Portsbridge creek is not the most pleasant bit of water. It is the channel that separates Portsea Island from the mainland. At high tide it’s a water filled concrete trough with a busy duel carriageway running down one side and the rest of the time it is the same but mud filled. As a result it tends to be ignored to the point where even its name is unclear. Either Portsbridge or Port(s) appear to be the most popular although there is a case to be made that it’s official name should actually be Dunkirk Memorial Channel. Still it interested me enough to write a wikipedia article on it an with a few tweaks by others it can be found here:
The reason for my interest is that despite its largely ignored status is runs right next to the busiest bit of road in Hampshire so even if not widely discussed it’s certainly something people must know exists. There is perhaps a certain thrill in discovery even if something is hiding in plain sight. The challenge of finding sources has also been interesting. The creek is a footnote in the local history and geography but there are quite a few footnotes. Most of the information can from various sources on the local canals but those left gaps that were filled from more random sources. Strangely one of the most useful was “Portsmouth city Council planning service student information sheet Northharbour Land reclamation” which filled the rather important gap of what happened when the duel carriageway was built. There are still remaining gaps of course. This for example is the remains of a dam that was used to help make the creek navigable. This is obvious from comparing old maps but so far no reliable source that I’ve been able to locate has picked this up.
The resulting article may be fairly short but I like to think that it shows the 100 odd people month who run across the article that the creek is at least slightly more than a muddy ditch that does nothing beyond making Portsea an island. It has also introduced information to the web that I don’t think was previously online. One of the reasons I like using dead tree sources is the potential to add information beyond what you can find through enough use of a search engine.
The creek isn’t hidden. It isn’t a gem and about the only reason to navigate it is to say that you have done so (I have it wasn’t pleasant). Still there is enough history and geography there for it to be worth wikipedia covering.