Strong Island Co.

The Wave Maiden Present… I Think I’m Turning Japanese

From 7pm on 23rd October The Wave Maiden will be hosting a special artisan Sake tasting event.

Tickets for the event cost £50 per person however you get good value for your money! Your ticket entitles you five course Japanese taster menu, seven types of speciality sake, a premium bottle from the Kiuchi Brewery to take home with you. If that sounds like your idea of a good night then you can purchase your tickets from the Wave Maiden in person or by email at

Co-founder Ali Lees explains that “There will be some staff in kimonos as well as Japanese music making for a fun and authentic evening. As part of the ticket price you can take home one of three really special 8% Hitachino Nest Beers from Kiuchi Brewery: XH or Extra High, Commemorative Ale, or Real Ginger Ale.”

This is the first of hopefully many beer tasting events that the Wave Maiden team are aiming to host in the future. Being a lover of them and their beers I for one am excited by the prospect of even more of these events!

You can find out more about this and future events on their Facebook, Twitter @TheWaveMaiden and Instagram @thewavemaiden.

Wave Maiden

The Quaint Shop – Now Open!

Friends Danielle Gridley and Charlotte Hope admit to possessing a mutual love for all things shabby chic, pretty and charming. After initial success on eBay and amongst family and friends they have this week launched The Quaint Shop. The shop offers a selection of gifts ranging from home decor, storage solutions, wedding favours, invitations, table centerpieces and (hopefully soon) photography.

You can find out what they offer for yourselves on their website, Facebook and Instagram @thequaintshop.

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Quiant 4

Strong Island Calendar 2016 | Deadline Approaching!

If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit for our 2016 calendar then time is running out for you to email your submission via If you’ve taken a photo using Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2016.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. We are going to be working towards a deadline of Friday 23rd October!

We would love to see more submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks so please share this with friends who you think might be interested in getting involved.

Strong Island Calendar Poster 2016

Play Dead Opening Night

Tomorrow night you are invited to celebrate the grand opening of Play Dead located at 131 Highland Road in Southsea. Play Dead is Southsea’s newest Tattoo Studio and Street Art Gallery by Street Artist Lex Luthor and Tattooist Samo White.

The event begins at 7pm and I’d recommend getting yourself down there early so you can sample the Play Dead beer!

For more information check out the Facebook Page here.

Play Dead

Strong Island’s 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle

From all of the Strong Island crew we just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our 7th Birthday and Charity Raffle last week. The night was a real success and together we have raised over £1,500 for local charities including the Portsmouth Autism Support Network, Feel Yourself Campaign, Portsmouth RNLI and Southsea Skatepark Trust.

The Meat and Barrel was the perfect venue and allowed for us to welcome a large crowd who were all vying for an awesome bunch of prizes.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year and we promise to have a PA system in place and only one book of blue raffle tickets!

Charity Raffle 2015 e

Charity Raffle 2015 h

Charity Raffle 2015 g

Charity Raffle 2015 d

Charity Raffle 2015 c

Charity Raffle 2015 b

Charity Raffle 2015 a

Charity Raffle 2015

Pie & Vinyl – Winter Menu

Pie & Vinyl are ready to launch their new winter menu this weekend which includes their new roast dinner pie named ‘Sunday Best’ after Rob Da Bank’s famous record label.

The meat used in the pie’s will vary from week to week but will be served up in a giant Yorkshire pudding, filled with creamy mash and minty mushy peas that you can then top it off with onion gravy. Veggie, vegan and gluten free options will be available too.

For more information on the menu options visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter @PieandVinyl.

