This city centre view is just about recognisable today

This dramatic photo was taken in the latter years of the war when Portsmouth's bombed streets were made passable after rubble from the stricken buildings had been cleared.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 6:00 am
THEN A dramatic view across the blitzed area south of the Guildhall with Russell Street running away from the camera at an oblique angle. These pictures are taken from my latest book War-torn Portsmouth  Then, After and Now. Its available (£9.99) from Waterstones, Commercial Road, Portsmouth; New 2 U, High Street, Cosham; Portsmouth Cathedral bookshop, and newsagents JG Riley, in Locksway Road, Milton.

In the old photo we are looking directly down Swan Street towards the White Swan pub with its mock Tudor frontage which still stands today.

Running at an oblique angle from Swan Street is Russell Street which emerged into Guildhall Square by Queen Victoria’s statue.

The ruined Guildhall can be seen with its cupola still above the clock.

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NOW The same view today and the Guildhall without its cupola.

In the middle of the picture are the sad remains of the Hippodrome Theatre. What people didn’t know was that there was an unexploded bomb under the rubble which was not found until the site was cleared 40 years later.

In the ‘today’ photo the car has taken over from Russell Street.

NOW The same view today and the Guildhall without its cupola.