand new town hall was built in Landport - beyond the old town walls.
One of the many buildings lost in the war was where John Pounds worked. As we have highlighted his work before, John was a shoemaker who started to give lessons to poor children in his shop. He became famous for the help he gave to so many children and was one of the people who influenced the formation of Ragged Schools in the nineteenth century. Now only the John Pounds Memorial Church marks the spot where he lived.
In 1827, Admiral Hardy lodged at a house on the corner of Broad Street and High Street. He wrote to his brother: “I am at Meredith’s the tailor, 73 High Street, opposite the Parade Coffee House.” The tailor in question was the father of George Meredith, the Victorian novelist who was born there in 1828. His father was a poor businessman, hence the lodgers, and in later life Meredith kept quiet about his place of birth, and merely described it as ‘near Petersfield’. But Portsmouth figured, as ‘Lymport’, in his novel Evan Harrington which was published in 1860.


The Tide Mill is situated on an artificial causeway in Eling, and is one of only two remaining operating tide mills in the UK. Whilst a mill is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, there is no evidence that there is any connection to the present mill. The current mill was rebuilt roughly two hundred years ago after storm damage in the 1770s.
The tide mill harnesses the power of the tides to generate power to turn a water wheel that sets the
pair of independent waterwheels designed to drive two sets of millstones each. One wheel and its associated millstones have been restored to operating condition and produces flour for sale. The other has been cosmetically restored as a static exhibit. The running wheel and its milling and other mechanisms are encased for safety of the miller and visitors, while the static wheel id immobile and kept that way to show visitors the detail that is obscured by the running mechanism’s safety enclosures.
For much of the mill’s life it was owned by Winchester College and a lease survives from the year 1418, when the College leased the mill to Thomas Mydlington, requiring him to maintain the mill and the causeway, an integral part where the grain which was brought to the mill in barges from the east coast of England, was unloaded. The tenancy of the mill included the right to collect tolls from vehicles using the causeway.
Nowadays the Tide Mill is the focal point of The Eling Experience, created in 2009 when the tide mill is open to the public where one can take a peek in to the inner workings of an active tide mill and learn the secret of turning wheat into flour.


Most people know that King Alfred was a powerful King, who fought off the Vikings and brought peace to the region in the 9th century. However, did you know that he was also a great scholar, who commissioned the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, a highly influential tool in the development of our English identity? King Alfred proclaimed himself ‘King of England’ in 886, but it wasn’t until 927 that he officially controlled the whole of England. 
The statue of the king in heroic pose, sword held high,  was erected in the city centre in 1899, and is a well-known local landmark. The huge statue measured 17 feet from the base to the top of Alfred’s arm. Curiously, the sword was made to be detachable, though the rest of the statue is a single, solid bronze casting. The statue is set atop a rectangular block of granite from Cornwall, with another tapered block acting as a base. A local legend says that if a virgin of 16 years of age or more walks clockwise round the statue three times, Alfred will lower his sword. This has never been seen to happen!


A teenage lad in rolled up trousers, shirt, braces and flat cap stands with a collecting tin as a little girl kneels in mud holding up a penny. The pair have been larking about at the water’s edge, performing tricks and staging hilarious mud fights, hoping to entertain passers-by and earn a few pennies for their efforts. Almost up to the present day one could turn off the road on the way to the Harbour station and if the tide was out, and people were prepared to throw coins into the mud, children rushed over each other to find them. 
Mudlarks were usually young children and most of them were boys but there were sometimes older men who were scavenging for their living although one wonders where they went to get rid of the mud with which they were covered. Being a Mudlark was often a necessity through poverty but the earnings depended much on how many coins were thrown in and, of course, watching where they were landing.


The line was opened by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway for goods on 19th January 1865 and for passengers on 16th July 1867 and ran from Havant to Hayling Island. The line was mainly used during the summer months as people from the south coast would travel down to the beach on Hayling Island. The coaches would often be overflowing during these months, however would be virtually empty during the winter, which is where problems started.
The line quickly ran into trouble during its construction on the mudflats of Langstone Harbour as part was built on an embankment to save money for the bridge foundations which was subject to erosion from day one. A Board of Trade inspector was invited to certify the line as being fit for passenger traffic and insisted on modifications to the original section of the line where the sleepers had begun to rot. These were carried out and the certificate was granted although subject to weight restrictions on the bridge only small locomotives could be used.
In 1923 Southern Railway took over the line and yet again in 1948 by British Rail until 1962 when it was decided to close the line, mainly because of the costs that would be incurred in building a new bridge. The final service train ran on 2nd November 1963.


Havant Poor Law Union was formed on 27th May, 1835. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, ten in number, representing its 6 constituent parishes of Bedhampton, Farlington, North Hayling, South Hayling, and Havant and Warblington each with 3 parishes.
The population falling within the union at the 1831 census had been 6,398 with parishes ranging in size from North Hayling (294), Warbling ton (2,118) and Havant (2,083).
The new Havant Union took over the existing parish workhouse and in 1836 the Poor Law Commissioners authorised the sum of £900 for its enlargement. The building had a simple T-shaped layout, presumably accommodating males in one wing and females in the other with kitchen and dining hall at the centre rear. The workhouse building became know as a Poor Law Institution by 1930 and was demolished before 1960, the only reminder of the workhouse’s existence being the street sign for Union Road.


This is the largest church in Southampton and can trace its origins to the first Saxon settlements of the 7th century. In 1917, the sound of the church bells inspired the writing of the song “The Bells of St Mary’s”, later sung by Bing Crosby in the film of the same name. The church stands at the southern end of St Mary’s Street with the City College buildings to the north and east, in a quiet oasis of green surrounded by large trees which, from a distance, hide all but the spire. The present church is the sixth on the site of the Saxon town of Hamwic (Hamtun).
The Saxon town survived many invasions and ravages by the Danes but eventually fell into decline and in the time of King Canute in the 11th century, the population moved to the safety of the Norman medieval settlement to the west, with St Michael’s church first built in 1070. However, St Mary’s continued to be of significant importance as the Mother Church, with its claims to tithes, burial rights and privileges reflecting its status. A document of 1281 appears to confirm the status of St Mary’s as a collegiate church and the principal church of Southampton.
Our picture is of the present church and our transcription of the registers which, you can imagine is very large, is almost 90% complete.


HMS was the last battle cruiser built for the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1920, she was named after the 18th century Admiral Samuel Hood. One of four Admiral-class batlecruisers ordered in mid-1916, Hood had design limitations, though her design was revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed. Despite the appearance of new and more modern ship designs over time, Hood remained the largest and most powerful warship in the world for twenty years after her commissioning and her prestige was reflected in her nickname “The Mighty Hood”.
Hood spent most of the early part of the war following the Bismarck and the Prince Eugen almost since they had left Norway. The relatively old battlecruiser HMS Hood and the very new battleship HMS Prince of Wales intercepted them as they emerged from the gap between Greenland and Iceland on 24th May, 1941. The Battle of the Denmark Strait began with the first sighting at 0535, the Hood opened fire at 0553. It was all over in a matter of minutes when the aft magazines of Hood exploded, sinking her within five minutes of opening fire. Only three members of the crew survived.


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