Pie & Vinyl

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Pie & Vinyl Menu

Stu’s Picks For No 6 – October 2015

As ever the No. 6 Cinema has some awesome movies on offer this October. If you haven’t yet visited the No. 6 Cinema then I highly recommend it. You will find a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

Be sure to check their website for information on how you can buy tickets and to find their full listings –

Love and Mercy (12A) | Saturday 3rd October | 7pm

Long stereotyped as purveyors of mindless pop, The Beach Boys are now hailed as one of the most artistically significant bands. Love & Mercy centres on the fall and rise of visionary songwriter Brian Wilson, juxtaposing his slide into mental illness during the 1960s with his recovery and redemption in the 1980s. Paul Dano plays the younger Brian, overwhelmed by elation and despair while creating the album Pet Sounds; John Cusack is the broken older Brian, rescued from a controlling ‘therapist’ by the love and determination of Melinda Ledbetter. The result is a film that’s heart-breaking and uplifting at once.

How To Change The World (15) | Thursday 8th October | 7pm

In 1971 a brave group of young activists set sail from Vancouver in an old fishing boat. Their mission: to stop Nixon’s atomic bomb tests in Amchitka, a tiny island off the west coast of Alaska. It was from these humble but courageous beginnings that the global organisation that we now know as Greenpeace was born. Chronicling the fascinating untold story, this film tells the story of eco-hero Robert Hunter and how he, alongside a group of like-minded and idealistic young friends, would be instrumental in altering the way we now look at the world and our place within it.

Dope (15) | Friday 16th October | 7pm

A coming of age comedy/drama for the post hip-hop generation. High-school senior Malcolm and his friends Jib and Diggy bond over ’90s hip-hop culture, their studies and playing music in their own punk band. A chance encounter with a drug dealer named Dom lands Malcolm and company at the dealer’s nightclub birthday party; when the scene turns violent, they flee, with the Ecstasy that Dom secretly hid in Malcolm’s backpack. A wild adventure ensues as the youths try to evade armed thugs who want the stash.

The Wild Bunch | Saturday 17th October | 7pm

Beginning and ending with two of the bloodiest battles in screen history, Sam Peckinpah’s classic revisionist Western ruthlessly takes apart the myths of the West After a failed payroll robbery, the outlaw Bunch, led by ageing Pike Bishop and including Dutch, Angel, and Lyle and Tector Gorch, head for Mexico pursued by the gang of Pike’s friend-turned-nemesis Deke Thornton. Ultimately caught between the corruption of railroad fat cat Harrigan and federal general Mapache, and without a frontier for escape, the Bunch opt for a final Pyrrhic victory, striding purposefully to confront Mapache and avenge their friend Angel.

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (12A) | Friday 23rd October | 7pm

Greg Gaines is an awkward seventeen-year-old who has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends. Greg spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend his sort-of ex-girlfriend Rachel, who has just been diagnosed with leukaemia. Greg and Rachel form a friendship as Greg tries desperately not to get attached to ‘the dying girl’.

The Third Man (PG) | Friday 9th October | 7pm

This classic noir mystery, from the team of Carol Reed and Graham Greene, is generally considered to be the best work of both of these estimable talents. The Third Man features Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a pulp novelist who has come to post-World War II Vienna with the promise of work from his friend, Harry Lime. When he finds that Lime has just been killed in a questionable car accident, he decides to remain in the city to investigate his friend’s demise.

Legend (PG) | Friday 30th October | 7pm

Based on the book by John Pearson, Legend deals with the rise and fall of the notorious 1960’s gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray; the relationship that bound them together, and charts their gruesome career to their downfall and imprisonment for life in 1969. Tom Hardy, star of Locke and Mad Max: Fury Road, plays both Ronnie and Reggie in this film which pays loving attention to period 60’s detail in both sound and vision.

*Halloween Special*
The Wickerman (15) | Saturday 31st October | 7pm

Howie, a dour, upright police sergeant, receives an anonymous letter from the remote Western Isles community of Summerisle asking him to investigate the disappearance of a schoolgirl. Upon his arrival he discovers a secretive, tightly knit neo-pagan society and evidence of fertility cults and human sacrifice, presided over by Christopher Lee’s laird of Summerisle. Being a devout Christian, he is shocked by the islanders’ sexual openness and ritualistic devotion to the “old gods”. As the mystery of the missing girl unravels, he begins to suspect that she is a victim of human sacrifice.

