Not a barrier in sight for big Royal event in 1977

Crowds of all ages gather to see the Queen with the absence of barriers or police
Crowds of all ages gather to see the Queen with the absence of barriers or police
jpns-19-08-17 retro Aug 2017

Vicky - Vicky Sawyer, a one-year-old born without legs and only one arm

THIS WEEK IN 1980: One of the richest babies at Leigh Park

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With all things royal still in the forefront of everyone’s mind, here’s a flashback to 1977.

It was the year of the Queen’s silver jubilee, a year in which the monarch toured her realm and with so many connections to Portsmouth she could hardly miss the city from her itinerary.

RW 02/05/11''The Queen passing through Fratton Road, Portsmouth, as part of her silver jubilee tour of 1977

RW 02/05/11''The Queen passing through Fratton Road, Portsmouth, as part of her silver jubilee tour of 1977

These photographs, from Kevin Smith, of Bognor Regis, were taken as the Queen passed through Fratton Road.

He said: ‘My mother, Jeannette Smith, was a shop assistant on the cosmetics counter in the former Co-op House, now the Bridge Centre.

‘She can just be seen in the photo of the front of the department store in the white top and blue skirt with her arms folded at the kerbside underneath the fourth Jubilee Sale sign in the windows.

‘Now 80, she believes the shop was shut around the time of the Queen’s procession to allow the staff to see her and also because no-one would want to be doing their shopping at that time.’

Kevin added: ‘The roadsides are packed and the absence of any security is noticeable. Not a single police officer or hi-vis jacket in sight. No safety fencing either. The crowd, of all ages, are also close to the procession without any supervision.

‘It was a nice sunny day by the look of it. Does anyone now remember the Queen’s visit and its purpose?’

Jeannette, now living in Bognor Regis, worked at the Co-op for many years and lived in nearby Byerley Road at the time. The Co-op, or Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society as it was formally known, dominated Fratton for decades.

Kevin said: ‘Co-op House on one side of Fratton Road was matched by a supermarket, with a bakery for many years, and offices on the other.

‘Everyone had a divi number – and could remember it – especially when it came to the regular payouts.’