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Last updated: 31 May 2020

 
     
  Archive/Photograph of the Month  
     
 

Relics relating to the power station at Hoeford depot are few and far between, so we are lucky to have in our archives a photocopy of a letter that relates to one of its former employees, Walter Cook (ref PS00160).  Dated 23rd February 1938, the letter provides a reference for Cook who had left the station and was seeking alternative employment elsewhere.

The letter records that Cook had served the company for over twenty years, from March 1917 until November 1937, initially as a labourer and later as an engine driver.  In June 1926, he was promoted to Station Fitter’s mate, a post he was to fill for the remainder of his time at Hoeford (referred to as Hoe-ford at that time – the ‘hollow by the ford’).  Of particular interest is reference to the specific reason for Cook’s departure, namely the shutting down of the power station on 17th November 1937.  The power station was constructed in 1904 to provide the electricity required by the Gosport & Fareham Tramways which commenced operation in January 1906, plus an ever-growing number of commercial and domestic clients during subsequent years.

By 1937, the power station was surplus to requirements and its closure was followed in 1940 by demolition of the chimney which had become a landmark in the area.  At 5 o’clock in the afternoon of 16th June, the 160 ft chimney was reduced to a pile of bricks in the presence of the Managing Director, H L White, his son H Orme White (the company’s Manager and Engineer) and local dignitaries.  Amongst the latter was Ben Hall, manager of the tramways undertaking in Portsmouth.  Many of the bricks were re-utilised during the construction of a new staff canteen on the site, a building that remains standing and was also used as a meeting place for the depot’s Home Guard platoons during the Second World War.

If any members or non-members have similar material that they would like to donate to the Society or allow to be photographed or scanned, I should be grateful if you would contact me – Chris Richardsen – using e-mail address archivist@provincialsociety.org.

 
 
 
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Both Southampton and Hoeford buses are now displaying 'Proud of our NHS' on the destinations. Southampton's 47602 - SN14 FFG on service 3 in Kathleen Road, Sholing and Hoeford's 67177 - YX66 WPB on service 9A in Stoke Road, Gosport.

Photo by James May/Gerry Tormey

 
 

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