Eerie wartime picture of Fratton street heading for demolition
I know by the amount of mail I receive how many of you love looking at old maps of the city, especially when streets that no longer survive are featured.
I also know, after talking to so many of you, how much you still miss those long-demolished streets in which you grew up and played.
I am hoping some of you might remember Fratton Grove which was located on the western side of Fratton Road, just past and almost opposite Cornwall Road.
Fratton Grove ran westward and then did a U-turn north into a cul-de-sac. It was crossed by Vivash Road.
I am told this atmospheric photograph was taken in 1944 when all the burnt out houses from numbers 6 to 20 remained but were eerily empty. I wonder if they were repaired after the war or whether there was wholesale demolition of the area?
I am not sure in which direction the camera is facing but a clue might be the SWS (static water supply) sign on the wall pointing to where a water supply could be obtained.
ASDA and the Fratton Centre now cover most of the area.
The map shows Fratton Grove, just above Somers Road North.
Bands cut their teeth at The Railway
Today’s third picture was taken from a passing train in the Fratton cutting looking over Selbourne Terrace and down Claremont Road.
The Railway Hotel was on the corner of Walmer Road. Many of you may remember landlady Molly who later ran the Duke of Devonshire on Albert Road, Southsea, for many years.
Many bands, who later became well-known, played there including Paul Jones along with Manfred Mann of 5-4-3-2-1 fame.
On the right hand corner was the Friends’ Meeting House and on the left Jeram & Co who sold coal that ‘settles the burning question’.
Our last picture, of the man and woman in the pony and trap, is thought to show the owner of Southwick Estate, north of Portsdown Hill.
The 7,600-acre estate is now run by Robin Thistlethwayte and his son Robin.
The land for the forts along the brow of the hill was requisitioned by the government of the time as was Southwick House, later used for the planning of D-Day.
It was supposed to be returned to the family but was purchased for a song in 1950 much to the owners’ disgust.