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Home > Hampshire > Gosport > Britannia Inn

Britannia Inn

Picture source: Chris Downer

The Britannia Inn was situated on Forton Road and is now used as a private dwelling.

Isaac was one of the members of the well known White family of Gosport.  After he retired from the Royal Navy, in about 1899, he became tenant of the Elm Tree public house in Forton Road. Four years later he ‘entered into the possession’ of the Britannia public house which was also in Forton Road and almost opposite The Elm Tree.  His brother Thomas became the licensee of the Elm Tree.

Kathleen, one of Isaac’s granddaughters lived in the Britannia with her mother, Isaac, his wife Agnes and some of her aunts and uncles.  She recalled that Aunt Hilda had had a tram accident and was a ‘cripple’. Hilda never married but worked behind the bar in the pub.

Kathleen remembered the local policeman calling into the Britannia on his evening beat and having a swift half pint.  I think that she said he drank in it the hall rather than in the bar but I’m not sure.

Like her cousin Rita (see the Elm Tree) Kathleen remembered the Christmas celebrations after the Britannia and the Elm Tree had closed after lunch time opening.

In 1909 the Portsmouth Evening News reported that a bricklayer named Herbert Bridson was charged with stealing two fowls valued at 5/-.  A charge he denied.  Isaac White told the bench that the prisoner had offered to sell him two fowls and knowing that Herbert kept about forty he asked him if they were his own.  Herbert replied that they were and that he had reared them from chickens.  Isaac gave Herbert 4/- for the fowls. 

Herbert was found guilty. 

Isaac died in 1931 after being in ill health for some time. His obituary stated that he was not only a Freemason but that he was a notable clubman being associated with every club in Gosport and some in Fareham.  He was also a member of the Licenced Victuallers’ Association.  

At the time of the 1939 Register Isaac’s son Philip was described as the bar retailer at the Britannia.  Living with him were his mother, two sisters Hilda and Beattie and Beattie’s daughter Kathleen.  

Joan Dickson (September 2021)

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Name Dates Comments
Edwina Underwood 1975 to closure Was a regular here when Daisy and Ernie were landlords. happy to swap memories..
Brian McGinley 1971-1975 Was a regular there when I lived in Camden Street. Back bar was the enclave of the teddy boys and hell's angels. Ernie's son Dave was a teddy boy and ran the bar on Sunday lunchtimes. Back to back rock and roll session.