When life burned brightly in the old Bonfire Corner of Portsmouth

BONFIRE CORNER A pre-Second World War picture of old Portsea, just the other side of the dockyard wall
BONFIRE CORNER A pre-Second World War picture of old Portsea, just the other side of the dockyard wall

THIS WEEK IN 1987: ‘Jinx’ family hit by daughter’s death

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Take a close look at the magnificently atmospheric picture above. Now examine the second one down.

Believe it or not they show the same view... of Bonfire Corner, Portsea.

UNRECOGNISABLE The same view of Bonfire Corner, Portsea, today. 		Picture: Bob Hind

UNRECOGNISABLE The same view of Bonfire Corner, Portsea, today. Picture: Bob Hind

My colleague Bob Hind took the black and white picture the other day, standing in exactly the same spot as the photographer of the original.

Look carefully on the extreme right of the old photo and you can just make out the letters ‘UN’. That was the Union Jack Tavern which stood on the corner of Daniel Street. That road now lies under the new block of flats built alongside Admiralty Road, where the Brickwoods’ brewery once stood.

And the eagle-eyed among you might also notice the ‘OO’ peeking through a gap in the buildings on the right – the set of double Os in the name of that brewery.

The name was on the wall of the Blue Anchor pub which was on the corner of Cross Street and Cumberland Street.

The collier Pompey Power arriving at her dock opposite the power station.  (Barry Cox collection)

The collier Pompey Power arriving at her dock opposite the power station. (Barry Cox collection)

Now let’s shimmy across to the left and those three men and a dog plus a boy. They’re standing outside a fish and chip shop which, according to the sign painted on the wall opened from 7pm-midnight – perfect after chucking-out time from all the pubs in this neck of the woods.

It seems strange to us these days that there was a road sign pointing the way to London, Brighton and Southampton. But behind the photographer was a gate to the dockyard so I suppose the sign helped lorry drivers find their way out of the maze of streets in this historic old part of town.

Frederick Street, along with two others behind the chippy – Gloucester Street and Marlborough Street – were later incorporated into the dockyard.

n Bob needs your help with the third picture here today of a collier berthing opposite the old power station in Gunwharf Road, Old Portsmouth. The coal would be offloaded and sent over the road on giant conveyor belts.

The same location  today where the Pompey Power docked - the car park of the Isle of Wight car ferry, Old Portsmouth.

The same location today where the Pompey Power docked - the car park of the Isle of Wight car ferry, Old Portsmouth.

But can any former workers, either at the dock or the power station, get in touch with further information to help Bob with research into his new book?

E-mail him at bobhind2014@icloud.com or on (023) 9243 5936.