Portsmouth-born PM returns home to mark Queen’s Silver Jubilee – Nostalgia

Sunny Jim Callaghan steps on board the royal yacht Britannia, 1977. Picture: Gordon Walwyn Collection.
Sunny Jim Callaghan steps on board the royal yacht Britannia, 1977. Picture: Gordon Walwyn Collection.
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As I mentioned, next week I shall be writing about the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead in 1977.

I have many photographs which have been loaned to me by Captain Gordon Walwyn, the organiser and planner of the event and here is another taster of what is to come.

Traction engine in Warblington Street, Old Portsmouth, with a boiler for the power station. Picture: Ralph Cousins Collection.

Traction engine in Warblington Street, Old Portsmouth, with a boiler for the power station. Picture: Ralph Cousins Collection.

The Labour prime minister of the time, Portsmouth-born Jim Callaghan, is seen stepping on to the royal yacht Britannia with his wife Audrey.

Mr Callaghan, nicknamed Sunny Jim, was born at  38, Funtington Road, Copnor, and served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1944, the only prime minister to have served in the navy.

In the photographs next week many sailors can be seen, such as those in the piping party seen in this photo.

I am hoping several might be able to identify themselves so make sure you don’t miss it.

Bluejackets (sailors) from Haslar were given a day out at Leigh Park House in 1916.  Picture: Ralph Cousins Collection.

Bluejackets (sailors) from Haslar were given a day out at Leigh Park House in 1916. Picture: Ralph Cousins Collection.

• In days gone by a coach trip out for the day was a special treat for sailors stuck in their barracks from one week to the next.

In September 1916, during the First World War, a party of sailors from Haslar, Gosport, were given a day out thanks to a Mr G Martin and a few of his friends. 

A report in the Portsmouth Evening News said: 'A party of fifty wounded Bluejackets from Haslar were, on Wednesday afternoon, given a pleasant trip into the country, proceeding by motor charabanc to Fareham, Wickham, Hambledon, and Leigh Park. They halted at the last named place, where Lady Fitzwygram personally received the party and showed them around the grounds of Leigh Park House. Tea was served at the Staunton Arms public house before the return trip was made.’

In the photograph, provided for Remember When by Ralph Cousins, we see Lady Fitzwygram surrounded by the sailors. The house was demolished in 1959 but the balustrade and steps remains.

Trolleybuses passing outside the Portsbridge Hotel, Cosham. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

Trolleybuses passing outside the Portsbridge Hotel, Cosham. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

• Seen trundling through the streets of Old Portsmouth is a traction engine heading for the power station with a new boiler. It hauled it from Fratton goods yard to the power station and is seen passing the North Temperance Hotel in Warblington Street. The engine belonged to a Harry Francis of Rowlands Castle.

• Another photograph of passing trolleybuses taken about 1934/35 and they are just about outside the Ports Bridge Hotel, Cosham. Even the pedestrians on the right have stopped to look at them.

It is the cars which give the game away about the date, but the same picture could have been taken 30 years later with possibly the same buses.