Mystery of plate showing Naval Depot Portsmouth

The Ladies' Mile plate
The Ladies' Mile plate

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Turn the key and pull the often-sticking china cabinet door open...

Remember when people went off on an excursion?

The naval depot plate

The naval depot plate

The seaside at Southsea and the dockyard were popular local destinations.

Visitors often sent picture postcards as a record of their days out.

Their scribblings often included their recommendations from the day and sent general good wishes.

And according to regular Remember When contributor Simon Hart, from Fareham, they might also have bought a ceramic souvenir to fill an available space in the china cabinets which were fashionable back then.

The subject is a mystery and not what you would expect o a souvenir plate

Simon Hart

Simon says: ‘The popular local subjects of ceramic souvenirs were the Town Hall, Portsmouth; HMS Victory and Lord Nelson; Clarence Pier and South Parade Pier, and the town’s crest.’

Simon has now turned the key and pulled that often-sticking china cabinet door open to share two inexpensive pieces which he thinks are more unusual.

The Ladies’ Mile plate is from the 1930s and celebrates this once-popular place to promenade – a location devastated by the 1987 ‘hurricane’.

However, the plate displaying the Naval Depot, Portsmouth, though now bearing just a faint transfer, is very different in its subject matter.

Simon says: ‘It appears to show a hulk with sheds built on it with gangplanks down to a quayside where rows of figures are standing.

‘I wondered if any of your readers could explain why the plate was made because the subject is a mystery and not what you would expect on a souvenir plate.’

Any clues? If so, please get in touch via the details at the foot of the page.