NOSTALGIA: When the annual school play became rather a bit of a drag

Boys from Copnor Secondary Modern School in the 1950s as the cast of a school play.
Boys from Copnor Secondary Modern School in the 1950s as the cast of a school play.
Ken stands in Woodmancote Road, Southsea, where he was narrowly missed being machine gunned by Messerschmitt during the war

NOSTALGIA: The man who was machine-gunned by Germans in war-time Southsea

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One of the disadvantages of same-sex schools is what to do when the school play comes along.

It’s particularly awkward if it’s a boys’ school and the drama contains roles for several women.

Copnor Secondary Modern Boys' School

Copnor Secondary Modern Boys' School

Which brings us to the picture on the right...

Rob Jerrard, from Budleigh Salterton, Devon, has dug out three pictures here of his days at Copnor Secondary Modern Boys’ School in Portsmouth in the 1950s.

Below are football teams from the middle of that decade, but Rob cannot put names to any of the lads.

However, the play picture, he says, might shed some light on them.

Copnor Secondary Modern Boys' School

Copnor Secondary Modern Boys' School

He says: ‘The only clue I can give is that on the rear of the school play photo I have written the names.

‘They are very faint and difficult to read but I think from left to right they read: T House, R Jerrard, J Wright, ? Stratford, R Johnson, J Winter, K Shipp, CL Mitchell, M Hallett, D Stewart, and the last two could be Corbyn and Rynstead.

And as for that play, Rob says: ‘I cannot recall the name of the play or why we are dressed as women.’

Can you name any of the boys in any of the pictures? Do let me know.

Here we see the Admiral Drake, Twyford Avenue, North End.  Picture: Pete Cross

Here we see the Admiral Drake, Twyford Avenue, North End. Picture: Pete Cross

•This picture of the Admiral Drake pub sparked memories for Harry Cottrell who used the pub regularly in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

He says: ’I lived in North End but all my friends lived in the Stamshaw area and we would use various pubs along Stamshaw Road and Twyford Avenue such as the Portland, the Mediterranean, the Derby Tavern, the Friend in Need and Admiral Drake.

‘I recall the singalongs in the Admiral Drake on a Friday or Saturday evening in particular singing by a regular named John Vaughan – think he lived in Jervis Road – and his rendition of Someone, Someone which was a hit for Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.’

Harry continues: ‘Regarding your query about the prefabs shown next door, there were no prefabs. The building you can see is one of two and formed the Twyford Community Centre. If my memory is correct they served meals there after the war and in the early ’50s. My brother held his wedding reception there in July 1957 when I was 16.’

The Avenue, Hilsea Barracks

The Avenue, Hilsea Barracks

•My colleague Bob Hind ran the picture of Hilsea last week and asked if anyone could pinpoint it. Pat Beevers could.

She says: ‘This was on the south side of the barracks wall and, as you look at the picture, to the right of the lane is now an elderly people’s home – Hilsea Lodge.