NOSTALGIA: When giant chimneys overshadowed Old Portsmouth

It now  seems odd to think the power station once overshadowed the Camber. 'Picture: Bob Thompson
It now seems odd to think the power station once overshadowed the Camber. 'Picture: Bob Thompson
Contestants line-up at the Elm Grove, Hayling Island, Co-Op for The News-Co-Op trolley dash. From left, S Slade, of Portsmouth, M O'Connor, of Southsea, G Perryman, of Clanfield, V Gibson of Titchfield, E Jackson, of Portchester, and J Jones, of Hayling Island

THIS WEEK IN 1981: ‘All you can collect – and free’ in a trolley dash with The News

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If you told someone who is less than 40 years old this was the sight that once greeted you when you walked around the Camber, Old Portsmouth, they would probably be amazed.

Yet as recently as 1981, when this photograph was taken, the entire area was dwarfed by the city’s power station.

The centenary train on a stopover at Havant.'  Picture: Peter Trinder

The centenary train on a stopover at Havant.' Picture: Peter Trinder

To those of us who do remember this magnificent structure, the area has never been the same. On the right is the edge of Viviers’ fish market building.

• Back in January 1959 a special excursion was run to celebrate the centenary of the Portsmouth direct railway line to Woking. The track from Woking to Waterloo had already been laid.

The special ran from Victoria to Guildford via Clandon (the new line) then into Godalming old station which was then called Godalming Goods.

Reversing out of Godalming the route ran to Havant then on to Fareham and down to Gosport.

Were we happier then?

Were we happier then?

The reverse was the same to Woking and then via Staines and back to Victoria.

I want to write more on the subject and wondered if any readers travelled on that train and have memories of the journey. If so, perhaps they have a photograph or two they could lend me?

• I was paying a visit to a local health centre recently and came across the document pictured here. It asks if we were happier in days gone by when there was little money about, hours at work were long and holidays short. It charts the differences between 1952 and 2012.

The price of a pint of beer and a pint of milk is in old money of course, 9d and 4d.

Imagine how chuffed these young boy cadets were to be inspected by the King in 1942.

Imagine how chuffed these young boy cadets were to be inspected by the King in 1942.

The number of private sector firms is perhaps the largest percentage increase. I know there are more firms running the railways than there were when the big four came into being in 1927.

There are also six million fewer manufacturing jobs.

I know in 1972 I would take the dog for an evening walk, pop into my local and buy a pint for 10p and a slim panetella cigar for 5p. Please beam me up Scottie and take me back.

• I find the final picture wonderful. For here we have naval cadets aged from about 10 to 15 on parade in Guildhall Square for a visit by George VI on September 30, 1942.

Admiral James, the C-in-C Portsmouth Command, perhaps turned to the King and asked if he would inspect the boys. The King then crossed the square and walked between the lines to do just that. What a thrill for them. Their parents must have been so proud to see this photo in the Evening News.