Portsmouth's main street before it was destroyed for a motorway

To write this column six days a week, 52 weeks of the year means I need more than 1,200 photographs. As you might imagine I get a frustrated about what to put include on some occasions. I try to make it as interesting as possible and not put in too many repeats. But sometimes I have to when someone recognises a photograph I didn’t know the location of which I had published some weeks previously.

Saturday, 26th October 2019, 2:51 pm
Commercial Road, Portsmouth, before the M275 wiped it from the face of the city. Herbert Street is on the left. Picture: Mick Cooper collection

Wartime photographs are as popular as ever but there is a limit of course.

So can I thank Mick Cooper, co-author of Pompey Pop Pix and The History of Portsmouth Football Club who has allowed me to search through his hundreds of photographs and cuttings he has stored for many years.

There are many cuttings from The News which include reports of people in the 1960s and ’70s and I am sure many readers will find themselves staring at themselves as they were some 50 years ago. 

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Girls from Southsea Modern School Folk Dance Club cleaning some of the 171 trophies for the 1973 Portsmouth Music Festival. Picture: The News archive/Mick Cooper collection

So, over the coming months stand by for some some wonderful memories of the way we were. Thank you Mick. 

• In 1973 the 42nd Portsmouth Music Festival had an extra day added as there was a last-minute rush of entries.

That year was the competition’s silver anniversary. It was 25 years after it was revived following the Second World War. The organisers were Mr and Mrs H Primer and Miss Florence Greaves.

Here we see girls from the Southsea Modern School folk dance club cleaning some of the 171 trophies to be presented. It took six to eight people eight hours to make the trophies dazzle.

Margaret Beames, 12, of Wakefords School, Havant, won the trumpet/cornet solo class for 14 years and under in the 1973 Portsmouth Music Festival. Picture: Mick Cooper collection.

The black and white photograph shows pupils from Wakeford School, West Leigh, Havant. The girl in the front is Margaret Beams, 12, who won the trumpet/cornet solo section for under-14s. If you are in the photographs please let me know where you are now.

•  The photo on the facing page was taken a few doors up from where Charles Dickens was born at 393 Commercial Road, Portsmouth. The chemists is at 403 and was owned by Mr CJ Price. The car is turning into Herbert Street with (in 1962) the Apollo restaurant on the far corner.

For some reason 419 is arrowed, the premises of  grocer Mr RC Marshall. Everything you can see has now been wiped from the face of Portsmouth.

•  Who remembers going on holiday before the days of cheap air fares? Many used to stay locally and visit one of the holiday camps on Hayling Island. One was the Sunshine Camp and in this view we see cyclists on what appears to be side-by-side carrier bikes. What were they called?

Riding side by side at the Sunshine Holiday Camp, Hayling Island. Picture: Mick Cooper postcard collection.