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Cultural & Exhibitions

An Up And Coming, Talented New Artist Presents FACE

Olivia Abdul, 21 from Southsea is an incredibly talented local artist who works with a range of mediums and in a range of styles.

Describing herself as a Painter, Printmaker and Photographer she works with passion and a drive to offer people pieces of art that they will love.

Olivia will be taking part in a local exhibition called FACE (Fine Art Collective Exhibition) and will display her work as an upcoming and emerging artist along with several others.

The exhibition has been put together by Olivia and her fellow students to form part of their professional development for their University courses. The opening night will be held on 24th April from 6-8pm and is invite only but the work be be available for public viewing from 25th-30th April between 12 and 5pm and will be held at the Bargate Monument Gallery.

Olivia will be showing a selection of her print work from when she was at her family home in Bangladesh. She describes her work as being an exploration of both sides of her identity with post colonial undertones. Her intrigue with colour and form is beautifully expressed in her work and is extremely dynamic. This relationship with her work has lead her to a fascination in using different materials and seeing how they come together.

The FACE exhibition will be a fantastic collaboration of some wonderfully talented young people and is a real reminder of the hard work that students put in, offering brilliant outcomes for us all to enjoy.

To find out more about Olivia follow her on Facebook or see her work displayed at FACE.

Olivia Abdul

Olivia Abdul

Olivia Abdul

Olivia Abdul

Olivia Abdul

Today Have A Hard Choice Exhibition Tour With Rosalinda Hardiman

The Portsmouth City Museum‘s hugely successful A Hard Choice exhibition continues with many different talks, tours and displays over the coming months. Today you can join Collections Manager Rosalinda Hardiman for an introductory tour of the exhibition A Hard Choice. On the tour you can learn some of the stories behind the objects on show and Rosalinda’s reasons for selecting them for the exhibition.

The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is free. Give the City Museum a call 02392 834744 to book or ask at Reception.

Rosalinda Hardiman

Portsmouth City Museum

Crafts In The Tower Exhibition

‘Crafts in the Tower’ is an exhibition by artists, designers and crafts people from in and around Portsmouth. It takes place in the Square Tower, a 15th century naval fort on the seafront in Old Portsmouth .  The aim is to promote high quality individual designer makers and artists who are appealing to a contemporary market and the quality and prices of products are reflective of this.

Several new exhibitors will be taking part in the event including, Jane Athron and her fascinatingly surreal paintings. Collage artist Lorna Apps-Woodland, who will exhibit some arresting pictures made from a wide range of materials and sources. Printmaker Pam Lake, who makes screen prints and lino prints in vivid colours.  She will also join regular printmaker Sue Meredith, who specialises in scenes of Portsmouth’s streets and historic sites.  Kelly Hickman is similarly inspired by her surroundings to create gilded images of Portsmouth’s famous naval vessels.

They will join regular favourites Katherine Webber with her contemporary jewellery and Gary Renouf with his beautiful and intricate designs in wood.  Photographer Jan Fowler will also be in attendance and there will be a welcome return for glass maker Cherie Lubbock, who has been busy extending her techniques at West Dean College.

Ceramics will be represented by Bernice Hughes with her delightful illuminated cottages and castles and Maggie Ambler who has some new designs in painted tiles.

The upcoming exhibition is being held on April 19th from 11am until 4pm and admission will be free. The vintage tea room will be open all day, selling home made cakes, savouries and drinks and it will surely be a pleasurable and artistic day.

To find out more about the event see the ‘Crafts in the Tower’ website.








Return To The Forbidden Planet At The Kings Theatre

The adored & critically acclaimed Olivier Award winning rock spectacular, returned on a much anticipated 25th anniversary UK tour last night at the Kings Theatre in Southsea. Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and packed with rock ‘n’ roll classics such as, Heard It Through the Grapevine, Young Girl, Good Vibrations and GLORIA with stunning special effects and a brilliant cast of actor musicians, it was a night out to remember!

