The People of Gibraltar
1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - 3

The harbour and isthmus - a contemporary view

Inauguration of the Legislative Council

In November 1950 we were honoured with a visit from the Duke of Edinburgh. I am pleased to say that I can’t really remember seeing the fellow - I must have been thoroughly unimpressed. He was in Gibraltar to take part in the ceremonial opening of the Legislative Council. The photograph shows the parade that took place in John Mackintosh Square (See LINK) in front of the City Hall. What I do remember is somebody from England visiting the school to explain in great detail the benefits of proportional representation as a voting system. I am still not quite sure how it works.

The Sugar Loaf looking south

This is the highest peak of the ridge - it’s about 426 m or 1398 ft high. I have never been there. Nor have I ever see the Governor’s Cottage which lies on the right hand side of the road that runs just above the cliff face. The name “Sugar Loaf” is not one neither I - nor my friends - would have known about in the 1950s.

Europa Flats

The photo was taken southwest of that of the previous one. I can’t remember having visited the area voluntarily - I associated it with the military and therefore - to me - intrinsically boring. However as part of a team of secondary school gymnasts I do recall being invited by some official body to show off our skills on this very same sports ground.

Europa Flats

I suspect this is a close-up of the previous picture.

Europa Flats looking east towards lighthouse

The cricketers are almost certainly military men - the Europa Point Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1841 at the southernmost point of Gibraltar. It is often also claimed to be the most southerly point of Mainland Europe. It isn’t - that honour goes to the Spanish town of Punta de Tarifa.

The Lighthouse - Europa Point

Upper Rock

Hard to identify where exactly these fortification were. In any case almost all the upper Rock area was under military control in 1951 and out of bounds to civilians.

The Rock from the sea

A photograph that seems to have missed most things of any real interest - or at any rate I can’t find any other than the Line Wall - which is not at all surprising as I doubt whether I ever went anywhere near that part of Gibraltar. 

Main Street    (See LINK)

Main Street looking South

Now this was home territory. Main Street was frequented by all of us on a daily and sometimes more than once a day.  The Coca Cola sign in the top photo is an oddity. It took quite after the end of WWII before the stuff became available in Gibraltar. We had, of course, all heard about it and were desperate to try it. But I remember that when I finally had my first sip I was decidedly underwhelmed.  

That “Par” on the side street sign on the right stands for Parliament Lane - which actually cuts right across Main Street.  It led almost immediately into Turnbull’s Lane at the end corner of which stood the Rialto Cinema a place which I frequented quite often as I did all three of the Cinema’s in town. 

The second photo looks north. My house, 256 Main Street, was the one that appears just next to the one with a fancy balcony.  

The third photo was taken very close to the doorway of 256. To the right was the Protestant Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (see LINK) - the Hotel was the Bristol.

Main Street near the Spanish Pavilion

Trocadero Bar - Main Street

The Royal Navy were frequent visitors to Gibraltar - as were the sailors of the US version - Good for business but something of a disruption for everybody else. I was too young to care. 
The Spanish Pavilion which no longer exists was originally a 17th century Spanish barracks. The Trocadero was a rather sleazy bar - one of quite a few in Gibraltar at the time - on the same side of the road and very near 256 Main Street. I could hear the music - but of course I never went in. 

Southport Gates (See LINK)

I must have been through the pedestrian passages of Southport Gates - to the right of them and not shown on the photo - thousands of times on my way to town or back home to Alameda House.

Catalan Bay (See LINK)

Sandy Bay (See LINK

El Montegu

Two of the beaches on the east side of the Rock. I do not have a photo of the third and most popular one - Eastern Beach. Sandy Bay was where we spent most of our time during summer. I can hardly remember ever swimming in Catalan Bay. The Montagu Bathing Pavilion was an alternative bathing place on the west side of the Rock. The fenced area bottom left was the Calpe Rowing Club of which I was a member. 

1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - Introduction
1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - 1
1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - 2