Historic art deco garage reaches end of the road

The newly-completed  Southdown bus depot in 1934
The newly-completed Southdown bus depot in 1934

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Demolition has begun at the last 1930s building at the gateway to Portsmouth – the former Southdown bus depot at Hilsea.

And to mark its demise, Portsmouth historian Jane Smith, who specialises in Hilsea’s past, has sent me the photograph on this page and two more that appear in The News today.

In later years of course, the garage became a depot for the Co-op, but it gradually fell into disuse.

The commanding Art Deco garage, blindingly white in the afternoon sun, has stood for almost 80 years.

It was the first major building encountered by any traveller entering Portsea Island and a very familiar sight to anyone coming down the old A3 into Portsmouth.

It’s important to remember too that when the garage was built, there was only one road on to Portsea lsland so it was the major transit stop for the mainland for several years.