LAST week we looked at ‘The Model Lodging House’ (also known as Churchill’s), which stood for more than 100 years at the top end of Winchester Street.

Tommy Churchill was born at the house and although he enjoyed a drink, he never let drink become an obsession with him. He saw too many human wrecks that had been ruined because of their love of the bottle.

One such was Cliff Moore, the man with the whistle pipe, who was every inch a gentleman, but who spent his evenings playing his whistle pipe at the doors of public houses for the pennies the customers would give him, so that he could get the drink he craved and raise the four-pence for the night to stay at the house. Yes, in the 1920s four-pence was the price for one of the eighty beds there.

The ‘local’ for the men, and for that matter the women, too, was The Anchor and Hope, which was almost next door.

Amongst the many colourful characters who Tommy Churchill remembered was Long Cockney Ted, the rag and bone man whose characteristic cry was know throughout the whole city; Edward Lawrence Osborn, who was taken from Churchill’s and charged in London with the murder of Kate Webster and acquitted; Cock Bundy, the boxer who took on the talent at Bill Moore’s booth at Salisbury fair; and an old prizefighter who walked to Portsdown Hill to fight Iky Bean in a bare-fist duel won in the seventeenth round.

Some of the worst times occurred when the Salisbury Races were happening. The coming into Southampton of the Liverpool-Irish boats meant that some of the crews would come here, get ‘loaded’ at the Anchor and then start trouble.

But there was also kindness as well as “rough housing” and when a chap had nothing he would be helped – as long as the rent was paid back later!