When Fratton Park was not reserved just for Pompey

Do you remember when Fratton Park was used for many other games, not just reserved for Pompey?I recall when end-of-season cup finals were played there and for local teams it was the equivalent of playing at Wembley. Alas, those days are a distant memory.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 8:00 pm
Pompey Schoolboys who played Guildford at Fratton Park in the English Schools Trophy  in 1959. Picture: Brian Carmichael  collection
Pompey Schoolboys who played Guildford at Fratton Park in the English Schools Trophy in 1959. Picture: Brian Carmichael collection

In 1959 the Pompey Schoolboys side played Guildford in the first round of the English Schools Trophy. The kick off was at 10.30am on Saturday, October 3, 60 years ago. I wonder if the Pompey first team played in the afternoon at Fratton Park?

Most of these boys would be in their late seventies now ? Apart from the goalkeeper (or goalie as they were called then) P Higgins, I do not have a match for the team sheet so any help would be grateful.

• As I mentioned when I placed the photograph of the Morris Eight car in these pages last Wednesday, there is always someone...

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Pompey Schoolboys team against Guildford in the English Schools Trophy, 1959. Brian Carmichael collection.

Ian Heath tells me the Morris Eight was designed to compete with the Ford Y which became the Anglia/Popular and had a long life.

The Eight also had a 918cc side-valve engine and started at £118 for a two-seater. The Tourer had a drophead canvas roof. The price was a bit of a cheat, as for £118 you got a basic (very basic) two-seater. Bumpers and indicators (probably trafficators) were £2 10s a pair. The top-of-the-range four door sliding head would actually cost £147 10s fully-equipped. The horsepower of the Eight was 23.5, but it was rated as six Fiscal Horse Power for purpose of taxation, hence the £6 road tax. The car was quite advanced for the time, with synchromesh gears, hydraulic breaks and coil ignition.

Many cars had rod or cable brakes and the Eight also had a set of driver's instruments. So, if you had about £165 to spend (£6,700 today), you got a good buy. This covered tax, registration and insurance and, possibly, two guineas AA membership! There was no heater, windscreen washers or radio.

The car in the ad was a two-door saloon with sliding head which would have cost £127 10s complete.

A Morris Eight from 1936.

‘Fixed head' meant a solid roof. ‘Sliding head' meant it had a sun roof. As mentioned earlier 'drophead' meant what is now known as a 'convertible', an American expression that has superseded the British expression. However, on older classic cars 'drophead' is still used and if you see the letters DHC in an ad, it means 'drop head coupe'.

• Ralph Cousins provided the picture of the Red Cross Cadets at Havant in 1954. To the left and right are the controlling officers George Hedley, left, and Bill Anderson. Ralph cannot remember the occasion but it looks as if the boys have won a cup. If you are in the line-up and have more information please let me know.

Officers George Hedley, left, and Bill Anderson with their cadets at Havant, 1954.