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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19. This view of the beach between Clarence Pier and the lifeboat house is a far cry from the scantily-clad bathers that you would fmd on Southsea's beaches today. It is little wonder that dressed in their long skirts and formal attire the ladies need to take shelter under their umbrellas from the sun. The children, however, seem to be enjoying a paddle at the water's edge and there are many groups of people sitting together having picnies on the shingle. This part of the beach had quite a number of small boats for hire which took people around Portsmouth Harbour to view the naval ships that were laying at anchor. Trips round the harbour in motorised boats still ply from this part of the shoreline and are run by a family with a long association for this trade,


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20. Southsea has always attracted the boating and yachting fraternity because of its excellent geographicallocation to two natural harbours and Cowes on the Isle of Wight which is itself famous for yachting. During the summer weeks the whole stretch of the Solent between Southsea Beach and the Isle of Wight would be filled with small boats and yachts. Such was the attraction to sail on these waters that an annual Regatta was introduced to which even members of the Royal Farnily were attracted. Here we see a stretch of beach and sea just east of C1arence Pier busy with sma1l boats. In the middle of this view looking seaward one can just make out one of the Forts which were built in the Solent as part of Southsea's sea defences and contracts for their construction were drawn up in 1861.

21. Southsea Common was formerly known by the name of Froddington Heath and in its early days it was owned by the Church Authorities but later reverted to the Crown and was then granted to a family by the name of Leeke. It mainly consisted of marshes with a moat cutting it into two and at certain times of the year it smelled offensive as the water stagnated in pools over its surface. In 1785 the Government needed land for Southsea Castle and so it was decided to divide and enclose the Common. Levelling of the Common began in April 1831 through to 1847 and by 1850 alilevelling work had been completed. Some of the work in filling in the Common was carried out by convict labour which obviously proved to be the cheapest way of achieving this. Here we are looking inland across the Common towards Osborne Road and the large building standing on its own to the right of the pathway crossing the Common is the Queens Hotel.

22. Following on from the last view of Southsea Common it was decided by the Town Council that they should acquire the Common from the War Office from whom they had hitherto rented it and in December 1922 the Council purchased 171 acres for f-45,000. lt was a condition of sale that a portion to the west of a line drawn between Southsea Castle and the Grosvenor Hotel should remain naturalopen space to be used for militaryoperations should the need arise. The Common has always played an important part in the life of Southsea and although for the most part it has retained a naturalopen beauty, parts of it are annually used for a large three-day event known as the Southsea Show which attracts many thousands of visitors to the area.

23. Prior to Southsea Common being acquired by the Local Authority it was the venue for many military and naval exercises. ülder local inhabitants can remember seeing the Common covered with small tents, compounds for horses, cannon and other military equipment which had been gathered together prior to embarkation overseas. Another popular use for the Common was that of parades to commemorate various events. Here we see one such parade in honour of the King's Birthday and the waggons have just passed the Saluting Flag. In the background we can see the Victoria Barracks to the left, the Pier Hotel and the large row of houses in Southsea Terrace. The large chimney belongs to a group of buildings in Hambrook Street which housed the Long's Brewery.

24. 'In honour of the Navy and to the abiding memory of those Ranks and Ratings of this Port who laid down their lives in the defence of the Empire and have no other grave than the sea - 1914-18.' These words are inscribed on one of the panels of the Naval War Memorial which is sited on part of Southsea Common near to Southsea Castle and facing the sea. Unveiled by the Duke ofYork on 15th October 1924 the War Memorial is dedicated to the memory of the 9,279 men who lost their lives during the First World War. Since this photograph was taken the Memorial has been enclosed by an ornamental wall and gardens and each year a wreath laying ceremony is performed.


25. Continuing along Clarence Esplanade past the Royal Naval War Memorial one can take the promenade on the seaward side of Southsea Castie and continue on to South Parade Pier. When Henry VIII decreed that a Castle was to be erected on land fronting the Solent due to the possible invasion of the French he probably did not realise that from his actions over the centuries a whole new settlement would be founded. Originally known as Chadderton Castle and built around 1534, his new fortress was also called South Castle and South Sea Castle thereby giving the outlying area the name we know today. Over the centuries the Castle has had many uses including that of a prison and a garrison for soldiers. Today the piece of waste land behind the promenade is the site of a children's model railway which has proved to be a popular tourist attraction in the summer months.

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Casile anà Paraàe. Southsea

26. This second view of the Castle is taken looking westwards from South Parade Pier. In the 1860s Lord Palmerston enlarged the ramparts and fortifications again because of a military build up by the French. The gun emplacements on the right of the picture have long since been removed and there now stands on this site various gift and novelty shops as weil as a restaurant. The field to the rear of the gun emplacements has been laid out as an ornamental garden. Historical events linked to the Castle are still very much to the fore as in 1982 millions watched as Henry VIUs Flag Ship The Mary Rose was raised from the seabed in front of the Castle where in 1545 she had sunk to the bottom. Today the Castle is used to exhibit artefacts from the Mary Rose and also other items relating to naval history.

27. In the 1920s it was felt that added attractions should be built for the enjoyment of the many visitors who were by that time flooding into Southsea during the summer months. One such project was the formation of a rock garden just along from Southsea Common between Castle Esplanade and South Parade. It was the largest rock garden of its kind along the south coast and was filled with alpine flowers and shrubs. It had quiet walks and secluded seating, a fountain, bird aviaries and ornamentallighting. Unfortunately probably due to its seclusion the Rock Gardens have over the years been subjected to vandalism and although it is still a pleasant place to sit or walk the ornamentallighting has disappeared and the aviaries have been left empty.

Tl7e Bsnasrsno, Soutl7sea.

28. In view of the fact that Southsea is surrounded by military and naval establishments it is not surprising that when the Corporation were considering their overall scheme for the enhancement of Southsea Common they saw fit to include a bandstand. Performances by the various Service Bands proved to be a popular attraction and many old and favourite tunes of the day were played by first class musicians. Deckchairs were provided but more often than not because of the numbers of people that were attracted to listen to the music quite often it meant that they would take rugs and picnic hampers and sit on the surrounding grassed areas. Regrettably the bandstand did not survive and the spot where it once stood is a former roller-skating rink.

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