The Portsmouth racing track that swapped greyhounds for motorcycles

I am sure many ex-bootnecks will remember  marching in the Sunday parade. Here we see the band and escort passing the parade ground in Eastney.
I am sure many ex-bootnecks will remember marching in the Sunday parade. Here we see the band and escort passing the parade ground in Eastney.
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I doubt if anyone can remember when greyhound racing was held in the northern part of the city, long before the track in Target Road, Tipner, was opened.

The track, above, opened for greyhound racing on June 30, 1928 but was not a great success.

The circular track seen left of centre was a greyhound track opening for business in Copnor on June 30, 1928.

The circular track seen left of centre was a greyhound track opening for business in Copnor on June 30, 1928.

Meetings were held on a Wednesday and Saturday with Mondays becoming a fixture at a later date.

The circuit was later used by the Portsmouth Speedway Club but even that was a short existence.

In the top right hand corner we can see  Baffins Pond with Neville Road alongside of the pond.

This has a junction with Hayling Avenue but the avenue terminates at the junction and the remains of where it runs today is fields.

Everyone likes to see photographs of Princess Diana when she visited Portsmouth. This is back in 1986, believe it or not.

Everyone likes to see photographs of Princess Diana when she visited Portsmouth. This is back in 1986, believe it or not.

Where the white tent is to the north of the track is now Tamworth Road and the track itself is now Tamworth Park.

I think it is only locals who know it is there – even I had to look on Google Earth to find it.

If you know more on the track I’d like to hear it.

I know it seems impossible but the photograph, below, was taken more than 32 years ago in April 1986.

Flamingos and geese in the zoo at HMS Excellent, Whale Island.

Flamingos and geese in the zoo at HMS Excellent, Whale Island.

It was on the occasion when the lovely Princess Diana visited Portsmouth to open the Sealife Centre on the seafront.

Although a great asset to the city,  the boating pool and children’s corner were sacrificed to build the centre.

Diana made several visits to the city and was always warmly received by cheering crowds who absolutely adored her.

I expect many of you can remember when the Royal Marines put on a free show every Sunday morning when a parade was held in the barracks at Eastney.

On a sunny summer’s morning I expect there were many hundreds watching the parade.

In the scene, below, the band with escort has left the parade ground and are marching to the white gate at the end of the road.

I am told they then marched up Cromwell Road before re-entering the barracks by the main gate.

I stand to be corrected on this route of course.

To the back, centre, is the officers’ mess, later the Royal Marines Museum.

In tomorrow’s Looking Back, my Weekend column, I will be mentioning the zoo that once existed on Whale Island as part of the  HMS Excellent complex.

It was used to house many animals brought home by sailors from distant parts of the world, including flamingos, below. 

Unfortunately, with the commencement of the Second World War the zoo was closed and the animals distributed across the UK.