A very happy police station

The letter of commendation from the Southern Railway management. It took two months to send it.

NOSTALGIA: We had more backbone during the war

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Earlier this month Brian Small asked if anyone could recall the Southsea police station on the corner of Craneswater Park and Festing Road.

He remembered going there with his family to report his young brother missing in 1947 when he disappeared in the crowds welcoming home HMS Vanguard from her royal tour of South Africa.

The family found him there, having milk and biscuits.

My thanks to many of you who remembered the building, but particularly to Eddie Wallace, of Revenge Close, Milton, who was serving in the city force at the time.

He said: ‘Up to December 1948 Southsea police station occupied the ground floor of an ancient building at the junction of Victoria Road South and Albert Road.

‘The upper floor was used as Southsea library and when new library premises were built in Elm Grove the police took over the whole building. It had to be renovated with portions added to accommodate the CID which until then had been in Isane House on the corner of Victoria Road North and Outram Road.’

Eddie added: ‘To enable this to happen the police took over 16 Festing Road, a very large building with its own extensive grounds situated between Craneswater Avenue and Craneswater Park. The hall became the inquiry office while other rooms were adapted for varying police purposes.

‘It was a very happy station. We moved into it on Dececember 7, 1948, and returned to the original and now renovated Southsea station on January 22, 1956.

‘I was the last officer to serve there as station duty officer on the night of January 21 as the Albert Road station took over from 6am the following day.’