Portsmouth, Victoria Pier And The Sally Port c.1960
Photo ref: P100067
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In April 1956, Commander Lionel Crabb, Britain's finest frogman, disappeared whilst diving at Stokes Bay, Gosport. On 17 April, Mr Crabb had stayed overnight at the Sallyport Hotel in Old Portsmouth. That evening Crabb went to Havant and caught a train back to Portsmouth. A frogman was seen entering the sea at the mouth of Portsmouth harbour. A Mr Smith settled Crabb's hotel bill and removed Crabb's possessions. Plain-clothes police officers tore out the details of everyone staying at the hotel on 17 April. Fourteen months later, three fishermen discovered what was believed to be Crabb's corpse in Chichester harbour. It is still a mystery whether Crabb drowned, was shot, or was kidnapped. In 1965 the 'Mary Rose' was discovered at Portsmouth harbour.

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This selection of vintage photographs shows some of our finest piers in their heyday, recalling their glory days when seaside piers were at the heart of the traditional British family holiday.

Memories of Portsmouth, Victoria Pier and the Sally Port c1960

For many years now, we've been inviting visitors to our website to add their own memories to share their experiences of life as it was, prompted by the photographs in our archive. These memories are of Portsmouth, Victoria Pier And The Sally Port c.1960

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My father was one of those so called 'Mudlark's. I remember him telling the stories of how they used to stage mock fights over the pennies to make people feel sorry for them and throw more money. The thought that they were poor orphans who had to do this to stay alive was very far from the truth. We lived very well in a house in Southsea near the Kings Theatre. The memory was brought back on a recent trip to Egypt and a ...see more
We used to go down to Sallyport from 1954 -1958 ..there were a lot of local 'urchins' called the 'Mudlarks' who would stand in the knee deep, sloppy black mud below the pier to the ferry when the tide was out and people would throw them pennies which they had to find in the mud.They'd end up covered from head to foot. A lot of them had great characters and had developed great 'carny' skills to get people to toss them ...see more
The outfall from the power station made the water warm here so that we swam all year round - not for those who didn't know the currents. The visitors were amazed at our apparent hardiness, or perhaps foolhardiness.