Cattle ferried across harbour on their way to city’s abattoir – Nostalgia

A photograph dating from 1864 showing the chain ferry from Portsmouth to Gosport.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection.
A photograph dating from 1864 showing the chain ferry from Portsmouth to Gosport. Picture: Barry Cox Collection.
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I published this photograph, taken by Barry Cox and included in his book about Portsmouth trolleybuses, some time ago and I recently found a letter I had mislaid from Maureen Baldwin, now of Cowplain, who tells me that although it is named the Essoldo in her time it was the Regal. She lived in Milton Market when she was a child and knew the cinema very well.

She says: ‘Close by was a shop that sold ice cream and I believe it sold the first Wall’s ice cream after the war.’

A trolley bus outside the Essoldo, Eastney, which Maureen Baldwin, of Cowplain, remembers as the Regal. Picture: Barry Cox

A trolley bus outside the Essoldo, Eastney, which Maureen Baldwin, of Cowplain, remembers as the Regal. Picture: Barry Cox

Although in Eastney Road my Kelly’s of 1962 states that from Devonshire Avenue the rest of the businesses to Goldsmith Avenue came under the postal address of Milton.

• In the picture of the Easter parade we are looking south along Commercial Road with the Monarch pub on the right and the junction with Charlotte Street just past it.

To the immediate right is Fuller’s  which was a drapers and costumiers which also sold calicoes, a plain-woven textile, and sheets. I will be including more on this man and his family on Saturday week.

As it was either Easter Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, all the shops are shut for the week-end.

Easter Parade along Commercial Road, circa 1906. We are looking south with the Monarch pub on the corner of Charlotte Street.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection.

Easter Parade along Commercial Road, circa 1906. We are looking south with the Monarch pub on the corner of Charlotte Street. Picture: Barry Cox Collection.

Above the crowd to the left can be seen overhead tram wires which date this picture to after 1901.

• Although always called the Gosport chain ferry the first picture here dates from the service’s earliest days in 1864. There are many photographs of the chain ferry but nothing like this. 

As you can see, it was taken at Point, Old Portsmouth. Cattle are about to be unloaded and herded to the slaughterhouse just off Broad Street. In the background HMS Victory sits high out of the water because her cannon have been removed.

At this time she was in a very bad state and when Sir Edward Seymour, the future Duke of Somerset, visited the ship in 1866 he said: ‘The ship was so rotten I could run my walking stick through her sides in many places.’ To the left is, I believe, a Thames barge. 

Pirates invade Napier Road, Southsea. A final photograph from John Deans's collection from the 1953 coronation. John is the pirate on the right.

Pirates invade Napier Road, Southsea. A final photograph from John Deans's collection from the 1953 coronation. John is the pirate on the right.

Also of interest is the vessel to the right which looks like a paddle steamer with a mast or masts. There is a vessel behind her so the masts might belong to that. If anyone has more information about this vessel please let me know.

One final note is the ‘ghost’ pushing a cart bottom right. This was caused by the person walking when the aperture of the camera was open for several seconds.

• And finally… a last picture from John Dean of the fancy dress and street party in Napier Road, Southsea, marking the Queen’s coronation in 1953. John is the pirate on the right. I always welcome street party pictures even more so if those in the shot can be identified.