Old Portsmouth’s High Street, then and now

High Street, Old Portsmouth, before the Second World War.
High Street, Old Portsmouth, before the Second World War.
THEN: Full of life and shops galore  the eastern end of Highland Road in Edwardian days with Kassassin Street on the right.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: Snapshot of life in Edwardian Portsmouth

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Nothing infuriates me more than when people take ‘then and now’ photographs but do not attempt to stand in the exact spot from where the original was taken.

However, I confess I am guilty of doing exactly that in this photograph because two large white vans were blocking the view I wanted to take.

High Street, Old Portsmouth, today.

High Street, Old Portsmouth, today.

In the photo supplied by Paul Costen we see High Street, Old Portsmouth, on a summer’s day before the war. It must be pre-1936 as there are wires still in place for the trams.

A horse draws a cart along the cobbled part of the street and note the women on both sides of the road in summer dresses. Are they still with us?

All the buildings to the north (right) of the cathedral gates were

hit by bombing on the night of January 10, 1941. The kerbstones outside the shops remain as they were, complete with the holes into which steel poles were fixed to support the stores’ sun blinds. And in my picture, taken this week from almost the same spot, we can see that everything to the right was demolished after the war to make way for new buildings although the Dolphin pub still serves.

The remains of the shops were demolished and the frontage to the cathedral opened up.

A memorial to those killed on the night they were blitzed was unveiled in January 2011 and can be seen in the cathedral grounds fronting High Street.