Southsea’s Knight & Lee will forever be in my heart – Lesley Keating

Lesley has fond memories of Knight and Lee and will find it hard to say goodbye.
Lesley has fond memories of Knight and Lee and will find it hard to say goodbye.
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I know this has been written about before, but I am really sad to hear about Knight & Lee’s demise.  From a young child, the store has been part of my life and memories.  My dad worked for John Lewis Partnership for more than 25 years before retiring in the mid-80s but was always a proud company man, loyal to John Lewis until the day he died. 

So, every time we visited family in Southsea, our trip would invariably include a visit to the store.

Knight & Lee may have been small-scale but everything was done ‘correctly’, from the discretion of the sales staff to the formal, waitress service in the restaurant upstairs. 

A trip to the store was like opening a window on to past decades where everything had a proper sense of place, style and etiquette. To me, it became synonymous with the elegance of a bygone era. 

Over the years, dad treated me to various little gifts on our shopping trips such as perfume and jewellery from the ground floor – I literally haunted that cosmetics department. 

My school coats, shoes and various other items often came from Knight & Lee so I grew up associating it with quality which was worth the money.

I particularly remember a gorgeous and grown-up black velvet jacket that dad once bought me using his hallowed discount card when I was a teenager. 

Years later, my baby daughter was treated to a travel cot, toys and a pushchair from the baby department on the second floor and numerous pretty little dresses too.

Stores came and went but Knight & Lee was there for the duration – the unsinkable flagship of Palmerston Road. 

But now, thanks to a combination of internet shopping and untenable modernisation, it’s finally been sunk. 

Torpedoed by progress and perhaps its own inability to move with the times. 

The very thing that gave it character has finally killed it. 

Yes, there was a touch of ‘Are You Being Served?’ about Knight & Lee, but that was part of its charm and I’m really going to miss it.

If you don’t like noise, don’t live above a busy nightclub

I understand that residents living in flats above Kassia in Clanfield are upset about noise disturbance.

I remember having a meeting with Kaz, the restaurateur and businessman who owns it, when it was first fitted out.

Now residents are up in arms about what they to be consider unacceptable noise from the twice-weekly live music nights at the popular bar.

But shouldn’t you consider the surrounding neighbourhood when you decide to live somewhere? It’s not rocket science, is it?

After all, if you opt to live in a flat above a busy, heaving nightspot surely you understand what you’re potentially getting into?

The phrase Caveat Emptor comes to mind.

It’s the little things that are making me realise I’m old

Funny how it’s the little things that make you realise how old you are…

The other night, at about 10.30pm, I texted goodnight to my daughter Eloise.

final touches to her outfit before going off to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a London club.

She was leaving her flat to go out. I was in a dressing gown with my Kindle.

It only seemed yesterday that my friends and I were congregating in my bedroom with a blaring radio, swigging wine and putting on makeup.

We were grabbing a taxi to go clubbing while my dad, resplendent in his paisley dressing gown, was making cocoa and muttering in annoyance about it being ‘way too late to start going out!’