When Purbrook had three pubs within 100 yards - Nostalgia

Looking south through Purbrook village with the Leopard pub on the right. Picture: Barry Cox postcard collection
Looking south through Purbrook village with the Leopard pub on the right. Picture: Barry Cox postcard collection
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Continuing yesterday’s theme, we are in Purbrook again looking south through the village, probably in the 1920s. 

On the right is the front of the original Leopard pub, a coaching inn. It was later demolished and a modern pub put up 50ft from the road. It retained its name. The pub closed several years ago and became a Co-op. 

Almost the same on the east side through Purbrook village today. But on the right the Leopard has been replaced by a Co-op store.

Almost the same on the east side through Purbrook village today. But on the right the Leopard has been replaced by a Co-op store.

Along with the White Hart, now a plumbing services outlet, the Leopard was one of three pubs within 100 yards.

At this time trams ran through the village from Cosham to Horndean but after 1935 were replaced by buses. 

In my picture showing the scene today I am glad to report the left hand side remains almost identical as far down as the former tall building which has gone. The chimney pots remain on several of the buildings.

Farther down the road, behind the green hoarding, much building is taking place but The Woodman pub, once one of those three, remains.

The Citroen in what was once a cellar in Norfolk Street, Southsea. Picture: The News archive

The Citroen in what was once a cellar in Norfolk Street, Southsea. Picture: The News archive

I wonder how many remember when this was the main route to London from Portsmouth with continuous bumper to bumper traffic.

Since those days London Road has, of course, been replaced by the A3(M) two miles to the east. Having said that, the road still has continuous traffic and I had to take this picture at 8am on a Sunday to get a good comparison.

• This was perhaps a novel and early way to beat the parking crisis in Portsmouth.

This car ended up in what was once a cellar in Norfolk Street, Southsea, and caused consternation for the police in 1945.

The Conway Street area of Portsmouth after the air raid of December 23, 1940.  Picture: The News archive

The Conway Street area of Portsmouth after the air raid of December 23, 1940. Picture: The News archive

The car was wedged in the cellar of a bombed store some 10ft down. But how did it get there? The car could not have been run off the road as the fencing was undamaged. Residents reported hearing a crash about 2.30am.

The car was a Citroen, number ATR657, a Kent registration. On the rear seat were a man’s coat and a walking stick. The only damage was a smashed rear bumper.

Passers-by said the car could not have been better placed if it had been lowered by a crane. It certainly needed one to raise it again.

• A young relation of my wife’s came round the other day. They were talking in the garden and I overheard the woman say how anxious she was about her five-year-old son starting at a new school. 

I said: ‘Are you kidding? I have interviewed Portsmouth people who between infant and junior school ages, spent six hours at a time in an air raid shelter being bombed by the Germans. They didn’t know if they would live for another 10 seconds when bombs fell close by. That’s what anxiety is.’