When a Portsmouth suburb really was a rural backwater: RETRO

THEN: A look along the A27 through rural Drayton village. Drayton Lane and the New Inn are on the right. Picture: Barry Cox postcard collection.
THEN: A look along the A27 through rural Drayton village. Drayton Lane and the New Inn are on the right. Picture: Barry Cox postcard collection.
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Here’s a marvellous view along Havant Road, Drayton, later the A27 and now the A2030 since the M27 and A27 trunk road were built to the south. Unfortunately it is undated.

It is a very rural scene with what is now a main road nothing more than a country lane with hedgerows and a narrow pavement.There is no danger to the man walking in the middle of the road. 

NOW: Drayton village today. The New Inn is now an Indian restaurant.

NOW: Drayton village today. The New Inn is now an Indian restaurant.

Drayton Lane, leading up to Portsdown Hill, is behind the horse-drawn baker’s van.

Perhaps the employee has dropped in for a lunchtime pint in the New Inn leaving his horse to ponder if there will be any refreshment coming its way. 

The New Inn closed some 10 years ago to become a popular Indian restaurant.

Of course, today the old lane has become a busy thoroughfare with non-stop traffic most of the day.

Looking south across Portsbridge, Portsmouth, in the 1920s. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

Looking south across Portsbridge, Portsmouth, in the 1920s. Picture: Barry Cox collection.

Naturally, the baker’s van has long gone, as has the New Inn.

Drayton Lane, which led through fields to the top of Portsdown Hill has also been built on for most of its course.

Where the man stood in the lane is now a Pelican crossing.

• In the final picture today we are looking south over Portsbridge at Hilsea.

I have captioned it as the 1920s but as the new bridge opened on July 14, 1927 it could be the early ’30s.

To the right would be Western Road to Southampton with the A3 running off to the left.

With solid tyres I don’t know how comfortable the bus ride would be.

The recently closed Knight & Lee in Southsea is advertised on the side.

The driver is enclosed in his own cab and as this was long before pay-as-you-enter days there would have been a smart conductor to take the fares.

This was also in the days when Portsea Island was a proper Island unlike today when a large ditch separates the island from the mainland.

The wall on the left remains and that half of the road in front of it is now a car park.