NOSTALGIA: Thousands thronged Portsmouth streets to welcome foreign navies

Thousands line the streets of Portsmouth to cheer French matelots in a convoy of tramcars.
Thousands line the streets of Portsmouth to cheer French matelots in a convoy of tramcars.
In the first third of the last century we see a packed tram travelling east along a flooded Clarendon Road, Southsea.  (Barry Cox collection)

NOSTALGIA: Angry parkie would tell us, in no uncertain terms, to clear off!

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Two of these pictures are from the Robert James collection and show how Portsmouth used to do things in days gone by.

My late father, in his Portsmouth accent, would have said: ’There were fasands (thousands) of people lining the street.’ How right he was.

Huge crowds outside the town hall in Portsmouth welcoming the Japanese navy. Unimaginable today.

Huge crowds outside the town hall in Portsmouth welcoming the Japanese navy. Unimaginable today.

In the first photograph, taken in 1905, we see the entente cordiale given to French sailors.

Many trams were laid on for a convoy through the city streets ending at the, then, town hall.

The following year the Japanese navy paid us a visit and again, as you can see in the picture on the right, thousands turned out to greet them.

• With the cameraman standing inside the gates to the goods sheds south of Commercial Road railway bridge we see three young lads thoroughly enjoying themselves in flood water.

The boys face in the centre says it all. Flooding in Commercial Road taken from inside the gates of the railway goods shed.  bbbb

The boys face in the centre says it all. Flooding in Commercial Road taken from inside the gates of the railway goods shed. bbbb

The lad in the centre with the grin on his face seems to be saying: ‘Look at me mum!’

On the far side can be seen timetables and adverts for the London South Western railway and the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway.

• The final picture was taken at Bedhampton Camp in 1953 as families celebrated the Queen’s coronation.

This part of the camp with Nissen huts was formerly HMS Daedalus III.

Families celebrating the Queens coronation in 1953 at Bedhampton Camp, formerly HMS Daedalus III.

Families celebrating the Queens coronation in 1953 at Bedhampton Camp, formerly HMS Daedalus III.

When the navy moved out it was taken over by displaced persons from the Baltic states and then by bombed-out people from Portsmouth waiting for the Leigh Park estate to be built.