Leigh Park couple bring history of their area to life in old photo: RETRO

Prospect Lane to the north-east of Leigh Park during the snow of 1966. Photo: Charles Sexton.
Prospect Lane to the north-east of Leigh Park during the snow of 1966. Photo: Charles Sexton.
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In 1966 Charles and Patricia Sexton joined a self-build group who purchased land to the north-east of Leigh Park alongside a lane that part of the estate was later called, Prospect Farm.

Among the many photographs Charles and Pat took was the image, above, of Prospect Lane at its junction with Wakefords Way.

Prospect Lane 2019

Prospect Lane 2019

Prospect Lane now forms a staggered junction but back then it was one long lane running from Bartons Road through to Whichers Gate Road, Rowlands Castle. 

Steve Jones, author of The Farms of Leigh Park, tells us the house on the left was Prospect Farm farmhouse and dates from 1776, making it the oldest property in the area. 

It was later incorporated into the Leigh Park estate under William Stone in 1863. Prior to 1865 it was known as Leigh Farm and may have at one time incorporated nearby Leigh Cottage and Little Leigh Farm.

Patricia told me she remembers it being called the White House and a Mr Trevis, and later Councillor Killoran, lived there.

Even back in 1932 an X-ray Pedoscope was used to get a proper shoe fitting - in elm Grove, Southsea

Even back in 1932 an X-ray Pedoscope was used to get a proper shoe fitting - in elm Grove, Southsea

It was the property of Portsmouth City Council (PCC). They later converted it into council housing and named it Trevis House after the previous occupier. On the right are milking sheds. 

Little Leigh Farm was further down Prospect Lane on the right and is now an equestrian centre, still leased from PCC.

The cows used to be in the field which is now the school playing field of Havant Academy. The cows used to walk up the lane to the sheds for milking.

Below, are the modern houses where the barns once stood. The self-build group constructed their houses in Stansted Crescent. Their house is on the far left at the top.

Commercial Road shortly after being made into a precinct in 1972. Photo: The News archive.

Commercial Road shortly after being made into a precinct in 1972. Photo: The News archive.

I found the advert, below, on the back page of a 1932 Portsmouth street directory.

W. Gange & Sons was a shoe company in Bank Buildings, Elm Grove, Southsea. They wanted customers to have the perfect-fitting shoes and used a device called an X-Ray Pedoscope. It created an image without the need to remove shoes.

One type consisted of a wooden box with a large hole where the foot was placed. The box carried a health warning and was eventually withdrawn.

The newer buildings along Commercial Road can be seen after the road was widened in the early 1950s, below. In the late 1960s the road from Arundel Street to Meadow Street was proposed to be made safer by turning it into a precinct in the early 1970s. 

The precinct was later continued with Arundel Street and Commercial Road closed off to the Edinburgh Road junction, as it is to this day. The Silver Jubilee fountain is yet to be built.