NOSTALGIA: A drink with rock legends in Portsmouth pub

The SS Shieldhall.
The SS Shieldhall.
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As we all know, if it were not for volunteers many things that happen in this world would never be.

Just think of the number of volunteers it takes to rebuild and work on steam locomotives or dig out and rebuild canals. Then there are all those charity fun runs.

A poster advertising Jimmy James and the Vagabonds at the Birdcage Club then at Kimbells Ballroom, Osborne Road, Southsea.

A poster advertising Jimmy James and the Vagabonds at the Birdcage Club then at Kimbells Ballroom, Osborne Road, Southsea.

It all takes time and much hard work on their part and no one seems to mind as, for many, it is a complete diversion from their day jobs.

One of the biggest volunteer causes is SS Shieldhall, a full-sized steam vessel run entirely by volunteers.

After a winter refit she is ready to take passengers on leisure trips on the weekend of May 26-27. The thrill of the voyage will be to view her triple-expansion steam engines.

The ship is a member of the National Historic Fleet. Constructed in 1955 in the Lobnitz Shipyard, Renfrew, Scotland, she worked for Glasgow Corporation carrying treated sludge to the dumping grounds off the Firth of Clyde. She carried out similar operations for Southern Water between 1980 and-1985 before being withdrawn because of rising costs.

The Vagabonds with lead singer Jimmy James front centre in the mid-1960s.

The Vagabonds with lead singer Jimmy James front centre in the mid-1960s.

She was then purchased by the Solent Steam Package charity which recognised her heritage value. The charity continues to operate her today out of Southampton with a band of passionate volunteers.

To book tickets for the trip contact Nigel Philpott on (023) 8084 3310 or tickets@ss-shieldhall.co.uk.

•Jimmy James, lead singer with the Vagabonds is back in town on Friday, June 15, at 3pm at the Guildhall to be inducted into the Portsmouth Hall of Fame.

It will include a reception in the foyer and all are welcome.

How many of you remember this Portsmouth street  view which was taken before 1936? It's Greetham Street a few hundred yards from Guildhall Square heading towards Blackfriars Road. It is now under the civic offices opposite the Guildhall.'One of the posters is advertising Pink's tea. 'Sir William Pink was a well-known provisions merchant within the city who was mayor  five times and was succeeded by his son Harold who became mayor four times.        ''Picture: Barry Cox Collection

How many of you remember this Portsmouth street view which was taken before 1936? It's Greetham Street a few hundred yards from Guildhall Square heading towards Blackfriars Road. It is now under the civic offices opposite the Guildhall.'One of the posters is advertising Pink's tea. 'Sir William Pink was a well-known provisions merchant within the city who was mayor five times and was succeeded by his son Harold who became mayor four times. ''Picture: Barry Cox Collection

This master of stagecraft first appeared in Portsmouth in the early 1960s at the Birdcage Club which was within Kimbells Ballroom in Osborne Road, Southsea. After a few months it transferred to Eastney next door to the Cumberland Tavern and opposite the Fort Cumberland Arms.

Although now in his eighties Jimmy is still a popular figure and when he performs on cruise liners audiences rave about his shows.

Angel Radio DJ Pete Cross saw him perform many times at the Birdcage, Eastney.

He says the stage was so small many of the audience got on stage with the band.

Pete also says as there was no alcohol licence many of the bands popped across the road to The Fort Cumberland Arms. Pete says: ‘I can remember sitting at a table in the pub with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce from Cream. It all seems unbelievable today.’

Pete is putting on a Motown night at the Red Lion Hotel, Fareham, on May 26, 8-11pm.