How the other half lived

The drawing room at Idsworth House and, below, the library
The drawing room at Idsworth House and, below, the library
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Hidden signage revealed after sixty years''.

NOSTALGIA: What on earth did this mean?

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Perhaps you can remember, living in a three up, three down terraced house with outside loo in the back streets of Portsmouth in the middle of the last century.

Nothing wrong with that. Most were made very cosy even though there was no central heating with only coal fires for heat.

No Caption ABCDE PPP-140922-160952001

No Caption ABCDE PPP-140922-160952001

The kitchen would have had a cobbled stone floor like my grandmother’s house at 11, Wisborough Road, Southsea.

Imagine living in a gracious house with not only a large front room but also a library, not to mention a dining room and large kitchen.

Talk about enough space to swing a cat.

This was the position Thomas Pratt found himself in when he became butler at Idsworth House near Rowlands Castle in the 1920s.

He somehow managed to obtain these two photographs of the house’s interior which his son William loaned me.

Thomas later became landlord of the Kingston Tavern, Kingston Road, Portsmouth.