NOSTALGIA: Boy, 14, took historic pictures with ‘cheap’, fixed lens camera

Commercial Road with the old Royal Hospital in the centre of the picture and the Odeon cinema, bottom right.

When reader Barry Lovett was 14 he had what he calls a ‘cheap, fixed lens camera’.

He lived in the Stamshaw/Mile End area of Portsmouth and he wandered around that part of the city taking pictures. I’ve used four of them here today.

The Market Way roundabout in Commercial Road.

Barry, of Glasgow Road, Milton, was married in All Saints’ Church, a corner of which you can see in the first picture. Also showing is part of the old Odeon cinema in Commercial Road, bottom right.

But featured large in the centre is the old Royal Hospital which opened in 1849 and closed in 1979 when all its facilities moved to QA. The site’s now home to Sainsbury’s.

Opposite the Royal was The New Inn, renamed The Royal in 1987.

The hospital once had a Lock Ward for the treatment of prostitutes under regulations governed by the Contagious Diseases Acts 1863-1886. If identified as a ‘common prostitute’ by the Metropolitan Water Police attached to the dockyard, these women would be compulsorily examined.

View taken near Wharf Road, Mile End/Stamshaw, 1960s.

If found to be infected they were detained until pronounced ‘clean’. Refusal could mean detention for up to nine months in the hospital.

Old Commercial Road looking north.

More from Heritage