Childhood memories with Michael Pitt

Michael Pitt
Michael Pitt
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Michael Pitt, 67, has lived in Southsea all his life. For many years he worked in retail for Jones the Bootmakers but he’s now retired and enjoys spending his time volunteering at the Kings Theatre. Here he recalls some of his fondest childhood memories.

· What’s your earliest childhood memory?

One of the earliest memories I have was going to the Kings Theatre to see the pantomime at the age of five and racing to the gallery to get a seat in the front row.

I still have a love of the theatre 62 years later and that’s why I joined the Portsmouth Players.

· What do you remember about your birthdays?

At the early ones we had a special tea and at that time there was rationing, which made things a little difficult, but we still had a good time.

· How was school?

I attended Reginald Road Primary School and quite enjoyed it. The teachers I most remember were Miss Gladys and Miss Kingsford. I remained in contact with them until they sadly passed away.

· What did you get up to with your friends?

We played marbles in the gutters in the days before there were too many cars. Also, in the summer, we played on the beach and Lumps Fort all day, leaving after breakfast and returning home in time for tea.

· What toys did you play with?

We mostly had books and of course the marbles. I also collected stamps.

The highlight of the week was having The Beano or The Dandy comic. Later on it was the Eagle.

· What music did you listen to?

This was in the days of radio, so it was a bit limited, but we did listen to the dance bands and the Billy Cotton Band Show on Sundays. It was because of our love of dance music that my sister Maureen and I went to ballroom lessons at the Court School of Dancing near Bransbury Park.

· What did you watch on TV?

We didn’t have a television until I was in my early teens but I do remember going to a friend’s house to watch the Queen’s Coronation.

· Any clothes that stand out in your memory?

A white silk pageboy outfit that I wore for my sister’s wedding at St Andrew’s Church in the barracks at Eastney. I wanted to wear it all the time until I dropped blackberry juice down it. I don’t think my mother ever forgave me. Bless her.

· What was the naughtiest thing you did?

It was the blackberry juice!