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A lovely hand-tinted postcard showing the Royal Pier Hotel and Southsea Terrace
A lovely hand-tinted postcard showing the Royal Pier Hotel and Southsea Terrace
Grandma Aylmer (centre) with her six daughters in Henrietta Street, Somers Town, Portsmouth.

PORTSMOUTH NOSTALGIA: Days when your nearest and dearest virtually lived next door

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The picture above show buildings completely missed by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. It’s a view unchanged to this day.

The Royal Pier Hotel on the left is no longer ‘as built’ as it was demolished and rebuilt as student accommodation. However, the modern front is almost exactly the same.

OVER The junction with Festing Road when the East Southsea branch ran under Albert Road

OVER The junction with Festing Road when the East Southsea branch ran under Albert Road

It’s amazing that just 500 yards behind the hotel, devastation came on January 10/11, 1941, when King Street and the surrounding area was razed, yet not one bomb fell on the buildings in the picture.

- Two of the other photographs feature the bridge over the East Southsea branch line along Albert Road, Southsea.

In the first we see how raised the hump was. All we can see are the top floors of the Festing Hotel on the corner of Albert and Festing roads. The wooden fence is somewhat rickety but people knew what they were doing in those days and would have kept well clear of it.

The second picture shows the line where it ran under Albert Road.

UNDER The East Southsea branch line passing under Albert Road with Albert Road Halt seen through the arch

UNDER The East Southsea branch line passing under Albert Road with Albert Road Halt seen through the arch

Here we are looking underneath the same bridge with Albert Road Halt visible through the arch. A train awaits passengers, probably in vain as this was a little-used branch. It closed in August 1914 after only 29 years’ service.

- In the photograph of Portsmouth Dockyard we are looking north over what I believe to be North Corner, but stand to be corrected. I think the steps in the middle at the bottom are King’s Stairs. As the jetties along the dockyard’s west wall altered over time, former dockyardmen might have known them by a different name.

There is a fantastic array of shipping to be seen and as this was a transitional time for the navy – the move from sail to steam – the variety of ships signifies this.

I’d like to know what the hulk is on the far left. It could be the Doguay Tronin (always known as Dugan Troyn) and later renamed HMS Implacable.

Victorian Portsmouth Dockyard

Victorian Portsmouth Dockyard

She was a French ship launched in 1801 and captured by the British when she escaped from Trafalgar. In an act of utter stupidity, she was towed from the dockyard in December 1949 and scuttled.