Final word on White Hart

The telegram received by William Halls mother  still upsetting to read 78 years on.

NOSTALGIA WITH BOB HIND: Curse of the telegram: Dear Mrs Hall – your son is dead

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The White Hart beer house on the corner of Dean Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, brought two more recollections from readers, but I’m afraid this will have to do for the time being.

Bob Floyd, of Bridge Avenue, Landport, was born in Dean Street in 1939 and shortly after moved to St George’s Square, Portsea.

In his teenage years he drank at the White Hart with Billy Barber and brothers Ronnie and Cyril Colwell. Their tipple of choice was brown and mild, the standard working man’s drink in those days. In a pint glass the landlord would usually give you three-quarters of a pint of mild then a half-pint bottle of brown on the side.

Brother and sister Trixie Barber and Les Colwell would play the piano and accordion in the bar. The Colwells lived at Brunel House.

F Cobb, of Laburnum Grove, North End, lived in Portsea from 1954 to 1968. His parents drank in Stockers, as the pub was nicknamed, and his dad played cribbage there for pennies.

Mr Cobb would sit out the back with Lily, Alf the landlord’s wife. He remembers she was old and suffered with arthritis, had only two teeth, grey whispery hair tied up in a bun and long fingernails – positively Dickensian. But she had a heart of gold.

Alf knew everyone who came into the pub, mostly Portsea people, and most were totters or rag and bone men.

Mr Cobb’s dad, Cyril, was a stevedore at the Camber Docks for many years. His wife was Tina.

The bar of the White Hart was small, about eight feet long, and there was a dart board just inside the doorway as you walked in.

Mr Cobb adds: ‘I can still remember the smell of cats and snuff which Alf and Lil used regularly. They made everyone welcome. and the feeling was mutual.’