Rent-free residence for Albert on the beach

Edinburgh Road, Landport, Portsmouth, in the 1920s, maybe 1930s.' Picture: Robert James Collection

NOSTALGIA: Would you dare do this in this Portsmouth street today?

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On this day is 1859 Albert Cotterell, a well-known waterman and Point character, was born.

For many years Albert lived rent-free in a house on the beach at Point. Several rent collectors used to knock on his door demanding money, but always went away empty-handed.

‘Tell me,’ he asked them, ‘who is the landlord and I will gladly pay the rent.’

Albert was aware that when the original owner died the title deeds were lost and no proof of ownership could be established.

The house, undermined by the sea, was eventually demolished – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.