Tea, darts, dominoes .. and fingers crossed for a job

RW 31-05-11 fellowship = The unemployed fellowship centre, Portsmouth, 1932
RW 31-05-11 fellowship = The unemployed fellowship centre, Portsmouth, 1932
HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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The Depression years of the late 1920s and early 1930s hit millions of families across the country.

Especially hard-hit in Portsmouth were the unskilled workers of the dockyard.

Their chances of becoming re-employed quickly would have been slim.

The Unemployment Fellowship Centre (seen here in 1932) was often referred to as the Inn of Good Fellowship as it was housed in a former pub in Commercial Road and, just like a pub, it became a focal point for many men.

A hot cuppa, a game of darts, cribbage or dominoes, a stove on which to warm the hands and a reading room to keep the mind active, were all considered beneficial to the unfortunate jobless of the city.

It is interesting to note the map of Canada on the wall – a sign of the desperation which drew men and women to consider emigration to distant lands and uncertain futures