NOSTALGIA: Portsmouth homes built from clay beneath football ground

Pictures from the 1920s showing the Copnor brickfields and, below, workers on land now thought to be Moneyfields football club.
Pictures from the 1920s showing the Copnor brickfields and, below, workers on land now thought to be Moneyfields football club.

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You might recall the debate on these pages in recent weeks about the exact location of the old brickfields at Copnor.

It was spurred by the two pictures published by my colleague Bob Hind, reprinted on the right and with an old map of the area, below.

Workers on land now thought to be Moneyfields football club.

Workers on land now thought to be Moneyfields football club.

But Mike Fooks, from Portchester, might just have solved the question.

He says: ‘I thought I’d do a bit of lazy modern day sleuthing to locate the sight on a modern map.

‘Using Google Earth [image below] it was easy to identify the large building in the left background as Copnor Primary School which then identified the fence as being beside the railway line.

‘From there it was an easy step to place the men at the modern site of Moneyfields Sports Centre, probably at the nearest corner of the football pitch.

The Google Earth image showing Moneyfields' ground.

The Google Earth image showing Moneyfields' ground.

‘The houses in Seafield Road and Highgate Road match those in the photograph exactly,’ says Mike.

It is fascinating to think how many thousands of footballers have taken to the field at Moneyfields never realising for a moment that they are playing on land which once provided bricks to build the surrounding houses.

•All the students in the final picture were Portsmouth lads at the Royal Naval Dockyard School, plus staff. The year was 1949/50.

The picture comes from R Parvin, of Hill Head, Fareham, who says: ‘The school was renowned for its extremely high academic standards.

An old map showing the brickworks at Copnor.

An old map showing the brickworks at Copnor.

‘Many of these won university scholarships and were much sought after by employers and government agencies.’

Mr Parvin adds: ‘It would be interesting to try to identify them today, to see how their lives turned out and to discover more of the history and reputation of this remarkable school.’

Over to you...

Elections on Thursday but ballot boxes with your vote won't be transported to the count like this. On the trolley at Fratton station are votes cast in the 1910 general election.

Elections on Thursday but ballot boxes with your vote won't be transported to the count like this. On the trolley at Fratton station are votes cast in the 1910 general election.

Royal Naval Dockyard School 1949-1950.

Royal Naval Dockyard School 1949-1950.