The high flying show features a bevy of 1950’s and 1960’s rock and roll classics, performed on stage by the cast. The campy sci-fi setting consists of silvered space suit costumes and space ship sets concealing keyboards and drums. The show’s dialogue is largely adapted from well-known passages from Shakespeare. The whole production was filled with uproarious energy and its old songs and quirky adaptations gave a sense of total nostalgia.

The show will cast up until Saturday 18th April 2015 here in Portsmouth and it a must see!

For tickets visit the Theatre website.






Tea & Pencils ‘Cinefilms’ at No.6 Cinema

On a recent trip to the No 6 Cinema in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard I noticed some fantastic illustrations featuring some of my favourite movies in the foyer. The posters featured movies such as Kes, Jurassic Park, Labyrinth, The Big Lebowski and the Goonies.

Tea & Pencils 2

The posters were created by Matthew Anstee aka Tea & Pencils. Matthew’s on-going collection entitled ‘Cinefilms’ was first exhibited his hometown of Winchester but has since been featured in various independant cinema’s across the UK.

Prior to his time illustrating, Matt describes on his Facebook how he spent four years as a freelance music video director and editor, but in 2012, feeling creatively unfulfilled as a filmmaker, he reconnected with a lifetime passion for art and design through sketching, and subsequently a new career in illustration. Finding inspiration in an eclectic range of visual mediums – from Will Eisner comics to David Lynch movies, and many things in between – his work combines the organic feel of hand-drawn sketches with digital post-editing. Matt’s diverse spectrum of interest manifests in a very particular style of graphic-visual storytelling, peppered with detail and nerdy references.

Matthew will be at No.6 Cinema this Friday from 6:15pm to host a small ‘meet and greet’ before the screening of Blade Runner. There will be more artwork on display plus Tea & Pencils freebies!

The posters are available to purchase via the Tea & Pencils website Tea & Pencils can also be found on Twitter @teanpencils and on Facebook, where you can find more of Matthews work.


Exhibition runs until the 30th of April during No. 6 Cinema’s opening hours (The box office opens one hour before each screening). Find out the No.6 Cinemas opening times by visiting

Shichinin no Samurai
Shichinin no Samurai

Depiction5 New Exhibition at Atelier in Castle Road

Pete Codling’s studio and gallery Alelier, located in Castle Road Southsea, will be host to a new group portrait exhibition entitled Depiction5. The exhibition draws together original artwork by five of Portsmouth’s leading contemporary figurative artists including:

Pete Codling
Colin Merrin
Clif White
Karl Rudziak
Agata Wojcieszkiewicz

There is a private view on the 17th and then the exhibition is open daily from midday to 6:30pm.

Depiction5 New Exhibition at Atelier

New Painting by Collin Merrin for Depiction5
New Painting by Colin Merrin for Depiction5.

Access All Areas At The Portsmouth Guildhall

The Portsmouth Cultural Trust (PCT) is delighted to announce an open evening for Access all Areas – The Portsmouth Music Experience.

Access all Areas is a growing exhibition documenting the history of popular music in Portsmouth since the end of the Second World War, exactly seventy years ago. AaA includes a range of images and memorabilia celebrating the great years of poprock, folkblues, jazz and dance. It includes a 1960s Gallery showcasing leading venues, musicians, posters and local personalities, the Guildhall Gallery documenting a history from Louis Armstrong and the Beatles, through to the Clash, the Smiths and Take That to the present day, plus the story of the filming of Tommy across the city in 1974. There is also a bijou cinema 16, and a Hall of Fame with hundreds of photographs of local acts over the whole period.

The Open Evening offers a chance to see AaA’s recently completed 16 track digital and 8 track analogue recording studio and home of AaA Music Radio, soon to begin broadcasting online with an eclectic group of presenters playing music from the last 50 years. You will also be given the chance to see the new summer exhibition, Rock Shots – 50 years of music photography in Portsmouth, featuring photographs of the local music scene by a range of local photographers.