No 6 Cinema
Photo by Paul Gonella

Bestival 2015 Review | Sunday

I woke up feeling pretty rock n roll with my 3:30am bedtime in the early hours of Sunday morning, although it appears that my friends put me to shame as they didn’t get back until about 5am!

While tucking into my breakfast in the press tent I was listening to Missy Elliott‘s team soundchecking, or what I thought was soundchecking. Closer inspection revealed that Missy was there herself and it was a rehearsal with DJ, backing vocals and dancers. As the Main Stage was closed to festival goers there was only a privileged few who were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of her show later on that evening and I was one of them. This was easily the coolest thing that has happened to me over the weekend.

Local boys Kassassin Street opened the Big Top and it was great to see them draw in a big crowd on such a large stage and it was also nice to see plenty of Portsmouth locals in the crowd. The boys didn’t disappoint and put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen them play. Rowan and the boys looked at home on the bigger stage and tracks such as ‘Centre Straight Atom’ went down a storm! Afterwards just outside of the Big Top were Portsmouth’s Samba Reggae drumming band Batala who were doing their thing and as ever wherever they went a large crowd quickly gathered.

For Portsmouth the biggest performance of the weekend was by Huw Olesker aka Rex Domino who was on the Main Stage as part of DJ Yoda’s Breakfast Of Champions. It was great to see my friend performing on the Main Stage and being involved in one of the best performances of the festival. As they took to the stage the grey clouds were hanging over Robin Hill Country Park but as the band performed the sunshine soon followed. The collective that is the Breakfast of Champions features eleven of Britain’s finest MCs and musicians. It was great to see all of them having such a great time on stage. They all performed with huge smiles on their faces and that transmitted to the crowd who were also loving it.

The afternoon continued with a customary hog roast but musically I was treated to the awesome Andreya Triana and Låpsley in the Big Top. Then we met the boys from Kassassin Street and prepared for the legends that are the mighty Jacksons.

After being greeted by a short intro on the big screens the foursome came out and went straight into some of their biggest hits, however just as the crowd were getting into the groove the band left the stage and the big screens showed a short documentary about their early years as a group. We were in a good spot you couldn’t hear a great deal of it as most of the crowd around me were having their own conversations. They’d already played my favourites ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘ABC’ so we decided to leave because I hate to say it, we were bored and they still had well over an hour left on stage.

I took a few friends over to check out another group of siblings Kitty, Daisy and Lewis in the Big Top. I’ve been listening to the awesome Kitty, Daisy and Lewis for years but to my shame for one reason or another I’ve not been able to catch them live and shame on me because they were brilliant! After the first track the trio all switched instruments and did the same yet again for the following track, they are one talented bunch! You can catch them in the Wedgewood Rooms in February and you can find more at here.

We then joined the massive crowd that was beginning to gather at the Main Stage for Missy Elliott. She was impressive earlier in the morning but the full show took it to another level. It reminded my of teenage years as I was really into the RnB back then. I think I even bought a few of Missy’s CD singles from Our Price in Fareham, that tells you how long ago that was. Missy played a selection of her biggest tracks which had the crowd cheering and paying no attention to the oncoming rain.

After the impressive fireworks I jumped in the car and caught a late ferry home. As much I would have loved to have caught Mark Ronson’s DJ set in the Port I didn’t fancy getting caught in the rain storm that was predicted until the early hours of the morning. I made the right decision as it felt great to have a shower, be in my own bed again and get a proper nights sleep.

