Top Picture: Cox’s Hotel, Little Charlotte Street
Bottom Picture: ‘Take a Brick Home’ was the slogan of Neilsons Ice Cream.
A Little Bit of Business
Whilst looking through a book on Portsmouth the other day my eye alighted on the shops and trade names in the background and I soon became aware that many of the names and businesses had long ago disappeared so I thought I would try to remember some of them.
Being a teenager in the 1960’s one of the first shops to come to mind was Weston Harts especially the one in Cosham High Street. It was here that I bought my first record, a 78rpm of Tommy Steele singing Nairobi, now that dates me! However my allegiance to Weston Harts soon waned as I started to work for RA Fraser in Dayton and he had a record department. I served in the shop made deliveries and generally helped out. I did not get paid I received records instead, which started my record collection. Mind you we sold more than records we sold old-fashioned needles (steel and fibre), styli, record cleaners and racks, posters and pictures. Mind you Bob Frazer did sell other things such as vacuum cleaners and fridges as well. Incidentally Steve Carter and his brother Nicky also worked in this shop for a time. One other record shop that I remember was one, which dealt only in second hand records of all sorts. This was the House of Wax in Lake Road but I think this disappeared when that area was redeveloped.
In this modern age where we buy most things from the supermarket we tend to forget the family and larger businesses that our parents relied on when we were kids. Take bakers for instance. What happened to Campions the bakers, Greens, Smith and Vosper and the Coop. They all had shops and they all had regular rounds and would deliver to your door.
Another collection of names, which have now long gone, are those of laundry’s and drycleaners. Now who remembers Chapmans with their works in Kingston Crescent. The Convent of the Cross a strange business for a Convent to be in I always thought. Then there was Brunswick, Bollom and dear old Daisy Dampwash.
As a family we never went out for a meal so the likes of the Swiss Café were never within our grasp but I do remember having tea in the first floor Black Cat Café in Commercial Road and having a milk shake in Marys Milk bar later to become the Palm Court in Cosham High Street. One other name that comes to mind is the Cadena Café but I cannot remember where it was. As I grew up my tastes, along with most youngsters changed and I frequented the first Wimpey bar in Portsmouth, the Manhattan coffee bar in Southsea and of course Verrechias in the Guild hallSquare.Much has been written about this place but I often wonder just how many people remember that there was actually a branch in London Road, North End? Also in the same area were two well known Portsmouth sweet shops, Maynards and The Chocolate King.
As youngsters we did not need petrol and very often the only time we went to a garage was to buy paraffin, but even the petrol company’s have changed. Where did Regent and National Benzole with its cheap grade of Power at 3/10d a gallon go? How do I remember the price? We I like many other kids, Adrian Gee included worked in Smiths garage in Farlington for a time. Anyone who worked in a garage would remember the phrase ‘Four gallons and four shots lad’. The four shots were of an upper cylinder lubricant called Redex, it cost 1d a squirt and was supposed to protect the valves of the engine!
Whilst petrol based we no longer see Southdown buses or coaches or White Heather Luxury Coaches on mystery tours, Byngs Coaches, Portsmouth Corporation service buses or Meatyards Coches and taxis. All gone!
Maybe someone can answer this question for me. Why did top class tobacconists like Finlay’s in Commercial Road always sell walking sticks. It was a long standing tradition but I have no idea how it started.
Now here is a question for you. Who remember Tony’s Crisps? Who owned the company and where were they based.
With demise of the traditional street market in Charlotte Street so much was lost in the redevelopment of the area. Who now remembers the Charlotte Street Cellars and the Cox’s Hotel in Little Charlotte Street? One of the shops on the south side of the street was The Shirt King who sold nothing but shirts, ties, handkerchiefs and socks, there was also a branch in Cosham High Street and I remember buying many a fashion shirt in there.
Every kid liked ice cream but whatever happened to Neilson Cornish ice cream or Eldorado’s drink on a stick?
I suppose the most famous advertising animal act must have been the TV Chimps of Brooke Bond Tea. They toured the country making personal appearances. In fact I understand that back in the 1960’s my step sister in law had her photograph taken with those chimps. An Evening News photographer took the picture so her picture was published in the following days paper.
The more you look back the more you remember Green Shield stamp shops, Timothy Whites & Taylors the chemist, the Home & Colonial Food Stores, Pinks, David Greig the grocer and Liptons were just a few, as were Weaver to Wearer, Hepworths Taylors and Dunns the hatter.
It was a totally different world then.
Stay in touch,
Griff Writes abut ‘our ‘enry
" I must be one of the few people who has given Sir Henry Cooper a smack in the face and lived to tell the tale.
In 1972 I was entering Woolworths in Commercial Rd on a very wet and dreary Saturday afternoon. and as I went through the glass swing door my wet hand slipped on the glass door and the door swung back with some force and struck the person behind me who only turned out to be Henry Cooper.
I looked back and apologised profusely. "Oh! I am so sorry Mr. Cooper but my wet hand slipped on the door and I couldn't stop it" Henry replied in his that well mannered fashion of his. That's alright Son, my nose has had bigger things smash into it"
Henry was going into Woolworths to promote Brute aftershave. He use to be the front advertising man for Brute and we all remember the selling catchphrase......"Splash it All Over !"
But not me. I preferred "Tabac" aftershave in those days.
RIP Sir Henry Cooper.
News and Views:
Marie Osmond re-married her first husband on Wednesday May 4th in a ceremony at the Mormon Temple in Las Vegas. The two had been married from 1982 to 1985 before she divorced him for "mental cruelty." Marie wore the same wedding dress as 29 years ago.
On this day 8th May 1960-1965.
On 08/05/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/05/1961 the number one single was Blue Moon - The Marcels and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/05/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was London trolley buses decommissioned
On 08/05/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/05/1964 the number one single was Don't Throw Your Love Away - Searchers and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Comedian Max Miller dies.
On 08/05/1965 the number one single was Ticket to Ride - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.