The total number of sailors on parade in the picture on the facing page is 4,600 which is about one sixth of the total personnel, men and women, in the navy today.
This is just the seaman branch and they are being inspected by the lords of the Admiralty.
I have no date for it but some of the sailors are wearing sennet hats, a straw-like sombrero affair worn with a ship's cap tally. The sennet went out of service on March 6, 1921, so we can date the photograph before then.
I think there is a dry dock out of shot on the right and possibly civilians in the distance so this parade could be taking place in Portsmouth Dockyard.
• No doubt the photograph on the right will bring back memories of a time when shopping was a pleasure and housewives shopped every day.
This was long before cars were taken to supermarkets and everything driven home. The majority of customers were local and no doubt the women were addressed as ‘madam’ or ‘Mrs’.
This is the inside of Suter’s grocers in Osborne Road, Southsea, in the 1950s where everything that was needed was stacked to the ceiling and shelves crammed with goods. The assistants would know all the prices by heart and be dressed in gleaming white aprons. On the left early ‘fresh frozen’ foods are on sale.
Finally we can see chairs for customers to use while waiting to be served and have a chat if staff were not busy.
Would a shop like this survive today? I doubt it as people do not have the patience to wait to be served any more. Mind you, I saw long queues of customers people waiting to pass through checkouts at Asda before Christmas.
• I recently made an error about the submarine that once lay in the mud off Portchester where Port Solent now stands. Roger Allen who had a business alongside John Pounds corrected me.
The former American submarine S29 was loaned to the Royal Navy and commissioned as P556 in June, 1942. She had damaged batteries so the USA did not want her back and she was sold to Pounds in 1947.
With the yard at Tipner full of redundant vessels she was beached off Portchester where she remained for many years. She was brought alongside Pounds in 1965 where she lingered until broken up by Roger many years after.
• Directing traffic in Osborne Road, Southsea, which was then a crossroads with Palmerston Road, a police officer keeps a sharp look out. The circle in the road told him where to stand. I wish Eddie Wallace was still with us as he would have told us the officer’s name.