Memories of genteel Southsea

Portsmouth in 1717 (from William Gates History of Portsmouth, 1900)

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Sun-kissed Southsea – four postcards here designed to show off the resort in its full summer glory.

They were used to boost the number of visitors by displaying the wonderful ornamental gardens as well as Southsea’s unique claim to fame for a seaside town – the common.

Southsea ornamental gardens

Southsea ornamental gardens

None of the photographs is dated but the main photograph, showing sun-drenched ornamental gardens on Southsea seafront, looking west towards the naval war memorial, was obviously taken after 1924 following the completion of the naval war memorial which you can see in the distance.

In our In Pictures pakage are views of The Italian Gardens, a couple finding shade on Ladies’ Mile and the junction of Lennox Road and Clarence Parade.

What comes across in each picture is the genteel, civilised nature of Southsea as opposed to the boisterousness of big brother Portsmouth.

See the video on this story for a glimpse of post-war Southsea in the days when thousands of trippers (long before cheap package deals to Spain) would turn up for the day and spend hours walking the prom or taking a boat out on Canoe Lake.

All pictures courtesy of