29th July 2017
First Picture: Mud Flats
Second Picture: Eastern Road Bridge
Third Picture: Slimy supports
Fourth Picture: Road inspection by the Council before the opening of the Eastern Road.
Unless we missed it when we were growing up in the 1950s and 60s, apart from a small stream that ran along the back of the houses on the south side of Old Manor Way there were no fresh water streams in the area. This meant that for the average lad who wanted to go fishing it was a trip to Portscreek for sea fishing; not like the Shirley Abicair song of 1956 ‘Little Boy Fishin’ off a Wooden Pier’!
Here we had three choices, fish from the creek bank, fish from the Eastern Road road bridge or at low tide clamber out and fish from under the bridge arch itself. But this was just the end of the story because a fishing trip started a couple of days earlier with the studying of the Tide Table Chart which we purchased from Martins the Fishing Tackle and electrical shop in Cosham High Street right next door to the railway station.
Having decide that we would go fishing it was essential to read the Tide Table to find out when it was low tide, because this is when we would go out bait digging.
On the day in question, having dressed in old clothes, thick socks and Wellington Boots we would tie an old garden fork to the cross bar of our bikes and with a small bucket hanging from the handlebars. It is very tricky riding a bike with oversized Wellies! We would cycle off down the Eastern Road. Over the railway bridge and then off along a track on the western side, past the old Council tip until we reached the water’s edge between the road and the railway bridge. The vista would be acres of grey mud covered with sea weed and other detritus.
First find your spot for digging which would be marked by worm casts on the surface which were always well away from the edge. Having found the casts, it was plunge the fork into the mud. Instantly the fork moved the mud it turned black and a foul smell started to fill the air, it was at this stage that many colleagues found themselves sinking into the mud and had visions of a muddy death until their mates pulled them out. However not being deterred we would dig away for Ragworm and place them with a portion of mud into our buckets ready for our fishing trip. It was time now to try and wash off the worst of the mud, clean the Wellies and go home and get cleaned up and risk the wrath of Mum.
The next high tide we would be off but this time with rod and line, the bucket of Ragworms and various floats and weights. The favourite place for fishing was off the Eastern Road bridge and this is where you found little groups of hopeful fishermen. It was rumoured that it was possible to catch Bass and Flounders here but I have to tell you, dear reader, that I personally cannot remember, ever caught a fish, several crabs, yes, but never a fish. However Peter remembers me catching a small Whiting and that we used it as bait when the worms ran out!
Between tides it was possible to get down below the bridge and sit underneath the arch. This could be fraught with danger as the slopping concrete supports were covered in green slime and very slippery.
My biggest haul here came one day in the early 1960s when I was bait digging in the mud close to the bridge on my own for once; and I came home with a very strange collection of weapons. The previous night the police had been called to and broken up a vicious fight between two rival gangs who had decided to settle their differences on the bridge. Once the police arrived and not wanting to be caught with offensive weapons in their possession most of the fighters threw their fighting instruments over the bridge. The following day I was unaware of this as I ferreted in the mud for Ragworms. Instead I came away with a quantity of knuckledusters, coshes, bicycle chains and flick knives. I only found out later where they all came from and I forget what I did with them all when I got home and how I eventually disposed of them but I do know that I still have one of the flick knives somewhere in the back of my garden shed.
There were also times when we went out into Langston or Portsmouth Harbours in leaky boats for a days fishing, or another boat based adventure was sailing or rowing from Portscreek to Portchester where we would spend our time clambering all over the derelict submarine beached outside Harry Pounds scrap yard and trying to explore the furthermost reaches of the vessel. But these are stories
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On this day 29th July 1960-1965
On 29/07/1960 the number one single was Please Don't Tease - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Elvis Is Back - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Rawhide (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 29/07/1961 the number one single was Temptation - Everly Brothers and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was Harpers West One (ATV) 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 No Hiding Place (AR).
On 29/07/1962 the number one single was I Remember You - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Pot Luck - 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.
On 29/07/1963 the number one single was Confessin' - Frank Ifield 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 Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/07/1964 the number one single was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/07/1965 the number one single was Mr Tambourine Man - Byrds 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.