On this day in 1864 a letter appeared in the Hampshire Telegraph drawing attention to ‘the monstrous evil which has been permitted to exist for a considerable time past without any effectual attempt being made to check it’.
The writer was referring to the nightly assembly on the main roads crossing Southsea Common of prostitutes of ‘the most vile and abandoned character’ who ‘assail every passenger, even in the hearing of the guardian policeman, with their filthy invitations, couched in language the most revolting and obscene’.
The preceding text was taken directly from The News. I have highlighted a few words and only suggest that the venue may have changed but you only have to visit Guildhall Walk when some of the noisier clientele spill out of the many hostelries. I am not suggesting that they are prostitutes but the language of some of the “ladies” can leave a lot to be desired and many of them are not wearing any more than the ladies of the night who used to frequent Southsea Common just a short walk away.
The following week the newspaper reported that ‘we understand that the authorities have given instructions to the police to remove these creatures from all places where they are a nuisance to passengers and more particularly from Southsea Common’.