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Please note that many images contained within this website may be subject to copyright, although many have been kindly sent to me and intended to be shared on this non commercial outlet.If anybody wishes to use any of the same, then please get in touch as well as possibly giving credit where due as well as setting up reciprocal links if relevant to the actual content on any webpage.Down the bottom of my road across from the local railway station stood the Peartree Hall with a proper stage and a very popular venue until being demolished along with a few houses for the new Itchen Bridge toll booth area.Apart from the Royal Pier, I also sang at the Peartree Hall at the tender age of ten before being forced into 'early retirement' when the school authorities found out!The pub was busy with merchant seamen, lorry drivers and many hilarious drag queens off the ships often dressed in outrageous frocks and wigs, despite the illegality of that 'kind of behaviour' at that time!Many an unsuspecting drunken sailor had a 'surprise' when walking a young 'lady' down the alleyways..... stood another 'racy' pub that is remembered with affection.Off duty crews from the ships filled the lively venues that were only a short distance from the city centre, mixing with friendly locals and visitors alike.One of the best known pubs all over the world was the Juniper Berry in Castle Square (renamed Bosun's Locker but back to original) Take a look at my memories of this terrific pub on my other pages and it is well remembered as a bawdy night out and often packed to the rafters throughout the week with an 'open mike' stage show that saw all kinds of interesting singers get up and entertain the noisy drunken but usually good natured well behaved audience that crossed the social spectrum!
My nearest pub was the old Railway Hotel in Portsmouth Road, which became the Woolston pub followed by the Bridge Inn, as it lies near the new Itchen Bridge that was finished in 1977.
Pre-WW2 photograph of Woolston with Supermarine (Spitfire) Factory that was bombed during the Southampton Blitz Post-war image courtesy Daily Echo Across the road from the old Cliff Hotel (now luxury flats) stood one of my other favourite buildings that had a profound effect on my early days in the shape of the Woolston Cinema, especially when sneaking in as a young kid to soak up the new exciting American movies such as 'Blackboard Jungle' This groundbreaking 1955 film featured a great soundtrack including the record that ignited the flames of a 'teenage revolution' in the shape of Bill Haley and the Comets with 'Rock Around The Clock' The movie was also very controversial at that time as it dealt with the new juvenile delinquency that was rising out of the ashes of youngsters rebelling against their elders and following on from another classic 1953 movie The Wild One based on motorbike gangs and catapulting Marlon Brando into Hollywood stardom. ' Johnny's gang member replies `The Black Rebels Motorcycle Club' and she shouts across `Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
A great quote comes from the scene that gives a real inkling of what was going on within this new generation of youngsters who were standing up for themselves after years of subservience to their elders who 'knew best'. ' He replies, in what could very possibly be the most career defining sentence that has ever been uttered on-screen: `Whaddya got? James Dean also personified this new movement that was gathering force with only three great movies before his untimely death at the wheel of his Porsche.
Up a ramp onto the stage for a special rock night - read all about it on the linked Biography page!
There were other small venues that hosted live music on this east side of the town (Southampton only achieved city status in 1964) but mostly alcohol-free youth clubs and the odd school hall etc.
This superb river crossing replaced the old Floating Bridges that had been ferrying people and cars across the river for nearly hundred years or so.