It’s Gunwharf Quays, but not as you know it today

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Join the navy and see the sea all on £30 a week at 17 years old. It seems ludicrous now of course but this is what was offered to new recruits to the Royal Navy back in 1974.

The recruiting office had recently moved from the office above the corner shop of stationers Gale & Polden, 13, Edinburgh Road at the junction with Stanhope Road to new premises in Arundel Street.

I wonder if the model for the uniform was a local recruit?

I cannot remember when I took the photo immediately below but it must be at least 20 years ago and possibly at the Southsea Show.

I know I had never seen anything like it.

The diver climbed the swaying mast to at least 100ft and then leaped into the unknown, down to a pool containing just a few feet of water.

At the last second he turned in the air and then, splash.

Seconds later he clambered over the pool’s edge as safe as could be.

I must admit I was rather enthralled by it.

To the right of that picture we see members of the Portsmouth branch of the Moseley organisation The Black Shirts.

They are marching from Burgoyne Road, Southsea, and are about to cross South Parade to Speaker’s Corner on the promenade.

This was 1937 and Moseley and his collaborators were trying to turn the British against all mainstream political parties.

He later became ‘Sir’ Oswald, not by traditional means but inheritance.

After his father died he succeeded to the baronetcy of Ancoats which entitled him to be called Sir.

On the opposite page, for all of you who shop and eat at Gunwharf Quays, this is what it once looked like.

This was before the navy was ousted and the majority of the site cleared.

The building which can be seen in the centre with the white awning on the end is now a pub called the Old Customs House.

The former main gate is still there of course as an entrance to Gunwharf, but little else remains.

Tied up at the end of Portsmouth Harbour Station in the top right hand corner is a paddle steamer ready to take the hordes to the Isle of Wight.

This is possibly a pre-Second World War picture as, out of the frame, tram lines can be seen in Park Road.