As so many people eagerly set off for their holidays abroad this summer, it’s easy to forget that Southsea was once a very fashionable, Victorian holiday destination.
Originally called Croxton Town after a land owner, the resort grew and eventually adopted its name from Southsea Castle, there were even extra railway stations to deliver holidaymakers as close to the seafront as possible. There’s plenty of 19th century photos available, in books and online, of thousands of holiday makers all over Southsea, all looking very sombre, dressed in heavy dark suits or long layered dresses.
The Queens Hotel would have been an iconic building at the time, but I think the Victorians would have been foxed by the idea of Sunday Sessions (p.8). Bi-fold doors would have been a complete mystery, see Welcome Home (p.12) And as for Daniel Nowland’s cookery piece (p.44)
I’m not sure how many of the ingredients would have been so available as they are now? But the vision of thousands of people descending on Southsea is still with us, with Victorious just around the corner, but I don’t think there will be too many heavy suits or layered long dresses worn and certainly no sombre faces! Have a gorgeous summer everyone.
Kevin John Dean
Posted in: Back Issues