A real Portsmouth pub crawl: five of them in a row – Nostalgia

Five pubs in a row on The Hard, about 1910.  Picture: Robert James Collection
Five pubs in a row on The Hard, about 1910. Picture: Robert James Collection
0
Have your say

Here we see five of the 14 pubs that used to be in a row along The Hard at Portsea. In her book Portrait of Portsea  Joy Harwood tells us of the pubs along this famous stretch of Portsmouth road in 1886.

From outside the dockyard main gate there were the Ship & Castle, Queen’s Head, London Tavern, King & Queen, The Ship Anson, Victoria & Albert. Out of frame to the right would have been the Waterman’s Arms, Bedford in Chase, then Clock Street. Across that road were the Sheer Hulk, Nag’s Head, Keppel’s Head, The White Hart, The Row Barge, and The Earl St Vincent. 

The Ship Anson was combined with the King & Queen to make one large pub and remains a popular drinking hole. The Victoria & Albert is now a shop.

The Ship Anson was combined with the King & Queen to make one large pub and remains a popular drinking hole. The Victoria & Albert is now a shop.

In later years there was a General Post Office, Bentall the Outfitter, then the Bedford in Chase then Clock Street. The Bedford in Chase took a direct hit during the blitz.

It’s amazing to think that locals and, of course, sailors could go on a pub crawl and walk but 100 yards.

On the left the horse pulling the vegetable cart is enjoying its lunch and on the right is a milkman’s cart and the milkman is delivering milk by ladle to the woman from the pub.

Today only The Ship Anson remains although the King & Queen is now part of it. The London Tavern was destroyed by bombing in 1940 and it now a patio to The Ship Anson.

Frying tonight in Havant Street, Portsea. You can almost smell the fish and chips, and perhaps a portion of batter scraps on the side please. Picture: Robert James

Frying tonight in Havant Street, Portsea. You can almost smell the fish and chips, and perhaps a portion of batter scraps on the side please. Picture: Robert James

The King & Queen was knocked through in 1987 to make one large lounge for The Ship Anson. The Queen’s head is now a fish & chip shop and Victoria & Albert a grocer’s. Many thanks to Portsmouth Lost Pubs website.

• Remember when fish and chips were cooked in coal-burning fryers? I can, just. I’m sure there was one in Fratton Road in the late 1960s.

Robert James sent me this delightful photo of the premises of AM Bunster at 2, Havant Street, Portsea, in June 1921. The stove was built by J Naish of 42, Brougham Road, Southsea.

I am sure these fish and chips tasted like nothing you can buy today. On the right hand side there appears to be the place where all the scraps of batter were put. Oh to have some of them today.

Of course, everything was wrapped in newspaper and if you took in a pile of old papers then a bag of batter scraps were given in exchange.

Am I really so old to remember such things? Sadly, yes!