Strong Island Co.

FREE Strong Island Clothing Co. Tees

With payday just around the corner we’re offering a free tee to the first 10 people to make a full price purchase of any Strong Island Clothing Co. tee over at Shop Ahoy. This offer is only available on Friday 1st August 2014 so you’ve got to be in it, to win it…

Strong Island Clothing Co Summer 2014 - Dell Quay

Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Summer 2014 (5)

Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Summer 2014 (2)

Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Summer 2014 (8)

Strong Island, Lex Luthor & My Dog Sighs present Head Jam 2014 – Saturday 19th July

Last years Head Jam was such a resounding success with some of the nations best street artists that we eagerly began talking about the following year before the paint had even dried. We discussed how we could run the event again and where to do it, but the answer was simple and literally looking right at us. We hold it in the same place again. Make the courtyard at Head Hairdressing the centre of an annual event where the outcome is available to view for the year, then return, white wash the previous artwork away, and do it all again. After all, street art is an ever changing and developing media in it’s own right and in it’s usual environment where it gets ripped down, tagged, covered in fly posters, lost to demolition and built on, the artists have no fear of their art being lost. It’s part of the job so to speak…

Rick from Head Hairdressing at 53 Albert Road (just along from the Wine Vaults and next to Southsea Gallery) conceived the idea of having the courtyard to the rear of the local barbers transformed in to a permanent giant art piece. From precision multilayered stencils, through bubble gum cutsie to surreal illustrative mayhem, Lex Luthor and My Dog Sighs have hand picked some of their favourite artists to produce the ultimate street art dreamscape courtyard…again!

Head Jam will run all day so feel free to pop along, take a look, have a chat, hang out, meet the artists and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be music on all day, a BBQ turning over in the background if you want to stick a burger on (not supplied), and please feel free to bring along a beer too. Everyone is welcome, so bring the kids so they can see some of the finest street artists working together in this unique environment.

Attending artists include: MyDogSighs, Lex Luthor, Mimic, Fark, Nova, M-one Art, Los Dave, Stu Linfield, Morf, Freakstatic and Ooberla. Wow, this is going to be amazing! If you pop along please be sure to tag the event on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #HeadJam and we will put up a series of your photos from the day.

Strong Island Clothing Co will also be launching their latest range of tees and crews before they go online the following week. So if you want to get in there for an exclusive purchase before anyone else head on down and check it all out. Everything will be out to view, and there is a sneak peak at the end of this post (the full look book will go up this week). Also all of our PFC tees and crews are on offer, bargain. We look forward to seeing you all.

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Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (1)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (2)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (3)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (4)

Head Jam, photo by Matt Maber (5)

Head Jam, photo by Paul Gonella

Photos: Matt Maber

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Anyone fancy a little bike ride?

Ahhhhhhh, remember the good old days. From it’s humble beginnings in 2008 to over 250 happy cyclists one year, the Bi-Annual Strong Island Bank Holiday Bike Rides had become a definite diary entry for those in the know. Shame it all had to come to an end. Public liability and all that. Oh well…

With the May Bank Holiday very nearly upon us it’s put me in the mood for a little light refreshment at The Bridge Tavern and a casual cycle along the seafront and back to get me in the mood for the Summer ahead. After a busy 2013 you might have noticed it was a little quiet at the Bridge Tavern during previous Bank Holidays! We certainly did having been locked away working over a busy year. This weekend however I reckon I’ll pop to the Bridge Tavern for about 12pm on Sunday 25th May and set off around 2pm after some lunch for a reminiscent bike ride. I might even finish at Spice Island for a cheeky tipple after. Give me a shout if you’re in the area. Nudge nudge. Wink wink.

Southsea Beach Cafe – First Day On Site

With the increasing decline and surrounding speculation of South Parade Piers future it’s extremely encouraging to see anything positive happening with regard to our extensive seafront. Despite always being under scrutiny for one reason or another the seafront remains a very popular destination throughout the year and with continuous progress on the Southsea Seafront Strategy, the PCC backed Victorious Festival and the Seafront Masterplan, to name but a few, it really feels like things are starting to change for the better…

Southsea Beach Cafe most certainly suits the progressive nature we are all dying to see take place and is a welcome addition to what is currently a very run down area of the seafront. The new proprietors of the old toilet block and cafe opposite Canoe Lake and East of the pier have taken on something that will really bring a new lease of life to the area. Not to be overshadowed by movements of the once iconic South Parade Pier, SBC is set to become a very popular destination for both locals and passing visitors.

