Demolition refused

A Pompey forward heads the ball towards the Milton goal.  (Barry Cox collection)

From the heat of Egypt to blackberrying at Leigh Park

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On this day in 1971 the environment secretary refused permission to demolish the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, because it was expected to be listed and preserved.

The theatre was built in 1884 by CJ Phipps and redesigned in 1900 by Frank Matcham, the greatest British theatre builder of the era.

Under the management of John Waters Boughton it became ‘the major theatre in the south of England’ and is now considered by experts to be ‘one of the finest Victorian theatres surviving in the land’ – John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.

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