Breakfast for a farthing

Portsmouth in 1717 (from William Gates History of Portsmouth, 1900)

NOSTALGIA: A seed of learning planted 300 years ago that’s blossomed into Portsmouth Grammar School

0
Have your say

I received a letter from Herbie Weeks, of Barkis House, Landport, Portsmouth, who, as a boy, lived at Frederick Street, Portsea, which is now within the dockyard. When the family were bombed out they were moved to Privett House off Cumberland Street.

His mother, Annie, used to have three part-time jobs a day to make ends meet. When the children went to school in the morning, they would drop into the Salvation Army hostel for breakfast for which they had to pay a farthing.

For those under the age of 55, a farthing was one quarter of an old penny and there were 12 old pennies to a shilling, what is now a 5p piece. So that equals 48 breakfasts for a shilling.