Back on December 29 I published a photograph taken from the top of St Mary’s Church bell tower looking south.
In the distance could be seen a large chimney dominating everything around it. I have enlarged and cropped the scene which you can see below.
Thanks to Robert James, Nigel Tillyard and Philip Eley for relevant information.
It was built specifically to provide power when the tram system was electrified and fell out of use when the trams were replaced by trolleybuses. Hence it is not on the 1896 or 1930s OS maps.
Incidentally, the Electric Arms pub on Fratton Road got its name from the power station. It was previously known as the Old House at Home.
The generating stations for the trams were located at Camber Docks and at Fratton and supplied power solely for the corporation tramway.
The generation plant consisted of four Babcock & Wilcox boilers with super-heaters, three horizontal compound condensing engines, one vertical compound condensing engine and one vertical triple expansion engine.
Electrification took place in 1901 and by 1936 the tramways were closed.
Electricity was conveyed by underground cables to feeder pillars which were located at suitable points on the system.
They contained fuses which enabled sections of overhead live wire to be isolated.
The cables and feeder pillars were supplied by the British Insulated Wire Co on the wider roads. Span wires supporting the live wires were stretched between poles on either side of the road.
In narrow streets single poles supported brackets from which the live wires were suspended.
The overhead equipment was provided by Messrs Macartney, McElroy for £18, 203. In 1903 they agreed to a reduction of £150 as some of the line taps had been fitted badly and there were concerns about smoke from that chimney.
• The caption on the photograph below says Sunny Southsea but I have my reservations. The headland in the distance looks nothing like Gosport.
If anyone has any ides I’d like to know.
• Seen leaving The Hard and heading for Eastney via Park Road and Guildhall we see a trolleybus on route 17.
To the left is the signal box controlling train movements in and out of Portsmouth Harbour.
It was decommissioned on April 21, 1968.
• We have gone out of town for this view along the old A27 at Emsworth looking east.
On the left is the now closed Royal Oak public house.
This narrow road has since been superseded by the ‘new’ by-pass between Havant and Chichester.