The picture above was taken when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. It shows the corner of South Street and West Street, Havant, with the instantly recognisable St Faith’s Church on the corner.
Where the brickwork curves between the two streets is the point at which the war memorial is now sited. The horse trough, to quench the animals’ thirst, and public drinking fountain were done away with. There was also a gas-lit lantern so the horses could see what they were drinking.
The railing were taken away in the Saucepans to Spitfires salvage scheme during the Second World War when as much scrap metal as possible was collected for the war effort. Unfortunately the railings were never restored.
Running left to right across the front of the church is the Roman road from Chichester to Bittern.
• After the war so much had been destroyed that as much as possible had to be recycled.
Bricks were in short supply but those that had come from bombed buildings were perfectly usable once the old cement had been hammered off.
And that’s what we see in the second picture where we see a group of Portsmouth women somewhere in the Conway Street area of Landport, trimming the old cement off with flat hammers.
If you recognise any of the women please do contact me.
• I recently published then and now photographs of the Corner House Restaurant in Commercial Road, the section that’s now Guildhall Walk. I happened to find this photograph of the restaurant with a fuller view along Commercial Road showing the Hippodrome Theatre.
It’s amazing to think the Hippodrome was completely destroyed on January 10,1941, while just a few yards farther south the Corner House survived intact. The photo comes from John Sadden’s Portsmouth – A Century of Change.
• Seen at Portsmouth & Southsea low level on August 11, 1964, is Battle of Britain class locomotive 34056 ‘Croydon’ waiting to depart with the 9.03am to Plymouth. This train usually carried a large contingent of sailors, for obvious reasons.
The locomotive was built in 1947. Twenty years later, on May 7, 1967, she was withdrawn from service and broken up at Cashmore’s yard in Wales.
In the background are the platforms for the low level station with the fish yard farther over. These were all done away with in the early 1980s when they were filled in and a clothing store built on the site. The platform on the left was the one American film star Glenn Ford ran along to bring down a saboteur escaping from the police in the 1952 film Terror on a Train, renamed Time Bomb in the UK.