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PHS002 George Langton MP3

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Audio Details

Collection Title Champions of England: Oral Histories
Date of Recording 5th November 2019
Name of Interviewer Samantha Middleton
Location of Interview Southsea
Participant Name George Langton
Participant Date of Birth 1st January 0001
Participant Sex Male
Participant Occupation Retired
Participant Background
Type of Recorder Zoom H4n Pro
Track No 1
Track Duration [00:25:24]
Recording Format MP3
Transcript Summary
[00:00:00] George Langton, born in 1940s, around 7/8 years old during the Championship seasons, went to matches with his father, rode on the cross bar of his bike from Stanley Street in Southsea. Describes how bike was left in the garden of a house on the corner of Specks Lane, lady charged sixpence (2.5 pence) to leave it there during match. Remembers how she would open the back gate to garden so it wouldn’t get pinched. Mentions dozens of bikes there. Attended Cottage Grove school in Portsmouth as a child.
[00:01:40] Mentions the cup (title) winning match in 48/49, players like Peter Harris, Duggie Reid and Jimmy Scoular. Describes how the ground was packed and very crowded, approx. 48,000. Went with his family and his big brother used to run alongside the bike. Remembers going to the North Stand. When got in there it was packed and as a child was passed over the crowd to the front where sat on a wall with other children to watch the match. Describes how the men were all at the back shouting and bawling. Remembers instructions from Father when match was over to go and hang on to the corner flag and he’d come find him. Always found him and took him home. Mentions it was normal to be handed over the crowd and always about two rows of kids at the front so they could see the band and the players. Describes the Fire Brigade Band and they would march up and down. Leader would carry a mace which he would throw up in the air. Crowd would cheer if he caught it or if dropped would get taken apart by the crowd. Remembers it being really popular.
[00:05:06] Mentions the city was full of bombsites, describes being like an adventure city for us kids. Three years after the war and allowed to roam the sites, pretty good fun.
[00:05:30] No memories of the war. Mentions rule was any service people used to support the other side. A lot were not from Portsmouth and evened it up by supporting the underdogs. Mentions all service personnel wore uniforms to the matches. Mentions everyone loved Portsmouth, biggest Dockyard, Port and team, we were proud of our City. Describes how it was gradually being rebuilt, a poor town but a boom town in comparison to some.
[00:07:12] Mentions didn’t go to any away matches but Father and Mother did on special trains laid on up North. Remembers being told about their trip to Scunthorpe and made welcome by the locals with breakfast. Local theatre opened with a review show in the morning before match in afternoon. Dressed in blue and white with their rattles.
[00:08:06] Mentions only being a small but remembers the Chairman, Viscount Field Marshall Lord Montgomery, being a short chap who would wear his battle gear with beret. He was extremely popular by the crowd. Mentions various members of the local community who were part of the board, estate agents and greengrocers, who sat in the South Stand in their own seats. Crowd would cheer Montgomery on his arrival and wave at the crowd in support of his win at the Battle of Alamien. Remembers him being a real hero and known for being popular amongst the men rather than the Officers and wouldn’t wear an Officers hat always his beret.
[00:09:53] Remembers Reg Flewin owning a green grocer shop in Fratton Road, Duggie Reid sold ice creams. Most players were only part-time professionals. Local men, Scoular was Scottish but most were local men and they were well-known by the City and were welcoming and talk to you in the Street.
[00:10:55] Sat in North Stand, Father tried to get as near to the middle as possible. Atmosphere was great, people stood in their same places every game. Describes the noise of lots of shouting and people using rattles to make as much noise.
[00:11:55] Mentions favourite was Duggie Reid and could kick the ball the length of pitch and was very expressive. Peter Harris fastest in the team and could outrun anyone. Mentions also the goalkeeper, Ernie Butler.
[00:12:35] Remembers the match when we won the title. Remembers watching the win and going home to listen to results so Father could check the pools. Most distinctive game in memory. Father and Mother were biggest fans. Portsmouth and Sunderland were always great rivals as well as Leicester and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Remembers big rivals were Arsenal as a family in London that were Arsenal supporters. Greeting cards sent back and forth to family teasing each other.
[00:15:15] Pompey were in the First Division and Fratton Park were known as a good ground to come to.
[00:15:40] Mentions most of the times during that time was work and school. No television so relied on the radio. Saturday mornings were listening to the Sports Reports and then off to the match, back home to listen to the results and check the tables. Remembers just fun being a kid.
[00:16:50] Mentions how Portsmouth was such a huge Naval and Military presence. Never remembers any trouble at the game. No stewards at the time and the service and Dockyard workers with their flat caps in the crowd dealt with any problems. Same on the pitch, players were aggressive and players scrapped but it was all over in seconds and there were no red or yellow cards the Referee would just tell them off and tell them just to get on with the match. People would join in in those days and sort out their own problems in life, in school or matches. Crowds would always clap players who showed good skill and the whole crowd were mainly on the Ref.
[00:18:41 Always felt safe in the City went on trains at a young age and buy tickets from Harbour Station to Fratton and come home at 6pm for your tea. Mentions jumping on the bus and getting off before next stop when the Conductor got on. Some parts of towns you never went to at that time, Portsea and Wymering but the local gangs would build bonfires on the bomb sites.
[00:20:20] Mentions City didn’t fully rebuild until around 1962 but everyone was very supportive and remembers people having been moved out the City.
[00:21:17] Mentions family lived in Portsmouth until 1929. Moved en masse to Uxbridge in Middlesex. After the war most of the men in the family were not in a good way. Father was invalided out so the family become ran by the women. 3 Aunties and his mother moved back to Portsmouth to open boarding and guest houses in Southsea. Over time men were able to earn a living but essentially women dominated. Remembers enjoying living in a guest house. Being taken out by visitors and guests to the Dockyard and the beach. Remembers running to the train station to meet guests and help with their cases then ride with them in the taxi and job at 7/8 years old was to tell the taxi driver to take the short cut so he wouldn’t parade round all the streets and earn a lot of money. Mentions jobs standing outside with a chimney sweep and announcing that the sweep had come out the top of the chimney. Also count the Coalman’s bag went down the hole so they didn’t swindle you out of the number of bags. Mentions being sent to the Butchers to tell him we don’t want any old rubbish this week we want proper meat. Remembers we all had our little jobs that we needed to do. Mentions there was always work but extremely poorly paid. Remembers going in to a pub in 1963 on a Wednesday and being told don’t be cheeky trying to pay with a five-pound note. Beer was a shilling a pint which is 5p. 2 or 3 local pubs were only beer houses or wine for a lady but not many women visited the pub. Mentions very few restaurants but lots of cafes.
[00:25:24] End of interview

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