Strong Island Co.


Portsmouth Venue The Cellars at Eastney Set to Close

The Cellars in Eastney is a much loved music venue out at the easterly edge of the city, bringing music, comedy and theatre to the communities of Southsea, Milton & Eastney but with an audience from all over the south coast. We heard this morning the sad news that the venue will soon be closing its doors and, again, the city loses another vital venue for music. As recently as December Strong Island Recordings held our food bank fundraising all-dayer with the Cellars providing a warm welcome to bands coming down from near and far. Many promotors, bands and punters will be greatly saddened to see this place close its doors.

All the best to guys there for the future.

photos below are by Toby Jezard who kindly photographed our cash-free, food donation label party in December.

Southsea Archery Club In The City

The Southsea Archery Club is a strong community of friendly local people who come together to socialise and shoot and are well known in the city.

Archery has become really popular over the past few years and having a club that facilities beginners as well as advanced Archers has only helped build the community and attract more and more new members.

The service is totally mobile and the team of instructors are always eager to go out to anybody who is interested, including local schools and colleges and can introduce the sport to anyone from the age of 6 and above.

The pro’s to getting involved in the up and coming sport ranges from a good team building opportunity to just getting out and about and enjoying something new and different that has been a time honoured sport for hundreds of years and now embraces our historically rich city.

Sonnie Emeney and Sam Swainbank run everything from taster sessions to advanced courses together and describe the club as a fun and enjoyable way to learn. Sam told us that “It is not something many people have tried before but they see it in things like ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘The Avengers’ and fancy a go. It is nothing like you see in films but it is great fun and is run by a team of people with a passion for the sport.”

The club meet at the beautiful setting of Southsea Castle as well as the Havelock Centre and Priory School which only add to it’s real community spirited feel.

Events happen all the way through the year and have included appearances at ‘The Southsea Show’ and the club will continue to take part in upcoming local events.

You can follow the club on Twitter or on Facebook and can contact them directly via their Website.






Feel Yourself Success At Battle Of The Sexes

Battle of the Sexes was held at the incredible venue of Southsea Castle last night and was a huge success. The evening promoted the Feel Yourself Campaign and managed to deliver some important information alongside fun activities and live music.

Special guests included Marley Blandford and Fugitive Orchestra who played some superb solo sets. Games included, cake decorating, mould your own genitalia, fancy dress and guess the sex of the guy/girl in the photo. All activities came under the Battle of the Sexes heading, encouraging the boys to go up against the girls in competition. The crowds were left to judge and the atmosphere was awesome!

A raffle offered all sorts of cool prizes including a free meal at the local Belle Isle and all the money raised went to the Feel Yourself Campaign.

The event was organised by Ben Miles, who is responsible for Portsmouth’s now renowned Victorious Festival and his fellow University crew a.k.a FYC and JK events.

The evening’s message was to raise awareness about the importance of checking yourself regularly for the signs of Cancer and it was incredibly successful with individuals taking advice about what to look out for in a fun and memorable way.

Brilliant evening, fantastic fundraiser, incredibly important. The message was clear, take care of yourself!

To find out more about the campaign check out the website.









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

The Battle Of The Sexes

Feel Yourself Campaign aims to promote awareness in younger men and women about the importance of checking for breast and testicular cancer regularly. Both types of Cancer are on the increase  and catching them early is the key to successful treatment.

Feel Yourself was started by Maddie Wallace while she was being treated for breast cancer. With no family history and no previous health problems, Maddie never checked herself. One day she bumped into a friend who had just undergone chemotherapy and that friend reminded her how important it is to check yourself often. This is probably what saved her life.

Maddie has been a whirlwind of motivation for Portsmouth and a drive to encourage us all to monitor ourselves for signs of Cancer.

The Battle of the Sexes is an event that will be held on the 23rd April at Southsea Castle. Doors will be open from 7:30pm and tickets cost £5.

The charity fundraiser evening will aim to raise awareness about Cancer and help enable people to spot the signs of it early enough to act on it quickly.

Special guests including Marley Blandford and the Fugitive Orchestra will entertain event goer’s and help mark the night with some fantastic music.

To purchase tickets please visit the website and follow events on Facebook.

Battle of the sexes

Battle of the sexes

Battle of the sexes



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


A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Mark Waldron, Editor of The News

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking over a dozen different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

To kick off this series of articles we met up with Mark Waldron, editor of The News, at Portsmouth City Museum and after a walk around he let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hi Mark, what, in no particular order, are your three favourite items in the A Hard Choice exhibition?

