Mini railway used to build airport which would link city to the world

A miniature railway was constructed to shift rubble from the land which would eventually become Portsmouth Airport            Picture: Gary Manning
A miniature railway was constructed to shift rubble from the land which would eventually become Portsmouth Airport Picture: Gary Manning
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Portsmouth Airport was built during 1931 and early 1932. It finally closed in 1971.

There was no room for it to expand because of Langstone Harbour on one side and the railway on the other.

Portsmouth's airport begins to take shape c1930 '                                                Picture: Gary Manning.

Portsmouth's airport begins to take shape c1930 ' Picture: Gary Manning.

As aircraft got bigger the grass runway was unsuitable and there was not the space to build the longer concrete runways needed.

However, the real nails in the airport’s coffin were two spectacular accidents in 1967 when separate planes skidded off the grass landing strip, one of them ending up on Eastern Road.

It was a miracle no one was killed, but it was enough to convince the authorities that the airport should close and the site be redeveloped.

Gary Manning posted three of the pictures here on the Memories of Bygone PortsmouthFacebook page, photos which show the early stages of work at the beginning of the 1930s.

Old military ramparts had to be dynamited as part of the development. ''''''          Picture: Gary Manning

Old military ramparts had to be dynamited as part of the development. '''''' Picture: Gary Manning

It was also known as Portsmouth City Airport and, rather grandly, as PWA (Portsmouth Worldwide Airport).

It was one of the last remaining grass runway airports in the United Kingdom.

The much-lamented Portsmouth Airport in all its glory. But can you date this aerial photograph?

The much-lamented Portsmouth Airport in all its glory. But can you date this aerial photograph?