The more you look the more you see: the picture that keeps on giving

Old Portsmouth power station circa 1948
Old Portsmouth power station circa 1948

THIS WEEK IN 1976: Big crowds for the big band sound

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Istumbled across this wonderful picture while looking for images of HMS Vernon.

It’s a picture of Old Portsmouth which just keeps giving – the more you look the more you see.

It dates from about 1948 and it’s hard, almost impossible, to believe that this now bijou district of Portsmouth was so recently dominated by the city’s power station.

Of course, it was built there to take advantage of The Camber docks and the short distance coal had to travel from ship to shore to feed the industrial monster.

To the bottom left is The Camber with the giant coal hoppers of Fraser & White’s the coal merchant. Unloading at the wharf is a large collier with three barges alongside.

At the pointed end of the coal wharves you can just make out The Bridge Tavern which is dwarfed by them.

Above the Bridge Tavern is the lock for the coal barges that brought in coal for the power station.

You can’t miss the covered conveyors which took the coal up and over Gunwharf Road to feed the power plant.

Above the lock are the buildings of HMS Vernon.

At the bottom is Oyster Street which at this time passed into White Hart Lane.

St Thomas’s Street passes behind the cathedral with many of the buildings just bomb sites.

You can just see, in the extreme bottom right, the remains of the buildings which once lined High Street in front of the cathedral – also destroyed by German bombs in the war.