It’s remarkable how busy things were back then. In this postwar photograph (right) taken from Barry Cox’s book Portsmouth Trolleybuses we can see no less than 13 buses on show. Apart from the buses, the amount of people walking the streets seems amazing today.
Apart from civilians there are soldiers, sailors and a police officer directing traffic at the junction with Stanhope Road.
Notice the cyclist holding on for dear life to the railings bottom left.
The grand Central Post Office on the left had a sorting office to the rear with an entrance off Stanhope Road.
To the right is Judd’s Hotel and just beyond Stanhope Road can be seen a familiar sight, even years after the war finished, a bomb site.
Off in the distance, the white building on the corner of Edinburgh Road is a branch of Barclays Bank.
The whole photograph breathes atmosphere of a Portsmouth long gone, albeit just over 65 years ago.
Below right we have the same view taken a few weeks ago, and what a change.
Long gone is the hustle and bustle that the city’s streets used to have and most of the buildings have also become something different.
The post office and Judd’s have all gone and the former bomb site is now home to the Co-operative Bank.
The masses of cyclists have all long gone, as are the buses although it can still get busy with them in the commuter hours.
Barclays Bank continues to trade.
Below, we see a trolleybus picking up passengers in Southsea Terrace with the White Horse pub to the left.
We can also see signs of earlier public transport with tarred-over tram lines still marking the road.
The cars would all be collector’s items nowadays.
Does anyone have any guesses as to what makes and models they are?
On the opposite page we have a wonderful group from the watershed year of the Second World War, 1942.
In it, we can see Sir Denis and Lady Daly visiting children evacuated from Portsmouth to Romsey.
Can you recognise yourself at all?