Strong Island Co.

Short Story Competition

We are really excited to announce that in February we are going to be holding a writing competition. This will be run in partnership with My Dog Sighs and will be open to everyone to enter. You will be asked to write a short story based on one of his tin can men, everything else is completely open to your own interpretation.

We can’t say too much about the exact details as they are currently being confirmed, however we can tell you that the categories will be split into three different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under
• 14 years – 18 years
• 18 years and above

For the younger age groups we looking for teachers who would be whilling to lend a hand going through the entries or would maybe like to invite their school or class to be involved, maybe as part of a class project.

This competition will run from February until March with the winner for each category being announced early April. The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog himself.

If you or your school are interested in getting involved then drop me an email with your details to

Tin Can Man 9

Tin Can Man 8

The Southsea Alternative Choir – Christmas 2014

This weekend see’s the return of The Southsea Alternative Choir. If you are not already aware, the choir are a group of friends who all share a love of music and get to together to sing some classic songs that we all love. This is all with a view to raise money for SamuelsFund, supporting a local child with Cerebral Palsy.

The choir will be in the RMA Tavern this Friday evening, however it has now sold out. Details of the other events can be found on the poster below or for more information visit the choir’s Facebook page.

SATC Xmas 2014

Southsea Alternative Choir recently filmed a version of Lou Reed’s classic ‘Perfect Day’ while backstage at the Portsmouth Beer Festival a few weeks ago.

Ickle Bambino Baby Raves

Ickle Bambino Baby Raves is a new original experience for families.

The event is held at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth and features a tearoom for adults to enjoy a drink. They even provide sugar free squash at no charge for the little ones. There are home made cakes and snack bags for children to enjoy which are for sale from the square tower tea rooms. The events target audience are parents and the under 7’s however older children are welcomed.

You can expect to hear Hip-Hop, Indie and Electro tunes, all provided by local DJs.

Parties feature a host of activities including;
– Colouring competitions
– Loom band making
– Puzzles
– Toy areas with a small soft ball pit
– Face painters
– A photo booth

The event costs £4.00 for adults, £3.00 for under 7’s and those under 1 year old are free.

The next event is 28th December 2015 – families can get the little ones out of the house in-between Christmas and new year. You can find out more information about this event on Facebook.






Photo’s by James White Photography.

Aspex Project with University of Portsmouth

Aspex Gallery have recently been working with Television and Broadcasting BSc students from University of Portsmouth to produce a promotional video for the gallery. Credit for the video goes to Georgia Tolley, Ryan Jenkins, Safiya Pomell and Jonny Quinn from Tin Productions.

The video features scenes from the Platform Graduate Awards and the Virgin Startups event.

Aspex: Promotional Video Project with University of Portsmouth from aspex on Vimeo.

Luke Ferre ‘Bloodshot’

Local singer songwriter Luke Ferre has recently spent some time with the folks at Clockwork Owl Sessions. He tool part in their most recent session, he performed ‘Bloodshot’ which was taken from his EP of the same name.

If you you like what you hear then you can find more from Luke on Facebook, Twitter @lukeferre, YouTube and iTunes.

My Name Is Leila at Southsea Coffee

We have followed Leila Kemp’s artwork in and around the city over the past year. Her work has slowly been appearing more and more, cheering up passers by.

Leila had a busy start to the year with several huge pieces including ‘Bow Tie and Hat Bear’ at Make & The Craft Kitchen on Cornwall Road and another striking piece at the Gloucester Paint Jam weekend.

Leila’s latest work is set to have customers at the Southsea Coffee Company smiling. ‘King of the Jungle’ is another fantastic piece and we are left excited for what is to come next.

Married Mum of one and pregnant with her second is still adorning the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea and we are pleased to have such a talented lady in our local community. Keep up the good work Leila.

For more of Leila’s work please search for ‘My name is Leila’ on her website at

By Chantelle Wyatt

My Name Is Leila

My Name Is Leila

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition

Between the 1st and 12th December I have been asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring two of my favourite creatives currently plying their trade in our city, Katie Barrett and Laura Bennett from Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery.

Raw & Auburn began life early in 2013, the Southsea based company specialises in hand crafted accessories using raw and unique materials. Each item bears it’s own individuality and is different than the last. Using traditional techniques every product is finished to a high standard and comes with it’s own Mill Cloth bag and they are all finished with the Raw & Auburn signature cross stitch.

Raw & Auburn have kindly donated one of their leather envelope wallets for you to win. You can find Raw & Auburn on Etsy and Facebook.

Raw & Auburn

Laura specialises in hand made contemporary jewellery inspired by nature, sympathetically composing pieces made from found objects combined with precious metals while exploring the natural qualities of the materials. She has recently created a set of jewellery inspired by Portsmouth and its nautical images.

If you would like to contact Laura about a private commission or to generally find out more about on Laura’s work on her website and her Facebook page.

