Southsea in old picture postcards

Southsea in old picture postcards

:   A.W. McAvery
:   Hampshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3108-7
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Southsea in old picture postcards'

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To be invited to compile a publication such as this is a privilege but added to this is the extreme pleasure it has given me to research Southsea's past which has enabled the present Southsea to have such a bright future. Indeed, to undertake the compilation of this book has enabled me to combine two of my driving passions, the collection of local picture postcards and the research into the social history of the area in which I live.

Being a comparatively young man it is difficult for me to know first hand very much about old Southsea but on carrying out my research I have talked to many local people who remember the area from the turn of the century up to the years just before the Second World War.

I found it fascinating to hear of people, places, shops and streets that no longer exist or which have changed radically and which were spoken of so fondly and still remain alive and fresh in the memories of the older citizens.

I hope that when people look through this book and see photographs and postcards of Southsea taken between 1880 and 1930 it will spark off many happy memories and encourage them to talk about the past so that the wealth of knowledge that they possess will not be lost through the course of time.

As will be seen from the large numbers of people in the postcards and photographs Southsea and its Sea Front seem to have been just as popular at the turn of the century as a holiday resort as it is today. Although the mode of transport has changed from the horse-drawn hackney carriages and the 'charabane' carrying upwards of 20 passengers to the 54 seater coaches of today, visitors still alight at the Sea Front to enjoy all the fun of being by the sea and taking in the many special attractions th at Southsea has to offer.

It is self evident that even in the 1880s and possibly before the emphasis was on tourism and attracting people to the area. Supporting this theory is the fact

that Southsea still has its two main piers - Clarence Pier and South Parade Pier, even though they have undergone a radieal change in appearance over the last 100 years they still playa very important part in the life of the area - unlike many other piers in the country which have been allowed to fall into decay and literally into the sea.

Turning away from the Sea Front and walking through the commercial and residential streets and roads of Southsea it is interesting to see that even today it has managed to retain its many historie buildings, many of whieh have been given a new lease on life as they have been converted into hotels, shops and offices but having still maintained their architectural heritage. Especially attractive is the area of Southsea which contains a large number of Thomas EIlis Owen properties, one of our most prestigious architects.

Although it is easy for people to dis miss the past and say that the future is the more important of the two,

I feel that it is essential that somewhere along the way the two merge and become one because it is true to say that those who 'look only to the future' will one day have a 'past' and it is my wish that they too will derive great pleasure and pride in recalling memories of how they worked, lived and took their leisure time as the present older generation seem to do.

Finally, I should like to express my sineere thanks and gratitude to the people I have spoken to and who have recounted to me their many tales of the 'good old days' thus enabling me to put together a book which I hope will be a pleasurable experience not only for those people who have remained in Southsea but for the many people who have visited the area over the years. Although I have tried to be as accurate as possible, I apologise if I have made any errors or omissions.

1. If one were to look down Kings Raad from this angle today, what a difference you would find. Gone are the splendid shops and offices and in their place are blocks of Council owned flats and private residential development. This view taken around 1911 looking eastwards from the top of Kings Raad where it joins with Landport Terrace and Kings Terrace gives a dear indication of the busy shopping area that it once was. The chemist shop to the right was originally owned by Rastricks but around 1910 it was taken over by Arnold & Sans who were still trading in the 1930s. Today this site is occupied by a large Building Society. The small raad on the south side, a few shops along from the chemist, is Flint Street and although here the shop on the corner is owned by Samuel Harwood trading as a saddler and portmanteau maker, from around the 1930s it was taken over by the Midland Bank and is still in existance there today although in slightly larger premises.

2. Named in commemoration of the Jubilee of King George Ill, Jubilee Terrace was built on the site of fermer pastureland in the ear1y 1800s and was actually finished around 1827. Here we see quite clearly where Jubilee Terrace meets with Belle Vue Terrace and the public house in the middle of this view is the Jubilee Tavern, at the time of this photograph it was owned by Lush and Company and stood on the corner of Harnbrook Street. As Victoria Barracks were located on the opposite side of these Regency Terraces it was not an uncommon sight to see troops of soldiers marching along towards Southsea Common. In fact if you look very closely at the left hand corner of this view you will see a troop of men just approaching Jubilee Terrace. Primarily a residential terrace there were, however, a few retail outlets and two of these were Miss Lawrence, costumier at No. 12 and nextdoor Mr Edward Zachariah,jeweller and watchmaker at No. 13 who were trading in 1910.

