Mourning the loss of the old

Between 1988 and 1990 there was a complete rebuild of the high-level platforms at Portsmouth and Southsea station.

Saturday, 23rd January 2016, 6:00 am
The rebuilt high level platforms at Portsmouth and Southsea station. Picture: Terry Bye collection.

The whole of the old wood and iron roof was demolished and a new one installed.

Every train into and out of Portsmouth had to use the low level platforms while much of the work took place.

Looking at the photograph there is a footbridge constructed to the south of the platforms crossing Commercial Road. I cannot remember this construction but it must have been there. Was this another case of it being hit by a high-sided vehicle and demolished like the bridge over Anglesea Road?

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Former stanchion on the high level station with PWR, Portsmouth Waterside Railway.

The building to the right of it has, in the last year or so, also been demolished and a hotel built on the site.

The trouble with demolishing the old and replacing it with new means the enjoyment of looking at the original art work on something as simple as the stanchions that held up the old roof has disappeared.

Take the superb cast iron canopy support columns. At canopy level these were embellished with the letters PWR, which meant Portsmouth Waterside Railway. This dated back to when the railway was extended to Portsmouth Harbour.

Tony Holley, of Havant, says he believes Portsmouth City Council has the columns. He did ask about buying one to turn it into a lighting column for his patio. He was quoted £450 and would have had to collect it. He declined.

Former stanchion on the high level station with PWR, Portsmouth Waterside Railway.