Havant school's play from 1953: RETRO

In 1953 the South East Hants Drama Festival for Schools took place. Each school had to put on a play and taking part were schools from Denmead, Willisdean near Fareham, Blendworth, Cowplain and Bedhampton.

By Bob Hind
Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 2:23 pm
Children from Stockheath Junior School, Bedhampton, performing Shrimps For Tea in 1953. Picture: The News archive.
Children from Stockheath Junior School, Bedhampton, performing Shrimps For Tea in 1953. Picture: The News archive.

The plays were all performed at Cowplain County Secondary School for Girls with an admission price of two shillings for adults and a shilling for children.

I must thank John ‘Jack' Hawkins, of Milton, for sending me the programme of events and this photograph.

The pupils from Stockheath Junior School, Bedhampton, are taking part in a play called Shrimps For Tea written by teacher PJ McGregor. Don’t you think the children are superbly made up?

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An amazing line-up of battleships, destroyers and cruisers in Portsmouth Dockyard. Picture: Barry Cox postcard collection

The ‘lady’ on the left is a ringer for Miss Haversham don’t you think?

The cast included Lorna and John Cathersides, Jackie McBrien, Jeffery Winnicott, Christine Bailey, Michael Crook, Melvyn Collins and Roger Guess. John Hawkins is playing the old man on the right.

Does anyone else remember being in any of these school plays?

• The fantastic photograph on the facing page of heavy warships lined up along the dockyard wall says everything about the Royal Navy as it once was.

Apart from the dress code of the period this scene at Pembroke Gardens, Pembroke Road, Old Portsmouth, is almost unchanged to this day. Picture: Barry Cox postcard collection

I have no date for it but think it might be after the end of the Second World War but stand to be corrected.

I think the battleship on the might be HMS Barham. If it is, then it is a pre-war photograph as she was sunk by torpedo in 1941.

On the right is either HMS Nelson or Rodney. Other ships are cruisers and destroyers. I am sure you naval buffs will enlighten me.

•  My good friend Barry Cox picked up the photograph of Wymering Fields. The quality is not that good but he asked if I could use it. I have highlighted it from the original on my computer.

Wymering Fields, now part of King George V playing fields, Cosham. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

The photographer is standing in what would today be the middle of King George V playing field at Cosham but back then it was called Wymering Fields.

In the distance you can see a tram heading north for Horndean on the old light railway. This dates the photograph to before 1935.

Is there anyone who can remember when the area was called Wymering Fields?

•  The picture of Pembroke Gardens shows an almost unchanged scene from the turn of the last century, days when everyone dressed up even to go for a short stroll.

We are looking along Pembroke Road, Old Portsmouth, with Pembroke Gardens on the left. 

I don’t think the tennis courts are there any more and the gardens are now part of a bowling green.

Today, on the right hand kerb, cars are parked 24/7.