How the M275 carved up our city | Nostalgia

In the late 1960s there was so much traffic trying to get into and out of Portsmouth that something had to be done.

By Bob Hind
Saturday, 11th April 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 11th April 2020, 8:31 am
It's the early 1970s and the new M275 is approaching Mile End, Portsmouth.  Picture: Tony Triggs
It's the early 1970s and the new M275 is approaching Mile End, Portsmouth. Picture: Tony Triggs

So a motorway was built down the western seaboard of Portsea Island on reclaimed land – the M275.

When it opened on March 11, 1976, it gave a third, much-needed route into the city.

Of course, you don’t build motorways without breaking eggs and many people were incensed by it with many houses demolished at the western ends of Stanley, Lower Derby and Ranleigh roads.

As you can just about see, on the right of the new Rudmore roundabout, the buildings on the left hand side of Commercial Road were also lost.

When the road opened, Rudmore roundabout stood alone but soon became blocked during rush-hours.

As room had been left for a flyover one was built and it opened on March 3, 1988. This also enabled a short extension of the M275 as far as the ABC roundabout.

As we know, when the M275 is closed for whatever reason, chaos reigns with all roads in the area grinding to a standstill.

On the left is Whale island and to the right of centre is the former St John the Baptist Church. Closed in 1980, it was converted to flats in the mid to late 1980s. The photograph comes from Tony Triggs’s book Portsmouth From the Air.

•With the approaching 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe on May 8, I have recently found some propaganda the Germans put out about the destruction of HMS Victory.

The first Navy Week for six years opened on May 19, 1945, along with HMS Victory which had been off limits to the public since the outbreak of the war in September 1939.

This may have come as a surprise to the Germans because Nelson’s flagship was supposed to have been destroyed early in the war.

After one air raid on Portsmouth, Radio Berlin put out a story claiming Victory had been bombed, the ship’s timbers were strewn about the dockyard, and the incident had affected the morale of the whole navy.

At once, the Admiralty issued a denial with its own spin – Victory was still in her dry dock, towering proudly above everything else around her and was undamaged.

This was not quite true as a bomb did indeed fall into the dry dock alongside Victory’s bow.

On the night of March 10/11, 1941, a 500lb bomb burst under the port bow and blew a hole in her hold 15x8ft wide.

• I find it quite amazing that the deaths of some songwriters do not get mentioned on the national news.

Bill Martin, a prolific songwriter has died aged 81.

Like Les Reed, who produced so many hit records in the 1960s and ’70s, Martin wrote so many songs that immediately bring back memories when heard again.

With co-writer Phil Coulter who wrote the melodies, they wrote Sandie Shaw’s Puppet on a String, which won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967 followed by Congratulations for Cliff Richard which came second the following year, losing to Spain by a single vote.

In 1969 the pair produced Surround Yourself With Sorrow for Cilla Black and then wrote Back Home the official 1970 World Cup song for the England team.

Into the 1970s and the Bay City Rollers were handed several hits including Summer Love Sensation, Shangalang and All Of Me Loves All Of You, all in 1974.

Martin won five Ivor Novello Awards, one for Songwriter of the Year.

In later life he bought John Lennon’s house, Kenwood, in Weybridge, Surrey, Bill Martin died on March 26.

• Now there is no Match of The Day isn’t about time the BBC or ITV replayed some vintage football for those of us who can remember when it was a hard game to play?

Norman ‘bites yer legs’ Hunter, of Leeds, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris of Chelsea, Dave Mackay of Tottenham Hotspur were hard men and would not take any mucking about. I am sure that in today’s game they would be sent off long before the final whistle.

There are many games to be seen online of when these players were in their prime. But why can’t the television companies show them again on any of the four main channels?

• My new book, The Portsdown & Horndean Light Railway Then and Now, written in conjunction with Barry Cox who provided all the photographs, has been published.

However, the book, printed in China for whatever reason, remains in Southampton Docks awaiting dispatch.

I know many of you have been waiting patiently but until matters ease there is not much I can do about it. I will keep you informed.