A bird’s eye view of the motorway to nowhere

Rudmore roundabout without its flyover in the early 1980s
Rudmore roundabout without its flyover in the early 1980s
Nelson's column at Portsdown Hill

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Dennis Courtney and his friend Ron Whalley should have been working, but they could not resist taking these pictures.

And who can blame them? For they had a bird’s eye view of the changing face of Portsmouth all around them.

It was the early 1980s and Dennis, of Esslemont Road, Southsea, who sent me all the pictures here today, says he and Ron were doing some building work for IBM.

They were in the Baltic House tower block at the Rudmore end of Kingston Crescent. And each way they turned, way up above the city, they watched the new-look Portsmouth unfurling beneath their feet.

A rather pristine-looking M275 had not long been operating. Also of note is old St John’s Church, converted into flats which were completed in 1987.

But it came to an abrupt halt at the Rudmore roundabout.

The flyover and the continuation of the motorway and dual carriageway on to Commercial Road down through Mile End had yet to be completed.

That stretch of embryonic road is a strange-looking but welcome green lung.

How many football pitches might have been accommodated there, I wonder?

It certainly gave the residents of the Estella Road blocks of flats a more pleasant view than four lanes of traffic.