Playing with a butcher's bacon slicer was just part of life in the 1950s: Nostalgia

My photograph of the Home & Colonial prompted Janet White to send me a photo of her late father when he worked for the company, right.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 12th July 2019, 2:10 pm
Standing smartly outside the Home and Colonial store is Albert Brendell in white apron. Photo: Janet White.

Albert Brendell went to work for H &C in Kingston Road, Portsmouth when he left school in the early 1920s and remained there for a number of years.

His home was in nearby Bedford Street, (now Clydebank Road) opposite Powerscourt Road.

The photo was taken outside the store in Kingston Road on the north corner of Powerscourt Road which, until recently, was Bowers shoe repairers.

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Janet’s late father is the handsome man on the left in the white apron.

Janet tells me: ‘One day when serving in the shop he left the store to make the acquaintance of a young lady who was walking by.

‘His approach must have worked for in 1931 he married Hilda Davis at St Stephen's Church, Kingston Road near to the junction of Queen’s Road.

‘The church was bombed during the Second World War and was later rebuilt as Fine Fare Supermarket.’

Albert left the H & C in the 1930s and went to work for Osborne’s Stores as manager at 166 Eastney Road, which is now a take-away, opposite Gilberts sweet shop, which is still trading.

There were several Osborne’s Stores in Portsmouth, including one at 180/182 Kingston Road, the shop fronts were blue and white tiles.

Janet adds: ‘I can remember as children on occasions we were allowed to operate the bacon slicing machine and the wire cheese cutter – health and safety did not exist in the 1950s’.

The stores were taken over by Victor Value in the early 1960s and their shop was in London Road, North End, where Iceland is now. The smaller shops in the city closed.

‘Dad became a stock-taker for the company and travelled to stores in southern England’, adds Janet. ‘They were subsequently taken over by Tesco in the late 1960s.

‘Sadly, Dad died in 1967 due to problems connected to his army service during the Second World War. Mum died in 1995’.

No doubt you have all passed over Copnor Bridge at some time in your life.

It was opened by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, exactly 111 years ago today, July 13, 1908.

Before the bridge was built there was a railway level crossing from Tangier Road into Copnor Road making the junction with New Road a crossroads.

Perhaps you have wondered why the gradient is so steep?

The reason is quite simply the expenditure to buy more land would have made the building of the bridge prohibitive.

As it was, Kingston Cemetery took up part of the south-west corner of New Road and other land was only available at a price, although I cannot see for the life of me where other land would have been.

The council therefore built on what land they had, thus the steep curve we see today.

It cost £12,000 to build although the railway companies did contribute a quarter of the sum.

The bridge has been rebuilt in recent years but with the same gradients either side.

I recently asked if anyone had any information on Thorngate Hall which stood in Gosport until it was blitzed in the Second World War.

Jim Docker told me he came from Birmingham in 1938 with his parents on holiday.

His uncle Jim Hines was the caretaker at the hall and Jim used to stay with him.

Jim Hines was also the mace carrier for the mayor at council events.

The hall was built in the Flemish/Gothic style and had seating for 650 people.

Jim (Docker) lived in Gosport for the rest of his life.

The photo published on June 10, below, showing the airfield used by officers located at Southwick House was not quite correct, Alan Crook tells me.

It was in a field to the east of the one Eddy Amey thought it was.

It was to the right of New Barns Road, Alan tells me.

The field Eddy pointed out was Oak Meadow where Southwick FC played their home matches.

Alan told me that as an 11-year-old he went to Portchester School each day on a double decker bus.

Many times the bus had to come to an abrupt halt to allow low-flying aircraft, coming in north to south, to swoop down to land. The road, now the B2177, was then the A333.