The tranquil ford on the city’s rural back doorstep

Soldiers on exercise at Pigeonhouse Lane ford c1940
Soldiers on exercise at Pigeonhouse Lane ford c1940
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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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It always amazes me that this tranquil, rural scene can be found just a few hundred yards from Portsmouth.

Drive down the delightfully-named Pigeon House Lane on the northern slope of Portsdown Hill, and you come to this ford through which these soldiers once trudged on an exercise.

Traffic still splashes through it daily, but it is a notorious spot for freezing in winter.

Back then these men look cheerful enough as they wade through the water, but note the man at the rear who has hitched up his trousers to save getting wet.

I wonder if they survived the war?