Last week I published ‘now and then’ photographs of the Ship and Castle pub on the corner of Queen Street outside the dockyard main gate. When I was writing the caption I am sure that when I was a very young lad and I met my father outside the dockyard gate, I could remember looking up and seeing an apple tree painted on the corner wall of the pub. When I looked at the photograph I assumed my memory was playing tricks, but now I am not so sure.
Ken Oxspring dropped me a line about the date of the photo saying: ‘It would be later than 1960. In 1963-1964 I served in a couple of ships based in the dockyard and popped in there a few times, first stop on a cheap run ashore.
‘It wasn’t brown and mild for us but the juice of the apple. It was always known to sailors as The Apple Tree. I don’t remember a sign above the door.
‘Looking on the website Portsmouth Pubs it states the pub had fallen into disuse by the ’70s.
There was a major refit in 1980.’
Further still, Mike Hillmore tells me that the short road alongside the pub was in fact Half Moon Street.
This is only shown on older maps and that’s why I thought the pub was alongside Queen Street.