NOSTALGIA: Steam returns to east Hampshire countryside

Last Saturday the Cathedrals Express travelled from Victoria station to Portsmouth and then on to Salisbury. Unfortunately the steam locomotive could not be turned and had the ignominy of travelling tender first to Salisbury at the rear of the train hauled by a support diesel.

Monday, 4th June 2018, 7:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 2:34 pm
Seen passing Idsworth Chapel last Saturday is class Black Five 45212 at the head of the Cathedrals Express heading for Portsmouth Harbour. Picture: Paul Costen.

From Salisbury the loco was at the right end and hauled the train back to London. It made a wonderful sight, especially with 1950s’ and ’60s’ slam door carriages.

When it travelled down from Buriton Tunnel, Waterlooville-based photographer Paul Costen was waiting in the fields opposite Idsworth Chapel north of Finchdean. He took a marvellous photograph showing the 1,000-year-old chapel-in-the field, the locomotive built in 1935 and the period carriages. The poppies are, of course, synonymous with events this year.

For a copy phone Paul on (023) 9225 0246 or email [email protected]

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A corporation tram at what was known as Point A opposite Widley Road where the track became single lined. Has anyone any information about the semaphore signal?

•The caption on the postcard of the submarine, first published on May 5, tells us it was taken at Point, Old Portsmouth.

I admit I was a little bemused about what a submarine was doing on this side of the harbour, so far from HMS Dolphin at Gosport.

Mike Nolan believes it would have been more accurate to have described the location as ‘off the Round Tower, Old Portsmouth’.

He says: ‘I can remember the posts at the water’s edge being alongside Tower House and standing all the way to and around the Round Tower and then along the water’s edge in front of the Hot Walls.

This postcard's caption says: 'Submarine H23 stranded in the mud at Point, Old Portsmouth.' But Mike Nolan thinks it is off the Round Tower.

‘I can also remember in the 1950s a large sailing yacht called the Lutine belonging to Lloyds Insurance Company running aground at the same place as the submarine. It remained there until refloated on the following tide.’

A pretty conclusive argument. Thanks, Mike.

•As I have mentioned before, Barry Cox and I are putting together a then and now book about the Portsdown & Horndean Light Railway, the tram route over Portsdown Hill to Horndean.

Barry has recently bought this postcard view of the route where it became a single line up to the George Inn on the summit of the hill. The old A3 can be seen on the right.

A view along Charlotte Street, Portsmouth, in the 1940s. Can anyone tell me more please?

We have never seen any photographs with the semaphore signal in view. We know why it was there as the line became single track from this point and an uphill tram was held at the signal until a downhill tram cleared the single line. If any transport buffs have any more information about it, we would like to know.