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Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. All you had to do was answer to the following questions.

Q. What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
A. Seasick Steve
Q. Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
A. Jade Spranklen
Q. Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?
A. Tom Odell

Congratulations goes to the lucky winner Jamie Horn.

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE, but still require a ticket.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Southsea Night Markets

Local creatives Tom West and Georgina Giles have been running through August a series of events to promote artists using the space on the prom to sell their work. These Southsea Night Markets take place every Friday in August, 4pm to 8pm and have stalls from lots of local artists, designers, crafters, photographers and more.

To find out more information visit HERE.

Poster below for the event is by Kendal James, photos from previous events are by Matt Cleveland.

Southsea Night Markets














Sketch Crawl

I am genuinely pleased to see how strong and vibrant our creative community is becoming. It always seems to be shifting and growing in such a natural way. There seems to be more and more ways in which we can all participate. So when I got an invite to join ‘Sketch Crawl’ I again was reminded of how awesome our community is for its DIY and ‘all welcome’ attitude.

Sketch Crawl was created by local water colourist and urban sketcher Chris Webb.

Our first group sketch crawl. Meet at Manna Tea Rooms for a coffee or cup of tea then we shall move across the road to the Cathedral and then down to the Old Spice Island. Bring sketch/watercolour pad, pens, pencils and water for travel paints and finally refreshments and a portable seat or towel to sit on.

So come along on Saturday 16th August 2-5pm and meet at Manna Tearooms, 39 High Street, Old Portsmouth. All abilities are welcome and you can join the Facebook event for Sketch Crawl here.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers

Last week’s Southsea Comedy Festival was a huge success, bringing international and national stand up comedy stars to Southsea Common and audiences packed with local people. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Matt Ankers was in the big tent and backstage with his camera to capture the atmosphere of this new event and major highlight of the summer calendar in the city. You can read our review of the festival by Stu HERE.

Check some of Matt’s photos below and over on our Facebook page for more plus be sure to take a few moments to check out Matt’s awesome photography over on his website: Matt Ankers.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (1)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (2)
Adam Hills
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (3)
Russell Kane
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (4)
Russell Kane
Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (5)
Dana Alexander
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (6)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (7)
Russell Kane

Declaration of War at Portsmouth Guildhall Square Tonight

As you are no doubt aware, today is exactly 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War, as part of the events remembering this centenary in Portsmouth there is Declaration of War, starting this afternoon and running until late at Portsmouth Guildhall Square.

From 6.30pm to 9pm the Big Screen will be showing live coverage of the commemorations from the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Belgium, where British, Commonwealth and German soldiers are buried alongside each other. Poems and testimonies will be read by serving British and German soldiers as musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic perform together to mark the occasion with British and German music.

At 9pm, the Big Screen will be showcasing the Portsmouth Festivities ‘FACES’ film, depicting life in Portsmouth on the eve of the First World War, retold by current residents of the city through the diaries and letters of residents from a century ago.

From 10pm a narrator will guide the audience through the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War and the impact on the city and the residents who lived here. Themed readings, music, extracts from war diaries and poetry will help to retell the story and provide a context to the event.

From 10.30pm a candlelight vigil will be held as a moment for the current residents of Portsmouth to reflect on the events a hundred years ago and to pay their respect to the lost generation that never returned. The candles will then be extinguished as part of the nationwide ‘Lights Out’ initiative whereby we will be joining in with other villages, towns, cities and communities across the UK in marking the Centenary by the lights being turned off and candles being extinguished. A single candle will remain lit as a focus for reflection.

At 11pm the Declaration of War transcript will be read out, signalling that war has been declared. The remaining candle is extinguished to reflect the famous words of Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary: ‘The Lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’. War Bells are rung out across the city and Royal Navy vessels sound a siren ringing in the war. A bugler will play the Last Post followed by a two minutes silence.

Reflecting the events that happened in London on the outbreak of the war, the National Anthem will be played. At first there was much excitement at the prospect of a war with thousands signing up across the country, many from Portsmouth. The evening reflects this with uplifting music of the period.

At 11.20pm a telegram was sent to forces across the British Empire confirming that Britain and her Empire were now at war: ‘WAR. GERMANY. ACT’. The tone of the event takes a more sombre tone as the true picture of war becomes uncovered, portrayed through some of the poetry of the First World War: ‘Dulce et decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘In Flanders Field’ by John McCrae, whilst a WW1 Ambulance enters the square symbolising the true cost of the war that follows. The evening ends with the famous poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, followed by the bugler playing the Last Post and the names of those who were killed, continue to be shown on the Big Screens.

Throughout the evening, a particular focus for the event will be remembering Portsmouth’s sons who were killed during the First World War. This event is dedicated to the 5,988 who didn’t come back to our city, their home. Their names will be shown on the Big Screen during the event as the residents of Portsmouth, today, pay respect to them, of yesterday – a lost generation. Members of the public will also be invited to write a personal message on a cut-out of a First World War soldier.

This is a free event and no tickets are required. Bring a chair, a blanket and wear warm clothes.

