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21 November

Today in Gosport’s Past:- on 21 November 1952, HM the Queen paid an official visit to HMS Daedalus. She travelled from London Waterloo to Gosport on a train of Pullman coaches hauled by the Bulleid ‘West Country’ Class 4-6-2 34011 “Tavistock”.

Unlike Queen Victoria, she didn’t alight at Gosport station, but Fort Brockhurst, where she was greeted by Gosport’s Mayor, and for some reason, a man in a barrister’s wig. She was driven to HMS Daedalus by car. The return journey began from Fareham.

Queen Elizabeth’s coronation wasn’t until 2 June 1953, but nevertheless, she’d held the title since the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952.

This was probably the last VIP visit by train to Gosport, as the final passenger train from the town ran on 6 June 1953, rather ironically just 9 days before the Queen’s Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead took place, when a good many extra trains were laid on to the area for the thousands of sightseers for the occasion.

Oh well. Just the same, this was undoubtedly Fort Brockhurst station’s brightest day!
Credits to original photographers.