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When I was a lad I used to cross over to the Potsmouth (Portsea Island) most Saturdays on the Gosport Ferry. This area, Portsmouth Hard. was so familiar and the only things that changed were the battle fleet ships moored against against the dock of HMS Victory. It was always cause for excitement in the city when a big American carrier hit town and at the naval open days - by the age of 13 - I must have been on practically every military type vessel going, from subs and frigates, to carriers, minesweepers, destroyers and fleet logistics vessels. Knowing naval personnel often meant I'd get star treatment.

This area - as you came down the jetty towards the shore was also the playground of the mudlarks, lads of my age and younger who dived for coins thrown by passers by into the thichk gloopy tidal mud below. The authorities have built a sheltered walkway which prevents this now but somehow I can't imagine today's kids doing it.

In this image we are looking across to the land base of HMS Victory (also the home of Nelson's famous flagship and the Tudor - Mary Rose) . HMS Warrior wasn't based here when I lived in the area and she is one of the many changes for me after so many years.

Here are a few details about the ship with some help from Wikipedia:

Ordered: May 11, 1859
Launched: December 29, 1860
Specifications
Displacement: 9210 tons
Length: 418 feet
Beam: 58 feet
Draught: 27 feet
Propulsion: Penn Jet-Condensing, horizontal-trunk, single expansion steam engine.
Speed: 13 knots (sail) 14.5 knots (steam) 17.5 knots (combined)
Complement: 705
Armament: 26 muzzle-loading 68 pounders,

10 breech-loading 110 pounders (Armstrong guns)
4 breech-loading 40 pounders ([Armstrong guns])

HMS Warrior was the world's first ocean-going iron-hulled armoured battleship. She was built for the Royal Navy as a counter to the first ironclad warship, the French battleship Gloire (launched 1859). When she was launched, the 4.5-inch thick wrought iron armoured belt meant that she was impervious to all naval cannon in service at that time, and she was easily the most powerful warship in the world. The only significant vulnerability was the lack of armour around the rudder.

She was propelled by both sails and steam - her coal capacity of 853 tons was insufficient alone for extended cruising.

She froze to the slipway when she was launched on December 29, 1860 at the Thames Ironworks at Blackwall, London during the coldest winter for 50 years and six tugs were required to haul her into the river. .

The rapid march of naval technology meant that she and her sister Black Prince were obsolescent within ten years. In1883 she was withdrawn from sea service.

After static service in other capacities well into the 20th Century she was finally restored and berthed at Portsmouth in 1987.

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Additional Photos by Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1784 W: 193 N: 5128] (22956)
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