A great piece of 1970s nostalgia from children’s music festival

Children from Somers Road who sang in the Portsmouth Music festival in April 1972.
Children from Somers Road who sang in the Portsmouth Music festival in April 1972.

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here we see children from in and around Somers Road, in Somers Town, who appeared at the Portsmouth Music Festival back in April 1972.

They would all be about 50 years old by now and I wonder if they still live within the city? And whether they remember this?

From left to right we have Nicola Roberts, Michelle Nabaro, Michael Jones, Lisa Barrow, Sarah Monkom and Laura Rayleigh.

n We have all heard about the Military Wives’ choirs that have been doing the rounds in recent years, but I have never heard of a naval choir before.

Before the Second World War, this party of men appears to have made a name for themselves, even going to London to be filmed.

After much success in Australia and the Far East, The Royal Naval Singers, as they were called, returned to Portsmouth in April 1938.

On the opposite page we see the choir parading outside the Royal Naval Barracks before departing to London for the filming.

n Most people of a certain age living within the city would have heard of Aggies, also known as Agnes Weston’s Royal Sailors Rest.

Before it was bombed on the night of January 10, 1941, Sailors Rest was located over a wide area behind Commercial Road.

Completely destroyed, it relocated to the junction of Edinburgh Road and Unicorn Road where it did sterling service until closure in the 1980s.

In 1938 a new front was built to the restaurant in Commercial Road.

Below right, we see it in all it glory.

Are there any former sailors who can remember using it at all?

n Can you imagine a modern train company organising a day trip for the family like the one advertised below left?

It went from Portsmouth to Windsor, in Berkshire, and then a coach trip to Ascot or Virginia Water.

Then there was a trip on a Salters Steamer back to Windsor along with a free cup of tea included.

This was offered by the Southern Railway back in 1938. Not the modern company that is in chaos today, of course.