City centre rises from ashes

From the ashes of wartime bombing and developers, the new-look Portsmouth city centre begins to emerge in 1968
From the ashes of wartime bombing and developers, the new-look Portsmouth city centre begins to emerge in 1968
The telegram received by William Halls mother  still upsetting to read 78 years on.

NOSTALGIA WITH BOB HIND: Curse of the telegram: Dear Mrs Hall – your son is dead

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Wartime bombing was not wholly responsible for the changes to central Portsmouth, visible here in 1968.

In the top left are the high-rise blocks of Somers Town, built in the late 1950s and early 60s.

In front of them is St Luke’s School, begun in 1962. To the school’s right are the central police station, finished in 1959, while the nearby law courts and art college were both completed a year later.

A swathe of land has been left clear for the dual carriageway, now Winston Churchill Avenue, while the long-delayed Guildhall Square redevelopment (bottom right) was about to transform the bombsites south of the Town station.