The older of these two photographs appeared in Tony Triggs’s book Portsmouth Past and Present and it was taken in 1984. I have now taken the same picture in Old Portsmouth and there are more changes than you might think.
In Tony’s photo ships’ chandler WG Lucas occupied the space on the right. Just beyond that can be seen the large doors of a warehouse that became the storage unit for the City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department’s preserved buses. It was a fascinating place to walk around watching the restorers working on the vehicles who did a marvellous job bringing back rusty wrecks to as-new vehicles.
On the left, the mock-Tudor building is the Seagull pub which I believe was still open at the time.The witch’s hat roof was a popular design on pub roofs in the city.
Today, Lucas has gone as has the preserved vehicles’ warehouse. The Seagull has closed and became an estate agent. Cars have been parked facing in to the kerb to create more space.
At the end of Broad Street at Point a car ferry can be seen turning to set back into the Camber unloading area.
•There are plans for a Sherlock Holmes museum somewhere in the city. The detective was born in Portsmouth in the mind of his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when he had his doctor’s practice in Bush House, Elm Grove, Southsea.
Marion Doyle, of Milton, is campaigning to have the Byzantine Gothic-style main building of St James’s Hospital used as the museum. The brooding building would, in my opinion, be just right.
If you have ever been to the Sherlock Holmes pub in London, not far from Trafalgar Square, then I am sure we could equal if not greatly improve on what the pub has done to bring the great detective to life.They even have a facsimile living room on the first floor.
Surely something can be done to to save this iconic building and make it a world-class attraction for Holmes’ fans?