Retirement clock is only clue about former stationmaster

THEN Queen Street, Portsea, in the 1950s with Admiralty Road on the left and Drake House to the right
THEN Queen Street, Portsea, in the 1950s with Admiralty Road on the left and Drake House to the right
LBK6 leaves Portsmouth  on May 10, 2007.  Picture: Mike Nolan.

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Two photographs here show the amazing changes that have taken place along Queen Street, Portsea, since the 1950s.

In the black and white photograph we see the street as it was when just a narrow highway from the dockyard to Edinburgh Road.

NOW Queen Street with Admiralty Tower dominating and Drake House still on the right

NOW Queen Street with Admiralty Tower dominating and Drake House still on the right

To the left was a triangle with Admiralty Road beginning just to the left of the shot. Today it is a square junction a little further on.

Drake House is pretty drab whereas today, with all the greenery it lightens up a pretty drab block of flats.

The massive Admiralty Tower stands to the north of the now much wider Queen Street.

Do you remember when these flats went on sale? It will amuse you to recall they were marketed as being in ‘North Gunwharf’. I kid you not.

The Southsea branch line platform at Fratton Station. Taken out of use in 1914.

The Southsea branch line platform at Fratton Station. Taken out of use in 1914.

n Derek Gilbert, of Denmead, writes asking for help.

He has inherited a mantelpiece clock which was presented to one of his grandfathers on his retirement in 1934 from his position as stationmaster at Fratton station. His name was George Gilbert and there’s an inscribed plate on the front of the clock to this effect.

Derek says: ‘The clock itself is typical of the period.

‘It has two sets of chimes, Westminster and Whittington and can be silenced as they chime every 15 minutes.

‘It is an eight-day clock and keeps good time too.

‘But try as I might, I cannot find anything out about George at all.

‘I have searched many old records of Portsmouth, railway records too, but even though he was stationmaster, there just seems to be nothing about him.’

Can anybody help Derek with his quest? Please get in touch with me if you can.