When children went out to play in this Portsmouth street: RETRO
Travel down Bailey’s Road, Southsea, today and you’ll see a vastly different scene, although many of the houses on the left, in the picture on the right, remain in situ.
In 1906 children filled the safe streets to play in, although horse-drawn delivery wagons would be a nuisance when they passed through.
Today this area is student bed-sit land although, I am told, many have moved on since new accommodation was built in the city centre. However, after 6pm the street is jammed with cars.
I wonder if any of the boys posing in this picture went on to fight and perhaps perish in the First World War which started eight years later?
• Whenever I put vintage motors on these pages I receive many e-mails from car fans asking for more. So here we have a Morris Eight from January 1936.
Morris Motors was based at Cowley, Oxford, and, out of the frame, the advert suggests patriotically, ‘If you don’t buy a Morris at least buy a car made in the United Kingdom’.
As you can see from the price index, there was £6 tax to pay, no 20 per cent VAT.
Morris merged with Austin in 1952 and the name retained when it became part of the British Motor Corporation. The brand lasted until 1968.
The was a Bert Morris who lived close to where I lived as a boy and we kids used to pile in while he took us for a spin. No one else had a car back then. No seat belts then either and there must have been six to eight of us crowded in the front and back. Wonderful days.
Perhaps someone can tell me what fixed and sliding heads were?
• Leave Havant railway station from the southern side, walk across the road to the steps that drop down into the Precinct and you might think little has changed in the past 50 years. Believe me it has, for back then every shop was open unlike today when many are vacant.
The fountains, a delight when first turned on, soon became vandalised. They were also used as a rubbish tip. The fountains were turned off and the concrete cups removed. Just the base exists today.
• In 1947 Displaced Persons, mostly from the Baltic states, began to arrive in England. Many had their first homes in the former naval camp HMS Daedalus III at Bedhampton.
Tonight (Wednesday) at 7.30pm I am giving a photographic talk at Emsworth Community Centre, behind the fire station in North Street, relating the history of the naval camps that once existed around the village and north Leigh Park and their use after the navy moved out. Tickets are £4 on the door. It would be lovely to meet you.