Squalid Old Portsmouth

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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Those living off High Street, Old Portsmouth, enjoy one of the most delightful parts of Portsmouth.

But in A&C Black’s 1879 Guide Book for Tourists it warns anyone visiting the town not to linger there.

It says: ‘Let us not wander through the streets for any length of time. With the exception of the High Street they are mostly narrow, miry, squalid and crowded with small beer shops and public houses, seamen and marines. The streets and open places are not such as to induce one to linger among them.’

The visitor was advised to turn left at the bottom of High Street and ‘gain the pleasant beach of Southsea’. I wonder how long it was before Old Portsmouth’s side streets won a better reputation?