Transport through the ages

Somers Road, Blackfriars Road and Bradford Road junction in 1962 and, inset, as it is today
Somers Road, Blackfriars Road and Bradford Road junction in 1962 and, inset, as it is today
Dick Dimon, from Doncaster, who was an able seaman leading torpedo operator in HMS Delight, laying a wreath at the war memorial on Southsea Common at the first reunion of the survivors of the ship.

THIS WEEK IN 1978: Delight survivors meet after 38 years

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Over the next few weeks I shall be publishing then and now photographs from two transport books on Portsmouth.

The books are Portsmouth Trolleybuses by Barry Cox and Portsmouth Tramways by Martin Petch. They are published by Middleton Press at £16.95.

JPNS-20-10-12 RW Roads and Junction 2012 rep bh''THE FORMER JUNCTION OF SOMERS ROAD, BLACKFRIARS ROAD AND BRADFORD ROAD AS IT IS 2012'WINSTON CHURCHILL AVENUE  CUTS THROUGH ALL THE ROADS.

JPNS-20-10-12 RW Roads and Junction 2012 rep bh''THE FORMER JUNCTION OF SOMERS ROAD, BLACKFRIARS ROAD AND BRADFORD ROAD AS IT IS 2012'WINSTON CHURCHILL AVENUE CUTS THROUGH ALL THE ROADS.

At one time Somers Road was an arterial road that passed what is now called Somers Town. It was full of shops of all types and with many a Portsmouth character running them.

The road had one failing, a staggered crossroads right in the centre where Bradford Road crossed into Blackfriars Road.

Even in the days before modern traffic there was chaos, especially when there was out-muster at the dockyard and hundreds of cycles passed this way taking the dockyardmen home for lunch and again at the day’s end.

Here we see a No 18 on its route from Eastney to the dockyard traversing the crossroads in 1962.

And on the right is the same view taken last week.

It’s amazing how the tree has grown where the bus once passed freely.

The paving stone wall remains on the right. The jewellers behind the trolleybus and pawnbroker to the left of it have long since been demolished.

Winston Churchill Avenue, which now cuts Somers Road in half, passes where the two cars are behind the bus. Somers Road is now little more than a backwater.