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University of Portsmouth Graphic Design Pub Quiz 2016

A firm favourite in the annual diary, the University of Portsmouth Graphic Design Pub Quiz brings together loads of creative minds to battle it out over a quiz packed with design related questions. If you know your pantones like the back of your hand and can spot your typefaces from a mile off or if you don’t know your Comic Sans from your Impact, the night is always good fun and raises vital funds for the final year students in helping them organise and set up their London graduate show.

The rounds are as follows:

Round 1 – Graphic Design
Round 2 – Typography
Round 3 – Music
Round 4 – Mystery
Round 5 – Bonus

As well as the quiz there is also a raffle with lots of great prizes plus Gentle Bren (a course graduate and awesome designer) will be DJing too.

The quiz kicks off from 7pm on Thursday (11th February) at the Fat Fox on Albert Road. It is only £2 per person to enter with teams of a maximum of 5 members. If it is anything like previous years, it will be an awesome night.

The posters (two shown below) are all created by final year students. Liking the xerox drag.

University of Portsmouth Graphic Design Pub Quiz 2016

University of Portsmouth Graphic Design Pub Quiz 2016 (1)

The Fourth Annual St Valentines Day Massacre

Annual St Valentines Day Massacre returns for its fourth outing on February 12th.

A collection of local bands will serenade you with their renditions of popular love songs. Each band will get 15 minutes to take your breath away and will include the likes of Battery Hens, Kelly Kemp and The Vipers, Noyo Mathis, The Drainz, The Stayawakes, Lovestorm and Smokey & The Bandits. Three of the above bands have been assembled specifically for the massacre.

Music choices range from the good, the bad and the ugly and draw from the last 60 years of pop music. Expect tales of lust, love and heartbreak performed to varying degrees of success as the band’s step outside their comfort zones in the name of love and charity.

As in previous years the event supports Youth Music and all of the money raised from the night will go towards musical equipment and education for those who may otherwise not have access to it. Over £500 was raised last year and event organisers hope to top that this year!

As with previous a raffle will be held on the night with some exceptional prizes up for grabs including the following:

* Two Saturday tickets to Victorious Festival.
* Two tickets to a film of your choosing at No.6 Cinema.
* Four £15 meal vouchers for Feed.
* Two pie and mash vouchers and T-Shirt rom Pie and Vinyl.
* £20 meal voucher for Le Cafe Parisien.
* £10 voucher for Wylde and Thyme.
* T-Shirt from Strong Island.
* Wedgewood Rooms Comedy tickets and
* Two Dials Festival tickets (one day festival at the Wedgewood rooms)

The event takes place at the Edge of the Wedge and will be transformed into a romantic love shack for the night. Doors will open at 7pm and music will start imminently. Entry is £5 and as mentioned all proceeds go to charity. Once the bands have finished, The Wolf Cub Club DJs will play until early hours.

For updates see the Facebook event page. Catch you there guys!

Valentines Day Massacre

Valentines Day Massacre

Valentines Day massacre
Photography by Joe Watson

Eastney Beach Clean Success

This weekend locals gathered on Eastney Beach in a community spirited effort to keep our coastline tidy and our ocean safe. Coffee Cup in Eastney was the meeting point and people lined up outside on Saturday morning to get ready to walk the beach and the turnout was phenomenal.

The event was organised by Southsea Beachwatch who hold regular clean ups and surveys in association with MCS (Marine Conservation Society).

The weather was against us with high winds and patchy rain although everyone involved didn’t let that stop them and were out in full force armed with bags and litter pickers.

It is great to see so many people actively wanting to keep the local environment cleaner and safer and a real demonstration of how much we all care about our seaside city. Well done to you all and remember guys if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Keep Southsea clean.

For upcoming events follow Southsea Beachwatch on Twitter @Southsea_Beach or on Facebook.

Beach clean

Beach clean

Beach Clean

Beach clean

Beach clean

Icebreaker Festival UK 2016

Usually sometime after Christmas and as we start to head into Spring, that well-known festival feeling starts to kick in. This is when I can mostly be found impatiently waiting for line-up announcements, daydreaming of wellies and ponchos, and meticulously planning just how many festivals I’ll be squeezing in this year.

Luckily for us on the South Coast, Portsmouth have introduced Icebreaker Festival, a very aptly named winter festival which has quickly grown into a fantastic indoor music event to tide you over in the cold months whilst you wait it out for “outside” festival season.

This year Icebreaker fell during Independent Venue Week – and what a great way to celebrate all the brilliant independent music venues we have on our doorstep in Southsea. From the Wedgewood Rooms at one end of Albert Road right the way up to The Honest Politician on Elm Grove, there were over 100 bands playing across ten venues so there was definitely something for everyone.

Icebreaker Festival focuses on bringing new and up and coming talent together and the best part is not recognising all of the bands on the line-up. This year we managed to stumble upon some amazing musicians that we’d never heard of before, as well as catching a couple of old favourites.

