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Last updated: 26 February 2020

  Archive/Photograph of the Month  

For our first Archive of the Month feature of 2020, I have selected a wonderful period piece that was donated to the Society a few years ago as part of a much larger collection.  It is a traffic notice issued by the Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Company to mark the homecoming of Her Majesty The Queen aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia on 14th May 1954 (ref PS05560).

Launched in April 1953 and commissioned in January 1954, Britannia left Portsmouth on her maiden voyage to Malta’s Grand Harbour on 14th April 1954, arriving eight days later.  The yacht carried Prince Charles and Princess Anne so that they could meet The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the end of the royal couple’s tour of the Commonwealth.  Britannia sailed from Malta to Tobruk in Libya where The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh embarked for the first time on 1st May 1954.  Our traffic notice records that the yacht arrived back in Portsmouth on 14th May 1954, the first time that the yacht would sail along the Solent with The Queen on board.

Provincial’s manager and engineer, H Orme White, obviously anticipated the public interest in this historic event and took the opportunity to advertise the company’s services between Gosport Ferry and Stokes Bay – a key vantage point from which to view the yacht’s passage along the Solent.  At that time, the Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Company operated two services to Stokes Bay.  Service 10 ran from Gosport Ferry and served the eastern end of Stokes Bay (Tennis Courts and Alverbank) whereas service 16 ran between Bridgemary (Gregson Avenue) and the west end of the bay.  The single fare from Gosport Ferry was 4˝d, as advertised on the traffic notice, whereas the fare from Gregson Avenue was 6d.  For those travelling from Bridgemary, a return fare of 10d was advertised in the company’s official fare and time tables.

If any members or non-members have similar material that they would like to donate to the Society or allow to be photographed or scanned, I should be grateful if you would contact me – Chris Richardsen – using e-mail address ProvSocArchive@gmail.com.

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Training bus 66206 brings a bit of colour to Gosport Bus Station following its recent arrival from First West of England

Photo by Chris Richardsen 7 Jan 2020


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