Royal Yacht Britannia sailors live it up in Jamaica – Nostalgia

Royal Yachtsmen enjoy a drink after Christmas lunch 1962 while in Kingston, Jamaica. Photo: Mike Hill
Royal Yachtsmen enjoy a drink after Christmas lunch 1962 while in Kingston, Jamaica. Photo: Mike Hill

In early December 1962 the Royal Yacht Britannia left Portsmouth on a tour of Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. On the outward journey it stopped over in Jamaica for Christmas. 

In the photo, above, we see some of the crew after Christmas lunch. The captain of the yacht, Commander Paddy Vincent, is fourth from the right and his deputy, Peter Northey, is on the extreme right. They donated the wine.

Southsea children from Napier Road enjoying a Coronation Day street party 1953.

Southsea children from Napier Road enjoying a Coronation Day street party 1953.

The 1953 photograph of Napier Road, Southsea, dressed for the Coronation I published last week prompted Mike Smith to send me photographs of these children at their street party in the same road, below. 

The two boys looking at the camera are the Tupper Brothers, the curly haired one is Johnny,  who Mike used to play with. The girl behind them with her hands on her ears is Mike's sister Irene Smith, who would have been seven. Can anyone recognise anyone else?

With the coming of the 75th anniversary of D Day, and VE Day the following year, I am expecting an influx of street party scenes. Please send in yours. 

I recently published a photograph of Wrens down in the bowels of Portsdown Hill under Fort Southwick, and asked if anyone can remember working at the bottom of the 149 steps it took to reach the work area. Ann O’Neil, nee Andrews, told me of her time in the RNVR, below. 

Duty Wrens pose outside Fort Southwick in 1956 with their C/O Commander Titheridge.

Duty Wrens pose outside Fort Southwick in 1956 with their C/O Commander Titheridge.

She said: ‘We were recruited in 1956 to man the communications centre under Ft Southwick, and yes we did descend and climb the 149 steps. Many times!  

‘We attended training Wednesday evenings from 19.30-21.30 and then full-time for two weeks each September while the NATO exercises were carried out in the Mediterranean.

‘We worked three shifts every 24 hrs, sleeping down there as required. At 17 years, six months I was the youngest recruit and trained as a cryptographer, coding and decoding signals. Our C/O was Commander Titheridge. I am the blond girl front centre.’

Most of us can remember Aggie Weston’s Royal Sailor’s Rest in Edinburgh Road but there was also a Sailor’s Rest in Queen Street, Portsea, before the last war.

Where could you go today to find such smart girls in service today? The ones in this photo are from the Sailors Rest. Photo: Mick Johnson.

Where could you go today to find such smart girls in service today? The ones in this photo are from the Sailors Rest. Photo: Mick Johnson.

The girls who worked in the Rest were extremely well dressed in their pure white starched aprons. The men all looked the part as well. 

Second from right in the front is Louisa Tee, nee Longyear, grandmother of Mick Johnson who sent me the photograph, below

Louisa was born in 1892 and married in 1915. As she is not wearing a wedding ring Mick tells me it pre-dates her wedding year.

Where could you go today and find staff dressed like these lovely girls all dressed for the part? Nowhere I would suggest.