Landmark Portsmouth hotel bombed in 1941 during blitz | Bob Hind

I have included three photographs on this page which I know little about so I am relying on you to help me please.The first is of a bus heading for Paulsgrove leaving the stop outside the Guildhall.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 8:00 pm
The corner of Edinburgh Road and Commercial Road, Portsmouth, 1946, with the remains of the Centre Hotel. Picture: Mick Cooper collection
The corner of Edinburgh Road and Commercial Road, Portsmouth, 1946, with the remains of the Centre Hotel. Picture: Mick Cooper collection

A routine photograph perhaps, but I am sure it will bring back memories for those who boarded buses at this point not to mention the partial view down Commercial Road (now Guildhall Walk) to the gas office, now a Wetherspoons pub on the corner of Park Road. The trolleybus standards and lamp fittings are rather grand.

On the post above the bus are what look like large spotlights aimed at the Guildhall.

• Here is one for all ex-naval personnel of a certain age. This is the former ornate gate into HMS Excellent, Whale Island with a sentry box on the left.

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A Portsmouth Corporation bus leaves the stop outside the Guildhall. Picture: Mick Cooper collection.

Of course, this was many years before the M275 when access to North End was along Stanley Road where the Mediterranean pub was the first port of call for sailors ‘going ashore’.

• The final picture shows the remains of the Central Hotel on the corner of Edinburgh and Commercial roads, destroyed on January 1, 1941. A community air raid shelter and the Swiss cafe can be seen.

‘Who on earth shut the gates, officer?’

Further to yesterday’s photo of the car that crashed into Langstone railway gates, here we see the driver with an AA patrolman whose motorbike and side car are between the car and gatepost.

I am sure many ex-naval personnel will remember the old entrance to HMS Excellent, Whale Island. Picture: Mick Cooper collection

A Sparshatt’s breakdown lorry is about to tow away the vehicle, a tank-like Standard Vangard. No wonder it did so much damage.

On the right is the platform of Langstone Halt which would be used for the last time that day in 1963 when the Hayling Billy branch line closed.

'Fancy having the gates shut officer,' continuing from yesterday, here we see the driver of the car that smashed into Langstone railway gates. Picture: Stuart Hales.