A drab day in Cosham, but pictures are an important social record

The Rocket on the corner of Knowsley Road and High Street, Cosham, now flats
The Rocket on the corner of Knowsley Road and High Street, Cosham, now flats
Opening of the new school by the home secretary in October 1927. The headmaster, Canon Barton, is on the lowest step, on the left. Dorothea Barton is possibly there, somewhere. (PGS Archive)

NOSTALGIA: A red bluestocking at Portsmouth Grammar School

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It looks as though it was a drab winter’s day in Cosham when Philip Pyke took these photographs.

He recorded them on film 38 years ago probably never realising what an important series of social history documents they would become.

High Street, Cosham, in 1977 with the old Southern Electricity showroom on the left

High Street, Cosham, in 1977 with the old Southern Electricity showroom on the left

But thank goodness he did, despite the weather.

There are so many shops and pubs, long gone, to stir the memory.

Who remembers Corbins, Dewhurst the butcher, shoe shop Freeman Hardy and Willis, Wiltons the greengrocer, Southern Electricity and the National Westminster Bank before it became the NatWest?

What about the distinctive Ship pub stuck out at such an odd angle in High Street?

High Street, Cosham, looking north in 1977

High Street, Cosham, looking north in 1977

It disappeared years ago, the buildings realigned and a modern pub, The First Post, is now roughly in its place.

And looming over this northern Portsmouth community were the ill-fated tower blocks of Portsdown Park.

Who remembers drinking in The Ship?

Who remembers drinking in The Ship?

Wayte Street is the turning on the left with Wiltons the greengrocer facing the camera and The Swan pub on the immediate left

Wayte Street is the turning on the left with Wiltons the greengrocer facing the camera and The Swan pub on the immediate left