A bird’s eye view of Mother Kelly’s doorstep

The Vosper Thornycroft yard at Portchester, about 1972
The Vosper Thornycroft yard at Portchester, about 1972
Passchendaele. Picture: Imperial War Museum

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From chips and crisps to warships.

This atmospheric aerial photograph was taken about 1972 over the Portsmouth/Portchester boundary and shows, mainly, the old Vosper Thornycroft shipyard.

On the opposite side of the A27 Southampton Road steam billows from the Smith’s Crisps factory.

While in the centre, those old enough to remember will be able to spot Bert’s Cafe which is now Mother Kelly’s fish and chip shop. Bert’s was a favourite hang-out of motorcyclists in the 1950s.

The former Vosper site, much of it now renamed Trafalgar Wharf, is currently attracting some controversy. Developers Quadrant Estates want to build 150 homes, including a 12-storey tower block, as well as about 200,000sq ft of marine buildings on the 22-acre site.

As part of the scheme, Quadrant will make a contribution of £3.1m to the Environment Agency to build flood defences from Portchester Castle to Port Solent.

The height of the tower block is worrying some residents. They fear it will dwarf the keep of Portchester Castle.

And sticking with the Portchester theme, below right is a class of 1987 at Castle Primary School under the auspices of teacher Miss Shailer.

On the opposite page we go back to the Queen’s coronation year, 1953, for the picture of the senior choir at Portchester School. All three pictures are from Paul Woodman of Portchester Civic Society.

Its annual exhibition, Memories of Portchester, is on November 10 in the Parish Hall, Castle Street, between 10am and 4.30pm. On display will be some of its collection of class photos from the different Portchester schools dating back to the early 1900s.

Meanwhile, the supercar pictured at Thorney Island (below left) provoked interest.

Keith Shepherd, the chairman of Southsea Motor Club, identified the car as the Swandean Special.

It was built by Swandean Garage on the A27 at Worthing in the years after the Second World War. It has a fascinating history which I shall tell on a forthcoming page.

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at chris.owen@thenews.co.uk or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX