Inseparable pair loved to perform their party trick

Kit plucking an apple from Wally Walden's mouth at Havant
Kit plucking an apple from Wally Walden's mouth at Havant

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Portsmouth teenager killed in knife fight

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Meet Wally and Kit and have a look at their party piece.

If you were around at the end of the 1930s in the Havant area you might remember them.

Havant firemen at their old fire station at Gosslyn House, West Street, in 1952

Havant firemen at their old fire station at Gosslyn House, West Street, in 1952

Kit is the horse. Wally Walden was a carter who worked for Havant and Waterloo Urban District Council for 42 years.

He walked the streets doing a variety of jobs with Kit pulling a two-wheeled cart covered with canvas.

The two were inseparable and such was the love and respect between man and animal that Wally had trained Kit to gently take an apple from his mouth.

This picture comes from Wally’s son Pete, of Trosnant Road, Bedhampton.

Havant firemen outside their old station resplendent in their brass helmets

Havant firemen outside their old station resplendent in their brass helmets

He said: ‘My dad did loads of work with Kit, and I and my twin sister Pat had many rides on her back. I can remember all the brass work on Kit’s harness was great at all times.

‘My dad could leave Kit to walk down the road and then he would call her and she would walk to him.

‘The photo was taken in Cross Way near the junction with Staunton Road in 1939 or 1940,’ said Pete.

In addition to his equestrian haulage work, Wally was also a fireman at Havant, seen here in his brass hat standing fourth from the right outside the station at Park Road North.

Pete said the man fourth from the left in the front was Albert Till who doubled up as the park keeper at Havant Park.

‘Some worked for Stent’s glove-making factory, one was a butcher in North Street.

‘They all worked locally and I can remember polishing my dad’s brass helmet until you could see your face in it.’

Pete followed in his father’s footsteps as did his brother Victor. Both sons and father Wally appear in the picture of Havant’s firefighters in 1952 at the old fire station at Gosslyn House, West Street.

Pete is second from the right in the front row, Victor is fourth from the left at the back and Wally is on the extreme left of the front row.

Pete said the man on the far right of the front row was George Lerwell, the only full-time fireman here.