Come and relive your memories of some great days – or learn something you didn’t know about Portsmouth and in particular, ‘Pompey Pop’.

Plus, accompanying the show, debut performances by two new Pompey acts will be playing and will include, The Southsea Skifflers who are comprised of a mix of experienced musicians and beginners who may well be the largest skiffle orchestra in the country; reviving memories of the great days of the 1950s skiffle boom and folk revival. This will be their first-ever performance with a few songs at around 7.45pm.

Scarlett Town have been rehearsing for a few months following the final gig by popular local band Reet, Petite & Gone last year. They were together for 22 years and three of their members Dave Allen (vocals), Nick Evans (lap steel & mandolin) and Denis Reeve-Baker (guitar) recruited Sue Dobbyn (clarinet & violin) for a new acoustic line-up. But while Reet, Petite & Gone performed music rooted in pre-war country and blues, Scarlett Town will perform a selection of more recent songs by some of the finest songwriters including Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, John Martyn, Gillian Welch, Lou Reed, Tim Buckley and Willie Nelson.

For event details visit the Guildhall Website or see on Facebook.




Rock Shots – 50 Years of Music Photography in Portsmouth

Access All Areas: The Portsmouth Music Experience at Portsmouth Guildhall are hosting 50 years of music photography in Portsmouth from 15th April – 20th September. This photography exhibition will contain images of local, national & international bands, covering punk, rock ‘n’ roll, indie and everything in-between. Photography has been provided by the following Portsmouth Photographers: Bob Aylott, Oana Damir, Joe Watson, Steve Whale, Nigel Grundy, Paul Windsor, Tom Langford, Terry Aldridge & Robbie Robertson.

Admission is free!

Rock Shots

Exclusive Interview with the Curators from Jack House Gallery: Rebecca Crow and Anna Burdick

I recently visited Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth’s newest gallery located in Old Portsmouth, to see the progress before the opening day tomorrow (4th April) and to catch up with Rebecca Crow and Anna Burdick, co-curators of the gallery. With the opening exhibition Amartey Golding: Drawings (a series of striking, large drawings with Ruby Tandoh as the muse) launching the gallery tomorrow, it was a great chance to find out more about this new gallery in the city. We’ll also have an exclusive interview with artist Amartey Golding next week.

Hi Rebecca, can you let us know the history behind Jack House Gallery?

I did my fine art degree in Portsmouth many, many years ago so I knew the place. Subsequently worked in London, my first job was the Fine Art Society and then worked for several other London galleries. Then I went to live in the Middle East, I worked in Bahrain,Muscat (Oman) and Dubai. I came back to London and I’ve just finished working for a gallery in Dubai where I met Amartey Golding.

In the mean time my husband (who comes from Portsmouth) and I bought Jack House in Old Portsmouth in 2009 and we were coming back every 2 to 3 weeks and then this shop next-door came up for sale. We were “Wow we’ve got to have it” because I’ve always wanted to own my own gallery. I’ve always worked for other people and sometimes sold work I haven’t particularly liked. If you’re lucky you work with a gallery owner that has a similar mind set to you or allows you to run with some ideas but it can be frustrating working with someone else’s ideas and tastes. So this was an opportunity, we’re close to the Cathedral, why not have a gallery in Portsmouth. There are people here who are interested in art which isn’t just seaside themed, the sort of art that you can see in places like London, Brighton or Bath. There are people who want to look at good contemporary art in a contemporary gallery. Not sky high prices too.

I love Portsmouth, I have got a thing about Portsmouth, it is an ideal city size, by the sea, close to London…Portsmouth has got everything I like about a city. Our opening day is 4th April and we’re working towards that.

How has the first exhibition come together?

