Where there’s a wheel there’s a way – straight down Portsmouth tramlines

A magnificent photograph looking south over Portsbridge with the Hilsea arches in the background. 		                   Picture: Barry Cox Collection
A magnificent photograph looking south over Portsbridge with the Hilsea arches in the background. Picture: Barry Cox Collection
Portsmouth in 1717 (from William Gates History of Portsmouth, 1900)

NOSTALGIA: A seed of learning planted 300 years ago that’s blossomed into Portsmouth Grammar School

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This terrific photograph from Barry Cox is a view from Portsbridge looking south towards Hilsea arches.

It shows Portsmouth Cycling Club on a day out. Judging by the shadows it could be mid-afternoon with the sun in the west.

A magnificent painting (not a photograph) showing a merchantman lowering her flag as a courtesy to a passing warship in the Solent.

A magnificent painting (not a photograph) showing a merchantman lowering her flag as a courtesy to a passing warship in the Solent.

To the rear are Hilsea Lines, the fortifications built in Napoleonic times to protect Portsmouth from French invasion from the north.

Hilsea arches were put in to allow trams to pass through.

The cyclists would have to be careful not to catch their wheels in the tramlines.

The picture was taken in the very early years of the last century and today thousands of cars pass this point without a thought of what once was.

A Portsmouth Evening News photograph from 1940 showing three sets of sisters in the Southern ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service).

A Portsmouth Evening News photograph from 1940 showing three sets of sisters in the Southern ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service).

•The magnificent painting on the facing page comes from Clippers, Packets & Men O’ War (Bounty Books).

It is a book of outstanding paintings by seascape artists and how they ever became so skilled is beyond me. I can draw sailing ships but these artists were beyond belief.

In this work a four-masted barque in the Solent is passing a warship heading for Portsmouth early in the 20th century.

As was the law at one time sailing ships had to strike, or drop, one of their sails when passing a King’s ship. After Trafalgar the old courtesy died out but it was still thought a courtesy to lower the ensign as seen here.

Another turn-of-the-last century photograph, this time of St Georges Church, Portsea, located within St Georges Square.

Another turn-of-the-last century photograph, this time of St Georges Church, Portsea, located within St Georges Square.

Even today British and foreign merchant ships lower their ensigns to one of Her Majesty’s Ships. The salute is then returned.

A question to artists. How do you paint in the rigging with such definition? Surely it’s not drawn in?

•Yesterday I published a 1940 photograph showing a father and four sons all serving during the Second World War.

Here are three sets of sisters serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Were they from the Portsmouth area and does anyone know of them? Back row: Daphne, Angela and Zillah Whittle; centre: Pamela, Juanita and Daphne Terry-Wood; front: Cicely, Joyce and Daphne Bashford.

•I have captioned this photograph ‘within St George’s Square, Portsea’ as at that time the square extended to the rear of the church. In fact, on old maps the square is only shown as the area behind the church, not that in the front.

The foundation stone was laid in May 1753 and it was always known as the shipwrights’ church.

Badly damaged in the blitz during the Second World War, it was closed from 1941 until 1951. It is still thriving today.