Just a tot, but Whisky’s tricks kept people amused for hours

Whisky, a former ships dog who had six owners in his lifetime.
Whisky, a former ships dog who had six owners in his lifetime.
THEN: Full of life and shops galore  the eastern end of Highland Road in Edwardian days with Kassassin Street on the right.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: Snapshot of life in Edwardian Portsmouth

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News of a possible wall being built to protect Portsea Island from disappearing under a Red Sea flood has brought some speculative arguments from residents.

Here is a 1920s’ photograph taken from Southsea Terrace looking towards Clarence Pier. It seems to prove a point, don’t you think?!

With the news that the city council might build a wall to protect us from the sea, this photograph of Southsea might prove the point .											                                    Picture: costen.co.uk

With the news that the city council might build a wall to protect us from the sea, this photograph of Southsea might prove the point . Picture: costen.co.uk

•At one time all HM ships had their pet dogs, cats and other more exotic livestock – regardless of quarantine rules. When in port the dogs certainly roamed about, fraternising with other ships’ dogs and those ashore.

Des Whitby was stationed in Malta from 1950 to 1952 (two-and-a-half-year commissions in those days); living ashore, in married quarters. Des and his wife inherited Whisky from a family returning to the UK in 1951. They were the sixth owners of Whisky.

Apparently he was born in Malta, to another ship’s dog in HMS Phoebe, in1948.

Whisky could perform all sorts of tricks much to the amusement of passers-by.

When Pompey had gates of 35,000 to 40,000. I wonder if the man with the megaphone is singing the Pompey Chimes?.

When Pompey had gates of 35,000 to 40,000. I wonder if the man with the megaphone is singing the Pompey Chimes?.

When Des was due to return home in 1952 they couldn’t bear to pass him on again so he sent him ahead into quarantine in the UK. ‘It cost us half-a-crown (12p) a day for six months, a lot of money at that time, but well worth it,’ he says.

He lived for a further 12 years, seeing the family through several house moves and the birth of Des’s two daughters.

When he died Whisky was buried in the garden and as Des told me poignantly: ‘So, we still have him really.’

•I like to look at photographs, such as this one of a Pompey crowd, to see if my late father was among them when he was a young man. Unfortunately, not this time.

Woodmen working in Leigh Park estate long before the  housing estate was built. (Ralph Cousins collection).

Woodmen working in Leigh Park estate long before the housing estate was built. (Ralph Cousins collection).

Although Pompey have sold a marvellous number of season tickets for the new season I doubt we will ever see as many supporters inside Fratton Park as we once did.

The biggest attendance I was ever among was 36,000 on a Wednesday evening.

But my father could remember crowds of 40,000 and more. It must have been wonderful.

The man with the megaphone amuses me. I wonder if he was leading the singing of the Pompey Chimes? Not that the Fratton faithful ever needed any prompting in that department.

•Long before the Leigh Park housing estate was built the area was covered in woodland.

In the final picture we see woodmen, accompanied by their wives and babies, lopping trees on the estate at the turn of the last century.