Today saw the real beginning as work on site began and progress became a reality in physical form. Once completed, SBC will be a well considered and contemporary cafe destination offering good quality food throughout the day and evening. Set in an very accessible area with the perfect vista the plans for SBC include both inside and outside areas for dining in a very relaxed and family friendly environment.

Offering a unique experience to Southsea is the addition of having a seasonally adaptable awning that can be retracted to reveal the delights of Summer sunshine, whilst also keeping off those chilly British winds, and equally in the Winter months shield you from the elements but still offer the feeling of being outside as you are protected by the awnings structural weatherproof glass. As awesome as it will be to visit in the summertime I’m certainly looking forward to some comfort food in the Winter with the sea crashing outside in the knowledge that I’m safe and sound from the elements!

We will be following SBC very closely over the next few months before their planned opening in early June and have a more in depth article with the owners coming soon to talk about the years of negotiation up to their final plans and down to what will be on the menu. For the time being you can follow Southsea Beach Cafe over at their Facebook page HERE.

Strong Island have the privilege to be working with Southsea Beach Cafe on both the brand identity and creative consultancy and we are extremely proud to be part of the journey with them and the people they are working with. We will be keeping you up to date with all the developments of this exciting new venture right up till the opening night, and beyond…

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The Portsmouth Guest Guide 2014

A NEW guest guide is promising to reveal the creative heart of Portsmouth to visitors staying at hotels in the city. The brainchild of Hampshire based ‘Marketing Collective‘, the Guest Guide is in its second year and the talented team are working hard pulling together content as we speak.

This year’s cover (following in the footstep’s of popular Portsmouth based artist Dave Thompson) will be the prolifically talented and good old local lad My Dog Sighs. Editor Jo Andrews, explained: “We are great admirers of My Dog’s work and when we were deciding who to feature on the cover, it didn’t take us long to make up our minds.”

Other features include an exploration of Portsmouth’s part in the Sherlock mania currently gripping the world and a Little Black Book feature, where a well-known local face recommends the best places to go for a romantic meal or the best live music. “We want to make the Guest Guide a really good read – packed with interesting information about Portsmouth that you just can’t find in the usual tourist leaflets. Last year Mark from Like a Teatray in the Sky did our Little Black Book feature for us – and had people coming into his cafe clasping copies of the guide.

Our aim is to encourage people to go beyond the heritage and really enjoy what Southsea has to offer in terms of great independent shops and fab bars and restaurants that leave a lasting impression.”

And the good news is it’s not too late for you to feature in this year’s Portsmouth Guest Guide. Jo is keen to speak to businesses who would like to advertise – and she is happy to discuss feature ideas too. If you would like to feature in the 2014 Guest Guide, contact Jo Andrews at jo@themarketing-collective.com or call 0759110720.

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Everything Stops For Tea

Make some art for charity! You can’t argue with that now can you? And what a great and highly creative idea ‘Everything Stops For Tea’ is. Combining the love of tea and the medium of wax art, this unique project aims to produce visual art using empty teabags that have been filled with small pieces of art and then dipped in wax to preserve them. Wonderful.

Organisers Barry & Roo Abrook with Portsmouth’s very own All ABout Tea invite you to bring a smile and a bit of creativity to help raise money to aid research for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust Group.

Everything Stops For Tea is this Saturday the 22nd March at All ABout Tea, 56 Middle Street, Southsea. For more information please head over to the Facebook page HERE.

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The MEGAMUNDEN Show

Internationally renowned local design studio ilovedust represent a huge wealth of talent and one of their senior designers is no exception. Ollie Munden, or MEGAMUNDEN as he is known, is throwing his first exhibition off the back of the release of his first book. A busy man no less.

