Sad demise of Portsmouth post office where 500 once worked

My picture recently of the grand old general post office in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, in the 1970s, struck a chord with Ian McLachlan.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:26 am
The Slindon Street head post office being built in 1977 with the old general post office in Commercial Road on the left
The Slindon Street head post office being built in 1977 with the old general post office in Commercial Road on the left

He was in the last class of trainee postmen to join the Post Office at that building in September 1977, before it moved to the new Head Post Office in Slindon Street, Landport, in October of that year.

That’s his picture, above, of the south side of the Slindon Street building under construction with the old building in the distance on the left. It was taken in either April or May 1977.

Ian, of Gladys Avenue, North End, Portsmouth, says: ‘Sadly, because of declining letter volumes and its cramped city centre location, the decision was made by Royal Mail to sease all operations at the Slindon Street site.

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‘The processing of mail was finally transferred to Southampton in April this year.

‘The delivery and collection of mail for Portsmouth and Cosham has now moved to the new delivery office at Voyager Park on the Airport Industrial Estate.’

And Ian adds: ‘Thirty-nine years, a very short life for a building that when it opened was the most up-to-date Post Office building in the country and, at its peak, had more than 500 people working in it.’