Every year I worry Bestival will to get too big, or that I get the feeling that it isn’t what it used to be and perhaps I’ve outgrown it. Every year I’m delighted to be proved wrong! The festival itself was near perfect and the attention to detail by Rob Da Bank and his team is incredible. Before I bang on any longer though I just want to say thank you to everyone who made it an amazing weekend for me and a special thank you to Stevie and Molly from the Get Involved team for hosting us and we hope to see you next year. I’ve already booked the time off work.

2016 early bird tickets are now available with a 34 week payment plan of just £5 per week. You can get your early bird tickets here –

Caitlin Mogridge - The Feast Collective - 6b8c663a-58c3-11e5-adcd-92ce347ad47a - Web
The Feast Collective by Caitlin Mogridge
Kassassin Street
Kassassin Street by Stuart Barker
Batala by Stuart Barker
Rex Domino
DJ Yoda Presents Breakfast of Champions by Stuart Barker
Bollywood by Stuart Barker
Carolina Faruolo - Andreya Triana - 00e1b9da-5a3e-11e5-9d96-aee5d44592c4 - Web
Andreya Triana by Carolina Faruolo
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The Jacksons by Victor Frankowski
Carolina Faruolo - Kitty Daisy and Lewis - 3ebb67ae-5a7c-11e5-9cb1-92ce347ad47a - Web
Kitty, Daisy and Lewis by Carolina Faruolo
Victor Frankowski - Missy Elliott - bd504d9a-5a55-11e5-9ccb-92ce347ad47a - Web
Missy Elliott by Victor Frankowski
Victor Frankowski - Missy Elliott - c5209e42-5a57-11e5-b16d-92ce347ad47a - Web
Missy Elliott by Victor Frankowski
Caitlin Mogridge - Bestival 2015 - 2dc99684-5a52-11e5-85c5-92ce347ad47a - Web
Lovebot by Caitlin Mogridge
Photo by Stuart Barker

Strong Island 7th Birthday Charity Raffle Tonight

Thursday night from 7:30pm we are taking over the Meat & Barrel in Southsea for our Charity Raffle and 7th Birthday celebration. Our previous events have been hugely successful and together we have raised over £4,000 for the Portsmouth RNLI and Portsmouth Autism over the years. We would love you to join us again to help celebrate and raise even more for two great causes!

Raffle tickets will be available on the night for £1 each, or £8 for ten and all proceeds go towards the local charities, with the winning numbers being drawn at the end of the night.

For more info check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

Gifts available on the night include…
Midge – Framed print
Whim Biscuit – Pet portrait
Dials Festival – Tickets
No 6 Cinema – Two tickets
Kingsley Nebechi – Tribe Hunter book
King Ship Tattoo – Tattoo voucher and prints
Sadie Tierney – Original art print
Neal Layton Illustration – Signed children’s book
Saft & Boneless Films – A DVD of Downhill Skateboarding Feature Length Film- ROADBUZZ!
Hillfield Trading – Clothing vouchers
SWEAT Southsea – 2x free personal training sessions and 2x free class passes
Lex Art – Art Canvas
Al Burrito – Tee’s
Raw & Aubin – Leather wallet
imakepictures – Typography prints
Sikes Mulligan Ward – Tattoo voucher
D-Day Museum – Two Tickets
Portsmouth Watersports Centre – Taster Day
Beats and Swing – Two tickets to Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols) DJ set
UK Flyers – Victorious Festival Tee and visor
Strong Island Clothing Co – Lots of various goodies!
Anglepoise – Type 75 Mini desk lamp
Bestival 2016 tickets
My Dog Sighs – Original print
Joe Watson Photography – Framed Flaming Lips ‘F*** Yeah Portsmouth’ from Victorious Festival
Southsea Coffee Co – Lunch for two
Portsmouth FC / Jobsite – Tickets to Pompey vs Yeovil Town
Southsea Skatepark
Ye Olde Bike Shoppe – Vintage bike
Staggeringly Good – Hand crafted beer gift pack
Mia Mai – Gifts
ilovedust – Mill Tag cycle gear
Lola Beltrán – Comic series DULL BULL
The Southsea Abode – Salon voucher
Energy Explosion Fitness and Wellbeing – Six free yoga classes
My name is Leila – Gifts
Snow & Rock – A bunch of RAD cycle products
HUIS – Two free main courses and two HUIS Beers
Petting Zoo – Screen Prints
Portsmouth Council – Tickets for local attractions
Jasmine Hutchinson – Postcards
Tea Tray In The Sky – Breakfast for two
Fark – Original painting a new “Southsea Ghetto”
Chantelle Wyatt – Travel Photography book
Donna Poingdestre – Voucher for ten yoga classes
Portsmouth Beer Festival – Two tickets
Pie & Vinyl – T shirt | Record Cleaning Cloth | Tash Wax | Meal for two
Kassassin Street – Two tickets for the Wedgewood Rooms in October and Vinyl
Southsea Gallery – Portsmouth landscape print
Wild Thyme Wholefoods – Hamper worth £25
Angela Chick – Tote Bag
The Caravan Gallery – Books
Rosie’s Vineyard – Vouchers
Magpie’s Lust – Jewellery
Sopranos – Vouchers

