The epitome of chic...

Palmerston Road, Southsea, probably before the First World War but what was the occasion?    Picture: costen.co.uk
Palmerston Road, Southsea, probably before the First World War but what was the occasion? Picture: costen.co.uk

Saint Roger's halo didn't slip when he gave me interview

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These three pictures show Palmerston Road, Southsea when it was the very epitome of shopping chic.

The first features the road decked for a celebration. Judging by the clothes this was Edwardian Southsea before the First World War, but does anyone know what the occasion might have been?

Palmerston Road, Southsea, about 1925.    Picture: costen.co.uk

Palmerston Road, Southsea, about 1925. Picture: costen.co.uk

The shop with the sun blinds is, of course, Handley’s department store which gave its name to Handley’s Corner, an institution in Portsmouth.

It became the favourite meeting place for all who wanted to be noticed.

Founded in 1869 by George Handley, the shop grew to become the city’s most fashionable emporium.

George Handley died in 1926 but the business was continued by his sons Douglas, George and Trevor.

Palmerston Road, Southsea, with Handley's department store on the left and the spire of St Jude's Church in background.    Picture: costen.co.uk

Palmerston Road, Southsea, with Handley's department store on the left and the spire of St Jude's Church in background. Picture: costen.co.uk

The store was destroyed by a German bombing raid during the Second World War, was rebuilt and today is part of the Debenhams empire.

The picture showing Boots was taken about the middle of the 1920s.

All the pictures are from the Paul Costen collection at costen.co.uk