The first port of call was The Loft to grab our wristbands and the first beer of the day, and watch the five-piece rock band, We Capture Kings. This group were full of energy and gave a great performance to kick start our afternoon.

Next stop was Little Johnny Russells to catch last minute addition to the line-up, The Bayonettes. A powerful guitar driven indie-rock band, with an unstoppable rhythm section and edgy vocals. This band have a heavyweight modern sound, a hint of 90s Britpop and one hell of an enthusiastic drummer! As a long term fan, it was great for me to see them live again.

The Bayonettes 1 by Jonny Bell Photography
The Bayonettes by Jonny Bell Photography
The Bayonettes by Jonny Bell Photography
The Bayonettes by Jonny Bell Photography

After a while it was time to head to The Wedge for something a little heavier, which came in the form of three-piece metal band, Hummune (Immune to humans). This band have been around for seven years and kicked off 2016 with a very loud set which we really enjoyed headbanging along to.

Other highlights from the day included acoustic trio Villiers, and self-described ‘pessimistic music for optimists’ band, Battery Hens, both performing at The One Eyed Dog. We also heard great things about Kill ‘Em Dead Cowboy, metal band Belligerence, and The Aviators – just a shame we couldn’t see everyone! Not to forget the awesome silent disco to end the night’s festivities.

You’d be really hard pushed to find a live event featuring this much musical talent anywhere else at this time of year, so Icebreaker Festival has definitely become an unmissable addition to our ever-growing music scene here in Southsea. With brilliant musicians of all genres and a great range of venues to choose from – it wasn’t a bad way to spend a chilly Saturday this winter.

If you would like to stay up to date with all things Icebreaker 2017 then go and give them a follow on Facebook and Twitter @IcebreakerUK.

Hummune by Jonny Bell Photography
Hummune by Jonny Bell Photography
Melt Dunes by Jonny Bell Photography
Melt Dunes by Jonny Bell Photography
Icebreaker Festival by Chantelle Wyatt
Kill’em Dead Cowboy by Chantelle Wyatt
Icebreaker Festival by Chantelle Wyatt
Kill’ em Dead Cowboy by Chantelle Wyatt
Silent Disco by Jonny Bell Photography
Silent Disco by Jonny Bell Photography

Victorious Festival 2016

Victorious Festival have announced the first wave of acts to perform at this August’s festival. Portsmouth has always been very much an ‘indie city’ and the news that Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be taking stage on Southsea Common is likely to excite most of Portsmouth. Joining Noel will be Manic Street Preachers and Mark Ronson.

Saturday night will see The Manic Street Preachers performance will coincide with the 20th anniversary of their triple platinum selling album Everything Must Go.

“We’re so excited to be announcing this line up. It’s taken a lot of hard work but we couldn’t be more pleased to be bringing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and The Manics to Portsmouth. It’s going to be an incredible year for both Victorious and Portsmouth.” – Andy Marsh, Festival Director.

Also announced for the festival will be The Levellers, Ash, The Coral, Jack Savoretti, Space, Echo & the Bunnymen, Will Young, Selector and Emmy the Great. Of course you can expect a host of the best local acts performing at the festival.

If you need reminding of what you missed last year then check out the highlights from Strong Island Media.

The organisers are always looking to evolve and develop and have also announced that this year there will be a giant circus tent up in the kids’ arena as well as a whole host of free entertainment and activities for children and their families. It goes without saying that you will see Strong Island and many other local traders offering some of the finest food, booze, craft and clothing.

The festival will take place on Saturday 27th (my birthday!) and Sunday 28th of August. Don’t be surprised if they managed to beat last years figures which saw 100,000 spectators on Southsea Common over the weekend. If you would like to be there this year then you can get your hands on tickets from their website

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 2016 Initial Line-Up

Victorious Festival by Todd Lawton
Photo by Todd Lawton
Victorious Festival 2015 by Jack Daly
Photo by by Jack Daly
Victorious Festival by Gavin Withey
Photo by Gavin Withey

Southsea Flea Market This Saturday

This Saturday sees the return of the Southsea Flea Market at St Swithun’s Church Hall on Waverley Road, just off Albert Road. The market will be an eclectic and affordable mix of vintage/retro & modern mens’ and ladies’ clothes, bric-a-brac, jewellery, textiles, furniture and collectables. The flea market runs from 12:30pm to 3:30pm.

After browsing the stalls be sure to sit down for a chat over a tea or coffee and get involved with the homemade cake too.

Check the flyer below for more info and the Facebook page.

Southsea Flea Market Flyer

Southsea Flea Market (2)

2016 Pride LGBT Film Festival Begins This Evening

Tonight sees the start of this year’s Pride LGBT Film Festival, a collaboration between Portsmouth Film Society, the University of Portsmouth’s LGBT Staff Forum, Peccadillo Pictures UK, BFI FAN, Southeast HUB and the LGBT Society at the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union. The film festival includes screenings of four different films at the Portland Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth PO1 3AH, with individual screenings only £6 and a 3 film pass only £10. Buy tickets online HERE.

