Portsmouth power station dominated the skyline of the old town

Portsmouth power station in the 1950s
Portsmouth power station in the 1950s
A new poppy installation called The Wave has been unveiled at Fort Nelson. Designer Tom Piper, left, and artist Paul Cummins.'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (180452-1)

‘It makes you think about the men who gave it all’

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To those relatively new to Portsmouth, this picture is now hard to imagine.

It shows the scale of the city’s old power station in a 1950s’ view taken from the top of the former Victoria Hall. It overshadows the former gate into the old town (now Old Portsmouth), Landport Gate.

It is through this gate that Nelson made his last entry into the town before breakfasting at the George Hotel in High Street.

This side of the gate is now the HMS Temeraire sports ground, but in Nelson’s time there would have been moats and drawbridges to protect the town.

Just beyond the gate and across St George’s Road can be seen the Mary Rose pub, now a Chinese restaurant. Next door is the still-in-use electricity sub-station.

In the foreground the old naval gymnasium has been rebuilt over the past few years and is now part of HMS Temeraire, the Royal Naval School of Physical Training.

To the right of the power station can be seen HMS Vernon now, of course, the Gunwharf Quays shopping and leisure centre.

The power station was demolished between 1981 and 1983.

When excavation work was being carried out a time capsule was found with newspapers and scrolls inside.

Does anyone know what was written on the scrolls? When I was a boy I was told be a very elderly man that the land where the power station was built on was to be kept for the children of Portsmouth.

The station had to be built of course but a codicil stated that if the power station was ever demolished the land had to be returned as open space for children.

I wonder if this was discovered in the document and hushed up?