I recently received a call from Mark Heath who lives in Wales but spent his formative years in Portsmouth. He says he lived in Victoria Crescent, off Northumberland Road. I told him there was no such place but then looked at my 1948 Kelly’s and found a Victoria Crescent within Victoria Road North, opposite the Gaumont cinema which is now the Jami mosque at Bradford Road junction.
Mark's father worked for Family Television which was at 2, Victoria Crescent, Victoria Road North. The family lived in the flat above.
Mark also recalled a military-type nursing home nearby. Does anyone have any knowledge of Victoria Crescent or the nursing home?
In the photograph I believe you can see part of Victoria Crescent in the background. Is that right? The film, 55 Days At Peking is on at the cinema. It was released in May 1963 so dates the photograph nicely.
•The cartoon was produced at the announcement of the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. The gathering of navy brass appears to be worried about the number of ships that could be gathered together for the event. What on earth would they say today and, indeed, could such a review be held?
• The picture on the facing page is of the long lost and much lamented Gosport railway station, but I cannot date it. I am sure someone will be able to though.
I didn’t realise there was so much track work within the station with a head shunt on the right and ground signal (‘dummy’ in railway speak) alongside the track on the left. The station is now a skeleton of what it once was and disused. Anyone with further information, please get in touch.
• What we now call the Camber at Old Portsmouth was once the Inner Camber with the Outer Camber around the bend on the left. To the top right are the conveyor belts taking coal over Gunwharf Road to the power station.
• Finally, it has been another full year writing for The News with some marvellous stories from you, the readers. I have been sent some wonderful photographs to go along with the anecdotes as well.
When you realise that I use more than 1,000 photographs a year, usually 20 a week, throughout 52 weeks, I can run a little short of material. Thankfully I have postcard collectors like Barry Cox and Robert James and others who give me access to their collections. Please do look through yours for anything you might think is unusual.
If you can’t scan and send and do not trust the post I can always visit you, photograph the postcards and reproduce them on my computer.
Can I finish by wishing you all a very happy new year and I look forward to talking to you at some time.