NOSTALGIA: A quacking day out as hundreds gathered to watch the Portsmouth ‘ducks’

The original caption on this postcard was well suited so I have left it. 'The 'ducks' enjoying themselves under the railway bridge in Commercial Road, August 1911. ' 'Picture: Robert James Collection
The original caption on this postcard was well suited so I have left it. 'The 'ducks' enjoying themselves under the railway bridge in Commercial Road, August 1911. ' 'Picture: Robert James Collection
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In August 1911 a terrific storm brought an epic flood to Portsea Island, especially Southsea.

Where Commercial Road passed under the railway bridge the road had been lowered to allow electric trams to get through. But that dip flooded.

A colour card from over a century ago, 1913 to be exact, made in Germany

A colour card from over a century ago, 1913 to be exact, made in Germany

As you can see there are many hundreds of onlookers watching children enjoying themselves in the water.

Notice all the trees outside the old main post office in the distance on the left.

• The Arcade in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth, facing page, was located between two swanky establishments.

They were Merchant Taylors in Arcadian House on the left and Turners restaurant, which always described itself as ‘the up-to-date restaurant’ so heaven only knows what the others were like.

In full colour, this postcard Christmas card dates from 1910.

In full colour, this postcard Christmas card dates from 1910.

The Arcade disappeared on the night of January 10, 1941 in the devastating blitz on the city.

• The colourful Christmas card, below left, is in postcard format and was posted on December 24, 1913, in Twickenham, Middlesex and addressed to Mrs Purser who lived at 66, Surrey Street, Landport, Portsmouth.

The quirky thing about this card is that it was printed in Germany.

As it was posted a few months before the outbreak of the First World War I wonder how long the printing company remained a customer?

Visitors from the Isle of Wight at Clarence Pier, Southsea, 1924.

Visitors from the Isle of Wight at Clarence Pier, Southsea, 1924.

The second card, also from my own collection, dates from 1910. It was posted on December 22 in London to an address in Landport.

• Although tens of thousands of people visited the Isle of Wight every year in the middle of the last century, sometimes the Islanders got their own back and returned the compliment.

In the picture, below right we see a church group having arrived at Clarence Pier, Southsea.

They are waiting for their charabanc to take them onwards to Winchester for a day out.

How many of you can remember The Arcade in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth? Here it is in 1902.'              Picture: Barry Cox Collection

How many of you can remember The Arcade in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth? Here it is in 1902.' Picture: Barry Cox Collection

It is a summer day, June 2, 1924, but most are wearing coats and hats so perhaps it had been a chilly crossing. Certainly it would have been cooler on the return crossing on the last ferry of the evening.

Even the youngest of the girls is dressed up and wearing a hat.

Ah, different days and different ways.

If the group had decided to remain in Portsmouth they could have caught a gig on the pier.

For as we can see the band of the Prince of Wales Volunteers South Lancashire Regiment were giving a concert on Clarence Pier which carried a toll of 2d. No dogs allowed!