Portsmouth butcher Jack is leader of the motorcycle gang – Nostalgia

Can anyone recognise where this picture of Portsmouth Motor Cycle Club gymkhana was taken? It was taken on May 28, 1928.
Can anyone recognise where this picture of Portsmouth Motor Cycle Club gymkhana was taken? It was taken on May 28, 1928.

I recently published a photograph of the Portsmouth greyhound track in Copnor which later held  motorbike racing. John Brookes sent me the marvellous photograph, above, showing his grandfather.

He told me: ‘The chap leading the pack is my grandfather, Jack Healey, who was a butcher in Portsmouth.

Seen shortly after the opening of the Royal Naval Barracks in 1906, this is the smart Chief Petty Officers mess. Photo: George Millener.

Seen shortly after the opening of the Royal Naval Barracks in 1906, this is the smart Chief Petty Officers mess. Photo: George Millener.

‘He had two shops, one on the Highbury Estate and his original one in Chichester Road, North End. 

‘In fact, the one in Chichester Road is still there with his name on the front. The photograph of him at the gymkhana was taken on May 28, 1928.’

John asks if anyone can tell where the photograph was taken?

Perhaps the tower/chimney at back right might give someone a clue?

Seen shortly after the opening of the Royal Naval Barracks in 1906, this is the smart Chief Petty Officers mess. Photo: George Millener.

Seen shortly after the opening of the Royal Naval Barracks in 1906, this is the smart Chief Petty Officers mess. Photo: George Millener.

Below, we see the original gates to the officers ward room, opposite the Royal Naval Barracks, now HMS Nelson in Queen Street, Portsea.

These were located on the crossroads of Edinburgh Road, Queen Street, Alfred Road and Anglesea Road.

Another set of gates were also located on the opposite corner of Lion Terrace and Queen Street.

Both have now been demolished and the wall reinstated.

I have a great dislike for the modern carriers and here we see HMS Hermes looking like a real carrier.

I have a great dislike for the modern carriers and here we see HMS Hermes looking like a real carrier.

In those days the local residents crossed the road without a care whereas today they would be taking their lives in their hands crossing without looking.

The ornate gas lamp standard to the right certainly makes the picture.

Taken shortly after the barracks were opened in 1906, below right is perhaps a promotional photograph as there appears to be nothing out of place.

Notice the bayonets in an arc decorating the right hand wall.

I always find it strange how wall pictures and photographs were hung at an angle to have a better view from below as it were.

I know I am not the only one who finds the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and the soon-to-arrive HMS Prince of Wales in no way as handsome as former aircraft carriers. 

Yes, needs must, and there is obviously a reason for the double island format but they just look like floating bodies of steel, monoliths, which they are of course. 

HMS Hermes is definitely a smarter looking ship, below

She was, of course, the flagship of the British forces during the 1982  Falklands War.

A Centaur-class carrier, she was in service from 1959 until November 1989.

She then served in the Indian Navy as INS Virrat until 2017.

It is hoped she will become a museum ship.