Children’s Corner opens on Southsea seafront – Nostalgia

Childrens Corner, Southsea, opened in 1930. Canoes and foot paddlers were later augmented by 'pop pop paraffin boats which children could handle quite safely.
Childrens Corner, Southsea, opened in 1930. Canoes and foot paddlers were later augmented by 'pop pop paraffin boats which children could handle quite safely.
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I love this photograph which was taken by an Evening News photographer back in the 1930s. What attracts me are the two girls in the front wearing straw hats and beaming smiles.

The location was the newly-opened (1930) Children’s Corner on Southsea seafront. Just look at the number amount of people around the pool, 

An early 1950s' photograph of Arundel Street from Commercial Road with the site of the soon-to-be-resurrected LDB (Landport Drapery Bazaar) site on the right.

An early 1950s' photograph of Arundel Street from Commercial Road with the site of the soon-to-be-resurrected LDB (Landport Drapery Bazaar) site on the right.

along the seafront and on the beach, hundreds.

Originally there were canoes and foot paddlers but later 'pop pop’ boats were introduced. These were small vessels with a paraffin engine and steered by a wheel not a tiller. Even children could handle them quite safely. Mind you, some people might beg to differ in our modern nanny state. 

Alongside the boating pool were two paddling pools and the miniature railway ran alongside the sea wall in the background.

• On the night of January 10, 1941, both sides of Arundel Street, Landport, Portsmouth, were destroyed when the Luftwaffe ‘rearranged’ the layout of the area. Both sides of the street were razed and remained like it for the best part of 10 years.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth,  Councillor Freddie Emery-Wallace opening the new George Inn bypass cutting on July 19, 1968. Picture: Tony Triggs.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Freddie Emery-Wallace opening the new George Inn bypass cutting on July 19, 1968. Picture: Tony Triggs.

In the early 1950s  the city began to be resurrected and building began in earnest. Here we see Arundel Street from its junction with Commercial Road. On the right hand corner would be the new Landport Drapery Bazaar (LDB) and, if my memory serves me correctly, on the opposite corner was tailor John Collier – ‘the window to watch’, as the advert went.

Farther along would be the Richmond Grill café and the Mecca ballroom.

• Continuing from yesterday’s then-and-now photographs of the cutting behind the George In on Portsdown Hill, here we see the opening ceremony held on July 19, 1968, with lord mayor Councillor Freddie Emery-Wallace doing the honours. To the rear are civic members and police inspectors. The majority are actually seated on Portsdown Hill Road. All the women are wearing their best hats and there are several men in dark glasses and suits who look like minders.  

• If you take a stroll along King’s Road, Southsea, to where it meets Elm Grove there is a junction on the right with Castle Road. Today it is a basic T-junction. On the left hand corner is a building with a plaque telling us it was once the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and where Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were ‘born’.

Believe it or not this is the three-way junction of King's Road, Elm Grove and Castle Road before the Luftwaffe rearranged things.

Believe it or not this is the three-way junction of King's Road, Elm Grove and Castle Road before the Luftwaffe rearranged things.

As you can see the junction was once much wider with sweeping bends. After all was lost in the blitz the road was straightened into what we have today. Sadly, Holmes' and Watson’s birthplace, No 1, Bush Villas, to the left of the tall building on the corner, the Bush Hotel, was also destroyed .