The first object is a dead mole, a bit of a bizarre one to start with. I think a lot of people when they are younger they find dead animals and insects and your immediate thoughts are to pick it up, put it in a box and preserve it. A dead mole Rosalinda* found when she was 4 years old started off her fascination with conservation and got her in to curating. I just love that this mole is so different to everything else in the exhibition, there are a lot of historic parts to the exhibition but this tiny mole preserved from way back when is an incredible artefact that leapt out at me and caught my curiosity.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Mark Waldron, Editor of The News (2)

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Mark Waldron, Editor of The News (3)

Next are the visiting cards from a certain Mr & Mrs Charles Dickens, it is the cards that they had when living in Tavistock House in London, which they occupied between 1851 and 1860. They are the actual cards they would have given out to guests at the time.

I think we celebrate and are proud of our links with Dickens and I think these really take you back to this man who is so pressed in to all our memories even 200 years later. These cards would have been in his wallet, in his pocket, and he would have been handing them out to the important guests that would have come to see him. The fact that they are preserved in this collection really adds to what Dickens is all about and what he means to this city.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Mark Waldron, Editor of The News (4)

This item is labelled Hippodrome Bomb and it is a bomb that fell in Portsmouth in 1941 but lay undiscovered until 1984 when there was work taking place at the Hippodrome Theatre in Guildhall Walk**. Some interesting ceramic tiles were found but suddenly everyone was evacuated because also found was this large unexploded bomb. Royal Engineers had to come in and did a controlled explosion and the remains of the bomb were donated to the collection.

So much of Portsmouth’s landscape changed during the war, obviously the city was a target of heavy German bombing. The Guildhall was destroyed and many parts of Portsmouth were changed forever. Just to see here as you walk in to the exhibition this massive bit of ordinance, the fact that it didn’t go off but you look at the size of it…what damage that would have caused…it is just an incredible reminder of what is a massive part of the history of our city.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Mark Waldron, Editor of The News (1)

If you could donate something from your own personal collection(s) or something else in the city or relates to the city…what would be good to add to the Portsmouth City Collection for future generations?

Growing up I was very heavily in to music and a place to be for a lot of touring bands at the time was the Guildhall. Most of the bands from the 80s would come down and I saw many great concerts down there like New Order, The Cure, The Jam, Depeche Mode…a lot of great nights out. We would get the bus from Cowplain, over Portsdown Hill in to the big city so it was always a big night out. I just remember being packed in to many concerts seeing the great bands at the time. So the tickets from those occasions, which bring back fantastic memories of growing up in a great city.

* Rosalinda Hardiman, who curated the A Hard Choice exhibition.
** The building was destroyed during the Portsmouth Blitz.

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

Into The Cell Block

Into the Cell Block is a free, four day course that is being offered to help build on creative and digital ideas to help structure new businesses and promote freelance and mentoring opportunities.

The course is based on the NESTA toolkit, an interactive way of developing key skills required for viable business products.

Chloe Hood, a University of Portsmouth graduate attended the course in October last year and is now running her own business, Hoodlum Fang Apparel, a punk rock fashion brand.

Chloe said “I went into the course not knowing anything about book keeping, taxes or insurance. I knew nothing of any of the legal aspects of business and I was terrified of starting a business without any of this knowledge… The course made it all a lot less scary. I also gained a lot of support, from the mentoring and other students who were taking part on the course. I was made to feel like I could succeed and that I had a sound business idea.”

The course is running in April and June this year and will be held at the Portsmouth Innovation Space and the only pre requisite is that you are 18 and over and have an idea, no matter how quirky or out there it may seem.

The course is fully funded by Portsmouth University and places are set to be snapped up quickly due to the fantastic opportunity that the course presents.

To find out more visit the website or contact Portsmouth University direct.


Nautical T-Shirt Design By Stuart Linfield

Stuart Linfield, 33, a local Portsmouth Illustrator, has recently released a new T shirt which has sparked the attention of many. The Seaside town themed alternative design is hot off the printer and the image is the first in what will be a series of nautical themed designs, which will be released later in the year.

Stuart’s T-shirts are 100% cotton and hand screen printed by him with plastisol inks at Brilens Custom Clothing.

T-Shirts are available on the last Saturday of every month at the Community Fusion Made with Hartt market at The Wedgewood Rooms or can be ordered via the Etsy store at Stu Linfield Illustration.

Stuart can be found at all sorts of local events and was just spotted at the Easter Art Fair at the King Street Tavern selling numerous T shirts including those featured here.

