When horse power was used to keep Portsmouth’s streets clean

A womanat the reins of a horse and cart in Portsmouth
A womanat the reins of a horse and cart in Portsmouth
The new trackbed for the Horndean Light Railway looking south across the bridge over Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, about 1903.

NOSTALGIA: Ready and waiting, the shiny new tracks climbing Portsdown Hill

Have your say

Water carts drawn by powerful horses were once a familiar and popular sight around the streets and roads of Portsmouth.

Here we see an example of a cart doing the rounds.

They were out early in the morning to clean the byways in summer.

This would wet down the roads and lay the dust so that it was kept to a minimum on the roads and in the air.

In wet weather the carter used to keep the streets 

This young lady is doing what was recognised as a man’s job.

During the First World War, many of the men had been called up for the forces, leaving the women to step into vacant positions and carry out vital work at home.

The water carts were used all over the country and generally had iron tanks fixed to the framework.

Carts would be drawn along the street and water sprinkled on the road surfaces and pavements through nozzles fitted below the rear.

They sometimes carried advertisements.