A home from home that gave comfort to thousands of sailors in Portsmouth

Most of you will think that I have got the title of this building wrong as we knew it as Aggie Weston's Royal Sailors' Rest or Aggie's as it was always shortened to.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:55 am
Duchess of Albanys Sailors' and Soldiers' Home, later Aggie Westons Royal Sailors' Rest.

Built in 1908, it was located on the corner of Edinburgh Road and Unicorn Road, Landport, Portsmouth.

The building is still there of course.

It was built as the Duchess of Albany’s Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Home in competition, I suppose, to Aggies which could be found around the corner and northward along Commercial Road.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I wonder how many looking at this Barry Cox photograph from 1961 will know that there was once an Essoldo cinema on the corner of Eastney Road and Devonshire Avenue? Not many Im sure.

That massive building was destroyed on the night of January 10/11 1941.

In 1951 Aggie Weston’s purchased the Sailors’ & Soldiers’ Home and converted it to the Royal Sailors’ Rest.

Farther along in Edinburgh Road was the Trafalgar Club which later closed and became a Wetherspoons Lloyds Bar. That has also since closed.

With the cutting back of naval personnel, the sailors’ rest closed and became a homeless people’s centre called the Portsmouth Foyer.

In the distance can be seen a royal yacht departing Portsmouth with a destroyer escort astern. I say a royal yacht as I think this photograph predates 1953 when the last royal yacht, Britannia, was launched. The destroyer looks a little pre-war as well, but I stand to be corrected. I have a feeling it might be HMY Victoria & Albert III in the distance which was in service from 1901 until 1939.

It has since been renovated and has now become affordable apartments.

I wonder how many looking at this Barry Cox photograph from 1961 will know that there was once an Essoldo cinema on the corner of Eastney Road and Devonshire Avenue? Not many Im sure.
In the distance can be seen a royal yacht departing Portsmouth with a destroyer escort astern. I say a royal yacht as I think this photograph predates 1953 when the last royal yacht, Britannia, was launched. The destroyer looks a little pre-war as well, but I stand to be corrected. I have a feeling it might be HMY Victoria & Albert III in the distance which was in service from 1901 until 1939.