Strong Island Co.

Bikes & Cycling

Strong Island and Hampshire Police Cycle Security Event

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen.

In partnership with Hampshire Constabulary we are going to be hosting a free Cycle Marking event at Strong Island HQ on Saturday 11th July between 10am-midday.

Whatever type of bike you ride get yourself and your bike down to the store, you will find local Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be on hand to offer cycle security advice as well well as FREE cycle marking which can help identify your bike as yours if the worst were to happen and it was stolen.

Please share this event with friends, family and anyone you think would be interested. You can find out more information in the build up to the event on Facebook –

Strong Island x Hampshire police

Mini Wheelers for 3-7 Year Olds at Southsea Skatepark on Saturday Mornings

Southsea Skatepark is a local treasure, not just a heritage gem for Portsmouth with it being a local focal point of youth culture in the city for generations but it is also a park looking to the future too. Introduced this summer by the Southsea Skatepark trust (the independent charity that runs the park) is Mini Wheelers, a fun session at the park for 3 to 7 year olds who can learn lots of different activities such as BMX, skateboarding, scooters and more in a safe and friendly environment. This special session runs from 9am to 10am and is only £2.50 for each child.

Over the years Southsea Skatepark has seen some really talented individuals grow up riding & skating the park, these guys have gone on to being incredible, winning, young talents, maybe the Mini Wheelers this summer could be the next in the long line of talent to develop in Southsea?

You can find out lots more details about Southsea Skatepark at their website below or on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Mini Wheelers for 3-7 Year Olds at Southsea Skatepark on Saturday Mornings
Poster artwork by Mark Allerton.

Sky Ride Local: Portsmouth


Portsmouth residents are being urged to get on their bikes and take part in free guided rides throughout the summer as part of the council’s partnership with British Cycling and Sky.

Starting on Sunday 14 June a total of 20 Sky Ride Local rides will be held, which will see trained British Cycling ride leaders guide groups across distances from three miles up to more adventurous 30 mile routes.

The Sky Ride Local events are part of a national campaign to get more people cycling for fun and fitness, and offer a fantastic range of themed guided bike rides taking place throughout the summer months.

The rides will explore different themes from city streets and parklife to waterway and woodland and the opening ride is an easy going four mile ride from Mountbatten to Cosham park.

Portsmouth is the ideal city to discover by bike, so now’s the time to pump up tyres, oil gears and check brakes.

Stewart Kellett, British Cycling’s Director of Recreation and Partnerships, said: “What better way to get some exercise, get outdoors and see your area in a new way than to join some of the themed Sky Ride Local bike rides taking place in and around Portsmouth this summer.

“The rides begin on 14 June, so there’s no time like the present to get your bike out. Whether you want to build your cycling confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge, now’s the time to register your free place on a Sky Ride Local bike ride in Portsmouth.”

To register for a free guided bike ride and find out more about getting into cycling, visit:




Aspex Presents… In The Frame

This summer our friends at Aspex are celebrating all things bicycle with a number of exhibitions and events.

Aspex will be transforming the gallery space into a showcase of some of the most famous bikes ever manufactured. This has been curated by local cycling enthusiast Tim Connell. You can expect everything from Penny Farthings to contemporary custom-built racing bikes and even Connell’s own first bike, a Raleigh Winner.

There will also be an exhibition of bicycle and cycling-inspired artwork, created by artists who live within a 90-minute journey of Portsmouth, and curated in conjunction with Miles Hutchings of The gallery’s craft space will also host an exhibition, curated by Oana Damir, entitled “In the frame – Craft”, which will feature beautiful cycle-related items crafted by makers from across the UK.

In the Frame - web3

Aspex director Joanne Bushnell describes “With cycling now of the most popular participation activities in the UK, and people of all ages rediscovering the pleasure of riding a bike, this is the perfect time to celebrate cycling. By taking bikes out of their ordinary context, we want to highlight how these bicycles are fantastic pieces of art in themselves. That is what we want to showcase. With the exhibitions happening in the gallery and the off-site activities taking place in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas, we want to engage with people of all ages and backgrounds and remind them about the simple joy of bike-riding.”

A programme of events is also planned to take place at Aspex and across Portsmouth – including the opportunity to have your two-wheeler tuned up by expert ‘bike doctors’, and a screening, organized in conjunction with No.6 Cinema, of classic bike-themed film The Bicycle Thief, which will be preceded by a tour of Portsmouth locations immortalized in film.

