Today the area is covered in concrete, topped with buildings and, more often than not, crammed with hordes of people. But there was a time when Western Esplanade was very different indeed.

When Southampton was seen as a fashionable and elegant spa resort, it was the perfect spot for a stroll along the shore.

Boatyards buzzed with busy workers as they looked after and repaired yachts and dinghies – although there are few reminders of those days left.

The water swept from alongside where the Royal Pier used to stand, right round to the present Southampton Central railway station and out to Millbrook and beyond.

The sea kissed the land in front of a wonderful backdrop which included part of the old walls, West Gate and Arundel and Catchcold Towers.

Houses were built in the area but it was susceptible to flooding, which caused damage to homes, pubs and hotels along Western Esplanade.

Gradually land was reclaimed from the water and the outlook changed dramatically.

Except for the city walls all evidence of earlier times has been swept away.