Photos tell tales of Doreen’s early years in Portsmouth

Some of the regulars at the Mystery, Somers Town, Portsmouth, outside the pub with Nellie Sheppard third from the left.
Some of the regulars at the Mystery, Somers Town, Portsmouth, outside the pub with Nellie Sheppard third from the left.

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Gift of life put on ice – surgeon preserves transplant organs

0
Have your say

Eighty-five-year-old Doreen Loo got in touch with Remember When with a series of photographs from her younger days in Portsmouth.

She now lives in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, but was born at 76, Grosvenor Street, Somers Town, opposite Jim Cole the butcher. She remembers women queuing for their meat ration there during the war.

Doreen Loo outside the Naafi Club.

Doreen Loo outside the Naafi Club.

Doreen (nee Sheppard) has fond memories of the old Mystery pub which she says was the hub of the community. Among her photographs is one from 1917 of a pub charabanc trip to Chichester with her mum Nellie on board.

Another picture shows the local community outside the Mystery in Warwick Crescent which also includes Nellie. The pub, designed in the ‘brewers tudor’ style, burned down in an arson attack in 2005.

Doreen says: ‘When I was about four my mum and dad always had a drink in the Mystery on a Saturday night and I was left outside, happily on the doorstep, with a glass of lemonade and a packet of crisps.’

During the war her house would ‘sway from side to side’ with the tremors caused by the falling bombs and one of her photos shows Doreen with bombed-out houses on the corner of nearby Radnor Street.

She went to Cottage Grove School but her education was interrupted by bouts of tuberculosis.

In later life she joined the Naafi and says she was asked to present the then Princess Elizabeth with flowers when she opened the Naafi club at Cambridge Junction in 1946.

When she left the club, Doreen married and had two sons but still found time to run the Popular Cafe in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, opposite the footbridge from the railway station.