Laura Bennett Jewellery

If you would like to win all of the prizes on offer then all you need to do is email your answers to the following questions to The deadline for entries is midnight on 19th December. We will announce the winner on 20th December. Good luck!

Day One – Made By Burbs Print
Q1) The map shows Hilsea Lido but when did the Lido first open?

Day Two – x2 No 6 Cinema Prints
Q2) What Disney movie are they showing over he Christmas period and why is this showing different to normal?

Day Three – Angela Chick gift cards
Q3) In metres how long is the HMS Warrior over all?

Day Four – Magpie’s Lust Jewellery
Q4) What is the Latin name for the common Magpie?

Day Five – Caleigh Ill coasters
Q5) The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin but were a designed by who?

Day Six – Bread Addiction Bag
Q6) What year was the first bread slicer sold?

Day Seven – Meal at the Wave Maiden
Q7) In Norse mythology The Wave Maidens were the nine daughters of Aegir, the undersea brewer to the Gods. Name any one of the nine daughters?

Day Eight – Mia Mai framed Print and Christmas cards
Q8) Which of our local theatres has Mia Mai most recently used for a photo shoot to showcase her latest range of lingerie?

Day Nine – Meal and drinks voucher for the Marmion Pub
Q9) The Marmion has been nominated for one of the annual Guide Awards, but under what category? (Please note we are looking for the full title of the award for a correct answer).

Day Ten – Strong Island Calendar
Q10) On what date did Portsmouth win their first FA Cup trophy?

Day Eleven – Custom made animal toy by Ooh La Lapin
Q11) Lapin is the French translation for what animal?

Day Twelve – Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery
Q12) Raw and Auburn has recently collaborated with Illustrator and artist Megamunden. What form of art inspired Megamunden to create his recent colouring book?

Photo by Josh Knill.

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Eleven

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are featuring Strong Island’s own Lou Bush aka Ooh La Lapin. Lou is a talented writer, toy maker, illustrator, tattooist and one half of hip hop DJ duo Death Bitto. Lou is offering the winner a custom made toy animal worth £40. All you need to do is answer todays question.

Q11) Lapin is the French translation for what animal?

You can find out more about Ooh La Lapin on Facebook and Twitter @lapinlou

Oh La Lapin

Oh La Lapin

Ooh La Lapin

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Day Ten

Between the 1st and 12th Dec I will be asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days you are invited to submit your answers to One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!

Today we are joining in all of the fun and will be giving away one of our Strong Island 2015 Calendars. The calendars again feature photography submitted throughout 2014 from local photographers. The calendar is full colour printed A4 and folds out and hangs so that one side of A4 contains the month’s photos and the other side has a large format calendar perfect for keeping your important dates through the year.

£1 of each calendar sale goes 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.

To be in with a chance to win you will need to answer the following question.

Q10) On what date did Portsmouth win their first FA Cup trophy?

The calendars are priced at £10 each if you collect from our shop at 12 Highland Road, Southsea. Postal orders cost £12 each and international postal orders cost £14 each. You can purchase a copy in our online shop HERE.

To find out the previous questions click HERE. Remember, do not to email in until you have all twelve answers.

Calendar - Jan

Community Fusion + Pie & Vinyl Quiz Night

Community Fusion and the Pie & Vinyl team are inviting you to join them this Friday for a special Christmas Quiz.

This year they are raising money to support the All Saints Hostel. Young people housed at All Saints are 16-25 but tend to be aged 18-19 years who usually stay for 3-6 months to prepare themselves for more stable accommodation. Staff to enable and empower residents to develop independence in their lives.

Tickets are available online cost of £12 (plus fees) – They are also inviting you to provide a gift of up to £10 that will be donated to All Saints Hostel ready to place under the tree on Christmas Eve.

Your gift donation must not be over the value of £10. Suggested gifts are Primark or Sports World vouchers, toiletries, homewear or accessories.

Raffle prizes so far:
– Scooter
– Beginner Guitar Lessons Voucher
– Wiggle bike MOT Voucher
– £25 Tesco Voucher
– Victoria Secrets Gift Box
– O2 Treat
– Strong Island Calendar

For more information check out the Facebook Event page HERE.

Pie & Vinyl x Community Fusion Quiz

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Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video II

Sharpie just sent me over his edit from the Bike Ride last April 4th. He attached one of those fancy Flip Cameras onto his handlebars and he was away. Really cool to be able to see the ride from different perspectives. Cheers buddy.

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?

Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea poster

You know we love a bit of Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea here at Strong Island. Not too much info on this one, perfect for holidays though. The flickr link states the photo of the poster was taken in Eastney, but I’m not sure where.

Via : Bob Franklin

Do we need to spell it out?

Letters from Ian Parmiter & Photo by Claire Sambrook

Vintage Old Portsmouth Photograph

We’ve not had a vintage photograph for quite a while on Strong Island, and this one is a winner. This photo of the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth was taken in 1958 by Mark Kauffman for LIFE Magazine. Click this LINK for a larger version.


Thanks to Jubru for sending this over.

Strong Island Clothing Co.