Forget-us-not, Portsmouth schoolboys’ humour from the 1920s

Can you name the kitchen maids in this picture which is owned by Robert Scott
Can you name the kitchen maids in this picture which is owned by Robert Scott

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Portsmouth teenager killed in knife fight

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Regular contributor Eddy Amey sent me these amusing pages produced by pupils at Arundel Street Boys’ School, Portsmouth, in 1926/27.

He says the magazines were produced ‘by something called a “Cyclostyle pen” which was apparently the first office duplicator, and are full of original short stories,poems, jokes and sketches’.

Eddy adds: ‘The notebooks are described as ‘‘field trip notes” whereby the class was taken for instance by charabanc to Cosham and then walked to Wymering church where they examined the interior and exterior features of the building and made notes and drawings before walking on to Portchester through the fields and doing the same at the church and castle as well as studying flora and fauna en route.’

Several more notebooks consist of instruction and practice of surveying by different methods, plus poetry and English literature.

n Beaulieu is currently restoring the Victorian kitchen at Palace House which remained in use until the early 1950s, when it was dismantled to make way for a motorcycle display.

Work on the project is already under way and should be completed by Easter, but Beaulieu has appealed for help to make the restoration as accurate as possible.

Keeper of Collections Sarah Downer said: ‘So far, we only have one photograph of the kitchen as it was before 1952. The picture [see facing page] is from about 1905 and shows Annie Louise Freeman at work with two as yet unidentified kitchen maids.

‘We need help to name the maids and are appealing to anyone who worked here before 1952, visited the kitchen during this time or can remember any details or has photographs or documents to please share them with us.

‘The kitchen is at the heart of every home and we would like to make the restoration as accurate as possible so a visit to the new kitchen feels like stepping back in time.’

If you are able to help, contact Sarah on sarah.downer@beaulieu.co.uk or 01590 614701.

You can also follow the restoration story on the new Palace House blog at beaulieu.co.uk/news/palace-house-blog.