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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9. This second view of Clarence Pier has been taken from the side looking westwards. A charge of ld was made as a toll fee for promenaders and if they wished to avail themselves of one of the 500 deckchairs supplied then a further charge of ld was made. One of the principal attractions on the Pier was a band which played in the afternoon and evenings and this proved to be very popular and the band nearly always played to a packed audience in the summer months, One point of interest is that there was na mixed bathing allowed when Clarence Pier was first opened and ladies had to bath to the west of the Pier and the gentlemen to the east. Today a hoverport has been constructed on the beach where in this view boats are laying.

10. It was due to the fact that the Southsea Esplanade Pier Company made such a huge success of Clarence Pier with its rail and steamer traffic that the Company were able to make improvements to the Pier and construct a grand pavillon. The cost of construction was i8,000 and in August 1882 the Prince of Wales performed the official opening ceremony. Taken from the seaward side looking inland we can see the three-penny shaped pavilion with its many arched windows. A panoramic view over land and sea could be obtained from the overhead balconies which were built into the design and one could dance under the stars as there was an open air ballroom. Possibly to cover the costs of running such a large building a charge of 5d (including tax) entrance fee was payable,

11. In 1905 one could travel by paddle steamer to the Isle ofWight embarking from Clarence Pier. The cost of this trip across the Solent to such p!aces as Ryde, Cowes and Southampton in the winter and Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor in the summer was 1/6d return. The paddle steamer in this view is coming up towards Clarence Pier from the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour and is sailing parallel with the ramparts in front of the Old Garrison Church. The !arge promenade deck in the left hand corner is now the site of an amusement arcade which is part of the Billy Mannings Funfair. However, the walkway is still in existance today and many people use it to get from Clarence Pier down into Old Portsmouth.

12. Very few people walking along this stretch of the beach would have taken very much notice of seeing a horse having a bath at the water's edge as many of the local traders who owned horse-drawn vehicles, i.e. coal merchants, dairymen, hackney carriages and rag and bone men brought their anirnals down to the sea for a dip. It was a strong belief at the turn of the century that salt water was good for the anirnals and helped to keep them fit. The shingle has now disappeared and in its place is a built up walkway with a high sea wall. lt is very unusual for people to swirn in this stretch of the sea today as large boats and car ferries which ply to and from Portsmouth cause enormous swells which makes bathing very dangerous. In winter one can take an invigorating walk along this stretch of the sea front and watch the waves break over the sea wall.

Boat leavtng Southsea for lsle of Wight

13. Being in such close proximity and separated only by a short stretch of water the Isle of Wight has always proved to be an additional attraction for visitors to Southsea, For the grand sum of l{6d return fare you could embark on the 'Duchess of Fife' or one of the many other steamboats operated by the Joint Railway Company's Steam Packets to the 'Garden Isle'. Boats left every weekday and on Sundays during the season, weather permitting, from various points along the Solent including Clarence Pier. All fares included pier tolls but special arrangements had to be made if horse-drawn vehicles or motor vehicles were to be transported across the water. It was even possible by rail and boat to go as far along the coastline as Brighton or Bournemouth and these trips usually worked out to 3{- return. Even for those times it would appear a most economie way to travel.

14. Today most families would jump into the family car and go off to the seaside for a day. However, at the time this photograph was taken there were very few people who could afford the 1uxury of owning a car and in fact very few cars to own. The 'charabanc' therefore came into its own as a popular means of being able to take day trips out and this particular group of people have driven down from Salisbury in Wiltshire which is some considerable distance to travel when the maximum speed you could go was approximately 30 miles per hour. The building in the background is part ofThe Esplanade Hotel and was situated in Pier Road and adjacent to Clarence Pier.

15. This is a second picture of a 'charabanc' outing but this time the bus is parked behind the Esplanade Hotel adjacent to Long Curtain Promenade. Just visible in the background is the three-penny shaped pavilion which stands on the Pier and the funnel of a steamboat moored at the pierhead. It would appear from the look on the faces of the passengers that they have had a good time. I find it a little strange to think that even though over fifty years have elapsed people still alight from coaches parked on this same spot who have also come to enjoy all the fun of the fair even though the amusements have changed from 'What the Butler Saw' and ld one-armed bandits to the more futuristic computer controlled video games.


16. The construction of Clarence Esplanade which runs from Clarence Pier to South Parade Pier parallel with Southsea Common and the Ornamental Gardens on the north side and the sea on the south side began in 1848. The whole project was funded by public subscription with a contribution from the Treasury of a little over 1:300 and the War Department donated the land free of charge. The first section of the Esplanade was opened in August of that year during the Royal Regatta Week. To keep the costs down convict labour was employed in its construction and thousands of tons of shingle and mud were brought from the nearby Royal Doekyard where they were excavating docks. This particular view of the Esplanade was taken between 1900 and the First World War as the Naval War Memorial which is sited on Southsea Common is not evidenced in this photograph.

17. This second view of Clarence Esplanade is also taken looking eastwards towards South Parade Pier and gives a close-up shot of the actual wa1kway. The paved area did in fact measure twelve feet wide and running alongside this a forty foot wide gravelled roadway was also constructed. The roadway had to be this wide in order to facilitate carriages passing each other and also because it was a common practice amongst hackney carriage drivers to park adjacent to Sou thsea Common on the roadway a few hundred yards along from the Clarence Pier. Also along this stretch of the Esplanade are many interesting Naval Memorials and mortar and cannon from the Crimea. In this particular view we can see two such cannon on the right hand side.

18. 1t is impossible to imagine that anyone will not have heard of Lord Nelson and his famous f1ag ship HMS Victory. 1t seems only right and proper that a monument to this great Naval hero should be placed near to the spot where he sailed for the Battle of Trafalgar, Thus it is that the huge iron anchor from HMS Victory has found a permanent resting place just along from Clarence Pier on the east side looking out to sea. 1t has been mounted onto a large granite base and inc1uded in the wording is Lord Nelseri's famous signal 'England expects every man to do rus duty', HMS Victory herself lies in dry doek inside the Royal Dockyard. Along this stretch of the Esplanade there are other monuments to commemorate various events in history inc1uding one to the men of HMS Chesapeake (1857-1861) and the Trident Memorial to the men who died of yellow fever in Sierra Leone (1859).

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