Post-war Portsmouth from the air showing ravages of blitz – Nostalgia

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This aerial view of west Southsea in 1956 comes from Chris Brunnen’s book Portsmouth. An Aerial View Through Time. We are looking east across St Michael’s Road and Hampshire Terrace towards the blitzed St Paul’s Church (top right). Bottom right is Cambridge Road.

Bottom left is St Michael’s Road with the Royal Seaman and Marine’s School and Female Orphans Home, later the register office. Top left is Hyde Park Road with the roof of the coach station seen this end of it. Centre is Victoria Hall, one of the first theatres in the city.

Aerial view of west Southsea 1956. Picture: Jim Bramble

Aerial view of west Southsea 1956. Picture: Jim Bramble

Below is another Jim Bramble photograph taken in 1952 and also in Chris’s book – on sale at New To You Books, Cosham..

We are looking down on Portsmouth Harbour station. Going off to the right is the viaduct to South Railway Jetty which crossed Pier Road via a level crossing. Having said that, the viaduct had not been used since 1941 when the swing bridge on to the jetty was destroyed.

Above the railway line is HMS Vernon, now Gunwharf Quays. To the left of that is the power station with its chimneys which were landmarks all over the city. To its right is the Camber which, in 1952, was still a place of shipbuilding.

Mary Chisow says her fraternal grandfather Jacob West, a retired tug captain, was landlord there towards the end of the Second World War. 

A view over Portsmouth Harbour station towards HMS Vernon and the power station, 1952.

A view over Portsmouth Harbour station towards HMS Vernon and the power station, 1952.

She says: 'He may have been there in 1936 as my grandmother used to say that she had seen the Duke of Windsor’s car turning into Arundel Street as he went to the dockyard after his abdication. 

'I remember my grandmother making a sort of hamburger in a bun to serve as pub food. There was also an old brick copper in the kitchen in which she used to boil winkles and cockles which my Uncle Bob brought from Bosham every Saturday. 

'Another aunt on my paternal side, Elsie Spencer, ran The Eagle in St George’s Square for at least half a century, firstly with her mother, then her husband and finally on her own. The pub was used by many sailors from HMS Vernon.They called her Ma.'

The New House pub has since been demolished and is now home to Farm Foods freezer centre. Timothy Whites was on the opposite corner.  

The New House pub, now the location for a freezer centre. Picture: Robert James Collection

The New House pub, now the location for a freezer centre. Picture: Robert James Collection