There is still time if anyone is able to make a donation, all you need to do is give us a heads up via and we’ll add you to the list of prizes available.


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Strong Island Birthday Poster

Making Waves Film Festival Presents… The General at The Kings Theatre

While checking out what is going on the itinerary for this months Making Waves Film Festival I noticed this awesome project by Samuel ‘Higgy’ Higginbotham and Hana Spooner. The pair have rescored the classic black and white silent comedy ‘The General’ which will be shown at the Kings Theatre on 27th Sept.

Hana is a classically trained Pianist & Violinist has a Masters in Ethnomusicology. She has written string arrangements for International artists as well as being a singer songwriter in her own right under the pseudonym Jane Honda.

Higgy has been producing music since the young age of sixteen and has been touring the UK under experimental music guises such as Colourmasks, The Howl Of Anubis, & Multicoloured Green. He currently fronts a music production company called El-Carnero & has been collaborating most recently with another Portsmouth expat Daniel Ginns.

Higgy and Hana

Speaking to Joel Ransom who is one of the team behind the project he explained that “I was chatting to David Cooper from The Kings Theatre last summer when we were doing the Southsea Comedy festival and we realised we had a mutual love of film, especially the black and white era. We chatted about Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd and David mentioned that he really wanted to show The General as part of the Making Waves film Festival and had always thought it would be a good idea to re-score it.”

“I’ve loved the film since I was little and immediately started to imagine how it should sound and knew exactly who to call on to make it happen. David agreed to let us do it so I called on Higgy, he then got Hana involved and a year later here we are. What they’ve come up with is incredible. They’ve taken the brief they were given and gone above and beyond all expectations, i can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Inspired by ‘The Great Locomotive Chase’ a memoir focusing on a military raid that took place in April 1862 during the American Civil War and recognized as one of the silent cinema’s greatest comedies, ‘The General’, directed by Robert Keaton is a unified combination of action and comedy, ranked #18 out of 100 in the best American movies of all time by the American Film Institute.

A powerful and inspirational classic being screened in the one of the best examples of the elegant Edwardian playhouses to be found in the British Isles.

For more information about the Film Festival check out the website

The General
Poster by Spike Zephaniah Stephenson


Southsea Strong Island Celebrates

I just can’t find the right images for this! Strong Island is 1 whole year old this Sunday the 27th. Time surely does fly hey. Meet us for a beer if you’re out and about. I think there’s something going on Albert Road this Sunday too…


and on another note…


Local Photographer – Duncan Allan

We recently mentioned local photographer Duncan Allan’s framing skills but we also want to profile Duncan’s creative photography too. With a wealth of knowledge in different cameras and experimentation in many different techniques (both with film and with Photoshop and Lightroom), Duncan has a strong collection of images from the local area and all around the world. Here are a few of our favourites but they are just the tip of the iceberg, to see more check Duncan’s Flickr.

