You may have noticed the name Robert James in my column as he lends me many postcards from his vast collection.
Now it is my turn to return the favour.
Robert sent me the photograph of Sea Scouts in the 1930s and he is hoping for your help.
The photo is thought to have been taken in the front room of 25, Nelson Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, and the woman leading the troop is Miss Christina Hirst.
In the photograph of the local Sea Scout troop is Robert’s late father Charles James (front row, right), and his brother Arthur (back row, centre.) Also, a friend of the boys, Alf Goldstone, is in the back row on the left.
Robert does not know where the troop used to meet or where they did their sea training. Can you help him?
Robert tells me Christina was very highly thought of and his father’s family all referred to her as ‘skip’ or ‘skipper’.
If anyone has any information on the Sea Scout troop or Christina, please get in touch.
n Paul Harris sent me a Dring’s company magazine from 1968. Many think the company produced just cardboard but in fact, as can be seen from the photograph, they produced packaging for just about everything.
They had their own design teams, printing presses and plastics shop not to mention the hundreds of workers employed at several factories around the old Portsmouth Airport site.
Joseph Dring founded his business in Marylebone Street, Portsmouth, about 1890 with just six employees. Joseph often worked from 6.30am to midnight getting his company off the ground.
I want to write a little more on Dring’s so if you worked for the company and have an anecdote or two could you drop me a line please.
n Although a little faded here we see a tram heading for The George on top of Portsdown Hill. It is crossing Southwick Hill Road, Cosham. Queen Alexandra Hospital can be seen to the rear although at the time of the photograph it was a military hospital.
Southwick Hill Road was much narrower than it is today and the bridge crossed the road on the skew. Judging by the number of weeds in the trackbed I would assume this was near the closing date of the line in 1935.
n On Monday I published a photograph of the northern end of Commercial Road and mentioned the Black Cat Café which stood on the left of the picture. It brought some response from readers.
Andrew Lawrence recognised the car and says: ‘I think it was a Ford Anglia 105e which Wikipedia tells me started production in 1959. My first car was one.’
John Ellwood confirms Andrew’s thinking and adds: ‘With a waiting list for new cars at that time, l guess the photo is more likely to be the early sixties.’
Colin Brans says: ‘My wife used to visit the Black Cat Cafe with her mother (Nora Hart) about once a month when coming into town from Portchester shopping from 1948 to the late 1950s. Occasional visits to the chippie in Arundel Street were on their menu as it was with my family when we holidayed for a week each year in a caravan at Eastney, again from 1947 until 1959.’
Frank Jarvis told me: ‘I well remember the Black Cat Cafe on the first floor in this part of Commercial Road as I frequently lunched there in the 1960s when working at Lloyds Bank at No 115. Food was ‘home-style’ at a very reasonable price as I recall and I seem to remember it was always very busy.’