A foggy day in old Portsmouth town with horse-drawn cabs

We know the last horse-drawn tramcars in Portsmouth ran in 1902, although they did survive on the Cosham run until 1903, so we can safely date this photograph to after 1902.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 11:34 am
A misty day on The Hard, Portsea, Portsmouth, taken after 1902 from the top of a tram. Picture: Barry Cox collection.
A misty day on The Hard, Portsea, Portsmouth, taken after 1902 from the top of a tram. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

Also of interest are the horse-drawn cabs on the left. The two lamps in the middle of The Hard must have been a blessing at night.

The two lanes of tram track became three overhead lanes when trolleybuses were introduced at this point in August 1934.

I always find it amusing how pedestrians used to linger in the middle of the road without a care in the world. Oh, that it was like that today.

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John McCarthy recognised himself from recent Portsmouth Technical College photographs.

The original narrow dockyard main gate remained until the Second World War when it was widened.

On the right the many pubs frequented by dockyard workers survived until the blitz, although others have been demolished.

Allsopp’s Ales are advertised on the facing wall of one establishment. This brewery began operating in Burton upon Trent in the mid-18th century. The company went into receivership in 1911, another year that helps us date the photograph.

Headmaster didn’t suffer fools gladly

Havant Road, east of Cosham. Picture: Mick Cooper postcard collection.

John McCarthy (circled) saw the 1947 photographs of boys at Portsmouth Technical College.

Of headmaster Mr Dunn, John says: ‘He didn’t suffer fools gladly. I broke a window and to my horror he said he would write to my parents who would have to pay. My father decided to repair the window so he got his toolbox and we put in a new pane. Would he have charged my father for the damage? We'll never know.’

The health-giving airs of Havant Road

Looking east along Havant Road to the east of Cosham we see why it was such a salubrious place to live.

Villas and bungalows line the north of the road and it was the same on the south side. Wide grass verges kept pedestrians away from whatever traffic might be passing. In the distance is where Eastern Road now joins the A27. Anyone recognise the houses here and which numbers they were?