1925 A Town in Denial

On September 2nd it was announced that the Royal Naval Dockyard was to close. Although there had been months, if not years, of rumour and uncertainty the people of the town could not believe that the Dockyard was really closing. Only a few months previously their MP, Sir Charles Price, had raised all of their spirits when he claimed in a public speech that not only was the Dockyard not closing but there were plans for its expansion. There had never been any such plans, of course, and the Admiralty was clear that the Dockyard was to be mothballed. The machinery would be kept in good order in case there should be a need to open up again in the future, but as a working Dockyard building ships it was finished. Over 1,000 jobs would be shed by the end of September, with the remaining jobs following them during the coming year. This was a devastating blow. After all, the town had only come into being as a result of the Dockyard’s existence. What would it do without them?