A few weeks ago I published a photograph of St Edward’s Road looking east from Great Southsea Street. This is a view in the other direction with the Clock House tower dominating.
Ben Lovering says that at this time it was owned by Lennox Motors and later it was Fleming’s, an antiques business. To the left is Parker Thomas and all the premises on the corner were theirs.
On the right is Ernest Smith, upholsterer and cabinetmaker. The markings are still on the wall. Ben also points out that the clock does not have numerals but the letters E-R-N-E-S-T S-M-I-T-H.
In the distance is Elm Street with houses in Little Southsea Street. Behind that were houses named after minerals and precious stones – Diamond, Gold, Silver, Copper, Flint, Steel, and Stone streets. In the blitz of January 10, 1941, most of them were destroyed but rebuilt in the 1950s and kept their names. My father’s parents lived in Stone Street, my mother’s in Diamond Street.
Today the Parker Thomas premises have been demolished to make way for flats. Modern buildings are in Elm Street with a Co-op on the right.
I know there are many views of Victoria Par, Portsmouth, such as this but I like to put one in now and again to remind us of just how amazing it must have once looked.
Everyone is in their Edwardian Sunday best outfits. I am sure that anyone caught even stepping on the grass, let alone walking on it, would have been rebuked by a park-keeper no doubt known by the children as ‘parkie’.
The Guildhall has its magnificent cupola. The late Eddie Wallace told me this was where incendiary bombs first landed and got caught in grating eventually leading to the destruction of the building. The galleon stands proud above the future technical college.