THIS WEEK IN 1980: A rejuvenated Abbey habitat for Southsea

Homes in the Stansted Road improvement area at Southsea
Homes in the Stansted Road improvement area at Southsea
A steam car at Bishops Waltham station about 1910. It was the terminus of the 4.5-mile branch line that connected it to the main line at Botley. It closed to passengers in January 1933.

NOSTALGIA: Hampshire’s long lost branch lines

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A multimillion pound mortgage fund was set up by the Abbey National Building Society to finance improvements to more than 500 homes in Southsea.

The society’s offer to co-operate with Portsmouth City Council in the Stansted Road general improvement area, pictured, marked a major break in building society tradition.

In the past, the societies had been reluctant to lend money on older terraced housing –a policy which was blamed for creating slums out of potentially useful housing stocks.

The Abbey National scheme, backed by a £10m national fund, was announced by the society’s Portsmouth manager, Bill Robbins.

Mr Robbins said that the society would offer mortgage loans for house purchases, and loans to owner occupiers.