Does anyone remember picking spuds for pocket money? It’s not that long ago that this was a ritual on farms around the Portsmouth area.
It was not until modern tractors and machinery were able to dig up potatoes wholesale that it ended.
Compared to modern farm vehicles, the tractor in this photograph is positively ancient. Perhaps someone from a farming background can let me know what the metalwork being pulled behind the tractor was called.
Manual labour was used extensively and in the background are two men loading the sacks of potatoes and another one leads the horse. I am told the picture was taken on a Bedhampton farm. Can anyone confirm that?
• Although it might have been been considered as racing at last weekend’s Goodwood Revival meeting, what we see in the second picture were time trials on Eastern Road, Portsmouth, in 1936. They were organised by Southsea Motor Club, a band of young enthusiasts who ran what was then this new sport.
The new extension to Eastern Road provided an ideal track for competitors and racing motorists from all over the country arrived in the city to compete for the many trophies on offer. The City Corporation presented the City Cup and Councillor RJ Winnicott sponsored the Winnicott Trophy, just two up for grabs.
Fine weather, a large crowd plus superb organisation by the motor club combined to give ideal conditions. I know it was 81 years ago but does anyone remember this event?
• Look closely at the picture of The Hard, Portsea. As you can see by the daubings on the sea wall, graffiti was a problem more than a century ago. I love the doodle of the man on the right fishing. And I wonder who ‘Jock’ was – the word written above him?
The many pubs along The Hard can be seen with the Ship Anson of course still serving today. The King & Queen, on its left, is now an extension to the Anson.
A hansom cab awaits a fare opposite the Bedford & Chase. This pub stood on the corner of Clock Street and took a direct hit during the blitz in 1941. The horse-drawn tram on the far left dates this photo to before December 1901. The last time horses were used for pulling trams was that year although it was 1903 before electric trams took over the whole system.
• The final photo is a superb early morning view across Portsmouth Harbour from HMS Vernon taken before 1970. Everything you see in the foreground has now disappeared under Gunwharf Quays. I believe the eight minesweepers were all Ton-class ships but stand to be corrected.