Shopping and fine dining converge in blitzed store

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Imagine entering a store today to do your shopping and there being a restaurant with live music.

It seems like something out of a film, but this is what it was like at Handley’s of Southsea before the store was blitzed on January 10, 1941, pictured.

No wonder people missed it – Handley’s was of course one of the top stores in Southsea where many well-off residents did their shopping.

Below this picture is a line-up of Nigerian dignitaries which would have been a rarity when they visited in 1934.

They must have caused a sensation as many people would have never seen someone from Africa before. I wonder what they thought of walking along South Parade Pier.

Having said that, I expect they were a familiar sight to the many sailors we had in town then who had travelled the world.

Overleaf, we can see South Parade Pier in its sixties heyday. Look at the thousands of people. Will it return to these days in the future with the supposed new ownership?

To the left of the pier you can see many deckchairs that were always made use of for six pennies an hour.