Memories of Portsmouth and Horndean tramways

Southwick Road tram bridge in 1934

Southwick Road tram bridge in 1934

David  Yates, right, outside 23, Garnier Street, Fratton. The original  front room of the  house is where he is  standing.

Spirit of the Portsmouth blitz: bacon and eggs served on a newspaper

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These two photographs of Southwick Road junction not only show the difference in the pace of life now and then, but also the amount of traffic furniture needed these days for the safety of pedestrians.

In the black and white photograph we see a tram crossing the bridge over the road on its way to Horndean in 1934. Trams would only be running this route for a short time after as the last one from Cosham to Horndean was withdrawn at the beginning of 1935.

The road as it looks today

The road as it looks today

They were replaced by Southdown buses, which could travel the six miles far quicker. Adjacent to the tramway bridge to the west was a footbridge for pedestrians.

The first picture shows an empty tram rattling its way over the bridge on its way to the George Inn at the summit of Portsdown Hill on a reserved track to the west of the London Road. From the George Inn to Waterlooville, the track was in the middle of the road (imagine that today).

From Waterlooville to Horndean, the track was again off the road, on the verge to the east side of the road.

In the coloured photograph we see the same location in 2011. Look how much traffic furniture can be seen. Traffic lights, road markings and extra pavements are all needed in this modern age of the car.

After the abandonment of the tram service, the bridge remained in situ for a further 10 years until removed for scrap in 1944. The footbridge was still in use when I was a boy, but has since been removed. The abutments to the north were demolished in 1954.

If one looks up to where the former bridge crossed the road, evidence can still be seen of the former tramway bridge.

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