NOSTALGIA: What was the missing word on this old Southsea roundabout?

Last Tuesday's news reported on the men of the destroyer HMS Concord which went to the assistance of HMS Amethyst during the River Yangtze incident in 1949 but received no recognition.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 8:01 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:08 pm
The roundabout on Southsea seafront. Picture: Jane Smith

Peter Lee-Hale, the chairman of the HMS Concord Association and a former member of the ship's company between 1955 and 1956, said: 'We want justice for the 1949 crew because they deserve it. 

'Amethyst was caught up in the drama after being sent in to relieve HMS Concord which had been acting as a guardship to the embassy in Nanking. To say that the crew of Concord was not at risk or rigour is a total fallacy. They were just as much in danger as anyone else.'

 It just so happens I bought this photograph of the officers and men from Concord 30 years ago and I knew it would come in handy one day. I have no idea when or where it was taken but wonder if it was when Concord returned to Hong Kong or even when she returned to Portsmouth.

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Officers and men from the destroyer HMS Concord which assisted the frigate HMS Amethyst.

'¢ I have published many pictures of the area around Canoe Lake, Southsea, but never one as splendid as this. All the women are in their best finery and the gentlemen dressed to the nines. Just look at those hats.

This is Edwardian Portsmouth when Southsea was the place to live. No doubt they were the wives of businessmen or naval officers and lived in the fine houses around the South Parade area. 

'¢ My recent pictures of Children's Corner has brought a great number of memories from readers who hold that area in great affection. Jane Smith sent me this photograph and says: 'My especial favourite was the Cinderella-themed roundabout near the railway.

'˜It was located where the bandstand is now. As you can see in this 1954 photograph, it's quite unusual in that it has two fairy-tale white coaches and lovely little static horses. I wonder how many other readers recall riding around on those?   

Southsea ladies dressed to kill No, not scenes from Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs but Canoe Lake in Edwardian days. Picture: Ellis Norrell

The writing around the top says '˜'¦welcomes you to Sunny Southsea'.  The missing word seems to be covered up. Can anyone remember what it said?

Jane also mentioned Children's Week when all kinds of entertainment was put on for city children. Well Jane, I can remember when boys were taken out in boats to fish off the beach. They were stored on the beach to the west of South Parade Pier. As I remember, the lad with the biggest catch was awarded a prize.

'¢n And finally a further picture from Kevin Munks who found this colour picture in his late grandmother's possessions. It shows the Southsea miniature railway when it was using diesel locomotives. Can anyone tell me the name of the driver?


The trains on Southsea's miniature railway were not always steam-hauled. In 1964 a diesel loco took control. Picture: Kevin Munks