Eddy Amey’s nostalgic recollection of his powered bicycle from the 1950s – the Cyclemaster – sparked memories for Sheila Robertson as soon as she saw the picture, above.
Her father had one in the same decade and rode it from the family home at Baffins, Portsmouth, to his job at ASWE on Portsdown Hill ‘come rain or shine’.
Sheila recalls: ‘One very wet and dark winter’s evening, on his way home, he was approaching Copnor Bridge when a young lady walked out in front of him and he came off his bike, hitting his head on the kerb.
‘An ambulance was called and much to his surprise it was his brother who was driving it. He was in hospital for a few days and when he came home I remember I hardly recognised him, his face was so bruised and he had a hairline fracture above his eye.
‘We always called his Cyclemaster his pop-pop. He got rid of it after his accident and bought an NSU.’
I know many of you are following my reports about next year’s plans to commemorate more than 700 men – at least 100 from Portsmouth – who died when HMS Hampshire sank off the coast of Orkney in June 1916.
Among the dead was Lord Kitchener, Britain’s secretary of state for war, and a 48ft-high stone tower – the Kitchener Memorial – was built on the Orkney cliffs. But there is nothing commemorating the sailors who died.
On Wednesday planning permission was given for a commemorative wall alongside that tower, engraved with the names of all 737 men who died.
A delighted Graham Brown, a member of the memorial project committee, says: ‘We believe that, together with a restored tower, this will make a fitting place of remembrance for next year’s centenary and beyond.’