NOSTALGIA: Tiny Portsmouth post office carried on trading

David Janess May 1964 picture of the tiny post office  opposite Tracys in Commercial Road, Portsmouth.
David Janess May 1964 picture of the tiny post office opposite Tracys in Commercial Road, Portsmouth.
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Devotees of these pages might remember a series of pictures I published in October taken by the then 14-year-old Barry Lovett.

He wandered around Portsmouth taking pictures with what he called ‘a cheap, fixed-lens camera’.

Barry Lovetts original picture  showing Tracys on the Market Way roundabout.

Barry Lovetts original picture showing Tracys on the Market Way roundabout.

One of them caught the eye of regular reader and keen photographer David Janes from Alverstoke who delved into his archive to find pictures which would put it context.

Barry’s original picture, which I’ve reproduced here, showed a view looking over All Saints’ Church, Landport, to the Market Way roundabout. And prominent in the shot was the white-fronted Tracys furniture store

David says: ‘It can clearly be seen that this shop front is at an angle to the adjacent shops in Commercial Road and that the shop front is further angled just over half way along. This profile is because of the roundabout.’

He goes on to explain: ‘Before its construction Tracys shop front was in line with Commercial Road and around the corner, parallel with Thomas Street, which was lost to Market Way.’

March 1964  with  Tracys on the corner of Commercial Road and Thomas Street.

March 1964 with Tracys on the corner of Commercial Road and Thomas Street.

And David sent me one of his excellent pictures which shows precisely that – before it was rebuilt to take account of the roundabout and ‘associated road changes which required part of Tracys shop’.

He continues: ‘On the opposite side of Commercial Road was a small post office which remained trading while the work to construct the roundabout went on around it.’

And in his second picture, above, you can just make out a post box which is visible by the entrance and, as David correctly says, ‘a fine array of advertisements on the side of the building’.

He adds: ‘The post office closed soon after I took this view in May 1964 – without replacement of course – and the building demolished.