Alistair Maclean's Web Site
Portsmouth Poly Days

I went to Portsmouth Poly (before the place was called Portsmouth University) back in the early 1980's. I did a computer science course there, the course material for which, even Babbage would have found obsolete. I can't say I had a good time, and I left very unceremoniously. But I did have a good time with the people there. Not that I party'ed hard, I just enjoyed their company. Below are various photos from those days. There is a good reason I have these snaps. I was the President of the Photographic Society!

These photographs represent my first year at Portsmouth Poly. For some reason motorcycles, girls, and beer too pride of place subsequent years. Oh, well!

Digs & Fratton Park

Placed directly into digs, I found myself quite out of water, in a very uncomfortable position. Didn't stay long.

Bramshott Rd
Bramshott Rd. A pretty line of houses, really. My digs were on Bramshott Rd, on the right just beyond the wall. The road was 2 streets from Fratton Park. Saturday afternoons were deathly, as you couldn't find parking and couldn't go out without bumping into fans. The day they played Millwall was not pretty; we were given police protection! I jest not! At this time they were in the 2nd Division, before the Premier league was established.
Entrance to Fratton Park
Fratton Park: This was one of the entrances to Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth Football Club. I presume this has all now been replaced by a flashy new ground.
Room in Digs
Digs: Bramshott Rd digs, this was my room. It was pretty spartan. Rules were that I could only go downstairs to the kitchen when called for meals, could only use the upstairs bathroom by appointment, though use of the stairs and front door were allowed. At all other times I was to be in my room. No visitors. Certainly no female visitors! Fun was not part of this tourist package! The neighbours got upset at something one day. The landlady flipped, knocking down their fences; I got pulled by Polytechnic social services, and placed in QEQM. Yee-hah!

QEQM Halls

Into the QEQM (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother) Halls of residence for the remainder of the first year, had a hoot.

Dining room
QEQM: Here they fed us. Gruel and other delicious nutrients!
Room with a view
QEQM: View from my window. Two floors of guys, top floor all girls.
The common room block
QEQM: The road on right was a one way bus lane with control barriers at each end. Just beyond it was a mental hospital, and an endless succession of old Flashers!
Dormitory block windows
QEQM: Dormitory blocks windows.
Dormitory blocks
QEQM: Dormitory blocks.
Tower side
QEQM Tower: Built on alluvial soils, and stabilized using a couple of wooden staves, the tower had a significant cant to it. You can't see that it in this picture, though. This picture just shows the stylish 60's use of concrete to produce a paragon of architectural delight.
Xmas at halls
QEQM Tower: Collaboration between students is hard won. Somehow, 4 conspired here to get out the message! It's on a guys floor, I think, which makes it even more impressive!
Civil engineers at play
QEQM: Civil engineers at play. Waiting for dinner, I guess.
Queue for dinner
QEQM. Queue for dinner. With babes!
Queue for dinner
QEQM. Queue for dinner. The guys!
QEQM Room : Me studying... to be a loser! Obviously Comp Sci was boring, to fend off total insanity I photographed my knees and missed. Got the desk instead!
QEQM Room : My Stuff. In QEQM, I built up a huge music collection, maybe 20 tapes! These were played on the bellowing hi-fi unit I kept above the kettle. Box of Ilford XP1 B&W film: Doesn't every student have one? Conditions were much more civilised than my original digs, thank goodness!


