Looking back to a much more peaceful Waterlooville high street

It does not seem all that long ago the A3 London Road passed through Waterlooville on its way to Horndean and onward to Petersfield and London.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, 2:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:21 pm
A quiet time in Waterlooville when the A3 London Road used to pass though.
A quiet time in Waterlooville when the A3 London Road used to pass though.

The A3M now bypasses the village and the road seen in the photograph, right, has become a pedestrian precinct.

Many independent shops can be seen. Unfortunately the former village has spread way beyond the high street.

n I don’t suppose for a moment anyone recognises the photograph, below right, taken in Drayton in the 1930s.

It’s Court Lane, when Drayton was still countrified.

n There was a time when Portsmouth Dockyard used to shut down for annual leave.

During that time Southern Railway used all sorts of methods to attract passengers.

In 1939 it offered a trip to Dieppe with three hours ashore.

The trip cost less than a pound, 17s 6d , which is about 88p today.

A passport was needed but I’m sure there were not many in the city who carried one at the time.

n In the somewhat faded shot on the opposite page, we see the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous entering Portsmouth Harbour for perhaps the final time in April 1939.

On September 17, the carrier sunk with the loss of 519 of her crew, including her captain.

Courageous began her life as a light cruiser, completed in late 1916 at a cost of just more than £2m.

In November 1916, she took part in the second battle of Heligoland Bight.

She was also present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.

Courageous was placed in reserve after the war and spent some time at HMS Excellent, the Royal Navy Gunnery School, and later as a turret drill ship.

On June 29, 1924, her conversion to an aircraft carrier began in Devonport.

Her 15in guns were put in store and later used on Britain’s last battleship, HMS Vanguard.

The conversion cost as much as it did to build the ship in the first place.

Going to war in 1939, HMS Courageous was hit by three torpedoes, off the coast of Ireland.

She was the first ship to be sunk by the German navy. Some of the survivors ended up at Belmont Camp, Bedhampton.