Newspaper billboard dates picture to the day

The concourse of of Portsmouth and Southsea railway station in 1909.  Picture: Paul Costen
The concourse of of Portsmouth and Southsea railway station in 1909. Picture: Paul Costen

Boys who became men when HMS Havant rescued thousands from Dunkirk

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These two fascinating railway-themed photographs show Portsmouth during the glorious age of steam in the early years of the 20th century.

These two fascinating railway-themed photographs show Portsmouth during the glorious age of steam in the early years of the 20th century.

The first was probably taken before the First World War at Portsmouth Harbour station and shows a train crossing the extension from the station into the dockyard.

It would have been heading towards what today we know as South Railway Jetty but was then known as Last Farewell Jetty.

The extension into the dockyard crossed Station Approach, where The Hard interchange is now, via a level crossing.

In the gloom in the background are what look like two battleships of perhaps the Queen, London or Formidable class. Can any ship experts identify them?

You can also see the old Semaphore Tower in the dockyard before it was destroyed by fire.

We can date the second picture to 1909.

It was taken in the concourse of Portsmouth and Southsea station close to platform four and shows the WH Smith stall overflowing with newspapers.

How can we be so precise about the year? One of the headlines on the billboards reads Kings Horse Wins Derby.

In 1909 King Edward VII’s horse Minoru was the classic ridden by Herbert Jones.

Both pictures come from the collection of Waterlooville collector and photographer Paul Costen.