Perfect place for a stroll on a summer’s afternoon

141111 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: The Saluting Battery, Old Portsmouth, about 1910
141111 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: The Saluting Battery, Old Portsmouth, about 1910
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Not some far flung island but Port Creek alongside Eastern Road, Portsmouth, earlier this week. I counted more than 50 plastic bottles along with other man-made filth.

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Buttonholes, boaters and looks like a grand Sunday summer’s afternoon on the Saluting Battery, Old Portsmouth.

Judging by the fashions, this picture looks to be about a century old when the historic fortifications were the perfect place to stroll after lunch, and still are.

The Square Tower is in the mid-distance with its round counterpart behind.

But it’s the chap in the foreground who caught my eye. Jacket unbuttoned, no waistcoat and a gait which looks as though it owes itself to a decent session in the public bar. May be that’s why his straw hat appears to be on back to front...

His uncertain step seems to have attracted the attention of the gent behind who might be shouting a warning to the woman in the foreground about approaching trouble.

And what might have been happening on the other side of the railings in Grand Parade? A parade of some kind one imagines. Whatever, it was enough for the youngsters to clamber up for a better view.

The second photograph today is another instantly recognisable shot, but this time taken nearly 40 years later.

The film showing at the old Granada cinema in East Street, Chichester, dates it to the late 1940s.

While the Sun Shines was a 1947 British comedy film directed by Anthony Asquith. It was based on Terence Rattigan’s 1943 play of the same name and featured Margaret Rutherford, Joyce Grenfell and Wilfrid Hyde-White.

The cinema was the former Corn Exchange, built in 1832, but which started screening films in 1910, about the time the photograph in Old Portsmouth was taken.

In the late 1970s Granada wanted to turn it into a bingo hall. Planning permission was refused. It went to appeal, the cinema chain lost and the listed building was put up for sale.

The last film shown there – Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back – was on August 9, 1980.

The building became a McDonald’s outlet before it was taken over by fashion chain Next.

nBoth pictures courtesy of