When the high street was full of independent shops

67 High Street, Gosport in 1911
67 High Street, Gosport in 1911
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This is 67 High Street, Gosport, in 1911, when the road was filled with individual and independent stores such as furniture dealer and French polisher GL Thompson.

The picture comes from the family album of Roy Thompson whose grandmother is on the left in the doorway.

Group 5 of St John's School, Gosport, in 1916

Group 5 of St John's School, Gosport, in 1916

She was Lily Emma Thompson (nee Dowling) who was married to the proprietor George L Thompson.

On the right of the door is Roy’s uncle, Arthur Thompson, and in the window on the far right is his aunt Lily (Lot) Pannell (nee Thompson). Just visible in the doorway is the face of another uncle, Laurence Thompson.

Roy said that when the picture was taken Lily was pregnant with her daughter Violet who was born on May 5, 1911.

He said: ‘My grandmother carried on with the shop after the death of her husband in 1912 and the shop was sold in 1923. The Germans closed it permanently in the blitz of 1941.’

Roy, of Berkeley Close, Hill Head, Fareham, believes he still has relatives in Gosport, but he does not know them or there whereabouts.

The second picture features his 12-year-old mother, Lily Jessie Higgins, as part of Group 5 at St John’s School, Gosport, in 1916. She is third from the right in the back row.

Roy said: ‘There may be a few Gosport people who recognise somebody here.’