74 King’s Road, Southsea
Once trading under the name of the Oyster Bar, this tavern was rebuilt in 1892 on a narrow plot on King’s Road, Southsea. Originally owned by Garrett’s, the new premises was under ownership of Portsea’s Brickwoods Brewery, as is evident in the photograph. Much of this street was heavily bombed during World War II, resulting in the loss of most of its pubs. The Falcon was one to succumb to that fate.
The Fitzroy Arms
1 Fitzroy Street, Fratton
Sited on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Clifton Street, this pub was originally owned by the tiny Kemp Town Brewery before being acquired by United and latterly, Brickwood’s. The house succumbed in 1967 to the demolition men, prior to the redevelopement of the surrounding area.
The Five Alls
97 Grigg Street (later 34 St Paul’s Road), Southsea
Originally the Nine Elms Tavern under ownership of the nearby Long’s Brewery, this old pub was renamed the Five Alls following its lease to Portsmouth United Breweries in the 1910s. The pub served its last pints as part of the Brickwood’s estate, surviving until the late 1950s. The left-hand photograph depicts the pub’s regulars on Christmas Day 1934. The site is now home to 1960s council flats.
The Florence Arms
2 Adelaide Street, Buckland
This Victorian street corner local was one of three pubs that once stood on Adelaide Street. Together with the Adelaide Arms and the Adelaide Cellars (both of which were history by the time this photograph was taken), the Florence Arms dated from around the 1870s. The house was originally owned by local brewers Mansbridge before becoming part of the Hall & Co estate shortly before the turn of the 20th century. The pub ended its life under ownership of the mighty Whitbread (who bought out Portsmouth’s last major brewery, Brickwood’s, in 1971). The exact date of the pub’s closure, along with the demolition of Adelaide Street, is yet to be determined.
The Florence Nightingale
155 Hyde Park Road, Southsea
Once a beerhouse in the mid-Victorian era, the Florence Nightingale was originally a Jewell’s pub located on what used to be East Street. The house was rebuilt by Brickwood’s at the turn of the century, in a design reminiscent of much of that company’s estate, with the familiar combination of glazed brickwork, mosaic tiled facia and ‘brewers tudor’ half timbering to the upper storey. Standing at the junction of Hyde Park Road and Telegraph Street, the pub later became part of the vast Whitbread portfolio, surviving until around 1967, when the building was demolished to make way for the redevelopment of the Somerstown area.
The Flying Squadron
173 Lake Road, Landport
Home to a large number of pubs, with only one surviving into the 21st century, Lake Road was home to the Flying Squadron – recorded as trading from around 1881 until the pub lost its beer licence in 1928. Originally owned by the Mew Brewery, the tavern transferred to Pike Spicer in 1911. Some readers may be puzzled by the name of the pub – 1881 being long before the invention of the aircraft. The Flying Squadron in this case refers to the Detatched Squadrons of the Royal Navy – unarmed ships that were formed to undertake worldwide cruises for training and promotional purposes.
The Fortitude Tavern
53 Broad Street, Old Portsmouth
Dating from around 1786, the Fortitude Tavern was one of many inns and taverns that could once be found in the immediate vicinity. Once a location synonymous for its drunkedness, prostitution and contraband, Old Portsmouth has long since become a respectable neighbourhood full of affluent residents. The old pub closed way back in 1923, though keen-eyed observers will notice the HMS Fortitude mural on the building’s frontage at second floor level.
Photographs, left to right: 3rd February 2009; 29th April 2008.
1 Gunner Street, Buckland
Located opposite the Kingfisher, on the corner of Timpson Road, the Fox was once owned by George Palmer’s St Paul’s Brewery of Southsea, which was subsequently bought out by larger rival Long’s. The pub later ended up in the hands of Portsea’s Brickwood’s Brewery, with whom it is likely to have remained until closure. The Gunner Street area was swept away in the early 1970s and along with its neighbour, the Kingfisher, the Fox was demolished in the name of ‘progress’.
Photograph kindly supplied by Richard Sheath.
The Fratton Hotel
1-3 Fratton Road, Fratton
Located on the site of the Queen’s Head, this large, imposing building stood on the corner of Fratton Road and Sydenham Terrace, immediately north of Fratton Bridge, close to the railway station. Constructed in 1899 and designed by Victorian architect Vernon Inkpen, the Fratton Hotel was initially owned by the Peters Brewery and was later transferred to Portsmouth United Breweries in 1910. It remained a hotel and public house until the 1920s, when its liquor license was surrendered and the premises operated thereafter as a restaurant. The building became a war casualty in 1941 when it suffered serious bomb damage and its remains were demolished.
The Freemasons & Military Arms
1-2 Lennox Row, Portsea
Located in a part of Portsmouth that was once home to literally dozens of public houses – but which now has none – the Freemasons & Military was known to have traded as the Three Pigeons in Georgian times, before becoming the Military Arms in the mid 19th century. At that time, owned by the Spicer brewery, it was later acquired by another local firm, Pike’s. By 1874 the Freemason’s name had began to appear on documents relating to the premises – this most likely being a result of two adjacent pubs being combined to form a single, larger premises. The full Freemasons & Military Arms title was noted to be in use in 1887. By 1900 the pub appears to have been converted to a shop and lodging house.
The photo below shows the pub in the 1940s. The empty plot to the right was once home to another tavern, the Asia – and one can clearly see the former Duke of Edinburgh (see elsewhere on these pages) prominent on the corner of Cumberland Street. The building at the far end of the road is yet another pub – the Brickwood’s owned Keys, located on the corner of Unicorn Street.
The Frog On The Front
Clarence Esplanade, Southsea
This small bar was opened in 1993 as part of the Pyramids leisure complex on Southsea sea front and drew most of its patronage from young drinkers on weekend evenings, as well as catering for daytime visitors during the warm summer weather.
Aesthetically ugly, the building was briefly converted to a showbar in the late summer of 2008. It has since been absorbed into the Pyramids centre.
Photographs, left to right: 3rd January 2005; April 1999 (x2) (by Ray Scarfe).