City centre pubs which gave way to ’70s ‘modernisation’

THEN The tiny Station Street, off Commercial Road, Portsmouth, surrounded by pubs in 1973

THEN The tiny Station Street, off Commercial Road, Portsmouth, surrounded by pubs in 1973

HMS Natal, the cruiser that blew up taking over nearly 400 lives with her

Man floated past with tattoo of Lord’s Prayer on his back

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Remember when Station Street in the centre of Portsmouth was this narrow (picture above)?

This was 1973 and the photo is yet another tiny snapshot of the city’s once high-dependency on alcohol, thanks to the navy and the dockyard.

NOW Station Street has been widened beyond recognition

NOW Station Street has been widened beyond recognition

Look at those pubs...

The Criterion is flanked by the closed Claremont Tavern then, having crossed that dinky Station Street, we come to Judd’s Railway Hotel on the corner and the Lennox Arms at the end of the block.

The crane in the distance would have been involved in the reshaping of the city centre which created Guildhall Square as we now know it.

In the ‘today’ picture,, all the pubs have gone and Station Street is now a motorway compared to its previous incarnation.

New Road junction with Kingston Road circa 1960.

New Road junction with Kingston Road circa 1960.

In the second set of now and then pictures we see the New Road junction with Kingston Road, about 1960 and as it is today.

In the 1960 photo overhead trolleybus wires dominate, adding atmosphere to the road.

In the distance a shadowy St Mary’s Church looks over the scene. Notice there are no traffic lights controlling the junction.

This busy street scene shows just how popular Kingston Road was back then. The shops look as though they were thriving. There’s a Midland Bank in there and the huge Corbins’ shoe shop sign dominates the rooftops. Coming towards the camera a few of the businesses were: Campions the bakers, a Co-op, Finlays tobacconist, Dewhurst butchers, Webb fruiterer (still trading as a florist), Knipe decorators, Hartley clothier and Hoar’s the butchers. On the junction was J Stone for all your radio and television requirements. On the northern corner of New Road is Westons the bakers.

The New Road junction with Kingston Road as it is today.

The New Road junction with Kingston Road as it is today.

Finally: Just what would the immaculately-attired woman on the bike make of today’s spray-on Lycra fashions for female (and male) cyclists? In fact everyone in the last picture is well turned-out. But then this was the highly fashionable King’s Road, Southsea. If this picture was taken in the early years of the 20th century then less than 40 years later it would be no more. King’s Road was razed during the blitz.

Thanks to Nanny Bodle who posted it on the Memories of Bygone Portsmouth Facebook page.

Sheer elegance - King's Road, Southsea

Sheer elegance - King's Road, Southsea

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