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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29. The first South Parade Pier had been a private enterprise and was opened on 26th Ju1y 1879 by Princess Edward of Sax-Weimar who was the wife of the then Lieutenant-Governor of the Garrison. It was attended by all the nota bles and principal people of the day and turned out to be a glittering occasion. Everybody believed that the additional attraction of the Pier wou1d enhance an area which had hitherto been devoid of any real public entertainment. The Pier also acted as a sort of information bureau as it carried billboards and posters for the various events which were happening locally and also the daily matinees and performances at the many theatres throughout the area. This first view of the Pier has been taken looking out to sea from the walkway which runs the fulliength of South Parade.

30. This second picture of the Pier gives a dearer view of the pavillon which was erected at its head, Regrettably the original Pier only lasted a few short years as on 19th July 1904, dose to the anniversary of its official opening, a fire partially destroyed its structure. It was left derelict for some time until the Corporation looking to its future potential made tentative enquiries to acquire the Pier and reconstruct it on a much larger scale with many added attractions. It took until1906 for a firm resolution to be passed confirming the Corporation's earlier decision and since that time their actions have proved to be a resounding success although in the earlier years of its re-opening South Parade Pier was likened to a 'white elephant' because it was being run at a loss.

31. This likely looking group of characters are workmen who were brought together when it was necessary to reconstruct South Parade Pier between 1904 and 1905. Although the main contract for the works of restoration went to a firm from the West Country it is believed that a local firm were brought in as sub-contractors to undertake the construction of the underneath of the Pier. Here we can see quite clearly the timber uprights behind the group of men and the name chalked onto the piece of boarding is Messrs Neal, Contractors and I have been told that this firm had premises in Goldsmith Avenue. Exactly what it is they have 'lost' I leave to the imagination.

...:. .

32. In just under four years and with its new owners, South Parade Pier was officially re-opened by the then Mayor. Gradually people began to avail themselves of the many amusements and entertainments that were provided and it lived up to the description given to it by many of the publications and brochures of the time, 'A Twentieth Century Palace of Entertainment'. It housed a skating rink behind the entrance hall which could also be used as a small concert hall, a large pavilion, bandstand, tea rooms and shops. Here we can see the western promenade deck and in inclement weather promenaders could proteet themselves from blustery sea breezes behind glass partitions which had been erected between the bandstand and the pavilion.

33. Looking across from Alhambra Road this is a splendid view of the entrance to the Pier. Excited children accompanied by their parents entered into its portals under a handsome canopy with a glass roof with an octagonal turret on either side. The whole of the entrance canopy was illuminated by 100 electrio lights and together with the 400 fairylights which adorned the bandstand on the Pier it earned the Iocal name of 'The Pier with a Thousand Lights'. Many passengers for the various steamboats could also dep art via South Parade Pier and one can ju st make out the octagonal steamboat ticket office situated in the centre of the entrance hall. Today if you were to take a look at this view the trams and tramlines would be missing and in their place is a pedestrian crossing and the small shops and offices in the entrance hall have disappeared although thankfully the twin turrets have managed to survive.

34. Walking up the steps under the glass canopy and into the main entrance hall to the Pier itself you would be confronted by these gentlemen who were the Pier attendants and office staff. The man with the bowtie is standing just in front of the turnstile where you had to pay your toll to be allo wed to enter onto the premises and take advantage of the many amusements on offer. The entrance to the Pier had been weil thought out as there were two shops facing the Esplanade on either side with adjacent office accommodation. From either side of the lobby access could be gained to the promenade decks. Various local businesses took advantage of a 'captured' audience by renting hoardings which advertised their various services. Bookings could be made for an orchestral concert given by a Military Band, a short trip across the Solent to visit the Isle of Wight or a permit obtained for a day's fishing from the end of the Pier.



35. One of the major attractions of the Pier was its fine concert pavillon and here we can see clearly the inside of the pavilion looking down towards the stage from the upper balcony. It measured some one hundred feet by seventy feet and was handsomely decorated with some of the mouldings picked out in colour and decorated with gold. It was used extensively for orchestral concerts, plays and when they became more fashionable beauty contests. Because of its size and elegance many of the well-known artists of the time were attracted to appear at the pavillon and they were weil catered for as dressing rooms had been conveniently located on either side of the orchestra pit and could be reached via a stairway on either side, thus making 'curtain-call' that much easier. Like many other things the concert pavillon did not survive to the present day.

36. Taken actuallyon South Parade Pier the photographer is looking inland from the bandstand towards the tea rooms which were located at the end of the pavilion. Although there were many such tea rooms and caf├ęs along the Sea Front, these particular tea rooms offered one a panoramic view of the Solent and the Isle of Wight. A popular pastime was to take tea and watch the naval vessels and commercial steamers leaving and entering the stretch of water between Southsea and the Isle of Wight, Today the bandstand has disappeared and although the building which once housed the tea rooms has been partially retained it is no langer used for this purpose.

37. This view of the eastern side of the Pier, taken at a much later date, gives a clear indication of the size and overalllength. In fact the new Pier measured some 500 ft not including the landing stage and 70 ft across its narrowest point and 145 ft at its broadest point. A specially constructed pier-head and landing stage had been built which enabled steamboats to berth at all times regardless of the tidal flow. Many local people with small boats and yachts were also catered for as three smaller landing stages accessible by iron stairs were also included so that they could tie up alongside, pop onto the Pier for afternoon tea and then return to their days enjoyment on the sea. The South Parade Pier of the eighties is again different to this picture as it was again ravaged by fire and had to be completely reconstructed and refurbished this time leaving out many of its earlier attractions and replacing them with amusement arcades, a ballroom and bingo hall.

38. This picture shows Members of the Southsea Sea Angling Club with wounded men from 'Branksmere' which was a relief hospital in Queens Crescent Southsea. The Angling Club had in fact organised a fishing competition on South Parade Pier which took place on the 26th May 1917. 'Branksmere' itself was the home of Sir John Brickwood who had kindly agreed to allow his home to be taken over by the Red Cross in order that men from the First Wor1d War who needed nursing and convalescence could stay there. The reliefhospital originally had eighty beds but through Sir John's good offices he helped with the costs of additional huts which were placed in the beautiful grounds surrounding his horne.

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