Lions roar again as opening day approaches for Portsmouth Guildhall

The lions which guard the entrance to the Guildhall 'were scrubbed and cleaned and took on a new lease of life' according to Reginald Fletcher's caption
The lions which guard the entrance to the Guildhall 'were scrubbed and cleaned and took on a new lease of life' according to Reginald Fletcher's caption
Lieutenant Colin Churcher

THIS WEEK IN 1971: ‘Mine disposal officers get awards’

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These are the latest pictures in the occasional series tracing the rebuilding of the Guildhall, Portsmouth.

They were taken by Reginald ‘Jack’ Fletcher, a laddermaker whose workshop was in nearby Arundel Street, Landport.

A new feature under the portico ' floodlights

A new feature under the portico ' floodlights

A keen photographer, he kept a photographic diary of the new Guildhall as it rose from the ashes of January 10, 1941, when it, along with large swathes of Portsmouth, was bombed by the Germans.

He took the pictures as he made his way to and from work.

In this series of pictures we have reached March 1959, three months before the city’s most important civic building was reopened by the Queen.

The heraldic bronze main doors each weighing 11 hundredweight and framed in the carved stone of the original building. The emblems on the doors are those of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, air, land and sea.''At the top are the English heraldic lion rampant facing the Scottish lion rampant. Depicting air, are the hoopoe and the eagle. The bull and the stallion represent the Earth while the seahorse and sea-dragon represent the sea. Finally the Irish elk and a dragon passant, the badge of Wales.

The heraldic bronze main doors each weighing 11 hundredweight and framed in the carved stone of the original building. The emblems on the doors are those of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, air, land and sea.''At the top are the English heraldic lion rampant facing the Scottish lion rampant. Depicting air, are the hoopoe and the eagle. The bull and the stallion represent the Earth while the seahorse and sea-dragon represent the sea. Finally the Irish elk and a dragon passant, the badge of Wales.

Alfred Blake, mayor when the foundation stone was laid

Alfred Blake, mayor when the foundation stone was laid

William King, mayor when the Guildhall was opened in 1890

William King, mayor when the Guildhall was opened in 1890

Preparing for opening day. The canopy over the Guildhall steps

Preparing for opening day. The canopy over the Guildhall steps