NOSTALGIA: Fond memories of a Leigh Park pub

One of the most popular pubs in Leigh Park was the Greyhound in Park Parade.
One of the most popular pubs in Leigh Park was the Greyhound in Park Parade.
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Pubs were, and still are, a landmark wherever you live. Looking back at some of the places we drank brings back fond memories of nights out, darts, cribbage and dominoes, bands or just chatting up girls.

Sadly, not many photographs exist of pub interiors (unless you have some and would like to share them!) so when Barry Cox let me have these of the Greyhound in Park Parade, Leigh Park, I thought they might stir a few memories for residents of the estate.

The lounge bar of the Greyhound pub.

The lounge bar of the Greyhound pub.

Leigh Park’s pubs were always popular as there was little else to do unless you went to the Empire cinema in East Street, Havant, or were attending a function at the local community centre.

At one time there were several pubs on the estate, the oldest being the Cricketers Tavern along Riders Lane opposite Stockheath Common. Then there was the Wheatsheaf, Curlew, Rover, and the Swan in Bedhampton to name but a few.

In the first picture we see the Greyhound not long after it opened in the mid-1950s. The women’s clothes and the pram date it nicely.

To the left is the lounge bar, then an off licence then the door to the public bar. Around the corner was the entrance to a family room and garden. The lounge bar was, perhaps, an extension thought of after the larger building was designed although it was all built at the same time.

The public bar at the Greyhound.

The public bar at the Greyhound.

The second picture shows that lounge bar. Considering how busy it was it does not seem that large. Four stools occupy the front of the bar. Modern lighting of the period gave it a light and airy feel. In the left hand corner live music, usually a pianist and drummer, would appear on Friday and Saturday nights.

The third photo shows the public bar. As can be seen, there are many tables laid out ready for regulars to play cribbage and dominoes. I am sure more serious games of cards were played with the money 'kept under the table’. There were rules in pubs about stakes on card games and a landlord could be in trouble if the police found out there were large amounts being played for. All the tables have ashtrays as nearly everyone smoked in those days. 

• Last Tuesday I published a photo of the Landport Drapery Bazaar (LDB)  looking south. On the facing page is another view of the building looking north from the junction of Commercial Road and Edinburgh Road with the Bedford Hotel alongside.

The original Bedford appears to have obtained the building to the right of it. Does anyone have an old Portsmouth Kelly’s directory that could tell me what the older building might have been?

Last Tuesday I published a photo of the LDB from the opposite direction. This is from Edinburgh Road junction. Picture: Barry Cox

Last Tuesday I published a photo of the LDB from the opposite direction. This is from Edinburgh Road junction. Picture: Barry Cox

All today’s pictures are from Barry Cox.