Archive for January, 2017

My Mum has been working on arranging for my Grandad’s name to be put onto a plaque in Portsmouth – to remember the Portsea Mudlarkers from years gone by. Well today we got to see the statue and the latest addition of names, including my Grandad’s and his brother’s. Sadly, he isn’t here to see today but we took my Grandma so that she could see his name set in stone – under the guise that we were going down to see the boats.

Margaret Foster, local councillor in Portsmouth, was the force behind the statue being created and raised money so that it could become possible. She’s written a book about the Mudlarks as well and money raised goes to local causes. Margaret was there today and had gathered a small crowd. The plaque was a new addition to the statue which had been placed there in 2010, looking out over the Portsmouth mud flats with an eye on the Spinnaker Tower and HMS Warrior.

The statue celebrates parts of Portsmouths heritage and the fascinating history of the children that used to work in the mud in the very spot that it now sounds. Mudlarking was a form of begging back in the day and involved children diving, frollicking, crawling and rolling in the mud for coins that were often thrown to them by passing people entertained by their antics. My Grandad was one of them, over eighty years ago, working hard to earn a few bob to take home.

“E ah guv stick a penny in the mud,

A “penny or two won’t break yer,

We take all your rusty silver,

We loves you lady, we loves you lady,

But we loves your money the best.”

After seeing the statue, it seemed fitting to spend some time enjoying the views across Portsmouth and the place where my Grandad grew up. The views were breath-taking and as the sun went down, it was the perfect end to a very important and poignant day.

If you’re ever in Portsmouth and visiting the Historic Dockyard, take a minute to pause outside the entrance and enjoy a little bit of History. You won’t regret it.

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