The Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene
Record Sleeves of local shops

keast91 p1040376
p1040388 p1040415
p1040470 w-keast-records
keast9 keast10
keastttt keastgosport

In 1903 former Cornishman, Colorado gold miner, and entrepreneur William J Keast settled in Portsmouth. He opened his first shop in Commercial Road shortly after and continued to expand. Around 1910 he opened his own cinema. Called the Gaiety Picture Saloon (Keast's Pictures) It was built by Portsmouth builder John Lay and was one of the first in Portsmouth to have a sloping floor. Admission was 1d and it seated 200 on wooden forms. By all accounts the pictures were silent but the projector certainly was not. It was situated in Commercial Road and had closed by the end of the WW1. Known as the Fleapit, it later became David Greigs.
By the early 1930s William had five shops in Commercial Road, one in North End and another in Gosport. All selling mangles, radios, gramophones, baby carriages and push chairs. In the early hours of 16th May 1936 a fire broke out at Barnes and Son paint shop in Commercial Road and quickly spread to the adjoining shops owned by William. In one of the biggest fires seen in the City, the shops were destroyed.
At its height patients at the Royal Hospital opposite were moved. Fifty families living near by woken by the police, overhead wires melted and windows of shops on the opposite side of the road broke with the heat of the fire. William's shops were rebuilt, only for the German bomber raid of 10th January 1941 to destroy them again. They were not rebuilt a 2nd time.



p1040381 p1040401

p1040385 titmus-sleeve

p10404098 p1040394*
p1040399* p10404078

p1040403 p1040447

p1040405 p1040439

allen sleeve

p1040422 p1040430

p1040425 p1040426
p1040434 wash1

pbishop p1040437
p1040441 p1040443
p1040453 p1040455
p1040461 p1040462
p1040467 p1040468
p1040475 p1040480
p1040476 p1040508
p1040484 p1040487

Record sleeves made available by Chris Simmonds
The Radio Shop, 116 New Road, Portsmouth. 023 92 818265
and Alan McKay

Return to previous page

Return to the index page