NOSTALGIA: Wanted – a room with a view of crowded Southsea beauty spot

A packed Canoe Lake area in Edwardian days. It might have been a Bank Holiday perhaps. Note the carriage in St Helen's Parade.

The picture above comes from Robert James and I was hoping to retake it from about the same window, but so far I have not managed it.

If someone on St Helen’s Parade has this view out of their window please let me know if they would allow me to retake it.

THEN: The former Portsdown Cycles & Radio premises on the corner of London Road and Lansdowne Avenue, Widley. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

There was only one man to ask about the horse and carriage and that was Brian Clifford.

He is just about the most knowledgeable person on the subject living locally.

He says: ‘The carriage is a Victoria, a very popular and ubiquitous choice of cab proprietors.

‘This style of vehicle is recognisable by the different diameter wheels front and back; the folding hood at the rear, and the two forward facing passengers.

NOW: The shops today on the corner of London Road and Lansdowne Avenue, Widley.

‘It was usually licensed for three passengers as one could be accommodated on the box next to the driver.

‘Although hackney carriages and drivers were licensed locally, the regulations governing both were based on a splendid piece of legislation – The Town Police Clauses Act, 1847.

‘I notice that Portsmouth cabs were sometimes reported as ‘hansom cabs’, and although it is possible that there may have been some in the town, I do not recall a picture of one outside of the metropolis.’

• On January 22 I published the picture of the Portsdown Cycles and Radio premises and asked if anyone could tell me where it was located.

Of course you could. It was on the corner of London Road and Lansdowne Avenue, Widley.

I had several photographs of the modern premises sent in and here is one from Peter Wright who moved to the area in 1992.

The shop was then a DIY and hardware business before it became an off-licence. It was then turned into two shops to become a fishing tackle and nail bar/hairdressers.

Terry Crump tells me the original business was run by a Mr Vigers (pronounced Vygers). When divided into two shops the ironmonger was Mr Mills and the Threshers wine shop was run by Mr Barge.

Ray Churcher tells me before becoming a Thresher it was a Smeed. He can also remember watching early television sets through the shop window.

Carol Waldron tells me she married in 1969 and moved to Lansdowne Avenue and at that time the ironmonger was Mr Mills.

More from Lifestyle