For the full list of events that cover all PO areas over June and July visit the website

You can find out more about Aspex on Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter @AspexPortsmouth and Instagram.

In the Frame - web6

Safer Portsmouth | Bicycles

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen. There are some simple steps to follow…

* Get a good bike lock (preferably a D-Lock) and attach your bike to something secure, e.g. a bike rack or a lamppost.
* Always lock your bicycle, even if you are only leaving it for a couple of minutes.
* Have your bike’s frame security-marked or engraved.
* Keep your bike in a secure garage or shed. Keep the door locked and keep it out of public view.
* If you have quick-release wheels, lock them up as well or take them with you.
* Remove lights from the bike and take them with you.
* Register your bike with schemes such as Immobilise or Bike Register.

One of the biggest problems the Police encounter is the victim being unable to offer a full description of their bike. This makes it much more difficult to identify it as stolen, please take the time to make a note of your make, model and frame number. The frame number can be found in a number of places including the head tube, under bottom bracket, seat tube and down tube.

The Safer Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Portsmouth are really pro-active and offer a FREE security marking events. You can find out your nearest one by contacting your local Safer Neighbourhood Team, you can find their details by entering your postcode on the Hampshire Constabulary website Here are just a few of the events that you can take your bike along to be marked.

You are likely to have seen the brightly painted unclaimed bikes locked up around the city. These were put there by Portsmouth Police to encourage cyclist to lock their bikes up securely. The bikes were placed around the city, particularly where there are increased reports of bike thefts.

Northern Portsmouth
Cycle marking events

Southern Portsmouth
Milton Park, Mondays (13.00 hours – 15.00 hours)
25th May | 22nd June | 20th July | 17th August

St Mary’s Hospital, Thursdays (11.00 hours – 14.00 hours)
28th May | 25th June | 23rd July | 20th August

Canoe Lake, Sundays (11.00 hours – 14.00 hours)
7th June | 5th July | 2nd August

Eastney Community Centre, Thursdays (19.00 hours – 21.00 hours)
11th June | 6th August

Hampshire Police

Southsea Skatepark Birthday Weekend

This weekend sees Southsea Skatepark celebrate their birthday with a weekend of competitions and fun activities for BMX, skateboarding and more. The skatepark is one of the oldest in the UK and this weekend will see some events that celebrate this heritage such as the vintage BMX crew in attendance and, for the first time, a race to see who can get to the end of the Snakerun the fastest. NOT easy. There will also be the always popular Bored of Southsea Game of SKATE plus best trick on the box, longest ollie, highest bunnyhop and even slalom too.

Strong Island Clothing Co will be holding a mini ramp competition with a bunch of prizes for the winners plus a prize for the best trick. This and the Game of SKATE will be happening on Sunday afternoon.

The weekender runs on both Saturday and Sunday and is FREE for spectators and normal entrance fee if you want to skate or ride. See you there!

Southsea Skatepark Birthday Weekend

Mark Webb, Jack Watts and Troy Hayward at the Southsea Skatepark

Southsea Skatepark by Josh Knill

Southsea Skatepark by Hampshire Aerial Photos

Getting In The Mood For Summer With Ye Olde Bike Shoppe

The Sunny days have started rolling back into town and once again our city is full of vibrancy. The sun brings BBQ’s, beach lounging and most importantly bicycle riding.

Stuart Trett of Ye Olde Bike Shoppe, has been knocking up wonderful, tailor made creations for years now and with a serious motivation to give you the bike you want and will love and cherish, it is the perfect place to find what you are looking for.

Ye Olde Bike Shoppe has been described by many as a place to go for good advice, good service and great value and we are always keen to see what else Mr Trett will come up with next.

Find the bike shop on Albert Road in Southsea and pick up something lovely for the summery summer that is soon to be upon us. Getting out and about and out of your car’s is not only a great way to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors but also a fantastic way to unwind and relax and what better way to do it then in style!

Find Ye Olde Bike Shoppe on Facebook or on Twitter.

Ye Olde

Ye Olde

Ye Olde

Ye Olde


The BANFF Mountain Film Festival At The King’s Theatre

Attracting sell out audiences across the globe, the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival visited Portsmouth for the first time last night with a selection of extraordinary short films from the world’s leading adventure film makers. Exhilarating and thought provoking, it was a must-see for anyone with a spirit of adventure!

