Web Page No 2206
Top Picture: Open topped bus at Southsea
Second Picture: Harbour Defences at Eastney
Third Picture: Canoe Lake
Forth Picture: Rock Gardens Café
A Day at Southsea
When we were youngsters and our families did not own a car it was a treat to have a day out at the seaside. In our family if we did not go by train to Hayling Island it was onto the number 31 Southdown bus and off down to the sea front at Southsea where we would travel along the front on the top of a number 25 Corporation Bus Service bus right from Eastney through to Billy Mannings at Clarence pier.
It was at the Eastney end that the sand could be found and it was here also we could see the legacy of the war years as we looked out to sea. How many of you remember the piles set into the sea bed across the Solent as in the picture above? Eastney was also the home of the Royal Marines and so there was always a chance of seeing some form of amphibious landing rehearsals.
Just along from the beach at Eastney and on the landward side of the Seafront Road was, and I think, still is a large Pitch and Putt course, I can only actually remember playing on it once. Past Lumps Fort and the Model Village (again I can only remember a single visit to this attraction) and then it was Canoe Lake and if I was lucky a chance to play in the pedal boats staying well clear of the model boats!
Walking towards South Parade Pier there were many Tea Stalls selling Trays for the Beach and it seemed to me that we always had to stop hire a couple of deck chairs for an hour for my parents to take tea! I always had to sit on the shingle. Here we would eat the packed lunch mother had carried all the way from Drayton.
After tea it was back to the prom and walk past all the tour coaches advertising trios to various places in the area. Who remembers the White Heather and Byngs Coach company’s?
Then it was onto the pier to explore the slot machines and other attractions on the pier, the end of the pier show, watching the steamers call in on their Isle of Wight run, or just people watching. Later in life you would have found me in the theatre for pop concerts, here or in the Savoy across the road but that is another story.
Back again to the prom and passing the Southdown Bus stop along to the Rock Gardens Pavilion for more tea sat on the patio. This part was always frustration because I knew once we left her it was only a short walk around Southsea Castle to the Motor Boating Lake and the Miniature Train both of which I could be guaranteed a ride on. There was also a bathing pool which was always full of children but I do not remember being allowed to swim in there. There was always a short detour back to look at the Floral Clock and the Roller Skating Park.
Then it was a walk along to Billy Mannings fun fair at Clarence Pier. I was not allowed on the Wild Mouse but could stand and watch!
If this day out was around Easter time or towards the end of the season we would stay to see the Seafront lights come on with all the illuminated tableaux. Now we had to retrace our steps to view the lights until we reached the Rock Gardens, with its Sunburst illumination, where we would cut through the Gardens to see the illuminated flower beds and the fountain with its changing coloured water and the illuminated lily pads and plastic frogs.
A look at the clown display on the pier and the seals with the bouncing ball on top of the Tea Stall
It was then back to the South Parade Southdown bus stop, climb aboard the number 31 and back home tired and happy.
Looking at the three photographs which were taken on one of these walks it is very obvious that things today are very different. My father is wearing a suit with a collar and tie and a buttoned up cardigan and my mother was wearing a smart coat, a little hat with gloves and carrying a matching handbag. There is no photo of me so I have no idea what my parents dressed me in for a day out in 1957.
Keep in touch
News and Views:
On this day 27th October 1960-1965
On 27/10/1960 the number one single was Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Take Your Pick (AR) 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 27/10/1961 the number one single was Walkin' Back to Happiness - Helen Shapiro and the number one album was Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. 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 £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Britain grants Malta autonomy.
On 27/10/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. 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. The big news story of the day was Cuban Missile Crisis. Very scary at the time.
On 27/10/1963 the number one single was Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole & the Tremoloes 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.
On 27/10/1964 the number one single was (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me - Sandy Shaw 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 £12.27 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/10/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.