The design is new and fresh and a brilliant edition to our beach town fashion market. Pick up yours today!

Follow Stuart on Facebook or on Twitter.

Stuart Linfield

Stuart Linfield

Stuart Linfield

Stuart linfield




My Dog Sighs and Democracy Street Free Art Friday Workshops

Last Thursday and Friday saw My Dog Sighs run workshops linking Free Art Friday with a new web app Democracy Street at Make and Craft Cafe in Fratton. We featured Democracy Street recently (read HERE), a web app conceived and developed in Portsmouth that nationally allows people to discover the streets around them and the people through the ages that had the roads and streets named after them.

My Dog Sighs delivered two workshops that drew upon the popular Free Art Friday principles to artwork plus looked at how artwork can be site specific in inspiration as well as where it could be dropped off for people to view and take home. The participants of the workshop had a go at creating their own Everyman artwork with quotes and song lyrics that related to them, the streets they lived on and more. Democracy Street beta was used by everyone to help research their lyrics and also for places to place their finished work. The workshops really showed where creativity and new technology can work together in new, practical situations, with one inspiring the other.

At the end of the workshops people went out and dropped their artwork on the streets and then added photos of the work to Democracy Street, with the images now viewable on the web app when people access the maps and roads in the local area. Democracy Street will soon be out of beta and officially launched very soon.

Below is a set of photos from Friday’s workshop.

Next »


The Old Portsmouth and The New Southsea

Gareth Colwell sent us these amazing scans from a vintage book called ‘The Old Portsmouth and The New Southsea. “It was an old book of my Grandads’ we found when going through some of his old stuff that had been packed away for years. I love the paintings and the written bits, especially describing Southsea Common as “a dismal spot in the old days. Footpads and cut-throats roamed at night, and a murderer hung in chains on the edge of the shingle”

A really interesting read so I won’t say anymore and let the book do all the talking. Check out the full set of scans over at Gareths Flickr.

Welcome to Southsea

Ian Parmiter recently found this photo at a sign makers on one of his many travels. A Facebook debate has already begun as to it’s original whereabouts. Any ideas?

Fog Lights!

I love fog, even more so at night time because all the street lights are on and it’s like this weird eerie zombie town. People appear out of no where and even cars creep up on you before you notice them in the deathly silence of the fog. I watched, or should I say waited, as the the Hovercraft came over from The Isle of Wight. I could hear the roar of the engines for five minutes till I could actually see the craft as it pulled on to shore. Spooky.

My little point and shoot isn’t much cop in low light fog but there are a few more over on my Flickr

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow hit Southsea pretty hard last night and it snowing again this morning. Good luck to everyone battling the elements to get to work, college, school, etc today. Here are a few photos from last night, if you have any please pop a link to them in the comments, we would love to see them.

Adam Wintle (see more here):

Adam Wintle

Adam Wintle

Elizabeth Bick (see more here):

Elizabeth Bick

Elizabeth Bick

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.

Old Southsea Skate Photos

Check the Skate Library for the first of a growing list of old Southsea photos including this one of Lance Mountain grinding the Law Courts back in 1988 (photo by Tim Leighton-Boyce).

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.


The now defunct Brickwoods Brewery was Portsmouth’s largest local brewer before it’s final demise in 1983. Many old pubs (and many houses that are converted old pubs) still have tiles and signs with the old brewery’s name on so in a way, it still lives on, just in the city’s background. Keep your eyes peeled. You can find out more about the company here too.

I came across these amazing beermats via Google, some interesting designs. Notice the sun motif…


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…


HMS Vanguard (1960)

Man, these photos are pretty damn epic. Both show the HMS Vangaurd that went aground just feet away from alongside the Still & West and Spice Island in 1960.

“On 4 August 1960, when she was to be towed from Portsmouth to the breakers yard at Faslane, Scotland, the whole of the Southsea sea front was packed with people to see her off. As she was being towed towards the harbour entrance, she slewed across the harbour to the Still & West public house and went aground. She was eventually pulled off by tugs and finally made her exit from Portsmouth. Five days later she arrived at Faslane and by the spring of 1962 Vanguard ceased to exist, never having fired her guns in anger.” (from Wikipedia)

It’s also great to see that area of Old Portsmouth in detail from 50 years ago. There is no sea wall in place, some kind of out building on the corner of Spice Island, what looks like early dry dock developments and I love the way Broad Street goes straight in to the drink. See what you can see. Click the images for a much closer look.

Via : Jainbow

Strong Island Clothing Co.