Manhole cover marks a page from Portsmouth theatre’s past

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Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE archive department of The Kings Theatre in Southsea has an unusual new addition.

Contractor Colas has presented the venue with a manhole cover which sat outside the stage door for more than 100 years.

The cover, which is well worn, has recently been replaced.

The cover is engraved with the name ‘Frank Corke & Co, Contractor Southsea’, the firm which built the Kings in 1907.

Kings Trust chairman Ron Hasker said the cover made for an interesting new addition to the theatre’s collection of stage memorabilia.

He said: ‘Most of the archive is programmes and photographs – it’s not often we get a manhole cover.

‘But it is part of the story of the theatre and of Southsea, for we understand Corke was a famous local firm.

‘If anyone reading this knows more about them, we would love to hear it.

‘They made a fantastic job of building the Kings.

‘As it’s still here 108 years later – proof of what good builders they were.’