Look, no hands! Views of Portsmouth through new clockface

The Dockyard's smoking chimney stacks seen from the Guildhall clock tower in the 1950s
The Dockyard's smoking chimney stacks seen from the Guildhall clock tower in the 1950s

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Chris Wright is on holiday in Portsmouth from his home in Ontario, Canada.

But before he left he remembered to pack a selection of unusual two-inch square black and white photographs he took in the 1950s.

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw power''Portsmouth Power Station alongside The Camber dominates this view from the Guildahll clock tower in the 1950s

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw power''Portsmouth Power Station alongside The Camber dominates this view from the Guildahll clock tower in the 1950s

He follows events in the city on portsmouth.co.uk and thought I’d be interested in the photos. He wasn’t wrong.

For Chris, 86, worked in the city architects’ department from 1949-58 and was given the chance to spend time in the rebuilt clock tower on the Guildhall just as the clock’s face was being installed.

Chris recalls: ‘Tom Hutchings was in charge. We both lived in Fareham and used to travel in together.

‘One day he said the new clock face had arrived and asked if I’d be interested in going up there with my camera to take some pictures.’

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw comm rd''Commercial Road from the Guildhall clock tower in the 1950s

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw comm rd''Commercial Road from the Guildhall clock tower in the 1950s

So today I’ve devoted Remember When to five of his best shots giving views of the city from three of the clock’s faces.

They show a grimy, smoky old city still reeling and trying to recover from the Second World War.

Indeed, the reason Chris was invited into the clock tower was because the entire building was still being reconstructed after it was hit by an incendiary bomb in January 1941.

Apart from the smoke-belching chimneys and the old power station overlooking The Camber, Old Portsmouth, perhaps the most interesting bird’s eye view is of the old Guildhall Square with Queen Victoria’s statue in the middle.

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw railway''The 'Town' station with its distinctive roofs from the Guildhall clock tower

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw railway''The 'Town' station with its distinctive roofs from the Guildhall clock tower

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw square''The old Guildhall Square from the Guuildhall's clock tower

jpns-27-04-15-033 rw square''The old Guildhall Square from the Guuildhall's clock tower