Over recent years MEGAMUNDEN has immersed himself in tattoo art and culture which has eventually led to the creation of ‘The Tattoo Colouring Book’ commissioned and published in 2013 by Laurence King Publishing. The book has over 100 pages of hearts, sailors, skulls, roses and alike, all drawn exclusively for this book alone. It’s seriously good…

Never ceasing to amaze, or even slow down, MEGAMUNDEN moved swiftly on from his first publication and began preparation for his first exhibition being held at No Walls Gallery in Brighton this February 28th. Included in the exhibition are collaborations with Shaun Swainland, Pedro Oyarbide, Jeff Nichols and Raw & Auburn.

Local leather craft designer Raw & Auburn was asked to produce a series of her unique hand crafted wares exclusively for the MEGAMUNDEN show. Each hand cut, hand sewn and hand finished item has been laser engraved with bespoke layouts from Ollie’s collection of illustrations.

Raw & Auburn products are all handcrafted using traditional techniques which in turn compliment the signature hand finished methods of MEGAMUNDEN to make these one of a kind pieces more than just a collaborative project.

Meeting head on, this unique partnership between two artisans of different disciplines has resulted in something both beautiful and functional as everyday objects. Striking tattoo inspired illustrations and natural raw materials seamlessly pair to create these exclusive handcrafted designs. Having seen them in person I must say they are really amazing.

There’s a pretty big crowd heading up on Friday including most of the ilovedust team and Strong Island crew. Hopefully you can make it there too for what is certain to be a very successful night for all involved. Oh, there’s an after party too with cheap beer… Be sure to get all the details over at the event page HERE.

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THE TATTOO COLOURING BOOK – PROMO VIDEO from MEGAMUNDEN on Vimeo.

Civilisation Of The Rough – Easter Sunday

If you don’t know, get to know. The COR rough ethos rings true with every party they put on. This easter see’s the COR crew getting the hype going for their annual Easter bash that always dresses to impress. Early bird tickets are available now. Pop over to www.c-o-r.co.uk and sign up for yours now. More info over on the COR Facebook page HERE.

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Caleigh Illerbrun at Southsea Coffee Co.

Many of you know the wonderful talents of Caleigh and her quirky Russian Owls, to name but one of her creative outputs. Naturally she is a very fine illustrator as you can see from her Owls, but she’s most certainly not all about small things in nice packages. Caleigh is currently transforming the large back wall of Southsea Coffee Co in to an illustrative wilderness that’s probably not dissimilar to her homeland Canada. At least I like to imagine she see’s most things from an illustrated mindset!

Caleigh will be finishing the the giant ‘Wolverine’ piece this Saturday 8th February so pop on down, grab a coffee, some cake, sit back and watch the final transformation live. You can follow Caleigh over at www.facebook.com/caleighill.art to see how things progress. The little fella at the bottom ‘Floyd’ is also in Southsea Coffee Co and looking for a new home. Who wouldn’t want Floyd as a buddy.

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Created Local – Alfie Thomas Passingham

Alfie is currently studying at Portsmouth University and spends his free time co-running two small but well formed clothing brands with other Created Local featured designer Dan Pease. The Idols and Anchors and Co Conspirators Clothing designs are all born from hand drawn fine line illustrations in black and white, with the occasional tweak from Photoshop for colour. With clean graphics that draw influence from traditional naval and tattoo themes Alfie’s work stands out amidst the everyday design that is often entirely computer generated!

You can follow Alfie on instagram: @atpillustration or twitter: @ATPillustration

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Vintage Southsea Skatepark

Bored Manager Tom sent us over this original Skatepark article and poster. It doesn’t get more back in the day than this really. The original proposal plan and the opening day poster. At last Skateboard Paradise. Truly amazing. The article is quite small, but I zoomed it to read back the first paragraph.

‘Skatepark plan caters for all plus band and roller skating. Fast elevated runs and steep twisting slalom – like tracks for the advanced skateboarder, are a design feature of the £60,000 skateboard arena proposed for Southsea Common’

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Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on from photos of The bandstand and Tennis Courts the other week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

Back before East Jet in the late 1940s, early 1950s people flocked to Southsea seafront. Check the beach huts near Canoe Lake. Dozens of them and the Paddling Pool which is now occupied by the Sealife Centre. Love the little train to the right of the picture. Click for a closer look.

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Image: eBay

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?

Sunny Southsea

I went for bike ride today to take advantage of the nice, albeit cold, weather and take a few photos. Check them out over on my Flickr photostream.

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