How the other half lived: HMS Hood’s wardroom – NOSTALGIA
Talk about how the other half lived. This is the wardroom of HMS Hood, the pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Sovereign class.
She was launched in July 1891 and served until 1914 in an uneventful career. She was sunk as a block ship off Portland in 1914 where she remains to this day, a popular diving site.
The difference in facilities for the officers compared to those of sailors was enormous but, as things were then, no one grumbled, at least not within earshot of an officer!
• Here's another photograph of King Edward VIII when he visited Cosham in June 1936. He is escorted by top-hatted lord mayor FJ Spickernell.
The King appears to be saluting a Boy Scout. Look at the faces of the boys to the left of the King. Imagine when they got home. ‘Mum, mum. I stood as close to the King as I am to you. I could almost touch him.’ The crowd appears well ordered with girls to the right and boys on the left.
They must have been stunned when the King abdicated and moved to France to be with the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson. What must his thoughts have been when he met these children? Did he really want to leave them? He had put himself in such a position and he could not back down.
Did he regret his decision for the rest of his life? I am sure there is more to come of the abdication when records are released in future years.
• I am glad the old offices of the Portsmouth Tramway Company, which became Southsea police station, will not be demolished. After the trams were scrapped the building became the headquarters of the CPPTD (City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department). After privatisation the offices were closed and taken over the the police.
They were not originally going to be built here but farther north on the corner of Eastney Road and Bransbury Road. But the ground was not able to take the weight.
In July 1928 a new site was proposed for a depot and offices. They opened four years later. The depot closed in 1991 and demolished in 1993 but, thankfully, the landmark building will be preserved.
• Last week I published a photo of four women in overalls which was at least a century old. I wondered where they worked. I think I have the answer, in the dockyard.
Hundreds of women were employed there in the First World War because of a shortage of men. These women are in a boathouse where they were patching the hull of a collapsible lifeboat made of canvas.
They could be folded flat, much like an umbrella, hence the nickname.