Tea was just start for Colin

A boy in a man's world - pint-sized Colin Judge with his shopfitter colleagues
A boy in a man's world - pint-sized Colin Judge with his shopfitter colleagues
It would take  someone of the age of 55-plus to remember this scene along Commercial Road at the junction of Church Street.

NOSTALGIA: A Portsmouth scene unrecognisable today: Commercial Road in its pomp

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This is Colin Judge – a boy in a man’s world.

These were the days when very young lads were taken on in trades as tea boys, learned their skills from old hands and progressed up the ladder. And, in time, passed on their knowledge to other 14-year-old school-leavers.

If you hadn’t guessed already, Colin is the fresh-faced boy here clutching his mug of tea, probably after brewing a round for the men.

He says the photograph was taken in 1953-54 at shopfitters AE Hadley in Portsmouth.

Colin adds: ‘The little lad, bottom left was me as a first-year apprentice. I was 15, I was so small they had to make me a stool to reach the top of the work bench.’

Others in the picture are Frank Jones, on Colin’s left, Ray Swan and Stan Bastable.

Left to right at the back are Lewi Sinclire and Bernie Bates.

Colin wonders if anyone else remembers these men.