Introducing individuals such as, Danny Macaskill, a world famous trail rider and Wilfred Thesiger, one of Britain’s top explorers and writers, the series of short films are not only inspirational and motivating but also utterly breath taking to watch.

The Kings Theatre hosted the festival and will support the event in the future, boasting that it is an exceptional performance of incredible individuals.

The festival draws together experiences of the environment, mountain culture and the outdoors and is a fantastic watch for anyone who has a passion for the extreme, encouraging all of us to embrace, experience and explore.

See the BANFF website for upcoming tour dates.






The Legitimate Road User Photography Project by Andrew Hayward – Cyclists Get Involved

We’ve featured the fine photography work of local photographer Andrew Hayward on numerous occasions over the years, from revealing glimpses of the secret Dockyard with a large format camera through to his captivating series of petrol stations at night. Andrew’s latest personal photography project is entitled The Legitimate Road User and focuses on cyclists, predominantly those who cycle to work, with a view to raise driver awareness that they are a legitimate road user and have the right to use the roads.

For this photography project Andrew aims to create a range of portraits of people with their bike, wearing what they would wear when cycling on the road. Andrew is looking for cyclists who would like to get involved and have their photo taken. For taking part, each cyclist will receive a free print of themselves and be invited along to any future exhibitions for the project. Participants would have to be from the South Hampshire area, preferably Portsmouth, Southsea, Gosport, Hayling Island, Chichester etc.

If this is something that interests you then email Andrew at to find out more.

The Legitimate Road User Photography Project by Andrew Hayward

Open Meeting for Making Space for Cycling

The next meeting of Portsmouth Cycle Forum will be at 7pm on Thursday 12th February 2015 in Park Building, University of Portsmouth on King Henry I Street. The meeting will take the form of a debate, discussing how to make the main routes in Portsmouth safe and welcoming for cyclists. Portsmouth has an exceptionally high rate of cycle casualties and most of these casualties occur on major roads which have 30mph speed limits.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum recently launched their cycle strategy, A City to Share, which proposes that road space be reallocated from motor vehicles to bicycles to enable a step-change improvement in cycle casualty rates and the number of people getting around by bike. Exactly what changes need to be made to find and repurpose that road space were not specified.

For this meeting Portsmouth Cycle Forum have invited their members to propose ideas for how these 30mph roads can be changed to make them safer and more attractive for cyclists, whilst still offering good motor vehicle access to the city. 3 or 4 ideas will be selected for short presentations on how to eliminate conflict between cyclists and motor vehicles on Portsmouth’s 30mph routes – each idea will then be opened to debate.

The meeting is open to all.

Next »


Telly Savalas Looks at Portsmouth

There’s more than ‘meats’ the eye to Portsmouth. A city where everyone in the know goes. Classic stuff. Kojak takes time between sucking lollipops and fighting crime to give us the 411 on Portsmouth city through the ages. Love the eclectic soundtrack. Thanks to Harry for posting this up for us in a previous article. Here’s looking at you Portsmouth…

Seafront Lights: Adam Wintle

Southsea web designer and photographer Adam Wintle has recently been taking some really nice photos of the Southsea promenade lights and of the pier at night. Be sure to look through his Flickr for loads more great photos.




Local Photographer – Pompey Shoes

I’ve been following Pompeyshoes on Flickr for a while now, yet somehow missed this great shot of a sunset down on the seafront. Be sure to check his Portsmouth & Southsea set for more great photos and interesting perspectives.


Bricks & More Ta

Illustration – Tristan

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.

The Doomsday Project

From 1984 to 1986 people, in particular school children, all got involved in collecting information on their local area to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Doomsday Book by creating a new, updated, electronic version. The collected information became The Doomsday Project which was a collection of laserdiscs and special BBC computers. The country was broken down in to ‘D’ blocks with the data collection done mostly by schools, the information included text on local geography, history, legends and also more contemporary personal things such as favourite music, games, etc. As well as the text each block could also contain up to 3 photos. Many schools bought the discs and computers as a learning resource (the World Wide Web as a concept was still some years away).

A few days ago the BBC launched a new website where all of this previously difficult to access information (only a handful of working systems still exist) is now online and searchable. It’s an amazing glimpse in to Portsmouth and Southsea life in the early to mid 80s and there are some great images. The new website also allows you to upload new information and photos too.

If you are 38+ you may well have memories of being involved in the project in collecting and writing information. Personally I remember the day my group went out to a tiny village in Essex in the hot summer but instead of writing things we played near the river and weir. Oh well. Does anyone have any memories of taking part in the project? If so please add a comment, would love to hear people’s memories.

