Strike a light! Matchless city pubs boxed clever

The two Portsmouth pubs given starring roles on matchboxes. Were there any more?
The two Portsmouth pubs given starring roles on matchboxes. Were there any more?

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When Simon Hart was growing up at Portchester in the 1970s his family kept an oddments drawer in the dining room.

It contained ‘bits off the Hoover’, a few Co-op or Green Shield stamps and, much more interestingly, a collection of matchboxes and tea and cigarette cards, all with local connections.

Simon, of St Anne’s Grove, Fareham, has sent me a sample of that collection which celebrates the heritage of Portsmouth and Gosport.

It’s difficult to imagine why the landmark Coach and Horses at Hilsea and the old Traveller’s Joy at Milton Road, Milton, were considered important enough to star on matchboxes.

Perhaps the match-makers regionalised their boxes to maximise sales in particular areas.

If you know the rationale behind the thinking please get in touch.

Any further images of Portsmouth area pubs featured on the boxes would also be gratefully received.

Simon, who as a lad displayed the matchboxes in his bedroom, says: ‘The tea cards [from Brooke Bond] were not as vivid in colour as their predecessors, cigarette cards [here from the WD and HO Wills company], but they reflect the printing techniques and colour fashions of the 1960s and ’70s.

‘They had to be sorted into subject and numerical order which was all part of the fun.’