NOSTALGIA: A branch line that connected Southsea to rest of the world
I had to publish the remarkable photograph, above, small because of the quality, but I wanted you to see it.
For those who cannot recognise the location, it was taken from the upper floor of the Festing Hotel on the corner of Festing and Highland roads. We are looking down Albert Road with what is now Craneswater School on the left.
The bell tower to the right of the school roof belongs to the Methodist Church on the corner of Francis Avenue.
The tram is passing over the bridge with the East Southsea branch line passing beneath.
To the right of the photograph, down in a cutting was Albert Road, with Bridge Halt one of just two stations on the route along with Jessie Road Bridge Halt. The line operated from 1885 until 1914 and ran from Fratton and terminated at The Strand. Although closing in 1914 the rails remained in place until 1926.
• The two then-and-now photos show the New Inn, Havant Road, Drayton. It is now an Indian restaurant.
I remember being told that the pub was haunted by a former barmaid who wandered from bar to bar.
The house on the distant left later became the Futcher School for disabled children. It has since been demolished and replaced by a care home. On the right is a Brickwoods brewery lorry and there was a tea shop just out of shot on the right.
The second picture shows the view along the Havant Road, Drayton today. The inn is now a popular Indian restaurant. The tea shop has long gone as has the Brickwoods brewery lorry.
• There was a time when May Day saw great celebrations in the town.
Thousands line the streets to see trams dressed overall and children all in white.
The gentlemen organising the event are all wearing boaters, a fashion that really ought to return, I think.
Can anyone recognise the church steeple in the distance?