Declaration of War at Portsmouth Guildhall Square Tonight

Read Rees book launch at Blackwell’s

Literature lovers can head down to Blackwell’s bookshop this Saturday for the Portsmouth launch of Read Rees, the long-awaited new book by local author Gareth Rees.

Read Rees contains stories of war, theology, blackberry crumble and the oppression of cleaning staff. ‘Forty years’ wanderlust, menial labour and mindful rebellion.’

A graduate of the University of Portsmouth (UoP), Gareth has written for The Guardian, The Contemporary Review and the award-winning No Such Thing as a Free Ride? series of travel anthologies.

Read Rees is published by 137 Albion Road Books, a project involving another UoP alumnus, the photographer and writer Alexander Sebley, and Tom Sykes, Lecturer in Creative Writing at UoP and regular contributor to the New African magazine.

At the launch there will be readings plus a Q&A with Gareth. Copies of the book will be on sale priced £6.

Summery snacks and drinks will be served.

The launch is in association with the School of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Portsmouth.

7pm, 2nd August, Blackwell’s bookshop, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth.

Writer Gareth Rees

Southsea Comedy Festival

Wow! So I’ve just got home from an amazing night of comedy on Southsea Common. A lot of laughs were had by all, and it was great to see such a good crowd turn out for the very first Southsea Comedy Festival.

The sun was shining bright as the crowd entered the festival site. I managed to arrive early enough to enjoy some sunshine and an ale from our friends Kings Street Tavern. I ventured into the comedy tent to see local compere James Alderson greet the crowd and introduce Larry Dean. I didn’t know very much about Dean before tonight but I quickly became a fan. I’m sure we will see much more of him in the future.

After a brief interval, 8:30pm rolled around and it was time for Alderson to introduce the headline act, Mr Eddie Izzard. When Izzard walked on stage the crowd gave him a huge round of applause, what a welcoming bunch we are! In return he put on a very funny show, covering obscure topics such as French speaking kings of England, how to improve dressage and the Lord of the Rings. He even handled the departure and arrival of a noisy Hovercraft like a pro! I wouldn’t want to risk any spoilers before Friday evenings performance but you are in for a treat. If you don’t have a ticket then I urge you to check out the Comedy Festival website to pick up and of the remaining tickets (if there are any?). It was that good that I will be going back tonight to see it again.

Southsea Comedy Festival is part of the build up to tomorrows Southsea Show which is also being held on Southsea Common.

You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy and the Southsea Show @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Comedy Festival

Southsea Comedy Festival

Eddie Izzard Southsea Comedy Festival Logo

The Southsea Show Competition Winners

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you had to do to win this prize is answer the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The answer was of course Red, White and Black. The two lucky winners are Jean-Philippe Soulie and Nathan Jones.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

The Southsea Show Competition

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you have to do to win this prize is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answer to the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The deadline for entries will be midnight Wednesday 30th July with the winners being announced on Thursday morning.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

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Created Local – David Thompson

The Hiscock Gallery on Stanley Street behind Waitrose has some interesting new vintage style prints in stock by local artist David Thompson. They are a series of digitally drawn images reflecting upon 1930 – 1950s style advertising posters, enhanced with modern techniques. A really nice simplistic approach highlighting the main features of the subject, yet still very technical and intricate in places. The front of The Victory is awesome.

All reproductions are genuine giclée prints, printed with pigment based inks on 180gms Canon Matte paper, fade resistant for 100+ years. These “Poster” Prints are all personally signed by the artist. Head on over to Davids Gallery and take a look for yourself. Nice stuff for sure.

Old Portsmouth

I found this photo of Old Portsmouth shot form The Spinnaker last night. I don’t think I’ve seen it shot from this angle before. It almost looks like another town at first glance. Some great details. Cricket in full swing, all the catchers traps on the roof of the fish market, enjoying a beer at The A Bar, Lawn Bowls, all on a cracking sunny day. Click on the image for full size.

Photo – eNil

RETROSPECTIVE – Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

“Since Strong Island began back in 2008 we have amassed an incredible amount of historical information about Portsmouth & Southsea’s past. These articles are not only from our own interest and passion about the city, but also from readers that have sent us some amazing facts. So much has changed in such a relatively short amount of time and the fast pace of life around us can make it easy to forget the importance of this cities history.

Retrospective‘ takes a look back at some of our previous posts incase you missed them in the past or you’re one of our new readers. One day myself and Paul hope to create a stand alone archive here utilising all the books and photos we have collected that haven’t made it on to Strong Island as of yet. With permission of course! So much to do and so little time. Enjoy.”

This is one seriously awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back (sadly no longer active). Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Just incredible. It’s hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guildhall, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on…

Originally published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011









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.

Local Photographer: Paul Thurlow

I’ve been following local photographer Paul Thurlow’s blog for a little while, always some wonderful photos from our little piece of coastline plus some incredible portrait and wedding photography too. Put what you’re doing to one side for a little while and have a look through Paul’s website and Flickr too, so many beautiful photos including HDR images too.

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