Remember when we all dressed in our Sunday best for a day out?

Some years before the First World War and everybody is in their Sunday best waiting for ferries on Clarence Pier, Southsea.
Some years before the First World War and everybody is in their Sunday best waiting for ferries on Clarence Pier, Southsea.
Looking down London Road circa 1903. The Horndean Light Railway tracks are on the right.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

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Do you remember the times when, if taken for a day out with your parents, everyone wore their best Sunday outfit? I know I can.

A trip over to the Isle of Wight meant best bib and tucker even if it was short trousers with sandals.

This is what the stage looked like in what was called the Pavilion on South Parade Pier, Southsea.

This is what the stage looked like in what was called the Pavilion on South Parade Pier, Southsea.

In the picture on the right we see Portsmouth people out for the day awaiting ferries for different destinations departing from Clarence Pier.

There is no date but I imagine it was before the First World War.

I do wish boaters were still in fashion, definitely ‘me’ I think.

The pier was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.

Chaos at a bridge somewhere. The Parks of Southsea lorry after a bridge crash.

Chaos at a bridge somewhere. The Parks of Southsea lorry after a bridge crash.

• For those of you who were born too late, the picture, below, left, is what the stage looked like on South Parade Pier.

It was actually called the Pavilion Theatre and the seating could be removed to make a ballroom.

I remember attending several dinner and dance functions there, as they were called back then.

Tables were grouped all around the outside and after the meal there was dancing ‘until late’.

Marvellous days from the past with deck chairs, charabancs and beach tents along South Parade.

Marvellous days from the past with deck chairs, charabancs and beach tents along South Parade.

Professional wrestling was also held here.

The best seats were in the surrounding balcony from where the ring could be looked down on.

My late mother, Mary Sutton, sang on this stage many times.

• When I saw the picture of the crashed lorry the song ‘Oh! Mr Porter’ came to mind.

Oh! Mr Park what can I do?

My lorry’s hit a bridge, it really is a to-do,

Help me get back to Pompey as quickly as you can,

Oh! Mr Park what a silly driver I am

On the subject proper, Park’s was a removal firm based in Haslemere Road, Southsea.

Can anyone identify the bridge which I think is somewhere over the hill?

• On the facing page is photo looking west along South Parade in, I suspect, the late 1920s or early 1930s.

The three main items in the photo have all disappeared over the years.

They are: open-top charabancs to take visitors out for the day; beach tents in which to undress for a swim (no beach changing in those days) and deck chairs, another long-lost feature of the esplanade and beach.

The Royal Beach Hotel can be seen on the far right.

•All today’s pictures come from the postcard collection of Robert James, of Milton, Portsmouth.