A mock dome and tunnel as new Portsmouth Guildhall emerges

The temporary wooden mock dome in position as the new Guildhall, Portsmouth, takes shape in October 1957
The temporary wooden mock dome in position as the new Guildhall, Portsmouth, takes shape in October 1957
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These are the latest pictures in the occasional series tracing the rebuilding of Portsmouth Guildhall.

They were taken by Reginald ‘Jack’ Fletcher, a laddermaker whose workshop was in nearby Arundel Street, Landport.

The mock dome on the Guildhall tower is removed - November 1957

The mock dome on the Guildhall tower is removed - November 1957

A keen photographer, he kept a photographic diary of the new Guildhall as it rose from the ashes of January 10, 1941, when it, along with large swathes of Portsmouth, was bombed by the Germans. He took the pictures as he made his way to and from work.

In this series of pictures we have reached 1957 yet it would still be another two years before Portsmouth’s most prominent civic building would be re-opened by the Queen.

These pictures show the dummy wooden dome that was built on top of the tower to prepare the way for the real thing.

And, at last, the building is finally revealed in all its glory.

The north side of the rebuilt Portsmouth Guildhall is completed - April 19, 1958

The north side of the rebuilt Portsmouth Guildhall is completed - April 19, 1958

The scaffolding is removed from the Guildhall tower, May 1958

The scaffolding is removed from the Guildhall tower, May 1958

The west side completed, August 1958

The west side completed, August 1958

l''The tunnel behind the Guildhall's steps giving access to the ground floor. This feature did not exist in the old building - March 1959

l''The tunnel behind the Guildhall's steps giving access to the ground floor. This feature did not exist in the old building - March 1959