A new Portsmouth begins to emerge

The flats go up in Somers Town
The flats go up in Somers Town
It would take  someone of the age of 55-plus to remember this scene along Commercial Road at the junction of Church Street.

NOSTALGIA: A Portsmouth scene unrecognisable today: Commercial Road in its pomp

0
Have your say

It is 1961 and Portsmouth is changing, especially in the Somers Town area.

Here we see a view from the central police station in Hyde Park Road looking across to Grosvenor Street.

jpns-28-04-14 rw embroidered postcard''An embroidered postcard from the Front.1916

jpns-28-04-14 rw embroidered postcard''An embroidered postcard from the Front.1916

I think the block to the right is to be Tipton House, but stand to be corrected.

The shed-like building in front is where the recently reconstructed roundabout is on Winston Churchill Avenue.

Hyde Park Road, once a main thoroughfare from Blackfriars Road to Commercial Road, is now a short cul-de-sac.

Sent by a soldier named Tom to his ‘Dear Mother’ from the Western Front in 1916, we see an embroidered card of the period. These were very common and thousands were sent home by men serving in France and Belgium.

jpns-28-04-14 rw son Tom''From an affectionate son, Tom

jpns-28-04-14 rw son Tom''From an affectionate son, Tom

The quality of the stitching on the attached piece of linen is remarkable and has retained all its colour.

Who Tom was or where he came from is not known. As there is no surname I cannot even research him. I wonder if he survived?

The other two items pictured here were sent to me by Ted Saunders and will interest those of you who can text quickly.

Put your index finger on a flat surface and then imagine dialling The News. Wind your finger round in a circle and wait two seconds for the imaginary dial to return. Then do it again dialling the full number (023) 9266 4488.

jpns-28-04-14 rw phone''Finger dial phone

jpns-28-04-14 rw phone''Finger dial phone

It took me 28 seconds compared to three seconds to dial on a mobile.

It even took seven seconds to dial 999. It’s a wonder anyone bothered to phone anyone at all.

The other item Ted sent were these area codes. Today 02392 covers most of The News area, but back in 1959 every village had its own code.

jpns-28-04-14 rw phone codes''Local codes 1959

jpns-28-04-14 rw phone codes''Local codes 1959