NOSTALGIA: Former Portsmouth school before it was bulldozed

Although in Garfield Road this is Flying Bull Lane School in the early 1980s after closure. 'Picture: Robert Thompson
Although in Garfield Road this is Flying Bull Lane School in the early 1980s after closure. 'Picture: Robert Thompson
Ken stands in Woodmancote Road, Southsea, where he was narrowly missed being machine gunned by Messerschmitt during the war

NOSTALGIA: The man who was machine-gunned by Germans in war-time Southsea

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Is there anything worse than seeing your old school demolished? Although most of us hated schooling, the actual buildings (and teachers) are nearly always thought of fondly in later life.

All four schools I attended have been demolished so there is nothing to look back on when passing their sites today.

In years past boys and girls had separate entrances to their schools. This was the boys' way in to Flying Bull Lane School.  'Picture: Robert Thompson

In years past boys and girls had separate entrances to their schools. This was the boys' way in to Flying Bull Lane School. 'Picture: Robert Thompson

So my thanks go to Robert Thompson, now of Milton, for having the good sense to photograph and save these memories for us.

Here we see Flying Bull Lane Primary (junior mixed and infants) in Garfield Road, Landport.

If some of you feel like telling me it was in Buckland then I must tell you: I looked up the address in a 1962 Portsmouth Kelly’s directory. The school opened in 1884.

Although removed from maps by the 1890s and renamed Garfield Road, Flying Bull Lane remained the name of the school until its closure in 1976.

The site of the former, much-loved Flying Bull Lane School as it is today.

The site of the former, much-loved Flying Bull Lane School as it is today.

Then it became Buckland First and Middle School before Flying Bull Academy, off Centaur Street. However, its address is still the non-existent Flying Bull Lane!

In years past, boys and girls had their own entrances to their schools.

The fact that they all sat together later didn’t seem to enter the heads of the school architects.

I am sure there are still many former pupils of the school who can remember entering through this doorway, below.

Try to park your car along Nightingale Road, Southsea, today and it would be almost impossibile, unlike in Edwardian times.

Try to park your car along Nightingale Road, Southsea, today and it would be almost impossibile, unlike in Edwardian times.

• The final picture today shows an uncluttered Edwardian scene looking along Nightingale Road, Southsea, just off the seafront.

These five-storey, middle-class homes must have been highly sought-after 110 years ago.

Just imagine today being able to take a casual drive and being able to park wherever you want.

Today, after 6pm, it would be impossible in Nightingale Road because, like so many Portsmouth streets, it is jammed with vehicles of all sizes.

I despair at the thought of a fire engine having to get down this road in an emergency today, and so many others like it.

The chimney pots, most no doubt made in Fareham, tell their own story of days when everyone had an open fire.

Can you imagine what it must have been like lugging scuttles of coal up several flights of stairs. I dread to think. Thank heavens for central heating and radiators.

Most of this road now comprises houses in multiple occupation, the vast majority lived in by students.

I was hoping to try to take ‘then and now’ pictures, but it simply didn’t work out. There were too many large vans parked in the road.