Winnie’s flying visit to Portsmouth

Portsmouth's  Anglican Cathedral before the west end was added.
Portsmouth's Anglican Cathedral before the west end was added.

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In November, 1991, the Queen Mother visited the city to attend the consecration of the extension the Anglican cathedral of St Thomas in High Street, Old Portsmouth.

An extension was planned in 1932 five years after the church became the cathedral on May 1, 1927.

Pic/ Winston Churchill arrives at Hilsea May 1914

Pic/ Winston Churchill arrives at Hilsea May 1914

I’ve always been under the impression there was some debate about this.

Apparently many people thought that it should have been St Mary’s Church, Portsea, that should have been upgraded to cathedral status.

The brick wall seen here was put up in the early days of the Second World War and remained in place until funding could be found to build the extension.

Field Marshal Montgomery tried to get the job done in the 1960s but again funding became the problem.

Pic/ A lovely shot across Southsea common from Clarence Pier. Everything looking pristene.

Pic/ A lovely shot across Southsea common from Clarence Pier. Everything looking pristene.

However, as the cathedral was quite suitable for use there was no immediate hurry.

Below we see Winston Churchill long before he was knighted after landing at Hilsea in May 1914.

He was here, no doubt, in his capacity as 1st Lord of the Admiralty, and in the town, as it then was, to talk over naval matters.

I am still trying to discover what RFA stood for.

It must be Royal Flying Association or something like that before it became the the Royal Flying Corps and then the Royal Air Force.

Details would be of interest please.

The airfield, of course, later became Portsmouth Airport and is still much-missed to this day.

In the second picture below we see everything looking pristine in the view across Southsea Common from Clarence Pier.

It’s the early 1960s, according to the postcard.

Many of these trees were taken down in the great storm of 1987, but have been replaced in recent years and everything should look much the same in years to come.

The bushes on the roundabout seem to have been shaped into animal figures.

Perhaps it was the work of a council gardener topiarist?

Southsea Terrace is to the left with the steeple of St Jude’s Church in Kent Road to the right.