Did old watercart end up as a nursery sprinkler?

The original picture of the watercart in a Portsmouth street
The original picture of the watercart in a Portsmouth street
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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Readers might recall the picture on the immediate right which I published in June. It’s believed to have been taken in Portsmouth during the First World War and shows a woman driving a watercart from which roads were sprinkled to keep down the dust in summer.

That sent regular contributor David Janes to his albums, in which he found the photo on the far right from the mid-1960s of an identical-looking watercart.

A watercart discovered at Hilsea in the mid-1960s. Could it be the same one?

A watercart discovered at Hilsea in the mid-1960s. Could it be the same one?

David, of Rectory Close, Alverstoke, says: ‘This one was last used at the nursery between Port Creek and the moat at Hilsea Lines, immediately east of Peronne Road.’

He says it was a ‘wedge-shaped’ piece of land about 300 yards long and says it might have been a corporation nursery.

Note the words ‘Portsmouth Corporation’ have been painted out on the cart. In the original picture the city’s crest appears to be on the side.’

David says in his photo the security fencing in the background formed the boundary of the Ordnance Depot at Hilsea. He also sent me the other three pictures here of old Lion Terrace, Portsea and included a view of the Lion Temperance Hotel at the end of its days.

He says: ‘The entrance in Portland Street with the pillars supporting a canopy with steps to the narrow pavement gives an illusion of grandeur and is in keeping with Lion Terrace around the corner. It’s such a shame this terrace was not restored, along with the hotel. It would have been quite a gem.’