NOSTALGIA: Finally, space made for large supermarkets on new Leigh Park estate

This is the scene at Greywell shopping precinct Leigh Park adjacent to Park Parade.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 8:00 pm
Early days at the Greywell shopping precinct in Leigh Park.

Park Parade opened in the mid-1950s to give a decent form of shopping for the newly-built Leigh Park estate.

Before then, anyone wanting to buy from High Street chains had to travel to Havant or back to Portsmouth where most people came from originally.

In the mid-1960s plans were made to extend the shopping area and Greywell was built providing space for large supermarkets such as Keymarket and Gateway. Comic actor Sid James opened it in summer 1966.

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A Terrier tank engine at Havant in 1963 Picture: Barry Cox Collection

Over the years, with many acquiring cars and the opening of the Co-op hypermarket, later ASDA, in Hulbert Road, trade declined and Park Parade and Greywell became shadows of their former selves.

The picture, below right, was taken at Havant in 1963 during the last days of the Hayling Island branch line.

On summer Saturdays three locomotives and two three-coach trains were used for the two down and two up trains-an-hour service.

Loco 32646 is still running, on the Isle of Wight Railway, as W8 Freshwater.

Car Mansions Service Station, Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton

The picture of the garage is of Car Mansions Service Station at Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth, in the 1930s. It’s where the filling station is today.

The ‘Mansions’ mentioned, I assume, meant the private garages behind the petrol pumps.

On the left, two affluent-looking business types pose with their car. All the attendants are wearing white coats. No self-service then.

The garage office had two lines, as they used to say back then.

No doubt there are many hundreds of former Royal Navy sailors in the area who called into Gibraltar during their service years and I wonder who remembers this monument?

Call the local operator and just ask for 2078 or 2079 to be put through.

A Terrier tank engine at Havant in 1963 Picture: Barry Cox Collection
Car Mansions Service Station, Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton
No doubt there are many hundreds of former Royal Navy sailors in the area who called into Gibraltar during their service years and I wonder who remembers this monument?