A springtime scene from days before blitz ravaged Portsmouth

It is 1910 and the leaves are coming out on the trees in the spring scene looking down Russell Street from the Guildhall Square.
It is 1910 and the leaves are coming out on the trees in the spring scene looking down Russell Street from the Guildhall Square.
Bob Sivewright with quick-thinking newsboy Chris Turner

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This is a splendid scene, don’t you think? And one that is much missed by those who remember it.

And one that is much missed by those who remember it.

Looking north towards Fareham town with the Gosport Road to the left, we see two sailing vessels tied up in Fareham Creek.

Looking north towards Fareham town with the Gosport Road to the left, we see two sailing vessels tied up in Fareham Creek.

The picture, above, is of course a view along Russell Street from Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.

To the left is the Sussex Hotel. In the triangle is the statue of Queen Victoria who had not long left us when this photograph was taken.

The postcard is hand tinted with the leaves on the trees making it look like spring.

Although this scene was vastly altered by the blitz on the city during the Second World War, many have said that more damage was done after the war when successive councils gave permission for this part of Portsmouth to be demolished.

A view towards the  railway gates in Portsmouth Road, Cosham, which are now, in 2017, full barriers.

A view towards the railway gates in Portsmouth Road, Cosham, which are now, in 2017, full barriers.

• The postcard comes from the collection of Jim Milburn who has loaned me many postcard scenes and photographs taken by his grandfather, Monty Theobald.

Monty was a photographer who worked along Southsea seafront in the 1930s.

In this marvellous view alongside Gosport Road out of Fareham we are looking north with the railway viaduct passing over Fareham Creek just as it does today.

The thousands of bricks used to build the viaduct were possibly made in the Fareham district which was famous for the product in Victorian times.

Portsmouth Road, Cosham. A view towards the railway gates west of Cosham railway station circa 1915.

Portsmouth Road, Cosham. A view towards the railway gates west of Cosham railway station circa 1915.

The two vessels moored at the quay could have had multiple uses.

Nearer to the camera is a three-masted topsail schooner with her bow facing landward.

Behind her with her bow pointing out to the sea, is a two-masted brigantine.

Perhaps there is an older reader who can recall seeing vessels such as these alongside the quay?

The scene is vastly different today.

Non-stop traffic passes between Fareham and Gosport, far altered from these days of 1910.

• In a few months my new book on Portsmouth past and present will be published by Halsgrove.

It comprises scenes from the late 1960s, early 1970s and now, plus a few from days way past.

Below left, we are looking north along Portsmouth Road, Cosham, towards the railway gates. In the distance can be seen The George Inn pub sitting on the brow of Portsdown Hill.

Although most of what we can see on the left has long gone, the terrace of houses on the right, the ground floors now converted to shops, remain to this day.

The pedestrians walking in Portsmouth Road would have had little chance of survival in today’s heavy traffic... unless the barriers were down.