Do you recall Christmas parties at aircraft firm?

The old Airspeed factory on what is now the Airport Industrial Estate off Eastern Road, Portsmouth
The old Airspeed factory on what is now the Airport Industrial Estate off Eastern Road, Portsmouth

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Malcolm Garlick wonders if any readers remember the children’s Christmas parties thrown by Portsmouth aircraft makers Airspeed in the late 1940s.

He believes the youngsters, without their parents, were picked up in two corporation buses from the firm’s sports and social club in Moneyfields Avenue, Copnor, and taken to the factory via Tangier and Eastern Roads.

The Leyland bus parked at the junction of Brockhurst Road and Elson Road, Gosport

The Leyland bus parked at the junction of Brockhurst Road and Elson Road, Gosport

‘We then went into the main erection shop where the party was held,’ says Malcolm of Stride Avenue, Copnor.

But he also asks: ‘If we did start from the Moneyfields Club, why was the party not held there?’

He believes the firm’s original social club was in Bowler Avenue, Copnor.

‘This was before and possibly during the war and was in the corner formed by the wall of Kingston prison and the railway line. Does anyone have a picture of it?’

Meanwhile, thanks to all of you who responded to Peter Hotchin’s plea to identify the location of the Provincial bus (below) in a picture he believed was taken in the late 1930s.

Barry Robertson was one of dozens of you who recognised the spot.

Barry, of Meadow Walk, Gosport, says: ‘The bus, an old Leyland, was used on special occasions (such as the Gosport carnival) until about 1964.

‘The picture was probably taken in the mid-1950s and it is shown parked at the Brockhurst Road/Elson Road junction.

‘The old lavatory block can be seen on the far right and a part of the old granite horse trough can also be seen beside it.’

And the picture (below, right) of the Railway Hotel, Cosham, taken about a century ago, brought back memories for Joan Bishop, of Wheatlands Avenue, Hayling Island.

She says: ‘On a fine evening mum and dad would take me and my sister to the Railway Hotel for a glass of lemonade and a packet of crisps. It was on the corner of Knowsley Road and on the opposite corner was a chemists called Jarvis. If either of us was ill, mum would go to Mr Jarvis and he always had the solution.’