Views around Pompey

Southsea fair ride
Southsea Fair : One of the rides at the Southsea fair. A pretty much permanent fair, though we would "enter" in winter and do the big slides when it was closed.
Messing around at the fair
Southsea Fair : Messing around at the Southsea fair.
Southsea Beach
Southsea beach: Never one of my favourite beaches as it was quite stoney. This spring day, beach chairs have been pilled up in anticipation of warmer weather.
House in Southsea. Photographed early in my time there. The Victorians definitely could build cute homes. Someone, obviously had some money, because the steel railings have been re-installed since WWII.
Eastney Park (real name unknown). Obviously the ancient tradition of fancy dress basketball, where men dress as ladies of the night, and women as St. Trinians school girls, has eluded general detection. If you have to ask anymore, your probably a hopeless case! I think this was a well attended, charity event.
Getting up steam
Eastney Park. The park had a working miniature steam railway. In the summer it was quite active taking children for rides on weekend afternoons. From looking at google earth, it looks like this railway still exists.
Mercantile House
Mercantile House. Home to the Computer Science faculty. My lecture halls were mostly here.
Lecture Time: Gareth looking round while I take a snap. This was one of the only true lecture theatres. We tended to do Math in here.

Julia and Yvonne

Julia Humphreys and Yvonne Sampson were roomies, and good friends. Part of this is a mangled sequence showing them with another woman (sorry, can't recall a name). The pictures were taken, I think at the South Parade Pier. The film was ruined in processing - a feature modern digital cameras thankfully don't suffer from.

I will always feel peeved that I spend 2 weeks thinking about a project we had on traffic light sequencing, where I was the first in class to work it all out. I then went round to see Yvonne and Julia the night before the work had to be in, and they hadn't worked out how to do it. So I basically did it for them. I left the last part to them - how to improve it - which was some essay style stuff, not techie. When we got the results, the girls scored better than I did on all sections! I felt totally screwed! The girls were good about it, and didn't laugh too hard.

Yvonne & Julia
Yvonne & Julia: Sampson and Humphreys. What a pair!
Yvonne: Showing some knee, the scandalous woman!
Julia. Not quite sure what to expect!
Unknown woman
Unknown woman : Very fetching, but no clue to who she is, or was!
Unknown woman
Unknown woman : Very fetching, in an almost cowgirl-esque get up!

Julia and Yvonne, Part Deux!

The Lost shoot! This is part of a set of photos I took for J & Y in their flat. No extra lights, no fancy stuff, just a lot of ASA's. I pushed the film processing, probably a bit far, and ended up with something that only now, with the aid of photoshop can we see. So here, after almost 3 decades in the making, some of the lost shoot!

Yvonne, Julia, and unremembered
Yvonne Sampson, Julia Humphreys & and the woman I can't recall.
Yvonne, Julia
Yvonne, Julia
Yvonne, Julia
Yvonne, Julia
Yvonne, Julia
Yvonne, Julia
Yvonne, Julia, and unremembered
Julia, Yvonne & and the woman I can't recall.


Various people taken while in a state of disbelief that I would want to photograph them!

Student at Fair
Student at Fair. Actually don't recall who this was. Very bubbly woman, just no recollection of her name.
Deirdre. The first Sociology student I met. She was as lost as I at Poly, for a while. Saw here much of the first year, and rarely again. Here she is caught like a deer in the headlights.
Keith Jessop. A civil engineer in the making. Standing outside the then new stunted Library building.
QEQM friend
Friend. Liked her, can't remember who she was. She did have a boyfriend, which kind of silenced things!
Martin. Martin trying to use my Olympus OM-10.
Steve. Steve also trying to use my Olympus OM-10! He is now the Rt. Rev. Steve.
Mac. Archetypal Diamond in the rough.
Student at QEQM. I think she did Biology. I ended up doing about 10 students computer programming courses. First question seemingly was all about Standard Deviation (being a standard deviate, I know these things.) The hardest part for me, writing the same small program 10 or 15 times, was to make it different each time so no one got done.
The Egyptian
I will have to get back to Steve to recall his name, but the Egyptian chap here, was a fun guy to be around until he got on his motorcycle. Then it was best to get well away. He had a Bong, most interesting!
Studio Work. The Photography Society had a studio and dark room. Later as president I was to witness us loosing it. Here we were trying to photograph little widgets. Don't recall who this was.
Studio work. This is Keith waiting his turn to waste his film.

© Copyright A. Maclean 2009
A page index
Portsmouth Poly Motorcycle Club pages