Here’s a sunny 1950s’ day in Waverley Road, Southsea. We know it was fine because of the sun’s glare on the side of the bus. Anyone of a certain age will remember the style of dresses these girls are wearing and date it to the ’50s.
We are at the southern end of Waverley Road where there’s the junction with Clarendon Road and Granada Road. Across the roundabout on spare land there used to be a shop selling beach goods.
Also from Barry Cox’s book Portsmouth Trolleybuses we move to the picture of a wet Wednesday evening in June 1963 in St George’s Road, Old Portsmouth, with the power station dwarfing the trolleybus. Behind the wall on the right is HMS Vernon, now Gunwharf Quays.
• One thing you rarely hear about from the Second World War is the German Atlantic Wall. Stretching from the Franco-Spanish border to Norway, it was a massive fortification comparable to the Great Wall of China.
It was built by 300,000 slave labourers and architect Albert Speer claimed it would protect the Third Reich for 1,000 years. On June 6, 1944, it was taken in one day. Just what did the invading troops have to put up with? In Normandy alone there were 8,000 firing positions and 3,000 artillery pieces.
How do I know this? A new book, Engineering Hitler’s Downfall by Gwilym Williams tells of the thousands of men and women who were involved on the engineering side of our three forces during the Second World War.
There is everything from Bailey bridges and the Mulberry Harbours, the Maunsell Sea Forts in the Thames Estuary, the birth of RADAR, REME operations, RN Clearance Operations, tunnel digging to escape PoW camps and finally but not least the invention of the A-bomb.
With a forward by Admiral Lord West, there are 224 pages with many photographs. Published by Whittle Publishing at £18.99 it is well worth adding to your library.
As the Allies pushed nearer Berlin in the aftermath of D-Day, the Germans destroyed everything in their retreat including the many bridges across the Rhine. First the Mass and Mass-Wall canal had to be crossed and 11 bridges were built over the Rhine as well as several over the canal.
The bridge at Xanten, pictured here, was built in 31 hours and 30,000 vehicles crossed the canal in six days. All the bridges were completed within 10 days of the first assault.
• Long-standing Pompey fans might remember Patrick ‘Paddy’ Page who has died following a battle with dementia. He was 83. He was a friend of reader John Humphrey who says Paddy was well known in the Fareham area where he lived for most of his life.
John says: ’I met him through our shared passion for Pompey. He attended his first match in 1948 at the age of 12. Football was his first love and he followed Pompey home and away for many years and had visited all 92 league grounds. He so enjoyed watching them win the FA cup in 2008.’
Paddy’s funeral is at Portchester crematorium tomorrow at 3pm. All welcome.