NOSTALGIA: Charlotte Street remembered

The wonderful Charlotte Street market in 1986.  'Picture: Bob Thompson
The wonderful Charlotte Street market in 1986. 'Picture: Bob Thompson
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I just know that when you view the photograph above you’re going to say: ‘Oh look, Charlotte Street, just as I remember it.’

Of course, the market was loved by everyone in the city and those who lived out of it.

One of the best-known families in the Charlotte Street area were the Shipps who had a shop in Meadow Street. 'Picture: Bob Thompson

One of the best-known families in the Charlotte Street area were the Shipps who had a shop in Meadow Street. 'Picture: Bob Thompson

Although basically a fruit and veg market, farther along towards Stanhope Road you could buy just about anything within reason.

My own favourite was the crockery merchant. I could stand and watch them all day.

They would start off with an armful of dinner plates then add side plates and then saucers.

Cups were next and then he would take the whole collection in both arms and throw it in the air catching it without a breakage and shouting out the price at the same time. Marvellous.

An aircraft carrier and munition barges in the northern reaches of Portsmouth Harbour.

An aircraft carrier and munition barges in the northern reaches of Portsmouth Harbour.

Bob Thompson can remember the snake oil man who took a tin of gunk, dipped his fingers in it and rubbed it all over his body stating it could cure everything. Lovely.

On the left in the photograph is a stall with a green top. This man sold fresh chickens with the guts in. Purchasers waited until he gutted the birds there and then in front of them.

• On Saturday, March 1, 1987, was one of the saddest days for a family of greengrocers in the city. It was the day that Shipp’s in Meadow Street had to close because of the compulsory purchase of their premises to make way for the Cascades shopping mall.

After more than 60 years and three generations trading at the premises, the time had come to say goodbye to their many customers.

Pictured at the helm of his barge we see regular Portsmouth Harbour waterman Richard (Dickie) Dyer.

Pictured at the helm of his barge we see regular Portsmouth Harbour waterman Richard (Dickie) Dyer.

The founder of the business was George Samuel Shipp. His daughter Pansy had not had a holiday since 1938 as she dearly loved working in the market shop.

Grandson of the founder, Peter Shipp, said they would be reduced to running a stall for three days a week.

In the photograph we see Pansy Shipp on the left with Peter Shipp on the right. I believe the woman in the middle is Irene Madgwick but stand to be corrected.

• The third picture here is an enlargement of the top right hand corner of the final photograph. The location is way up in the northern reaches of Portsmouth Harbour.

Mike Nolan, who sent me the picture, tells me the large barges were used for ammunition and were no doubt used at Priddy’s Hard on the Gosport side of the harbour.

I think the carrier could be HMS Victorious but stand to be corrected if anyone has more idea. I appreciate that the enlargement has made it difficult.

• And so to that final picture, from Mike.

It shows one of the great old characters of Portsmouth Harbour, master waterman Richard Dyer – Dickie to his mates.

Mike tells me Dickie was his step-grandfather as he married his wife’s grandmother.

The photo was taken between 1945 and 1950 as Dickie died in February 1951.

It is a scene taken way up the harbour. Whale Island would be behind and to the far right of the camera.

To the left is the Shell oil terminal and to the rear right can be seen those ammunition barges and the aircraft carrier.