We Can Do It awards: Dickens heritage is ‘wonderful’ for Portsmouth

Winners of the Best Street award, Old Commercial Road. From left, Bill Moody, Dennis David, Tris Bell and Pauline Powell. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Winners of the Best Street award, Old Commercial Road. From left, Bill Moody, Dennis David, Tris Bell and Pauline Powell. Picture: Habibur Rahman

THE winners of this year’s Best Street award say that the importance of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth is something that will never fade.

Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, was announced as the best street in the region at The News’ We Can Do It awards on Monday night.

The street was put forward after a group of volunteers planted 50 trees along the Charles Dickens Trail, making the route much more pleasant to walk through.

Following Charles Dickens' own trail through Portsmouth, the route takes you from the Birthplace Museum to the Dickens family home in Hawke Street and the font where he was baptised.

Bill Moody, 57, is one of those who planted the trees along the route.

He said: ‘All of the other entries in the Best Street category were incredibly strong, so I certainly wasn't expecting us to win.

I’m very surprised and we are lucky to have won.

‘The Dickens Trail is a wonderful part of Portsmouth’s history and we’re really happy that it is receiving this sort of recognition.

‘If anyone hasn’t had the chance to walk along the trail, now is the time to do so.

‘It will be a couple of years until the trees start to bear fruit, but it will look truly beautiful once it does – we’re now starting to do this right across the city too.’