These Boots were made for walking – just down road

Boots the Chemist being built in Commercial Road, 1976
Boots the Chemist being built in Commercial Road, 1976
A gaggle of 33-submarines tied up at HMS Dolphin, Gosport, pre-January 1922. HMS Victory is in the far distance.

NOSTALGIA WITH BOB HIND: Here’s a sight you won’t see again – 33 subs in the same place

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Three pictures here today from regular Remember When contributor Philip Pyke – photos which will probably get you scratching your head and muttering ‘was it really 39 years ago?’

We find ourselves in the then relatively new pedestrian precinct of Commercial Road, Portsmouth.

jpns-10-02-15 rw Boots 1''Boots the Chemist being built in Commercial Road, 1976

jpns-10-02-15 rw Boots 1''Boots the Chemist being built in Commercial Road, 1976

His 1976 pictures show the Boots the chemist shop under construction.

And as Philip, of Westwood Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth, recalls and his pictures show, WH Smith once occupied the plot next door on the corner of Commercial Road and Craswell Street.

It then moved farther south towards Arundel Street where that shop can be found today.

Philip says: ‘Boots took over the WH Smith site and built their new shop.

jpns-10-02-15 rw Boots 3''Boots the Chemist being built in Commercial Road, 1976

jpns-10-02-15 rw Boots 3''Boots the Chemist being built in Commercial Road, 1976

‘However, the WH Smith floor level was lower than the new Boots, hence the step down when you go from the newly-built part of Boots to the older part, still evident today.’

You can tell it was the ’70s – look at those fashions.

Roll-neck sweaters, faux fur-lined coats, thin ties. It might be 2015 apart from one enormous blouse collar protruding past a coat’s lapels.

At the bottom of the page we move across the water to Gosport and another flourishing High Street.

jpns-10-02-15 rw High Street''High Street, Gosport, 1973

jpns-10-02-15 rw High Street''High Street, Gosport, 1973

Brian Maby, of Arundel Road, Gosport, took the picture of that town’s High Street in 1973 ‘when quality shops were in abundance. Ah, happy days’.