The People of Gibraltar
1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - 1

Gibraltar and part of La Linea - a contemporary view

The Promenades (See LINK)

The photos show Gibraltar’s two Bulevards - once referred to officially as “Promenades”. The top one was known locally as el Buleva de las Palmeras.  It was not frequented by me as often as the one in the second photo which was further south and known as el Buleva Hebreo. The King’s Bastion - a relic of the Great Siege (see LINK) - had by then been converted into the local Power Station.

Governor’s Parade (See LINK)

Theatre Royal (See LINK)  - Governor’s Parade

The concrete structure is a WWII air-raid shelter. There was another one just to the south. They were known to local children as “revalosos” as the slopes were used as slides. It was also possible sitting on the top of the shelter to view films shown on the Theatre Royal - which was just opposite - on those days when it was hot enough for the cinema manager to open its large doors in order to ventilate the place. 

The white van on the extreme left - top photo - belonged to Henry Bardasano Ltd. They were wine merchants at the time. Their shop in 249 Main Street was diagonally opposite my own house in 256.  A glimpse of the Garrison Library (see LINK) on the middle right and on the left the vehicles are obstructing the view up Library Ramp - known locally as “el Balali”.

Public water cistern

Aguador in Main Street

Top one was also taken in Governors’ Parade. The cistern was just a few yards to the north of the air-raid shelter shown previously. For quite a few years after my family returned to Gibraltar in 1945 after their evacuation to Madeira (see LINK) , a large majority of the older local houses - including our own - lacked running water. The stuff was delivered to them in barrels - as shown on the photo - by men whom we called “aguadores”

The Naval Trust from the rear

This was  and would always be my favourite cinema.

Gibraltar from Algeciras

In those days it was relatively easy to get to Algeciras which was on the opposite side of the Bay either by car along the coast or by ferry. I was too young to visit on my own in the 1950s but would do so often as a young man.

Tourist and apes   (See LINK)

They were not very evident in the 1950s. Like most Gibraltarians at the time I didn’t like them much and never went up the Rock specifically to see them

View of the harbour

The buildings are HMS Rooke and Edinburgh House which - I think - included naval married quarters and a hospital. They were just in front of one of two sports grounds known as Naval Ground No. 1 and No. 2 - and I can never remember which one was which. I think the one which appears on the bottom left hand corner is No. 1.

The smaller craft are yachts of the Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club (see LINK) with ammunition barges between them and the warship is HMS Childers and the Detached Mole. Not that I would have been able to tell you any of this in 1950 other than that I knew which of the moles was the detached one.

View of the harbour

Same shot as the one above but including a larger section of the town. It was probably taken on the same day perhaps further up the Rock. The white building in the middle of the picture is today’s City Hall. (See LINK) In the late 1950s the ground floor was used as a Telephone Exchange - I know as I worked there for a while. The Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned (see LINK) - which I reluctantly visited on Sundays - is the middle on the extreme left. The large L-shaped wharf was called the Coaling Island.

North Mole, Commercial Harbour and Moorish Castle    (See LINK)

A more southerly view of the one shown above

On the first photo, the large ship on the hidden side of the Commercial Mole on the right might be the Algeciras Ferry. The Castle was used as a prison at the time - as well as a tourist attraction. I have never visited it.

The Airstrip

The one and only road connecting Gibraltar to Spain went right through the middle of the airstrip which was built during WWII. When planes were due to take off or land, safety barriers went up and a long wait ensued. 

Airport Lounge

I worked here in the exchange bureau for Barclays Bank for a while. - It was the office on the left.

La Laguna near the Airport

I am not sure exactly where this is but the large RAF Hanger is a give-away. The Nissen huts that can be seen in the distance were a feature of post war Gibraltar. The authorities had failed to foresee that there would be an acute shortage of accommodation for returning evacuees.  

1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - Introduction
1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - 2
1950s - Gibraltar - Rose-tinted Snapshots - 3