Amartey, who I worked together with in Dubai at another gallery, we’ve remained in contact and friends. He fantastically agreed to exhibit for the first (solo) show. It is a big thing for an artist to commit to doing, in a completely unknown gallery. Gratifyingly we (myself and Anna Burdick, the gallery’s co-curator) have been in contact with a lot of artists and have been amazed at how good the response has been. Artists who are happy to show outside London, in a new space, all based on our ethos, ideas and website.

What sort of art do you like?

I like art that tells stories, that you don’t necessarily know what is going on, but you ask questions.

That draws you in?

Yeah, it draws you in, and you can put your own interpretation on it. It has to be well made too, that is a very important thing. Art is about feeling good.

Amartey Golding - Women and flamingos

How do you see Jack House Gallery fitting in to the city’s art & cultural scene?

We are a commercial gallery, we will be exhibiting art but also have to be a business. My ideal situation would be that this area becomes more interesting for art, with things like the ARTches project down the road and hopefully that will be best for everybody if there was more to see. Ordinarily in a cathedral area you get that kind of hub of creative businesses, such as Bath, Canterbury or many other cathedral cities. I think Old Portsmouth is lacking in commercial businesses too, there is not enough going on over here and there is a danger of it becoming too residential.

This could be a place where more people feel they should come and visit. You can walk anywhere in Portsmouth, that is one of the great things about it. It would be lovely if people come to this area to go to the ARTches and then maybe come to Jack House Gallery and then we can send people down to them. It is all about working together. Aspex Gallery too, would be good to work together somehow.

Have you had anyone come by during the building process and comment on the new gallery opening?

Yes, while the work has been going on there has been so much curiosity. Feedback has been great!

Is there anyone in particular the gallery might be aimed at?

It is so important to get people in to the gallery, to get through the door, to break that spell, “Am I allowed in?”, which I hope we can. Working in a gallery you hear people ask “Can I come in?” and I don’t want that to happen, that forbidding white space, people hiding behind their desk, their computer…talking on the phone…no eye contact. I really don’t want that to happen, anyone can walk in, everyone is welcome. It would be great if younger people could walk in too (from the schools near by).

Will the gallery be doing anything more than exhibitions?

I would love it if we could something in the gallery space in the way of classes. That would be a temporary thing (relating to particular exhibitions) but it would be great to get local people in. This is something that is going to develop, definitely. Something I also really want to do at a certain point is to take exhibitions outside of Jack House Gallery to other exhibiting spaces. Not necessarily gallery spaces, but empty spaces. Maybe in other parts of the country.

Amartey Golding: Drawings at Jack House Gallery

What other exhibitions might you have lined up?

One of the things we are going to do is is have quite a broad range of work. The next exhibition is going to be entirely different to Amartey’s paintings, a massive group show of printmakers, the Greenwich Printmakers from London. A massive variety of work all really well made. Etchings, Linocuts, Lithos, priced with something for everybody. Everything fine art made.

There is always a question with a gallery, is there a balance of should a gallery represent artwork from the local area or should they be a means of bringing artwork in to a city that would not normally be available to it? How do you see Jack House Gallery working?

I would not call Jack House Gallery a ‘local art’ gallery because the (upcoming exhibitions) aren’t from here, but if the work is good and it comes from Portsmouth it could have its place in the gallery, for sure. I am not prepared to compromise on quality, because it is local. I’ve worked with artists in the Middle East, Syrians, Iranians, I would love to bring them over… primarily it is quality, art I enjoy, artists I enjoy working with… which is very important. I am a great believer in the gallery and artist relationship being a collaboration. Working with artists that perhaps enjoy developing something for the gallery.

Anna and I go out and about looking [for artists] as often as possible. Looking for artists and contacting them. So far all (for all the exhibitions) the artists are people we have contacted. We do have an open submission policy at the gallery, so anybody will be able to send us work to be looked at and considered.

The gallery will change every time. I want to surprise people, I hope I will surprise people and I hope that when people come to the first show and the next show people go, “oh, okay”, maybe they are unsure for the first or they may go, “this is more comfortable” for the next. The next show will be different again and again and again.

