All I did was pull my socks up... and I got a clip round the ear

Families were devastated but after the war bomb sites became playgrounds. This was Fifth Street, Buckland, Portsmouth, in 1941
Families were devastated but after the war bomb sites became playgrounds. This was Fifth Street, Buckland, Portsmouth, in 1941
The mine our heroes gutted of its fiendish mechanisms is now displayed in HMS Belfast.

BIG READ: One tiny slip meant instant death for brave Portsmouth mine team

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Playing on bomb sites struck a chord with so many of you when it appeared in our list of 10 things you would remember if you grew up in Portsmouth in the 1950s and ‘60s.

It certainly did with a Mr C Ford, from Stubbington, near Fareham, who remembers exploring them after Saturday Morning Picture Club.

He recalls: ‘My gang broke into one site and clambered up the scaffolding. We were playing ‘pirates in the rigging’.

‘The local policeman found us and called us down claiming we would hurt ourselves and said we ought to pull our socks up.

‘As I naively bent down to reach mine he clipped me round the ear saying: ‘‘Don’t be so cheeky’’. Ah, the good old days...

Mr Ford was born in the city in 1946 and reckons virtually every road had a pile of rubble in it. ‘We had no understanding of the enemy action that may have caused them.’

He adds: ‘The council felt that the only way to house the population was to create temporary accommodation for them.

‘Prefabricated buildings were manufactured off site, delivered and put in place. These prefabs soon extended into large estates and some are still standing today.’