NOSTALGIA: What on earth did this mean?

Fiona Rosen e-mailed me about this sign recently unveiled when the former Co-op bank on the corner of Commercial Road and Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, was demolished.

Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 6:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 7:54 pm
Hidden signage revealed after sixty years .

As can be seen it reads: DEVILS OUT with a chicken’s head on the left.

I am sure the building that housed the bank has been there since the corner was rebuilt after it was bombed during the blitz on the city which makes the writing at least 65 years old perhaps.

I am also wondering if the brick shelter on the roof was a firewatcher’s look-out during the war.

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A 1931 scene at Hindhead in which a London to Southsea coach has come to grief.

If anyone has the faintest idea about the wording, please drop me a line.

• Remember when it took so long to get to Guildford by road, let alone London?

Everyone seemed to have a stopover at Hindhead for a cup of tea before the jaunt around the Devil’s Punchbowl and onwards along the single lane A3.

With the building of the Hindhead Tunnel those days are now long gone, as has the road around the Punchbowl.

Looking west along Tipner Street with Cobbett Road on the right and Vanners General Stores on the corner. Picture: Bob Thompson

Here we see a coach running from London to Southsea that has come to grief in 1931.

Through the windscreen we can just make out a curly-haired blonde woman waiting, perhaps impatiently, to get on her way.

• It always amazes me that people living on Portsea Island know very little about the geography of the island.

When talking to people I find those living in the south-west corner know little of Baffins in the mid to north-east side of the island.

Today Point has been sanitised. Back then it was somewhat different, rather spicy apparently. But still the Still & West pub guarded the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour at Old Portsmouth.

Then again, ask anyone who lives in Southsea something about Tipner and Stamshaw and they give very blank looks.

The scene in this photograph shows Tipner Street looking west from the junction with Twyford Avenue.

At that junction would have been Harry Vinall motor cycle agents at number 29 and across the junction at number 31 would have been The Friend In Need pub.

The junction would have been behind the camera and on the right can be seen Cobbett Road with Vanners General Stores on the corner with Rudmore Place crossing the T at the bottom of the road.

A 1931 scene at Hindhead in which a London to Southsea coach has come to grief.

• Seen as it was more than a century ago is the Still & West pub at Point, Old Portsmouth. In days past it was a drinking den for watermen and fishermen.

Back then it was a Gales brewery pub but today it is run by Fullers, the company that bought it out.

I always find it amusing that the area today is called Spice Island, as if there was some romantic link to the past when spices from distant lands were unloaded in the vicinity.

I have a very old book on Portsmouth which gives a somewhat different reason why this name was adopted.

It seems that in the 18th and 19th centuries the streets were so covered in effluence, urine and human waste that the stench was overpowering. As a result local people ironically dubbed it Spice Island. Lovely.

Looking west along Tipner Street with Cobbett Road on the right and Vanners General Stores on the corner. Picture: Bob Thompson
Today Point has been sanitised. Back then it was somewhat different, rather spicy apparently. But still the Still & West pub guarded the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour at Old Portsmouth.