Belisha beacons installed

Portsmouth's first Belisha beacon at Kingston Cross in 1935
Portsmouth's first Belisha beacon at Kingston Cross in 1935
Signal box - The bleak and isolated siting of the Idsworth signal box illustrates the loneliness of the signalman's lot

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Time runs out on the lonely reign of a signal box man

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Pedestrians wait to cross at Kingston Cross in 1935 at Portsmouth’s first Belisha beacon.

The familiar amber globe on top of its striped pole was named after the then minister of transport, Leslie Hore-Belisha.

The following year he triggered the formation of the Motorists’ Defence League, which demonstrated against his street parking restrictions.

Two years earlier an editorial in the Evening News said: ‘This daring experiment may possibly become historic. Motorists come back from journeys all over England with travellers’ tales of winking signs in hundreds of cities and towns.’

The subject? Portsmouth’s first set of traffic lights which had been put up on the corner of Elm Grove and Grove Road, Southsea.