Demolition refused

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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On this day in 1971 the environment secretary refused permission to demolish the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, because it was expected to be listed and preserved.

The theatre was built in 1884 by CJ Phipps and redesigned in 1900 by Frank Matcham, the greatest British theatre builder of the era.

Under the management of John Waters Boughton it became ‘the major theatre in the south of England’ and is now considered by experts to be ‘one of the finest Victorian theatres surviving in the land’ – John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.