3. This view of Belle Vue Terrace has been taken on an angle from outside the Victoria Barracks looking eastwards. The Terrace runs from Hambrook Street and leads out onto Southsea Common with the large Pier Hotel premises standing on its corner. It is in fact an important Regency Terrace and during the turn of the century as Southsea became popular as a holidaying resort many of the properties were used as furnished apartments or small boardinghouses. Southsea's own Turkish Baths and Steam Rooms were in fact located here and can just be seen towards the left hand side of this picture. They came highly recommended by the medical profession and were much used.

4. The Victoria Barracks were built in 1880 under the supervision of the Royal Engineer Department at a cast of ;[80,000. Most of the building work was carried out by local conviets from a nearby prison located in close proximity to the Anchor Gate. Daily the conviets were marched under guard from the prison to the building site and many people who watched their progress feIt sorry for the men and dropped smalI pareels of tobacco and sweets. It is said that the carved heraldic devices on the apex of the main building fronting Kings Terrace were carved by a convict who actually asked to be allowed to stay on after his sentence had expired in order that he could finish his work. Much of this site has now been turned over to private residential development although some ofthe barrack buildings now house a museum.

5. The Memorial to Lord Frederick Fitzclarence, a popular Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and Southsea, stands near the old parade ground and opposite King Williarn Gate. The Memorial was erected in 1851 at a cost of :t:300 in memory and gratitude of the important part played by Lord Fitzclarence for the commencement of Clarence Esplanade in 1848. lt is now more commonly known as the Clarence Monument and still remains in its original place although it is now surrounded by trees and grassed areas. The Monument faces the large building with the twin turrets which is the Royal Pier Hotel and which at one time housed the registered offices of the Royal Pier and Queens Hotels (Southsea).

6. This bitd's eye view of the western end of Southsea Common and Clarence Pier was probably taken looking diagorrally across from Sou thsea Terrace where it meets with Castle Road. It gives one an excellent opportunity of placing geographically Clarence Pier and its surroundings, Clearly visible is Pier Road which runs straight up to the Esplanade and on the right of Pier Road is the recreation ground to the side of the twin turrets of the Esplanade Hotel and adjoining this is Pembroke Gardens. One can also see the walkway which runs from the Pier down into Old Portsmouth to an area known as Sallyport where people can sit on the oid fortifications watching the many Naval and commercial shipping passing in and out of Portsmouth Harbour entrance. This walkway has the unusual title of Long Curtain Promenade.

7. Leaving the Terraces behind and walking on past the Pier Hotel one enters Pier Road. As the name would suggest this road leads directly to Clarence Pier and the Esplanade Hotel. Taking into consideration the fact that many people would want to get to this part of Southsea easily the Landport and Southsea Railway Company in 1866 ran their trams straight onto the Pier. This allowed holidaymakers who were continuing their journey on to the Isle ofWight to have an easy passage across the Solent on one of the many steamboats which embarked from the pierhead. Pier Road therefore became a main-line for trams and in this particular view which was taken around 1907 we can see the trams on the left hand side of the road.


8. Although permission had been given by the Admiralty around 1852 for a pier to be constructed adjacent to the Kings Rooms, Clarence Pier did not come into existance until Lst June 1861. A Company was set up from notabie businessmen who hoped not only to make money from people using the Pier for pleasure and recreation but also to encourage people to use the Pier for steamboat traffic. Special attention was given in the construction of the Pier which was 'T'-shaped in order to facilitate two steamboats at one time. An extension to the Pier was carried out in 1874 to give a more efficient service to the public. The Esplanade Hotel situated to the west of the Pier came into existance in 1877 although before this date the Kings Rooms occupied the site in the 1850s. The Esplanade Hotellasted for a number of years but sadly part of it was destroyed during the Second World War.

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