I don’t know how many children there are in classes these days but there were always at least 40 in mine when I was at school.
The photograph above was sent by Michael Harris and shows part of a class from St Jude’s School, then in Marmion Road, Southsea. If you could see the entire picture you would be able to count 44 children plus teacher and the headmaster. Michael is in the back row, top left.
The woman in the centre is Miss Hardwick and the man to the left of her is the headmaster, Mr Lucas. The third man is not named.
I wonder if modern teachers could cope with a class as large as this. Of course, discipline was a different matter back then.
• Last Monday I published a photograph of a Russian battleship firing a broadside in salute to England. There were three ships on the visit and I suggested two were Tsarevitch or Bogaryr. The third ship I did not know. As ever, there was someone who did.
The third Russian battleship was called Slava, says Deryck Swetnham. He says: ‘The photograph of the Russian battleship is almost certainly Slava. Tsarevitch was very similar but had a strange set of boat davits between the funnels. Slava on the other hand had two sets of kingposts abreast the fore funnel which can just be made out in the photograph.
‘Slava met a courageous end in October 1917 when she put up a valiant defence against a strong German task force assaulting Ösel Island in the Baltic. She sustained so much damage and shipped so much water she could not cross the bar to seek shelter in Moon Sound and had to be scuttled.’
• Michael Harris also sent me the Evening News photograph of a New Year’s Eve ball in the Guildhall, Portsmouth. It was over the 1934/35 period and the ballroom would later be destroyed in the blitz. The lord mayor in the centre of the partygoers is Frank John Privett.
Michael’s great uncle, Sir Frederick Sparks served on the town council between 1909 and 1948 except for three years of the First World War.
In 1920 he became town clerk, a much superior title than chief executive don’t you think?
Everyone in the photograph is dressed to the nines, as we used to say, and most of the men are in tails.
• Before the Co-op opened a superstore in Bedhampton, now Asda, and before car ownership soared, Park Parade, which opened in the 1950s, was the only large shopping area in Leigh Park. In 1966 an extension to The Parade was opened and called Greywell.
A branch of Woolworth & Co Ltd opened in the original Park Parade but moved to larger premises when Greywell opened.