Trolleybus wires did add character to Portsmouth street scene

THEN: Highland Road/Eastney Road junction in July, 1963.
THEN: Highland Road/Eastney Road junction in July, 1963.
A 1903 picture showing 'Point A on the Portsdown & Horndean Light Railway where two former horse tram cars acted as shelters.
Picture: Barry Cox Collection

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The top photograph today comes from Portsmouth Trolleybuses by David RH Bowler.

And it’s a scene from the last day of the trolleybus service on July 27, 1963.

TODAY: Highland Road/ Eastney Road junction today. I did take a photo with a modern bus on the same spot but they are so big it hid the background.

TODAY: Highland Road/ Eastney Road junction today. I did take a photo with a modern bus on the same spot but they are so big it hid the background.

Bus No 6 has just left Eastney Depot and is heading west down Highland Road and its ultimate destination at the Dockyard.

The maze of overhead wiring was a sight to see and hear especially on a wet evening when they would fizz and crackle.

To the left is Henderson Road with Cromwell Road straight ahead with just two cars parked.

The Campion’s bread advert is on the shop wall belonging to AR Starmer the baker.

This may have been a franchise as Campion’s were a local firm with several shops on Portsea Island. They became part of Manor Bakeries in 1973.

To the left is the Barrack Cellars public house obviously named after the Royal Marines Barracks the main gate of which is just out of sight on the left down Cromwell Road.

Now we move to the same scene today in the bottom picture.

Although everything seems cleaner the atmosphere appears to have gone. Those overhead wires did add something to the street scene didn’t they?

Everything looks so clinical and just-so in the ‘today’ picture.

Campion’s has now become Norman’s a dealer in antiques. The Barrack Cellars served its last pint many years ago and was demolished for road widening. Eastney Depot was demolished in the late 1980s to make way for housing.

I wonder if the tram rails, which were still there when the depot was demolished, are embedded under the gardens of the new houses?