Lighting up

HM Submarine  P556  is berthed at (as it was then ) Fort Blockhouse. Wrens are pushing the torpedo. (Mike Nolan coll.)

NOSTALGIA: Wrens show the boys how to do it

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On this day in 1823 gas was used for the first time in the streets of Old Portsmouth.

Six months earlier, tenders had been invited by the Commissioners for Lighting, Paving and Watching the Town for illuminating Portsmouth with gas and providing 80-100 cast-iron pillars and lamps.

Applicants were required to specify the rate for lighting a Batswing Burner from ‘dusk til daylight’ and for providing lamps and pillars for 10 years.

After installation the Commissioners found themselves with 200 obsolete oil lampposts on their hands and offered them for sale in the Hampshire Telegraph – John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.