Wedding picture reveals fascinating ’60s details

Taken from the door of All Saints Church of Carol Smith's wedding in 1963.Behind can be seen the Country House pub and to the left the former Savoy, later the ABC cinema

Taken from the door of All Saints Church of Carol Smith's wedding in 1963.Behind can be seen the Country House pub and to the left the former Savoy, later the ABC cinema

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The photo featured here last week of Portsmouth’s All Saints’ Church taken from Commercial Road was seen by Peter Smith, who e-mailed me this photograph of his sister Carol’s wedding there in 1963.

Here we see Carol and her father Tom in a photo taken from the church door. But look past the happy couple and we see the former Country House pub and, to the left, the former Savoy (later the ABC) cinema.

Other items of interest are the Portsmouth trolley bus standard and the completely useless wing mirror on the wing of what could be a Ford Consul.

Last Saturday’s photo was also seen by Davis Willcox, who says the left hand building is the Country House pub, which his mother and father managed for 25 years.

Behind the pub can be seen Harris Wholesale Fruit and Potato Merchant. It was at one time a three-storey building reduced to a ground floor in the blitz.

They were the first company in Portsmouth to have bananas after the war. They came in green and were ripened over gas fires in the storeroom!

Follow on down Church Street and Tarrant’s bakery can be seen.

‘By the way’ says Mike, ‘Nora Tarrant is still with us and is over 90 years old.’

Can anyone put me in touch with Nora, please?

As to the photo of All Saints’ Church published on March 12, Mike Deck tells me that the pub was indeed the Powerscourt as the landlord and his wife were Mike’s grandparents.

His mother Valerie and aunt Norma told him that their parents, Snowy and Phyllis Barker, ran the pub from March 1951 until 1963, when they took over the Admiral’s Head opposite Kingston Police Station. The pub is now a Pizza Hut.

Opposite the Powerscourt was Parham’s removals. Their son Graham also lived in the area.

Pamela Spencer dropped me a line to say that her grandparents ran the newsagents at No 1 Nelson Road. The back of the shop looked out across Commercial Road to the Royal Hospital and Country House pub.

In Church Road was the Johnson family and Mrs Johnson helped to deliver the papers.

At one time Pamela’s grandparents parted and her grandfather ran the shop on his own. During the war he used to live with Pamela’s parents because of the bombing and each morning he would arrive back at the shop half-expecting it to have been bombed – but it never was.

Her grandfather contracted Parkinson’s disease and his wife came back to live with him and took over the shop.

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