NOSTALGIA: Trams and trolley buses ruled the chaos in Guildhall Square

I never tire of seeing photographs of Guildhall Square before it was pedestrianised in the 1970s, changing the city centre forever. This is a transitional scene before the end of trams and the introduction of trolley buses.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 8:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 9:34 pm
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, 1935

It's 1935 and the trams had just one year left before trolley buses took over completely, although they had been replacing trams since August 4, 1934. Trams were abandoned on November 10, 1936.

Above the tram, which is heading for Eastney, are wires for both types of electricity pick-up. And look at the people in the foreground, all dressed smartly, not a bare head among them. The RAC patrolman in the white coat must have had a devil of a job controlling traffic.

'¢I can't tell you too much about the picture, below, which shows a ketch-rigged barge in Langstone Harbour at about half-tide. In the background is the old mill, still popular with artists and photographers. Just to the left, out of shot, would be the Royal Oak. 

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A barge in Langstone Harbour. The old mill is in the background. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

Above the sail in the distance is the foreshore walk that takes walkers to Warblington Church and castle and on to Emsworth.

The men may be oyster catchers, a common occupation at one time.

'¢Perhaps someone can tell me more about the third picture? It was taken before 1930 as the dockyard's Semaphore Tower, in the background on the right, is being built after the old one was destroyed by fire in December 1913. The new building came into service in 1930.

A three-funnelled cruiser is dressed overall at South Railway Jetty with sailors lining the foredeck.

Looking across to South Railway Jetty pre-1930. We can date this picture by the building of Semaphore Tower in the distant right. It came into service in 1930. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

Spectators throng the Gosport Ferry pontoon looking towards the ship so there must have been something special going on.

I can't decipher the flags but I wonder if they are Royal Standards and that a member of the royal family is on board. Behind the ship are the funnels of another cruiser also dressed overall. 

The railway viaduct from Portsmouth Harbour station cuts across the harbour to the jetty.