Demolition of the Gothic house was vandalism

Here we see a view  looking west along East Street, Havant circa 1920, from the Barry Cox collection
Here we see a view looking west along East Street, Havant circa 1920, from the Barry Cox collection
You might struggle with this scene but it is in fact looking across Waite Street, Cosham. The tram is heading for Spur Road.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: When trams ran through the fire station’s offices at Cosham

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In this marvellous view, right, we are looking west along East Street, Havant, circa 1920s at a guess.

At this time the cinema was in North Street on the corner of Elm Lane and called the Empire Kinema.

Looking down from the terrace of the former Leigh Park House onto the magnificent gardens and lake at the bottom of the slope.

Looking down from the terrace of the former Leigh Park House onto the magnificent gardens and lake at the bottom of the slope.

It was very successful but a larger auditorium was needed.

The New Empire Cinema came into being in August 1938, located on the north side of East Street built where the tall square building can be seen on the right.

Waldron House is still standing on the corner of Town Hall Road, although no longer with that name.

All the buildings on the right, nearest to camera, have been replaced.

The Portland Hotel when it was in use as a hotel. It has had several make-overs since.

The Portland Hotel when it was in use as a hotel. It has had several make-overs since.

n The gardens of the former Leigh Park House were at one time the most magnificent in the area.

The Gothic house was demolished in an act of wanton vandalism by Portsmouth City Council in 1959.

Only the terrace now remains and right is a view from that terrace down the slope to the lake.

Sad to say, the gardens are not a patch on how I remember them as a boy with such lawns and towering spruce trees – many now felled through age.

A large roofed water well once stood to the right of a path just out of camera.

n The Grade II listed Portland Hotel building, below left, stands on the corner of Kent Road and Portland Road, Southsea, and was once a very handsome building.

The imposing 1847 building was once a thriving hotel built by Thomas Ellis Owen, the architect who built most of the high-class houses in Southsea.

It has not been used as a hotel for many years.

It was refurbished in 1989 and called Norma Jeans.

It was lastly named the Havana Bar.

That did not last too long and by its closure the building was sadly looking somewhat jaded.

It was to be put up for auction by Savills of London over a year ago but was sold privately prior to auction.

Now owned by Portland PO5Ltd, at the moment there is planning permission placed with Portsmouth Council for consideration of a conversion into 12 dwellings.