Bill and Ben the squatting horses

Apart from Victoria Pier and the steam ferry this is a scene that would have been familiar to Nelson.

A harbour view that would have been familiar to Horatio Nelson

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In answer to my article on what happened to the Portsmouth horses Bill and Ben, John Cass tells me he suspects they moved to Prospect Road which is where, as the foreman of the council demolition team, he encountered the man shown in the photo.

He was using old store sheds as stables that were due for demolition. John had to pay him a visit along with the clerk of works to say he would have to move as he was squatting in council-owned property.

John remembers he was there with his old dad and thinks his name was Ted Willis.

They were no trouble and were given reasonable time to move out.

As you can imagine there were a great deal of buildings waiting to be demolished in the 1970s and it was not unusual to find the odd horse here and there, kept in an old store by a horse dealer waiting to sell it.

This was unfortunately why, perhaps, negotiations to find the totters and horse dealers alternatives never came to anything.

Horses are not cheap to look after and their unwillingness to pay may have been a factor.

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