Pub life: new book charts history of Portsmouth's watering holes

Brothels and taverns, alehouses and inns, Portsmouth has seen them all.

Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:52 pm
The George Hotel, Queen Street, Portsea: the tiling below the left hand ground floor window has the inscription Jewell & Sons Ale, a unique survivor of this former Portsmouth brewery. Pictures: Steve Wallis/Amberley

Many of our drinking establishments have historic and literary associations, as well as stories of their own to tell.

Most of the older ones can be found in and around Portsmouth Harbour, including the survivors of the numerous pubs that once clustered around the dockyard, providing food and drink for sailors.

Others date from the expansion of the city beyond the old defences and became focal points for new communities.

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The Apsley House in Auckland Road West retains its traditional interior, including the bar.

Even the newest have characters of their own and those on the waterside, such as at Spice Island and Langstone Harbour, allow the pleasure of enjoying a drink while taking in views of everyday life.

In his newly-published book Portsmouth Pubs Author Steve Wallis takes an affectionate pub crawl through the watering holes of Portsmouth, looking at those that have survived town planning, management companies, and economic downturn, and the changing and evolving use of the much loved ‘local’.

As they turn the pages, readers can mingle with locals, encounter the odd ghost, gasp at grisly tales and enjoy the rich tapestry of Portsmouth’s drinking life.

• Portsmouth Pubs by Steve Wallis is published by Amberley at £14.99.

The Electric Arms, Fratton Road, Fratton: the electrician depicted on the sign is holding a pint of beer in one hand and an electric cable in the other.

DEATH OF A MUCH-LOVED SALESMAN

I’m sad to report the death of a great fan of and contributor to Remember When over the years – Douglas Sharp the former managing director of United Services Garages in Portsmouth. He was 92. His funeral is at St Mary’s Church, Hayling Island, at 2pm on Friday and anyone who knew him is welcome to attend. His daughter Amanda says the annual summer reunion of former USG employees will still take place (for the final time and hosted by her) at lunchtime at the Robin Hood, Rowlands Castle, on Sunday, July 30 – in her father’s honour. Again, all welcome.

The White Horse, Southsea Terrace, Southsea: an early 18th century building once called The White Lodge which, at the end of the last century, was briefly renamed Langtrys after Edward VIIs mistress Lillie Langtry who stayed here.
The Apsley House in Auckland Road West retains its traditional interior, including the bar.
The Apsley House in Auckland Road West retains its traditional interior, including the bar.
The Electric Arms, Fratton Road, Fratton: the electrician depicted on the sign is holding a pint of beer in one hand and an electric cable in the other.
The White Horse, Southsea Terrace, Southsea: an early 18th century building once called The White Lodge which, at the end of the last century, was briefly renamed Langtrys after Edward VIIs mistress Lillie Langtry who stayed here.
The Apsley House in Auckland Road West retains its traditional interior, including the bar.