A creative journey?


Amartey Golding: Drawings at Jack House Gallery
Preparations for hanging the artwork at Jack House Gallery.

You’re a collector of art yourself, is that right?

Art is a luxury. A sofa for say £2000 and you can justify it by saying you can sit on it, etc. If things become tight financially, you think ‘I’m still going to buy my sofa, my washing machine, etc’ but a picture? It is a luxury. My feeling about art is you buy a picture this year you’ve still got it in 10 years, in 20 years, 30 years. It has still got its value. I don’t talk about investment art as it isn’t something that interests me but art keeps its value and your sofa doesn’t. The art also keeps giving. This is a big joke with my husband, he can see it when I see something I like. My heart starts racing. That is how much art excites me…and if you can communicate a bit of that to somebody…

Thanks Rebecca. Hi Anna, so how did you and Rebecca meet?

Well I met Rebecca about 10 years ago when we both worked at a little, commercial gallery but we had very touristy stuff and very commercial. We spent many hours spent thinking what better art we could exhibit and sell. We used to talk to each other and say “We aren’t going to sell this and that in our gallery in the future”, so we basically had these dream gallery. We got on really well and have been friends ever since. We’ve always talked about about the gallery and it has become more and more real over the years and now here it is.

So as co-curator, what is your role at Jack House Gallery?

I’m Rebecca’s creative partner with the gallery, I help with the branding, the website and I am involved in the selection of artists. Because I’m based in London I go and see the artist, check the work, etc. It is a real partnership, I do all the geek stuff!

What are your thoughts on the exhibition as you are just about to open?

Oh, I just think with the scale of the actual drawings is just beautiful, really beautiful. His lines are so precise, clear, confident. Even without the fact that it is someone familiar from the TV’s face, they are really beautiful pieces.

What are your thought on the future of the gallery from this open weekend?

We’re going to carry on after this exhibition to do a different show every 5-6 weeks, lots of variety, sometimes group shows, sometimes solo like this one. Then we’re also going to develop exhibitions off site, take the shows and put them in pop-up spaces in London and maybe up North. Plus maybe some gallery collaborations too. I am very excited about the future of Jack House Gallery, it is going to be really fun!

Jack House Gallery is at 121 High Street, Old Portsmouth, PO1 2HW. Find out more about Jack House Gallery at their website below our on their Facebook or Twitter.

Anna outside Jack House Gallery
Anna outside Jack House Gallery.

New Exhibition at Space: Between Craft and Code – Making Sense of Data

The Space Gallery in Eldon Building is host to a new exhibition of research and artwork that explores how we now live in a world of data. We use data in many areas of daily life – to monitor progress, status, detect changes, and as a basis for decisions on further action. The fields of life this is useful to range from the macro – political, economic, ecological, to the micro – the very personal, as can be seen in the trend to measure ourselves literally every step of the way with wearable fitness armbands to measure weight, health and energy consumption.

This project is part of this culture, seeking to utilize data in order to make movements in the shipping industry more efficient. More specifically, the data collected for this exhibition uses sensor data to predict catastrophic engine faults, which when undetected can leave a vessel stranded at sea with huge costs in time and money and endanger the lives of the crew and passengers.

The Centre for Intelligent Data Solutions based in the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries University of Portsmouth has teamed up with a consortium of 8 companies and developed a £1.4m project with funding by Innovate UK to develop an advanced automated condition monitoring system for diesel and electric engines, to predict and prevent catastrophic faults in a timely manner. In order to ensure the on board interface, which is the first point of call / alert, is as user friendly as possible, the team enlisted the expertise of Art & Design lecturer Dr. Simone Gumtau, who is working on visualising the data into and easily perceivable form, and allows non-experts make sense of the information.

