NOSTALGIA: Why wasÂ Princess Elizabeth heading away from the station?
On July 20, 1951,Â Princess Elizabeth visited the city. First, she went toÂ theÂ Nuffield Centre in St Michael's Road, which wasÂ used by naval officers and their families. It's now owned by the University of Portsmouth.
Then, she openedÂ the Connaught Drill Hall,Â Stanhope Road, which had been been bombedÂ in 1941.
The princess had arrived byÂ train so can anyone tell me, why the royal convoy of cars are heading north along Commercial Road away from the station? Did sheÂ tour the city and perhaps go to Cosham to pick up the return train from there?Â
On the left photographers, including one from the Evening News, stoodÂ precariously on a ledge above Woolworth's andÂ jewellersÂ H Samuel.
For vintage bus fans, the leading oneÂ is a Corporation Craven with a Leyland body. Behind it was aÂ SouthdownÂ TigerÂ coach.Â
'¢The second pictureÂ is aÂ scene perhaps more recognisable to those whoÂ trained as gunners at HMS Excellent, Whale Island.
The training wasÂ remorseless. Gunners became some of the most feared men in the navy. They usually ended up as drill instructors and when they saidÂ '˜move' orÂ '˜stand still', you moved or stood completely still '“ believe me.Â
In this picture, we see a battalion coming off the island, butÂ I cannot understand why the bass drummer is carrying his drum.
'¢Last week I published the photo of theÂ railway carriage on what appears to be a barge.Â
Back in April, I wrote about whenÂ the troopshipÂ HMS CrocodileÂ hit the railway viaductÂ running across the harbour to South Railway Jetty.Â As she approached the harbour mouth, thickÂ fog descended. She was to berth at theÂ jetty but because of the fog, the pilot mistook the viaduct forÂ the jetty and the ship was brought alongside.TheÂ collision sent an 80-yard section of the viaduct into the mud along with three railway carriages '“Â Â the leading oneÂ hangingÂ over the gap.Â
Barry Cox and I were looking at the picture again and now believe this shows one of the fallen carriages.Â
'¢The final picture shows two controversial subjects: the lord mayor's car and the gunners at the entrance to the cenotaphÂ off Guildhall Square.
There have been arguments about civic dignitaries having private cars.Â ButÂ inÂ 1961, I don't suppose peopleÂ would've thought anything of it.
The cenotaph isÂ different. IÂ andÂ many othersÂ hopeÂ the closed Drift Bar, where the phone box is, will be demolished and access toÂ the cenotaph opened up again. It was an outrageÂ thatÂ the civic offices and pub were built there in the first place.Â '‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