Strong Island Co.

Congratulations to Claire Sambrook!

Claire Sambrook is a key member of the Strong Island team as well as a driving creative force at the University of Portsmouth and quite simply, Strong Island would be a shadow of its current self it it wasn’t for Claire’s drive, input and ideas. From back in 2010 when we first began working on the Strong Island Exhibition in the Round Tower to Primary to Creating Balance to Creative Cargo and next year’s big project the Creative Census, Claire has been at the centre of much of what we do to showcase Portsmouth & Southsea’s artists, designers, photographers and creative businesses. Plus…what Claire does with Strong Island is only a part of the contribution she makes to the city. Projects and events such as Love Your Bike, the Deckchair Project and the hugely popular Creative Portsmouth book have all helped to put this city on the map.

Needless to say, Claire deserves to be given a key to the city but in the meantime…we would love to give a huge congratulations to Claire for winning the Woman in Arts category at this year’s The News Woman Of The Year Awards, a category with some serious competition. Good work Claire!

Claire Sambrook (2)

Claire Sambrook (1)

The Strong Island 2015 Calendar Exhibition & Strong Island Co Opening Party

Next Friday, 28th November, we’ll be officially launching the Strong Island 2015 Calendar with an exhibition in Strong Island Co of a selection of photography that features within the calendar. You’ll be able to see this excellent work capturing Southsea and Portsmouth up in the exhibition space until the end of the year but this will be a great opportunity to come down, pick up or buy your calendars and meet some of the contributing photographers.

As well as the exhibition opening we’ll also be celebrating the opening of Strong Island Co, our new shop/exhibition space/studio at 12 Highland Road. If you haven’t had a chance to pop in yet come along for a free beer or two and meet the crew, check the new Strong Island Clothing Co garments and accessories and get involved.

The exhibition and party opens from 7pm.

Check the flyer below for more details, the beautiful photo of the low tide sands of Southsea beach is by calendar contributor Mike Dassow.

The Strong Island 2015 Calendar Exhibition & Strong Island Co Opening Party

Introducing Nick Munday to Bored of Southsea

Liam Searle recently put together a London edit to help welcome Milton Skatepark OG Nick Munday to the Bored of Southsea team. The edit features the skating of team member Adam Keys, Nick plus Bored and 14:01 mastermind Lloyd ‘Dobbo’ Davies at a bunch of London dry spots including Meanwhile 2 and Bay66, both located under the the Westway. Some heavy duty skateboarding up in this edit, with Adam’s tech skills and Nick’s epic pop. Inside heelflips like woah.

Introducing Nick Munday to Bored of Southsea

Castle Road Christmas Festival 2014

Castle Road has for a while been home to some fantastic little street festivals and today and tomorrow it’ll be home to the Castle Road Christmas Festival, a mix of music, food, art and more. The free event runs from 4pm today to 9pm and tomorrow it runs from 12pm to 7pm. Loads of local artists and makers will be selling their quality goods so it is a perfect place to get some of that Christmas shopping in early. The Christmas lights switch on is tonight too, at 6pm.

You can find out more at and over on Twitter at @CastleRoadSouth

Castle Road Christmas Festival 2014

Bread Making Courses Now Available from Bread Addiction

Bread Addiction in Elm Grove has since opening become a really popular place to not just buy tasty artisan breads and pastries but also a bakers in the heart of Southsea opening their doors to local people in different ways. From early next year one of these ways will be with new break making courses.

These new bread making courses will be led by Bread Addiction bakers and who will teach the secrets of sourdough bread making and how to keep the wild yeast alive. The courses will also include a few other types of bread and use different techniques together which are easy replicate at home. Each class includes:

– Sourdough mother
– Recipes
– Bread Addiction bag
– Banneton
– Lunch/refreshments

and all your beautiful breads you will make by your hands!


Sunday 18.01.2015
Sunday 25.01.2015
Sunday 01.02.2015
Sunday 08.02.2015

Each course is £85 per person (with a maximum of 8 people per one class) and can be booked by calling 07411 449177, emailing or directly in the shop at 54 Elm Grove, Southsea, PO51JG. Gift vouchers for the courses are also available.

Bread Making Courses Now Available from Bread Addiction

Thank You From Strong Island Co!

It has been a manic six weeks since we picked up the keys to 12 Highland Road with the plan to create a multipurpose space in Southsea: a shop for Strong Island Clothing Co & Strong Island Recordings, an exhibition space and the new studio home for Strong Island and Strong Island Media. This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time.

Saturday 15th we opened the doors for the first time with the varnish and paint barely dry and it was awesome to have so many people come through the door to say hi, have a look at the new space and buy some of the many new items from Strong Island Clothing Co. We’ve got so many people to thank who all helped make this possible:

Harley from Harleywood Carpentry
James Porter and crew
Ben Rowe the amazing decorator
Wes & Crew from K & W Electrical
Mike from Chilli Tattoo
Nick Caddel
Russell Squires
Ian from Artisan Framing Southsea
Josh Knill

Also a big thank you to everyone who came in on Saturday and a massive thank you to the guys at Head Mens Hairdressing, we loved our two years as their neighbours and will miss them.

Strong Island Co is open this week (and every week until nearer Christmas) from Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm and you can find us at 12 Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9AH. Hope to see you soon!