This exhibition is showcasing the work in progress through prototypes and specially commissioned artworks – a set sample of data from a live industrial context in various manifestations, including data from the food processing industry and . The concept brief involved a set of instructions, akin to an algorithm, which determined the rules as to how 3 individuals with different skillsets responded to the data sample.

“It has been fascinating to access and interpret this data from large industrial machines, which is often unseen and inaccessible. There would seem to be a surprising commonality between man-made data and that found in nature. This work reflects my exploration of the data and works towards manifesting it in a tactile form”.
– Artist, Simon Kunath, who created the DataDrum

The data visualisation currently works around the idea of intuitive perception of errors. Drawing on theoretical ideas of Gestalt theory, embodied metaphors and image schemata, this process harvests pre-linguistic user understanding – enabling a lightening of the cognitive load, a quicker response time, less room for error and increasing the accessibility of the data. It not only widens the audience that can make sense of the data, but also possibly makes into a more intuitive and therefore more pleasant process.

The exhibition runs until Thursday 30th April at Space Gallery, Eldon Building between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday) and is free!

New Exhibition at Space: Between Craft and Code – Making Sense of Data

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Last Day of the Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester

The Creating Balance Project exhibition’s current residency at the Pitfield Pop-Up in Winchester ends today with the exhibition receiving some really great comments and coverage on websites, etc. Below are some photos by our own Claire Sambrook from a recent visit when many of the project’s artist/designer/photographer participants went up for a look. See more of Claire’s Creating Balance Project photos over on here Flickr.

The Creating Balance Project exhibition will return home to Portsmouth on the 10th of January 2014 for an extended exhibition at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf, with an opening party and a series of other events and activities to be announced very soon. Ourselves and Anglepoise® are all really looking forward to showing the project to everyone in Portsmouth very soon!

To find out more about the project and exhibition please visit:

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (1)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (2)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (3)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (4)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (5)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (6)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (7)

Creating Balance Project Exhibition at Pitfield in Winchester (8)

Vintage Southsea Postcards

You know we love a bit of vintage nostalgia here at Strong Island, and these old postcards of Clarence Pier are no exception. I always pick them up at the Car Boot sale opposite Clarence when I see one. When does the Car Boot start up again? Got to be soon. Answers on a postcard…



Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is continuing is restorations, this afternoon they were taking the roof top away, we’re assuming for some repairs and maintenance work.

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Closed at £725

Righto chaps, it’s time to clean shave your boat race and get that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Ben Schroeder Skating Southsea

Back in the 80s and early 90s Southsea would regularly be on the list of skateparks visited by American skaters as they toured the UK and Europe. Sometime around 1990ish the pool was built to replace the old reservoir at the end of the slalom and not long after American pro skater Ben Schroeder came through and (figuratively) destroyed the new bowl and the halfpipe, so much so that his frontside ollie transfer out of the bowl, over the platform and landing in the steep bank is legendary.

To cut a long story short Ben got in contact recently with some footage from the day. I’m going to go through the old skate magazine archives and hunt around for photos but for now, here is that footage. To find out more about Ben check out his Juice Magazine interview.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 3

The next episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up recently. This episode is of a round Portsmouth car journey back in 1998.

Following Toby Taylor on Bored

If like me you can’t get enough of skateboarding, but just don’t know where to dig everything out from that there world wide webby, then local top gun Toby Taylors twitter feed for Bored of Southsea will fill all your needs in the world of local and international skateboarding. Jump on Tobys feed HERE. Check Tobys Tre Flip at the underpass courtesy of Tom Timewaster.

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Following on again from the photos of the Seafront and the Paddling Pool after The Bandstand and Tennis Courts the previous week, here’s another scan from Khalid.

The Pavilion on Clarence Pier looks amazing. No more donkey rides though. Shame.

Matt Saxey’s Bike Ride Photos

Head on over to Matts Flickr and check out a few more photos from last Sunday’s ride. Great photos that really help capture the event.



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.

Strong Island Clothing Co.