PORTSMOUTH NOSTALGIA: Days when your nearest and dearest virtually lived next door

Grandma Aylmer (centre) with her six daughters in Henrietta Street, Somers Town, Portsmouth.
Grandma Aylmer (centre) with her six daughters in Henrietta Street, Somers Town, Portsmouth.
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Nuclear families. Portsmouth still has some, but probably none quite as close as those with whom Carol Jones (née Voysey) grew up.

My recent piece about long-gone Henrietta Street at Somers Town, prompted her to get in touch.

David Jane's June 1964 picture of ''Henrietta Street awaiting demolition

David Jane's June 1964 picture of ''Henrietta Street awaiting demolition

She says: ‘This wonderful street was at the heart of my childhood.’

And Carol lists her relatives. Some older readers might recognise a few of the names.

There were Carol’s parents Harry and Dora; her aunt Edna and Tom Robb; her aunt Bet and Ted Kidd; her aunt Glad and Fred Gardner; her uncle Bob and Vi Aylmer.

And here’s the thing: they all lived in Henrietta Street.

Henrietta Street before it was cleared in 1960      Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Henrietta Street before it was cleared in 1960 Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Not only that, but as Carol adds: ‘And just around the corner in Warwick Street lived my beloved grandma Doll Aylmer and my uncle Bernard. There were also six grandchildren including me. What wonderful, happy days they were.’

She also recalls fondly the nearby Mystery pub. ‘Grace Cole was the landlady and we were all regulars. Every New Year’s Eve was spent at a party in the room above the pub where my mum was a barmaid.’

Other families Carol remembers were the Enfields, Sivyers, Kings, Cutlers, Hobdans, Smalls and Pitts.