This photo is one of the oldest in reader Barry Cox’s collection. He believes it dates from between 1867 to 1870. It is looking south-east from where Debenhams, Southsea, the former Hanleys site, is today. To the left is Colverson’s a poulterer and dealer in game. Next door is Antill’s who were wine importers. Above the door to the shop a figure of what looks like a child peers out of the window at the photographer.
What is amazing about this photograph is that there are no ‘ghosts’ caused by people moving about during the long exposure needed for the plate-glass negatives used in those days. Barry tells me he can date the picture as there are no horse-tram tracks in the road. The section of track from the Queen’s Hotel to The Circle was opened on September 2, 1879, so the photo was definitely taken before that date.