THIS WEEK IN 1973: ‘Out’ verdict given for Unicorn totters market

Totters Market on Unicorn Road, Portsmouth, in 1973. 
(1758 ENGPPP00120131024171215)
Totters Market on Unicorn Road, Portsmouth, in 1973. (1758 ENGPPP00120131024171215)
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Every Friday morning a totters’ market was set up in Unicorn Road on the approach to the Unicorn Gate entrance to the dockyard.

The beloved market came under threat by Portsmouth Naval Base according to a government report.

Freddie Emery-Wallis, the chairman of the corporation’s development and estates committee said: ‘It looks as though it will be part of Portsmouth that just will have to go.

‘I think everyone would admit it is not going to be easy to find a solution.’

The report of a public inquiry into the area said seven roads surrounding the base would be closed to make way for a dockyard extension, leaving no room for the totters.

The plans meant the Unicorn Gate entrance would be moved to a position across Unicorn Road, incorporating about 150 yards of the road into the Ministry of Defence premises.

Bill Moreton, of Fawcett Road, Southsea, said: ‘The responsibility is back on the shoulders of the corporation to find the traders a new site.’’

But the totters decided to fight back and those who presented the inquiry with a 150-signature petition to save the market said the search for a new site would go on.