Old locos at Fratton goods yard | Nostalgia

My recent photograph of the Crompton locomotive at the Portsmouth & Southsea high level platform was seen by Andrew Cooper who tells me that those locomotives are not extinct as I suggested.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 4:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 4:25 pm
Double-headed Crompton Class 33 locos at the diesel fuel point, Fratton yard.  Picture: Andrew Cooper.
Double-headed Crompton Class 33 locos at the diesel fuel point, Fratton yard. Picture: Andrew Cooper.

He says: ‘Class 33 Cromptons are far from history. Two that I know of are still mainline certified.

'One is on the Swanage railway, the other with the West Coast Railway Company at Carnforth. It usually gets employed on rail tours. There are quite a number of Cromptons on other preserved lines too.’

Andrew adds: 'There are a couple of slam door units in preservation too. I really regret not taking more pictures of the old trains.

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Remember when the ferry from Portsmouth to Hayling Island was just 20p a trip? Picture: Richard Boryer collection.

‘Departing platform three to the front of the photo is a 2-HAP unit and over the roofs of the Cromptons can be seen old railway stock stored in the yard. This is all now part of the Pompey Centre.

‘It is not until you park there do you realise just how massive the former goods yard was.’

• Who can remember when the ferry across Langstone Harbour to and from Portsmouth to Hayling Island was just 20p a trip?

Like the Gosport Ferry it was always called the Hayling Ferry, never the Portsmouth Ferry.

The now-truncated Unicorn Road leading to the old Unicorn Gate entrance to the naval base. Picture: Richard Boryer collection

There is no date for this photograph but it must be the early 1970s. Anyone recognise the crew member?

Although it looks serene, the waters between the two ferry points can be extremely dangerous when the tide is going out.

• Another look along Unicorn Road in Portsmouth before it was blocked off roughly where the photographer is standing.

As can be seen, the right hand pedestrian gate has been bricked up.

To the left of the pedestrian gate on the left hand side was another large gate where the dockyard branch railway line entered the dockyard.

As can be seen the gate was open to the public and Flathouse Road ran across the front of the gate. Security at the gate was controlled by Ministry of Defence police. In winter they used to wear white gauntlets that stretched from the hand to the elbow.

As I mentioned last week, in 1976 the Admiralty took over this part of Unicorn Road.

Above the gate can be seen one of the many cranes involved with shipbuilding within the then Portsmouth Royal Dockyard before it became Portsmouth Naval Base.

As I also mentioned last week, to the right were all the streets around Conway Street.

The gate was part of Portsmouth’s historic fortifications and stood at the end of North Street, Portsea, from 1789 until 1873.

It was then taken down and placed where it is today.