LETTER OF THE DAY: Another pub bites the dust

Yet another Portsmouth pub has been shut down this being the Royal Marine Artillery Tavern '“ what a crying shame this is.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 11:00 pm
The Royal Marine Artillery Tavern in Cromwell Road, Eastney Picture: Malcolm Wells (180306-9370)

For all those who have lived in Pompey for decades they have seen the pubs decimated by cheap supermarket booze, greedy breweries etc.

Before the mobile phone and the vast array of entertainment that can be sourced at home the local pub was a meeting place for residents to catch up and play many pub games, bar billiards, shove ha’penny, dominos, darts.

Darts is about the only pub pastime that is still being played in the pubs that are left.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The very road I was born in – Prospect Road – which led to Flathouse Quay had six pubs.

These were The Osbourne, Sailors Return, The Volunteer Arms, Royal Engineers, The Vernon (and the Stormy Petrel which was destroyed by enemy bombing during the Second World War) all of the others have now gone.

Also in Milton, my uncle, Jack Froggatt was landlord of the Milton Arms in the late 60s early 70s which included the barn.

The barn hosted a resident three-piece band on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and also at Sunday lunch time and the place was packed as was the public bar.

It would be a sad day if the Milton Arms was forced to close in the future because if you look along the road in Milton The Brewers Arms and the Mr Pickwick have closed apparently to be turned into flats, on the other side of the road stood the Travellers Joy which my wife’s grandparents ran for 40 years.

This was demolished a few years ago and built on. We in this country have a pub culture which people from all over the world admire when they visit this country.

We have some beautiful and some quirky pubs in ‘Blighty’.

It would be an absolute shame if in the years to come they are lost because of greed, lack of use and of no vision of how to keep their history alive in the 21st century.

The alternative for the future maybe sitting in your house watching TV, or on your iPad, phone, with a can of beer talking to someone on a device as they can’t be bothered to move out the armchair and talk to someone face-to-face.

Perhaps some people are doing that already and if they are they should be crying in their beer.

M Froggatt

Kensington Road, Portsmouth