Portsmouth councillorÂ knew how to work the media even a century ago '“Â nostalgia
In November 1920 Councillor Charles Brown hired a coach and four as a stunt to attract votes for his re-election to a Portsmouth Corporation seat in the Portsea Ward.
Postcards were reproduced with the caption Vote for Brown and he and his supporters toured the town much like modern candidatesÂ standing for election have cars with loudspeakers attached.
This is the coach having reached The Hard. Don't the horses look immaculate?Â Â Â
'¢ Although notÂ necessarilyÂ a Portsmouth story as such,Â next month is the centenary of the Armistice which eventually brought an end to the First World War, so the second photographÂ is highly relevant.Â
It'sÂ the same Portsea councillor,Â Â the media-savvy Cllr Charles Brown, on a visit to the battlefields of Belgium.
He is standingÂ under a destroyed tank and it looks as if an oak defence post has penetrated its underbellyÂ bringing it to a standstill.
It seemsÂ the ordnanceÂ men have removed the tank's gun but not the explosives left lying around the battlefield. The councillor isÂ holding a live shell,Â a highlyÂ dangerous thing to do.
Even to this day, a century later, many shells are still being brought to the surface by farmers ploughing their fields.Â
'¢ I suppose many of you will have playedÂ football Â at Farlington MarshesÂ alongside Eastern Road, Portsmouth. But they wereÂ not always the pleasant green fields we see today though.
In theÂ RAF aerial photograph,Â reproduced with permission from Portsmouth History Centre, Central Library, we see the land when it wasÂ called Drayton Marshes.
North is at the top and to the left is the newly-Â completed Eastern Road with the bridge passing over the railway line from Havant to Portsmouth.
At that time there were two sidings to the south of the main line for the berthing of goods wagons. To the north of the Â line there is now theÂ Sainsbury's built on the former Dunham Bush site.
At a full council meeting held on May 22, 1947,Â it was agreed to drain the marshes and reclaim them as a public open space.
'¢ In the final pictureÂ we are inÂ Southsea Terrace, Southsea, where a trolleybusÂ heading west for the dockyard isÂ picking up passengers from opposite the White Horse pub.
Beneath the bus you can see tarred-Â over tram rails which show how much narrower trams were. Today's buses are even wider of course.
The ornate scrollwork holding up the roof of the shelter is so much nicer than the bland things we haveÂ today, don't you think?