Maroon-coloured hut was 35 shillings a week to rent

The Milton Locks area looking east to the Thatched House pub

The Milton Locks area looking east to the Thatched House pub

Naval veteran recorded Portsmouth’s changing landscape

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David Warren-Holland was delighted to see the picture from Dave Farmer of the old, once-thriving houseboat community at Milton Locks, Portsmouth.

He was fascinated because his first home was the maroon-coloured hut on the far right at the back of the picture.

This photo brought back memories for David Warren-Holland, who lived in the maroon hut at the back

This photo brought back memories for David Warren-Holland, who lived in the maroon hut at the back

David, of South Parade, Southsea, said he lived there in 1957.

‘The rent was 35 shillings a week, £1.75 a week today.

‘It did have electricity, but did not have any insulation so was a bit damp. I had to keep the bed away from the wall,’ he recalls.

Matt Spanner, 34, also got in touch. A keen local historian, he has lived in Locksway Road for the past 23 years.

He says: ‘I have always loved this area and believe very few photos survive of the houseboat community, commonly known as the High Street, Milton Locks.’

He sent this picture of the same area facing east, looking towards the Thatched House pub.

‘It shows many houseboats and the pub in the background, along with the original lock gates and what must have been rather a precarious footbridge over the canal. I believe this dates from about 1935.’

The third picture today is undated and is believed to show the dilapidated lock gates at Milton after the Arundel to Portsmouth canal fell into disrepair in the middle of the 19th century.

The Portsea section of canal opened on September 19, 1822, and was able to carry vessels of up to 150 tons. The whole scheme opened in May 1823.

To supply the water for the canal, a pump house was built at Milton which pumped water via well and pipe from the sea into the canal.

During the early 19th century large amounts of goods were transported between London and the south coast ports by coasters.

As England was at war with France it was feared that these trade routes could be easily disrupted by the French attacking from the sea. The road system at this time was poor so an inland waterway, linking London to Portsmouth was proposed.

The southern section of this waterway linked Portsmouth to Arundel via the Arun Navigation, Wey and Arun Canal, Wey Navigation, and River Thames. Barges passed through a channel at the north of Thorney Island, passed north of Hayling Island into Langstone Harbour and then entered the Portsea Canal at its entrance at Milton.

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