Murder focused attention on conditions in the slums

Slum clearance in White's Row, Portsea, Portsmouth, in about 1929
Slum clearance in White's Row, Portsea, Portsmouth, in about 1929
Hawk Street, Portsea, looking west towards Queen Street. PPP-160825-191930001

NOSTALGIA: Portsea – ‘A population that bears the hallmark of poverty’

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Slum clearance in White’s Row, Portsea, Portsmouth, in about 1929.

In the early years of the 20th century, Portsea already had a reputation as an area of slums, rife with vice and disease. But little was done until after the First World War.

The issue was brought to a head by the murder of Mary Pelham, a prostitute, in Blossom Alley.

The newspapers focused public attention on the appalling conditions.

In 1929 a huge rehousing scheme started in Portsea.