Red Scale

Created Local – Dan Tonkin, Adayin Design

Local cycle machine and all round nice guy Dan Tonkin recently updated his website under the design pseudonym Adayin Design. Dan has been on the local scene since forever as a skater, photographer, web/graphic deisgner and keen cyclist with a heavily growing portfolio of work. A very multi talented individual that will leave you standing in a bike race.

Check out and aslo Dan’s Flickr stream. Sorry I can’t make The Randonnee this Sunday mate. Really quite gutted to be honest.

Google Maps – Street View

Portsmouth now has street view enabled on Google Maps, giving an interesting perspective of the city. Good to see it was a nice, sunny day in Southsea when the car drove through. Sadly no Old Portsmouth though.

Submarine Graveyard

Portsmouth’s Pounds scrapyard has been the final stop for the lives of many military vehicles over the years but most noticeable it has been the location for a submarine graveyard. So iconic was the sight of the submarines as you entered Portsmouth that they became the inspiration for the architect when designing the new swimming pool at the Mountbatten Centre.

Robin Hinson has a large collection of photos of the scrapped submarines here, with a few shown below.

Old Cycle Race

At some point between the wars this was taken during a cycle race at the Alexandra Park velodrome up in Tipner, which is still there.

Cycle Race
(Click on image to see a larger version)

Created Local – Carl Partridge

Portsmouth’s Carl Partridge is a local artist and photographer currently studying MA Communication Design up in that there London at Central St Martins. As well as all the awesome artwork on his website we particularly liked his Lomo Diana photos from round Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Be sure to look through the good work over at



Portsmouth – Not The New Malta

Do you remember our post about Portsmouth, The New Malta and the advertising campaign that has been going on? The Telegraph has written a short article in response to the campaign. Check it out HERE and follow it up in the comments. Unfashionable, now come on Telegraph.

“We probably get about two weeks of sunshine at best, and you are more used to seeing people fighting than socialising in a quaint café,” said Tim Courtnell, a life-long Portsmouth resident. “The beach at Southsea is a mixture of shingle and Stella Artois cans on most days, and you wouldn’t think of swimming in the sea.”


Transport No. 1: Portsmouth Trolleybuses

With Portsmouth’s long history and particular geography it’s public transportation systems have been varied and have changed dramatically over the years. Over the next few weeks we are going to focus briefly on some of the more interesting ones, starting with the Portsmouth Trolleybuses.

The Portsmouth Trolleybus service provided by the Portsmouth Corporation was first introduced on the 4th August 1934 and covered most of the island and up to Cosham. The trolleybuses themselves were like normal double decker buses but were powered by overhead power cables like trams. The power lines for the trolleybuses criss-crossed overhead above the roads with routes and these wires became a constant in the city’s skyline, much like modern San Francisco and Vancouver.

The Guildhall (buildings in the distance are where the council buildings are now)

The trolleybus service continued until the 27th July 1963 and then sadly the wires torn down and almost all of the trolleybuses scrapped, today only two of the trolleybuses survive. No. 201, which was in Portsmouth’s transport museum before being moved, now lives on display in Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. No. 313 was the very last trolleybus to run but now is in fully restored working order and running at East Anglia Transport Museum (see it running here).

Ready for scrap (with the old airport in the background)

You can find out about all of the trolleybuses and see more photos here and watch below to see them in action with super8 footage from the 1950s and 1960s. Still looks strange seeing traffic through Guildhall Square.

P.S. Will the Portsmouth transport museum ever find a new home?

There’s Snow Day like a Snow Day

Tom Time Waster © just put a few more photos from last months snow day in Portsmouth. Cool photos as always, but I focused on the spills and slams. We saw some kids take proper slams that day. Lots of broken tailbones for sure. Good times.

Strong Island Clothing Co.