You can find out more about the original project on HERE and the BBC article and access the online version below:

Domesday Project

Someone Invent A Time Machine

The photography exhibit The Birth of British Rock at the Museum is now in it’s last week so be sure to make it down before it finishes on June 6th. Looking through the Pompey Pop Pix Flickr, which contains loads of local photos, tickets and posters, I came across this poster for what must have been on of the best line-ups the Guildhall has ever had.

£800 raised at our 3rd Birthday Charity Raffle

Wow. Another Incredible success. Myself, Paul and the Strong Island Crew owe a MASSIVE thank you to all the people who donated, helped out, attended and of course bought those ever so important raffle tickets.

With your generosity we managed to raise an amazing £800 for The Portsmouth Autism Support Network and The Portsmouth Lifeboat Station.

Everyone had a great time and got fully involved in the atmosphere of the night. Free Strong Island Iced Teas were flowing, and the buffet was awesome. Pet Sounds kept the musical vibe alive and the crowd did the rest. A really good turn out of Strong Islanders made sure The Belle Isle was packed and the charity tin was full.

Well done to all the people who were lucky enough to get one of the prizes. If not more. Winners win prizes…..

Thanks to everyone who came down, all of the very generous prize donators and of course extra special thanks to Paul, Graham, Ben, James, Andy and all The Belle Isle staff for letting us hold our party and making sure no one went thirsty. Cheers guys.

Without the support from our readers, contributors and friends Strong Island would not be in the position to hold such an event, and we greatly appreciate it.

Prizes were very kindly donated from the following people: LJRs / The Belle Isle / Sopranos / Southsea Skatepark / Caravan Gallery / Michelle So Scone / Boed / Southsea Boutique / Dead Mans Glory / Lou Bush / Helen at Kings Theatre / Geoff at The Wedge / Love Southsea / Mikey Ayling / Mark Persuad / Southsea Gallery / james Porter / Parmiters, Ian & Sue / James Weaver / Alanna Smith / Matt Howarth / Bruce Jamieson / Jamie Olivers (Megatron) / Diana Goss / James Batchelor / Fran Bierton / Paul Thurlow / Bonzo Studio / Head Hairdressers / I Love Dust / Holgarama / Stuart Trett at Ye Olde Bike SHoppe. Apologies if I forgot your name.

We’re already looking forward to our 4th Birthday Party next year. Hope you can make it. All the best and thanks again.

Tristan & Paul

Photos: Matt Saxey


The dockyards, taken on 18th July 1914. The dockyards and harbour are quiet as almost all the ships are anchored at Spithead ready for the Royal review by King George V.

(Click to see larger image)

Transport No. 2: The Hovercraft

Southsea seafront has iconic and familiar structures and views but ever since the mid 60s we also have the familiar sound of the hovercraft engines as it repeatedly arrives and leaves for Ryde. This hovercraft route itself was the first Hovercraft passenger service in the world and Hovertravel Limited, founded in 1965, is the world’s longest established commercial hovercraft operator. The first hovercraft was first developed on the Isle of Wight in 1955 when inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell tested out his idea for a floating/flying craft by putting a cat food tin inside a coffee tin. After fine-tuning his designs, Sir Christopher Cockerell secured funding to build a hovercraft. Saunders Roe, the flying boat firm in Cowes on the Isle of Wight was given the contract. The commercial success of hovercraft was initially huge but subsequently suffered from rapid rises in fuel prices during the late 1960s and 1970s. Since the channel routes abandoned hovercraft the United Kingdom’s only public hovercraft service is now our one operating from Southsea.

In 1972 Hovertravel’s SR-N6 012 overturned off of Southsea with a loss of five lives. This was the world’s first fatal accident involving a commercially operated hovercraft. Apart from this one incident the service has an incredible safety record and is used day in day out to transfer up to 100,000 passengers a year.

The hovercraft is a wonderful and now unique form of local transport and something to celebrate and also to actively enjoy with a trip. Booking and travel information is available at the Hovertravel website.

To discover more about hovercraft we are lucky to have the Hovercraft Museum just down the road in Lee-On-Solent which houses the world’s largest library of documents, publications, film, video, photographs and drawings on hovercraft and a collection of actual hovercraft too including the last two remaining SR.N4 craft, the world’s largest civil hovercraft.

Strong Island Clothing Co.