Portsmouth youth theatre's 'stars' grabbed by Chichester Festival Theatre - Nostalgia

The Portsmouth Players 11-16 Theatre Group in a dress rehearsal for The Sound of Music, 1984. Picture:: The News archive
The Portsmouth Players 11-16 Theatre Group in a dress rehearsal for The Sound of Music, 1984. Picture:: The News archive
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In April 1984 the Portsmouth Players’ 11-16 Theatre Group gave a performance of The Sound of Music in Craneswater School, Southsea.

For many it was their first public performance but so good were two of the boys that they were snapped up to appear in a professional show at Chichester Festival Theatre called Forty Years On.

Where the railway joined South Railway Jetty before 1941.

Where the railway joined South Railway Jetty before 1941.

In the production we see Nicole Elton, who played Maria, and John Mann, who played Captain Von Trapp.

The children were played by Kerry Smith, Paul Fairley, Rachel Phillips, Mark Carr, Samantha Harrison, Sasha Fairless and Katherine Hillier.

• Last week I was able to get on to South Railway Jetty in Portsmouth naval base and managed to take this photograph of where the railway that once ran over a viaduct joined the jetty.

Behind the red lifebelt was a swing bridge which turned to allow tall-masted boats and yachts into the boat pound this side of the stern of HMS Warrior.

Taken from St Thomass Street, Old Portsmouth,  we see what is now the Anglican cathedral when there were many headstones in the churchyard.

Taken from St Thomass Street, Old Portsmouth, we see what is now the Anglican cathedral when there were many headstones in the churchyard.

The jetty was opened in 1860 and must be the most famous jetty in the world.

In its heyday kings, queens, princes, princesses, presidents and emperors have arrived or departed from this jetty in either trains or ships. Who can forget the arrival home of ships from the Falklands?

Unfortunately the bridge was hit by a bomb on the night of January 10, 1941 and no trains used the jetty from the main line after that period.

Trains within the dockyard’s own railway had means of getting to it but I don’t believe any passenger trains ever used it via the dockyard branch which entered the dockyard via Unicorn Gate.

Tabbs taxi company. Located at  99, London Road, North End, Portsmouth, was a car and cycle depot which also ran taxis around town.

Tabbs taxi company. Located at 99, London Road, North End, Portsmouth, was a car and cycle depot which also ran taxis around town.

• Taxis are relatively cheap in Portsmouth compared to the rest of the UK which is why so many use them. Plus, of course, once people have managed to park their cars they do not want to lose their space so a taxi is the best means of keeping it.

In 1923 H Tabb had a motor and cycle shop at 99, London Road, North End, which also had AA membership. Imagine someone from Aquacars turning up in a saloon like the one on the left?

• This view of the cathedral in High Street, Old Portsmouth, has changed somewhat since the picture was taken in 1923.

A large extension has been added to the west end, on the right. It was the Church of St Thomas A’Becket before becoming the cathedral, much to the chagrin of many who thought St Mary’s Church, Fratton, should have been nominated for the position.

At one time there were thousands of graves in the churchyard which were later dug up and the remains placed in the vaults.