Mr Miller’s steam-baked golden brown Admirality bread Admiratliy

William Miller's steam  bakery premises in Kent Street, Portsea. '''                            Picture: Barry Cox collection
William Miller's steam bakery premises in Kent Street, Portsea. ''' Picture: Barry Cox collection
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I find the photograph of William Miller’s premises, right, very evocative of the period.

William owned a steam bakery and was in business from 1897 until 1930.

Unicorn Road, Landport, in 1898. Note the gents' urinals at the junction of Unicorn Road and Edinburgh Road.

Unicorn Road, Landport, in 1898. Note the gents' urinals at the junction of Unicorn Road and Edinburgh Road.

The business was located in Kent Street, Portsea.

Steam baking was a process in which steel tubes containing water are heated by either gas, coal or coke until a temperature of 500F is reached.

The heat is more than sufficient to bake bread to a lovely golden brown colour.

It was said that the bread was untouched by hand.

Looking north from Cornwallis House, over prefabs used as a school in the early 1950s.

Looking north from Cornwallis House, over prefabs used as a school in the early 1950s.

William must have had a successful business as he also had a contract to supply the Admiralty.

I would imagine this was to supply bread and other confectionary to shore establishments rather than ships.

In the photograph we can see several delivery vans, all horse-drawn of course.

Notice the brass lamp on the side of the first van.

Pickwick House taken from Wingfield Street, also including Blackwood House and Brisbane House.''''     Picture: John Apps

Pickwick House taken from Wingfield Street, also including Blackwood House and Brisbane House.'''' Picture: John Apps

All the horses look in immaculate condition, as are the drivers.

To the left we see a baker along with William Miller himself perhaps?

n Two weeks ago I published a photograph of Unicorn Road taken from the roof of the old Evening News office in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth.

I asked if anyone knew what the building was, just north of the crossroads with Edinburgh Road.

As can be seen in the map of the area, below, in 1898 it was no more than a urinal, as public lavatories were called in those days.

Considering the Victorians were somewhat sheepish in matters of bodily functions, to have a public loo out in the open where the gents had to cross an open road to use the building was rather enlightening to say the least.

No doubt ladies diverted their eyes.

As can be seen in the bottom left hand corner, there was a crossroads outside the Catholic cathedral where Anglesea Road crossed Edinburgh Road.

That part of Edinburgh Road is now Bishop Crispian Way.

There was another Roman Catholic church at the top of Unicorn Road outside Unicorn Gate with a Zion chapel across the road.

n John Apps sent me two photographs he took in 1955 of the rebuilding of Portsmouth after the Second World War.

I must admit to thinking the tower blocks of the city did not appear until the 1960s, but as John took these photographs it is proof enough.

In the photograph, opposite, we are looking from Wingfield Street towards Blackwood House and Brisbane House.

The picket fence alongside the building site would be very out of place in today’s world where building sites have to be behind a shuttered fence to protect the public, especially young lads, from climbing scaffolding.

The photograph, below, is taken from Cornwallis House. We are looking north over prefabs that were used as a school in the early 1950s. To the right can be seen some modern housing mixed in with the older properties that were later demolished in the slum clearance of the 1960s.