Day when North End was a buzzing place to shop

The Co-op department store
The Co-op department store
Vic Hutfield beside the vehicle, right, which might have been used for the trip to Midhurst.

Gosport charabanc outing around the countryside dates back to 1909

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Remember when North End used to be a vibrant shopping centre in the 1960s and ’70s with department stores like McIlroys, The Co-op and Marks & Spencer?

Philip Pyke, of Westwood Road, Hilsea, does and here are some of his nostalgic pictures showing how busy it was.

North End, Portsmouth. All today's pictures were taken in November 1975

North End, Portsmouth. All today's pictures were taken in November 1975

He recalls there was also a Woolworth’s, Rumbelows, Weston Hart for music, the Shirt King and Chocolate King, True-Form and Saxone shoe shops and three cinemas, the Odeon, Gaumont and Essoldo.

He adds: ‘There was a Southern Gas office, a Southern Electricity office and a booking office for Southdown buses and coaches.

‘Now it’s mostly pubs (the Blue Anchor, the Lanyard, The Tap, Wetherspoons, the Clarence Gardens, Thatchers and the Fountain). And, of course, charity shops. Unfortunately the Co-op burned down in the 1980s.

‘And don’t forget the traffic policeman in a white coat on point duty at the junction of London Road, Stubbington Avenue and Gladys Avenue, now replaced by a mini roundabout.’

Saxone and Southern Gas - just two names which have disappeared from North End

Saxone and Southern Gas - just two names which have disappeared from North End

Philip asks: ‘Will North End ever become a proper shopping centre again? I doubt it. There are already many empty shops in North End. End car parking charges in adjacent car parks and maybe it will pick up again. I hope so.’

ooking south down London Road, North End, with crowds of shoppers thronging the pavements

ooking south down London Road, North End, with crowds of shoppers thronging the pavements

The round-fronted Southdown bus and coach booking office at the junction of London Road, Stubbington AVenue and Gladys Avenue, North End, Portsmouth, 1975

The round-fronted Southdown bus and coach booking office at the junction of London Road, Stubbington AVenue and Gladys Avenue, North End, Portsmouth, 1975

Cars heading from Hilsea to North End

Cars heading from Hilsea to North End