Let’s bring Portsmouth’s parks back to life again

The crowded paddling pools at Southsea and the miniature railway fully loaded. PPP-140813-110100001
The crowded paddling pools at Southsea and the miniature railway fully loaded. PPP-140813-110100001
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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It is such a shame that so many children’s parks have been closed.

In the picture above you can see the paddling pools and miniature railway that ran along Southsea seafront.

Like the full size steam hauled trains the miniature  has gone as well. Just a few children play PPP-140813-110122001

Like the full size steam hauled trains the miniature has gone as well. Just a few children play PPP-140813-110122001

There was also a boating pool where children took control of launches with real engines.

The train, on which I travelled many times as a nipper, went on a circular route around what is now the bandstand.

There were several paddling pools for different ages as I remember and they were always full of screaming children during the school holidays.

This site is now covered by the Sea Life Centre, but I cannot see why the centre could not have been built farther away from the seafront.

The last voyage of Petty Officer White. All the sailors are wearing  sennett hats PPP-140813-110039001

The last voyage of Petty Officer White. All the sailors are wearing sennett hats PPP-140813-110039001

There are still paddling pools to be enjoyed, but not on the scale they once were.

In the second picture, which was sent to me by Paul Dymond, of Titchfield Common, we see the funeral of a Petty Officer White.

He was serving in the battle cruiser HMS Queen Mary at the Battle of Jutland.

Late in the afternoon she was hit twice by the German battle cruiser SMS Derffinger and blew up.

ifeboat Saturday and the lifeboat hauled by six shires, outside the Royal Standard (Ruby's) in Edinburgh Road, Southsea. PPP-140813-110237001

ifeboat Saturday and the lifeboat hauled by six shires, outside the Royal Standard (Ruby's) in Edinburgh Road, Southsea. PPP-140813-110237001

She took 1,266 officers and crew down with her along with five civilians.

There were 18 survivors, and I assume that Petty Officer White was among them and died of his injuries after being brought home.

However, as I have no Christian name or the branch in which he served it is difficult to be sure. Any assistance would be appreciated.

The third picture also comes from Paul Dymond and shows one of the Southsea lifeboats in Edinburgh Road, Landport, outside the Royal Standard pub in 1902.

It is being hauled by a team of six shire horses to drum up support for the RNLI.

Just look at the crowds drawn to the spectacle.

As a result of this and similar parades nationwide, funds leapt by £20,000 – £2m in today’s money – in just a year.

Philanthopist Aggie Weston’s Royal Sailors’ Rest was later built to the left of the Royal Standard to help sailors who were in need.