Web Page 1100
29th November 2012
Top Picture : Portscreek looking towards Hilsea road bridge with Tudor Crescent on the right.
Second Picture: Jack Hargreaves
Whilst driving into Portsmouth today I looked across the mud flats and down by the waters edge, it was a very low tide, were a couple of chaps in thigh waders, with a fork and bucket, bait digging. This took me back to the days when I was 14 years old or so and everyone went fishing. I had bought a rod, my one and only rod ever, in a shop on Guernsey when we were on holiday and so I could not wait to use it. Together with a couple of mates one morning we made our way down to Portscreek on our bikes and picked a spot between the railway bridge and the Eastern Road bridge and armed with the correct equipment proceeded to dig for ragworms and lugworms and this is really where my success as a fisherman comes to an abrupt end because throughout the whole of my teenage years I cannot remember ever catching a single fish, lots of crabs and sea weed yes, but no fish. My usual fishing venues were either in Steve, or Adrian, or Mervyns boats launched into Portsmouth Harbour, even though I do not remember ever catching a fish, I cannot remember anyone else catching one either. The other main location was off the road bridge on the Eastern Road and it was here that two or three of us had the biggest haul of our lives but that was nothing to do with fish.
One afternoon we were bait digging as usual just below the bridge when one of us found a new looking flick knife sticking in the mud, this was followed by several flick knives, several sheath knives, a couple of bicycle chains and several sets of knuckle dusters. A very strange haul you may think but easily explained. The previous night there was a stand off between two rival gangs on the bridge and before the fight really got going the police arrived. Naturally no one wanted to be caught with an offensive weapon on their person and so over the parapet all the ironmongery went and so when the tide ebbed the following day there they all were waiting to be found. I kept a couple of knives at home for years but somewhere they must have been lost, as I do not have them now. But I do know that there was quite an illegal trade going on around the school selling these spoils off.
For us lads the required viewing on a Friday at 7.00pm was Out of Town with Jack Hargreaves after all we might learn some useful fishing hints that would help us, we did not realise that he was not the simple countryman we all thought he was.
He was born, like his brothers, in north London and in his youth, was placed by his mother with old family friends at Burston Hill Farm north of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire where he was influenced by the farmer Victor Pargeter. Over half a century later he would acknowledge Pargeter as part of a composite of father, grandfathers, uncles and old farming friends in the formative character of 'The Old Man' at the start of his book Out of Town (1987). Over the years Jack Hargreaves was to live at a variety of addresses in central London between Soho, Chelsea and Hampstead. In the late 40s he was moving between a London home and a caravan in a field on the bank of the River Kennet at Midgham, then a cottage in Bagnor in Berkshire by the Winterbourne running into the River Lambourn, then at Lower Pennington and Walhampton near Lymington as well as at Minstead and East Boldre in The New Forest, and, he spent his final years at Raven Cottage, near Belchalwell in Dorset which he - an inveterate commuter to and from the places from where he worked.
His enduring interest was to comment without nostalgia or sentimentality on accelerating distortions in relations between the city and the countryside. He is remembered for appearing on How but was better known as the gentle-voiced presenter of the weekly magazine programme Out of Town, first broadcast in 1963, following the success of his 1959 television debut with the B&W series Gone Fishing. His country TV programmes continued in the 1980s with Old Country. Other programmes he created for local viewers were Farm Progress and a live afternoon series Houseparty. Most of his viewers were probably unaware that he took an active part in the setting up of ITV and was a member of Southern's board of directors. From early in his life he acquired a sophisticated grasp of city life and for the last 30 years of his life was employed by the National Farmers Union.
He died in 1994 at the Winterbourne Hospital in Dorchester, and was cremated at Salisbury, his ashes spread on Bulbarrow Hill above Raven Cottage.
Stay in Touch
Keith Writes:- Liked your bit about discipline at school. Could have included me getting clouted round the head by Ray Dopson. How times have changed.
Melvyn Writes:- As Peter mentioned Solent Rd in his last piece by coincidence I was in the process of having a grand sort out of my storage cupboard and came across my school reports from that far off time of the early to middle 50's. One teacher Peter didn't mention was my form teacher Mr Reginald Wing know as "Pop" Wing to us all in the classroom. Why that should be I have no idea because he couldn't have been that old! Looking at the report I had it was pretty good ( for me! ) actually but I did notice that there were 48 pupils in the class. Other teacher's I have on old school reports from Solent Rd. were Miss. E. R Geoffrey and Miss (?) Leslie White. I too ended up in Mr. King's class for the final year at Solent Rd. and I still remember it was not the best of times for me. Teaching by fear! lol Can't remember who else was in the Mr. King's class with me other than Steve Carter and Roger Dawkins.
News and Views:
A British court has ruled that Gerry Rafferty’s girlfriend of two years before his death was not entitled to keep three valuable guitars, a Steinway piano, 13 Matisse lithographs and 22 Russian icons that she said had been promised to her. The court pointed to Gerry’s will, which excluded her. The possessions will now be given to his granddaughter and the girlfriend is left with the legal bill.
On this day 29th November 1960-1965
On 29/11/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/11/1961 the number one single was Little Sister/His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Ipswich Town. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £not very interesting and 13.25 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV)".
On 29/11/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Out of the Shadows - Shadows. 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 Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/11/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Cape Canaveral renamed Cape Kennedy.
On 29/11/1964 the number one single was Baby Love - Supremes and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/11/1965 the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.