NOSTALGIA: Building where The Beatles played first Portsmouth gig

THEN: South Parade, Southsea, 1962. Picture: Barry Cox
THEN: South Parade, Southsea, 1962. Picture: Barry Cox
Cargo vessels and a waterside pub - the Camber had all the stand-and-star fascination of a small port

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Camber docks to lose its ‘colour’

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Ihave a new book out next month called Portsmouth in Transition showing many of the vast changes in the city from the 1960s and 1970s to the present day. Here are a couple as a taster.

Above is South Parade, Southsea, in 1962, while below is the same view today.

NOW: The former ballroom and night clubs have been torn down and a new complex of apartments for the elderly is going up.

NOW: The former ballroom and night clubs have been torn down and a new complex of apartments for the elderly is going up.

For those who don’t remember, the Savoy Buildings in the old photo were opposite South Parade Pier.

To the immediate left was the long-lamented Savoy Ballroom and it was a year after the picture was taken that a couple of relatively unknown bands made their first appearances in Portsmouth at this venue – The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

At the end of the block can be seen Joanna’s which later became a well-known drinking bar.

It was there I first saw a female DJ who used to play records for the drinkers.

The Greyhound, Park Parade, Leigh Park.                           Picture: Ralph Cousins

The Greyhound, Park Parade, Leigh Park. Picture: Ralph Cousins

There was no dancing as the carpet was like flypaper, everyone stuck to it! Not that there was any room for dancing anyway.

The fume-free trolleybus is about to turn right into Clarendon Road heading for the dockyard gates at The Hard.

As we know, the Savoy Buildings burnt to the ground in 2011.

And so to the modern picture which I took earlier this year.

It shows the new block of retirement apartments being built after the demolition of what was left of the Savoy Buildings.

The building should be just about completed now as I took this photo last spring in preparation for the book.

•The other day I mentioned four pubs that have been demolished in Leigh Park in recent years and published a photograph of the Wheatsheaf.

Here is another that has been torn down, The Greyhound in Park Parade. This large pub contained three bars and an off licence.

In the 1960s the Southern Dance Orchestra rehearsed in the lounge bar on Wednesday evenings big crowds.

From the left we have the lounge bar, the off licence, the public bar and on the end, the family bar which also had a garden for youngsters.

The photograph was taken from across Park Parade and a library now stands on that site.

The pub was demolished and a block of flats built there called Greywell Heights.