Ooops! Crowds gather for prang on the prom | Nostalgia

A collision took place along Eastney Esplanade back in 1957 which damaged three cars and an open-topped Sea Front Service to the Hayling ferry.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 6:00 am
These three cars came to grief in 1957 on Eastney Esplanade. Picture: Colin Hull collection.

I am sure these solidly-built motors would not have been damaged as much as today’s cars. The lamp standard, complete with the Portsmouth coat of arms, has also stood up well to being hit.

What caused the collision is lost in the past but the three cars will interest many readers who know so much about, what would be now, vintage cars.

Barry Cox tells me the Anglia, the one on the left, was registered in 1956.

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I must thank John Sankey, Paul Costen and Barry Cox for relevant information.

On the left is a two-door Ford Anglia. In the middle is a Vauxhall Cresta which, with its white roof, was atop-of-the-range model. Then, on the right, the car that appears to have caused the problem was a Standard Vanguard.

The Seafront Service only ran in the summer and was popular with tourists.

As we can see, at the time there was what could be called Le Mans parking which allowed for many more cars to park along the Esplanade as opposed to parking nose to tail.

Why this type of parking has not been adopted in the many one-way streets of Portsmouth baffles me.

Cars could drive in at an angle and, carefully, reverse out and drive off. The markings could be even made in the other direction so cars reverse in then then drive out. Simples!

• Nothing upsets readers more than when I misspell a name.

Sue Moore was delighted to see my piece on the Gosport cricket team on January 9 and team picture.

She recognised her uncle Tom Cordory immediately as he stood head and shoulders above his team-mates.

He was a well known cricketer for many years and as a child Sue went to watch him play with her family (he was one of her dad’s brothers).

The family originally came from Portsmouth and moved to Gosport where Tom remained until his death.

Sue says: ‘My brother and I met some of the people in the photo at his funeral and it was nice to hear their stories about his cricketing days.’

The reason Sue e-mailed me was about the spelling of her family name.

She says: ‘It was always a bone of contention that as a family we were always asked how to spell our surname as people tried to spell it as they pronounced it.

‘It is spelt Cordory and not Cordery. A correct spelling is still important to us all as we are spread all over the country.’ There we are Sue, corrected.

• I recently interviewed 89-year-old Alfred ‘Podge’ Major about events during the Second World War and he told me of a strange incident.

Close to where he lived at Marylebone Street, Landport, there used to be stables for the removals firm Pickford’s.

During an air raid a bomb landed at the end of the stables knocking down a wall.

When the All Clear sounded some men went into the stables to check on the horses and they found two of them standing up next to each other – dead.

The explosion caused a vacuum which had sucked the from their lungs. Apparently it also happened to many civilians, and although not a mark on the animals, or humans, the explosion killed them.

The horses were dragged from the stable, put in the bomb crater and it was filled in. So, if you were a builder digging the foundations of the Isambard Brunel car park and you found some large bones, that is what they once were.

• I asked about Langstone sea defences comprising ships’ plates, a request that has brought some great information. I shall publish photos next week.