NOSTALGIA: Innocent days when sailors on guard duty could chat up girls

RN Barracks, HMS Victory, 1960. The main gate to what is now HMS Nelson.
RN Barracks, HMS Victory, 1960. The main gate to what is now HMS Nelson.

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Ballet shoes put on show in museum

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All today’s photographs were taken by the late Miss Helen Mabel Smith who died in 1990.

She was the former headmistress of Paulsgrove East Infants School.

Canoe Lake park, Southsea, 1960. Is that you on the scooter?

Canoe Lake park, Southsea, 1960. Is that you on the scooter?

Miss Smith taught in Portsmouth for 40 years and had previously been headmistress at Albert Road Junior School in Cosham.

Ernest Dunn was given the pictures a few years ago, saving them from being dumped at the tip.

•I wonder how many of you remember being taken to the children’s corner at Canoe Lake, Southsea?

For a small sum, perhaps 6d, children were allowed to use scooters, tricycles, tractors and other toys to ride around a circular one-way track.

Boats galore on Canoe Lake, Southsea, 1960. Two lads in very snazzy cowboys hats.

Boats galore on Canoe Lake, Southsea, 1960. Two lads in very snazzy cowboys hats.

I suppose the children seen in the 1960 photograph would be in their mid-60s by now, but I wonder if anyone can recognise themselves?

•I could of course start the caption for the second picture of Canoe Lake with the old joke: ‘Come in number six... are you in trouble number nine?’

Here we see children on a crowded lake, also in 1960. Are you either of the lads in the snazzy cowboy hats?

Not in the photo are the rowing boats that were also available for hire. Many a boyfriend has shown his skill, or not as the case may be, in rowing his girlfriend around the lake.

The floating dock and Royal Yacht Britannia in a view across Fountain Lake, 1960.

The floating dock and Royal Yacht Britannia in a view across Fountain Lake, 1960.

All these have now disappeared to be replaced by… pedal swans. Not quite the same thing is it?

•Seen 57 years ago is the main gate to what is now HMS Nelson, Queen Street, Portsea.

Inside the ivy-covered gate to the right is the guardroom. Outside, a sailor in square rig and white gaiters stands guard. although I think his main occupation would have been chatting up passing girls in those long lost days before the threat of terrorism .

•And so to the inal picture where we are looking across Fountain Lake in 1960.

We have the loaded floating dock to the left, and on the right HM Royal Yacht Britannia at anchor alongside HMS Excellent, Whale Island. Behind her are ships of the reserve fleet.