‘Middle and leg, please umpire’: you can just imagine the batsman calling to the umpire at this practice cricket net in Southsea. It was located in the garden of 12a Inglis Road.
It appears that back in 1912 cricket training facilities were not easy to come by and so the Southsea Practice Cricket Club was formed.
It gave the opportunity for cricketers to practice on a decent wicket at a small cost for seven months of the year.
The wicket was made of coconut matting and completely shrouded in netting.
Everything was supplied including a ground bowler and dressing room. Subscriptions were just 10 shillings (50p) a year.
Thanks to Philip Parnell I was able to retake the picture in the same location today.
Mr Parnell is a building contractor who has recently built two houses on part of the site of the old Bethel Mission Hall.
The modern building covers part of the garden so it was not possible for me to stand as far back as the original photographer.
Martin Boateng, one of Mr Parnell’s employees, stands in for the original batsman.
• Sent to me by John Rich, here we see a photograph of Festing Road, Southsea at the junction with Albert Road.
Most of the buildings have changed little since the picture was taken in or before 1963.
As we know, trolleybuses stopped running throughout the city on July 27, 1963, so it was taken before then.
I am wondering where the Odeon cinema is though. As we know, it fronted the pavement to the left but it appears that it was set back much farther than I thought.
To the rear can be seen Festing Buildings.
Then, as now, the entrance to the billiards and snooker hall was through the gap between the buildings.
In days past, on turning left into Albert Road, the highway would have crossed over a hump-backed bridge which crossed the old East Southsea branch railway line. The road was levelled out in 1926.
• TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Andreas Whittam Smith, journalist and former president of the British Board of Film Classification, 80; Malcolm McDowell, actor, 74; Alan Hansen, former Liverpool footballer and TV pundit, 62; David Gray, singer/songwriter, 49; Kym Marsh, actress/singer, 41.