AN ICONIC part of Portsmouth’s history has been sold to a city collector.
Paul Anderson couldn’t believe his luck when he walked out of an auction with one of only three remaining original signs to the old Tricorn shopping centre.
He paid £420 for the sign at an auction in Nesbits, Southsea – a figure Mr Anderson considered a bargain having been prepared to pay up to £1,000 for it.
He owns a string of shops throughout Portsmouth, including Andy’s Maritime Antiques, in Charlotte Street, opposite the spot where the centre used to stand.
The sign will take pride of place on his shop’s back wall, facing the former site.
He said: ‘I had no idea the sign was up for sale. I went into the auction to buy some old diving equipment for the shop and as soon as I saw it I just thought “I’m going to have that!”
‘The Tricorn is a part of Portsmouth’s history, whether you liked it or not, and it’s great to own something like that – it’s something I’ll never have the chance to buy again.’
As well as the sign, Mr Anderson also bought a copy of an original brochure of the shopping centre, a couple of pamphlets and a Schedule of Rents and Floor Areas for the shop units, for a mere £35.
‘I’ve got lots of memories from the Tricorn, so this stuff means a lot to me,’ Mr Anderson added.
‘I used to go there with my dad when I was a kid to get the veg for his butcher’s shop. Then when I was older I would get my Doc Martens from there and all the mod stuff I used to wear. And I used to go to the nightclub on the top, called Granny’s. It was great fun and I’ve got a lot of stories from my time there.’
The second remaining sign has been donated to City Museum and will be on display during a Tricorn exhibition in 2014.
The third is in a state of disrepair.
The Tricorn, famously voted one of Britain’s ugliest buildings, was demolished in 2004.