Pictures from Portsmouth past

Canal Walk 1958
Canal Walk 1958
In this rare photograph we see the new Langstone road bridge (top) under construction with the old wooden bridge alongside. It opened in 1956.

NOSTALGIA: Bus passengers too heavy to cross to Hayling so had to walk

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Former City of Portsmouth police officer Eddie Wallace has loaned me some photographs he took while on the beat in Portsmouth some 50 years ago. I thought it would be interesting to go out and retake them from the same angle today.


Canal Walk 2011

Canal Walk 2011

Another Eddie Wallace photograph, this time showing Canal Walk at its junction with Holloway Street in Portsmouth, circa 1958. On the corner once stood the Canal Office.

At this time of course, residents would have been hearing, along with the electrics, the sounds of steam-hauled trains chuffing past in the former canal cutting which became the railway to the right behind the wall.


All the old buildings have been demolished and modern flats now stand in their place. The old wall still stands to the right, although passing trains are now all electric.

The kerb stones have also been removed to make a lay-by for cars, which have increased greatly since 1958. Also, trees have been planted to landscape the area.


Up until 1891 the men of the dockyard worked on ships as and when required, sometimes taking three years to build a ship.

One hundred and twenty years ago in 1891, Admiral Lord Fisher was appointed Admiral Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard. From May 1891 until February 1892 he had a policy of concentrating all the workmen on one ship at a time like bees in a hive.

The result was that the battleship Royal Sovereign was built in two years instead of three and a barbette was changed in two hours rather than two days!

In 1901 the first-ever Dreadnought was constructed in Portsmouth Dockyard after a year and a day, although Fisher had moved on by then.


I don’t know how I did it, but last week I published a photo of New Road ,Bedhampton stating it was the former owner of Leigh Park House and estate, a Mr Fitzwygram, that instigated the building of it. It was, of course, Sir George Staunton, a later incumbent of the house, who is believed to built the road. Apologies.