Nine things that happened in Portsmouth the day before war broke out.

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On this day 76 years ago, people in Portsmouth were enjoying the last day of peace they would know for more than five years.

The columns of The Portsmouth Evening News of Saturday September 2, 1939, reveal some of the things happening around the area on the eve of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany.

1. People flocked to the cinemas for Saturday night screenings, including the appropriately-named ‘Let Freedom Reign’ starring Nelson Eddy and Virginia Bruce at the Savoy in Southsea, the Apollo in Southsea and the Carlton in Cosham.

2. Cllr. Leonard Blake, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, told citizens in an address: ‘We are going to war with the greatest reluctance but we shall see it through with great steadfastness.’

3. Havant Police said they were investigating the theft of four gold rings worth £150 from a house in Havant Road, Emsworth.

4. The death was reported of the Very Reverend TH Masters, for nine years the Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral.

5. The owners of the greyhound stadium at Tipner announced that racing that night had been cancelled because of ‘lighting restrictions.’

6. Members of the Portsmouth Special Constabulary were summoned to a meeting at the Guildhall for war duty instructions.

7. Customers at Wendovers of Palmerston Road in Southsea were offered 27” plain Wilton carpet at 6/11d a yard.

8. Pompey lost 2-1 at Bolton and after three games sat 17th in a Division One table that included Brentford and Grimsby Town.

9. The evacuation of children resumed at 7.30am, 12,246 having left the city the previous day.

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