Two tales from the tracks reflects the history of the city

The Southsea Miniature Railway pulls out of the station on the Common in the mid-1930s.    Picture: Paul Costen
The Southsea Miniature Railway pulls out of the station on the Common in the mid-1930s. Picture: Paul Costen

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Two track-related pictures today – one recapturing the miniature age of steam, the other recalling Portsmouth’s extensive tram system.

The three young lads, all with their caps, look as though they can hardly wait to clamber aboard one of the carriages on Southsea’s miniature railway which ran across the Common.

Tramway track being laid in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, in 1909.  Picture: Paul Costen

Tramway track being laid in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, in 1909. Picture: Paul Costen

Note the sacks of coal on the left waiting to replenish the engine’s tender.

The naval war memorial, commemorating those who died in the First World War, is in the background. It was completed and opened in 1926 and judging by the style of the clothes here, the picture was probably taken in the mid-1930s.

The second picture was taken in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, Portsmouth, in 1909.

It shows tramway track being laid for the extension to Milton and this shot was taken from an upper window of the Talbot Hotel.

Work on the extension stated on March 18, 1909 and was finished by June 30, but the line was not used for three weeks to allow concrete to set.

A decorated tram left the town hall at noon on July 20 filled with members of the corporation.

When the car reached Fratton Bridge the mayor, James Baggs, took over as driver.

This part of the journey was renown for being smooth because this section was the first to have welded joints on the rails.

• Both pictures come from the collection of Waterlooville photographer and collector Paul Costen.