Strong Island Co (1)

Strong Island Co (2)

Strong Island Co (3)

Strong Island Co (4)

Strong Island Co (5)

Strong Island Co (6)

Strong Island Co (7)

Strong Island Co (8)

Strong Island Co (9)

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 26

Charlie is back with the 26th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

This week I’m joined by my mate Ben Miles, erstwhile DJ, publican and probable future Mayor of Portsmouth. Ben’s musical soft spot is the genre (that no-one likes to name) Britpop. Essentially, that period of time between 1992 and 1997 when English music enjoyed a resurgence to rival the swinging sixties. Hopefully time will be a little kinder on this era, as it really was an exciting time to be a kid in England, yeah there was some bloody awful bands that got record deals because they wandered into the Good Mixer in Camden on the right Tuesday afternoon, but there were some f*cking brilliant records released too.

Anyway, a while back me and Ben got to talking about him joining me on the show and after bouncing a couple of ideas about, we decided to dedicate the whole show to the music of this time. There’s some classics, some bangers and a couple of surprises in there, but I’m fond of all of it and I know Millsy is too.

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub
02) Lenny – Supergrass
03) In A Room – Dodgy
04) London Loves – Blur
05) Stay Together – Suede
06) Just Lookin’ – The Charlatans
07) Lenny Valentino – The Auteurs
08) The Day We Caught The Train – Ocean Colour Scene
09) Dirty Soul – Shed Seven
10) Marblehead Johnson – The Bluetones
11) Sonnet – The Verve
12) Reverend Black Grape – Black Grape
13) Fighting Fit – Gene
14) On & On – Longpigs
15) Supersonic – Oasis

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 26

Win a Limited Edition Print with the My Dog Sighs and Midge Together in Solitude Art Hunt

My Dog Sighs and Midge have been busy beavering away getting ready for their collaborative exhibition Together in Solitude in the Coastguard Studios (the Old Coastguard Tavern), Clarendon rd, this Friday (14th Nov). To get everybody warmed up for the exhibition the two artists have have set up a Portsmouth based scavenger hunt with art around the city.

Four special, hand painted pages have been pasted up around Portamouth for you to find and take a selfie with. Any one finding all four pieces and uploading their selfies with each tagging @mydogsighs @thisismidge and the hashtags #togetherinsolitude and #TIShunt (in Instagram, Twitter or Facebook) automatically gets entered into the draw to win one of their limited edition screen prints! The draw will take place on Monday 19th November.

To find out more about the exhibition and the Together in Solitude art hunt visit the Facebook Event Page (please note this is a NEW Facebook event page). The artwork out in the city is shown below. Good luck!

My Dog Sighs and Midge Together in Solitude Art Hunt (1)

My Dog Sighs and Midge Together in Solitude Art Hunt (2)

My Dog Sighs and Midge Together in Solitude Art Hunt (3)

My Dog Sighs and Midge Together in Solitude Art Hunt (4)

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

Strong Island invites all our friends old and new to our new home in Southsea, opening this Saturday (15th November) from 10am. Strong Island at 12 Highland Road is a new shop and exhibition space, stocking all of the Strong Island Clothing Co range, a selection of high quality art prints, releases from Strong Island Recordings plus a collection of fine leather accessories from Raw & Auburn. We will also have monthly guest artists and designers selling their work too.

Our first exhibition in the space is a retrospective of some of the designs, projects and events we have worked on in our 6 year history. We’ll be having regular exhibitions throughout the year with shows by local and visiting artists, designers & photographers.

Strong Island Co, 12 Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9AH.

We will be open every week on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

New Strong Island Co Opens This Saturday!

The Strong Island Calendar 2015 Pre Orders Now Available

We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks collecting together the incredible submissions from the many local photographers who have been capturing Portsmouth and Southsea over the last twelve months. The calendar is soon to be sent off to the local printers and we are now taking pre-orders for the calendar in our Shop Ahoy online store. As per our previous years, the calendar is £10 with £1 of each calendar sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society Portsmouth based services. They are the UK’s leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

We’re offering a few pre-order options with UK and International postage plus the option to pick up the calendar in person from our new studio/store once the calendars have arrived (due early December). All postage pre-orders will be sent out with lots of time for Christmas.

We’ve sold out of calendars before Christmas for the last two years, to pre-order yours please visit HERE.

The Strong Island Calendar 2015

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After skating…

…the boys enjoy a sit down at the seafront on a Sunday. Photo courtesy of the ever busy Quiet Corners lensman Paul Gonella. Perfect days, albeit still cold.

Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Eastney Beam Engine House

If you love a bit of not often seen Portsmouth history, Eastney Beam Engine House is open to the public for free from 1pm to 5pm on every last weekend of the month. Hidden just off of Henderson Road in Eastney, the Victorian building contains two restored and working 150 horsepower ‘James Watt & Co’ Beam Engines powered by steam which were installed to operate water pumps in 1887. This new system proved very successful and is still the basis for today’s underground drainage system on Portsea Island.

Sadly due to essential building work you won’t be able to go inside the buildings this weekend, but there will be talks with staff and photos and artefacts.

Engine House

RETROSPECTIVE – Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

“Since Strong Island began back in 2008 we have amassed an incredible amount of historical information about Portsmouth & Southsea’s past. These articles are not only from our own interest and passion about the city, but also from readers that have sent us some amazing facts. So much has changed in such a relatively short amount of time and the fast pace of life around us can make it easy to forget the importance of this cities history.

Retrospective‘ takes a look back at some of our previous posts incase you missed them in the past or you’re one of our new readers. One day myself and Paul hope to create a stand alone archive here utilising all the books and photos we have collected that haven’t made it on to Strong Island as of yet. With permission of course! So much to do and so little time. Enjoy.”

This is one seriously awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back (sadly no longer active). Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Just incredible. It’s hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guildhall, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on…

Originally published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

Awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back. Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Epic. Hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guilders, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on. To view the full collection head over to Pop Olive’s Flickr photostream HERE and the Portsmouth set HERE.

Strong Island Clothing Co.