A summer of ferry queues which stretched through Old Portsmouth

A 1970s view down Broad Street, Old Portsmouth
A 1970s view down Broad Street, Old Portsmouth
A steam car at Bishops Waltham station about 1910. It was the terminus of the 4.5-mile branch line that connected it to the main line at Botley. It closed to passengers in January 1933.

NOSTALGIA: Hampshire’s long lost branch lines

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A much-changed view along Broad Street, Old Portsmouth (facing page). This was in the late 1970s and several classic saloon cars of the period can be seen.

On the left, in the middle-distance with the witch’s hat-shaped roof, is the Seagull pub which closed in 1970. It became a restaurant and then an estate agents, which it remains.

The Isle of Wight car ferry slipway when based off East Street, Old Portsmouth.

The Isle of Wight car ferry slipway when based off East Street, Old Portsmouth.

The building on the near right contained, I believe, the offices of either Vosper Ltd, shipbuilders, or GA Feltham & Sons, boatbuilders.

At this time the Isle of Wight car ferry left from a slipway off East Street behind the tall building on the right in the middle distance. It caused much chaos in the summer holidays when traffic queued along Broad Street waiting to cross the Solent.

Since this photograph was taken all the buildings on the right have been demolished and new homes built there. Of course, the ferry has moved to the Camber.

• As mentioned above, the second picture shows the Isle of Wight car ferry. This one was Cuthred and she looks somewhat antiquated by today’s standards.

How many of you remember attending dances at the Pavilion Ballroom, Clarence Pier?

How many of you remember attending dances at the Pavilion Ballroom, Clarence Pier?

Loading took ages and caused long delays with traffic queuing way back along Broad Street awaiting their turn.

To the left in the distance can be seen Semaphore Tower in the dockyard alongside South Railway Jetty.

• Another place of entertainment now long gone is the Pavilion Ballroom to the east of Clarence Pier proper

It was part of the Billy Manning’s entertainment empire and many stars of the sixties and seventies played here.

Southsea, mid-winter 1977. The former boating lake with the miniature railway just visible in the foreground.

Southsea, mid-winter 1977. The former boating lake with the miniature railway just visible in the foreground.

Out of camera to the right would have been the superb Seahorse Bars pub which was very popular in the summer months.

Does anyone remember Rusty the landlord?

• Although Southsea can be enjoyable in the summer months, in winter it is often dead and, many would argue, much more atmospheric.

In the final picture we see the old boating lake at Children’s Corner with the former miniature railway line just about visible in the foreground, on a cold winter’s day in 1977.

The craft on the lake were small pop-pop motor boats designed specifically for children to drive around.

Sadly the lake and the two paddling pools were filled in. However, they were replaced by the superb Blue Reef Aquarium.

• All today’s pictures come from Brian Maxwell, a former Portsmouth boy now living in Australia.