The film to be screened are:

Thursday 4 February at 7pm.
During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’. The story turns to the leading role Turing played in breaking the Nazi enigma code during WWII, which significantly shortened the war.

“The film’s prime force is Cumberbatch, a great actor whose talent shines here on its highest beams. It’s an explosive, emotionally complex performance.” Pete Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine

“Engrossing, nicely textured and sadly tragic.” Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

52 TUESDAYS (Australia, 2013)
February 11th at 7pm.
16 year old Billie’s reluctant path to independence is accelerated when her mother reveals plans to gender transition and their time together becomes limited to Tuesday afternoons. Director: Sophie Hyde. This screening is supported by the LGBT Staff Forum.

THE GIRL AT MY DOOR (Korea, 2014)
February 18th at 7pm.
Young-nam, a graduate of the Korean police academy is transferred to a small village. She encounters the Dohee, a girl excluded by her community. Compelled to protect Sohee from her family, all is well until Dohee’s father wants her back. Supported by the LGBT+ Student Society.

DEPARTURE (France, 2015)
February 25th at 7pm.
An English family prepare the sale of their holiday home in the South of France. Over one week, the teenage son wrestles with his sexuality while his mother confronts the end of her marriage. An enigmatic local boy enters their lives both are led to confront their desires. There will be live Skype interview with the director before the screening.

2016 Pride LGBT Film Festival Begins This Evening

Undergrowth Collective on Tour – Andy Skellam & Jet McDonald at Al Burrito

Bristol hits Portsmouth for the second time this week (after Massive Attack) with the west country’s Undergrowth Collective performing at Al Burrito tomorrow night (Thursday 4th). In conjunction with Southsea Folklore Society, The Undergrowth Collective’s Andy Skellam, shapeshifting fingersmith and surrealist songwriter and painter, and Jet McDonald, big haired songman and whoopla bookwriter and storyteller, will be upstairs at Al’Burrito, Albert Road from 8pm, free entry.

Andy Skellam
Andy is a Bristol based musician who creates an idiosyncratic blend of surreal folk & dissonant blues using acoustic/electric guitar, banjo and his baritone singing voice. ‘Green Moat’ plays like a surreal dreamscape.

Jet McDonald
Jet McDonald emerged from the Cleaner Collective of folkish Bristol musicians which included Kate Stables (This is the Kit Brassland) , Rozi Plain (Fence/Lost Map) and Rachael Dadd (Broken Music). He has toured and played nationally at festivals including Fence Home Game and End of the Road.

For more information check out:

Undergrowth Collective on Tour - Andy Skellam & Jet McDonald at Al Burrito

Seeded’s First Annual Craft De-Stash at the Square Tower

Craft store Seeded (located on Winter Road) are hosting De-Stash this Sunday at the Square Tower, their first annual event where people can bring along their stash of wool, fabrics, paper-crafts, buttons and general haberdashery to sell on and people can come along and buy items for new projects. All selling tables are now taken, but get in touch with Seeded to add your details to their list for the next event.

De-Stash kicks off at the Square Tower at 11am on Sunday 7th February and runs until 3pm, tea and cake will be available too. Admission is free!

Find out more at the Facebook event and check out the Seeded website too:

Seeded - De Stash

Valentine’s Day Massacre 2016

What kind of Valentine are you? Candlelit dinner, roses and romance? Or New York chili, cask ales and acrimonious anecdotes?

Whichever your preference, consider something a little more alternative this year. Choose beer. Choose cheese. Choose rage. Choose the Valentine’s Day Massacre to celebrate this February 14th.

Portsmouth Bookfest kicks off with an evening of vitriol, vengeance and Wessbier with the talented writers and musicians of Portsmouth Writers Hub who brought you Day of the Dead.

Stories and songs from 6pm, Sunday 14 February 2016. Located upstairs at The Wave Maiden, 36 Osborne Road, PO5 3LT. Entry to the event is £6 (£4 concessions).

Find out all the official details on the Facebook event HERE.

valentine's day massacre

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Guildhall After WWII

On 10th January 1941 during a heavy bombing attack on Portsmouth the Guildhall was hit by several incendiary bombs which heavily damaged the structure and the resulting fires quickly spread throughout the whole building, turning it in to just a shell. It took almost 15 years to rebuild the Guildhall in to what we have today, which was officially reopened by the Queen on the 8th June 1959. This photo from Stan Webb from a collection of photos collected by Portsmouth College shows how totally destroyed the building was, leaving just some of the frontage and most of the tower.


Vintage Portsmouth Photographs

Following up from our Vintage Portsmouth Postcards article on Monday, Strong Island reader Centro Design posted a link to some rad old photographs of the city.

As always click read more at the bottom to see a small selection, but be sure to click this link to view all of them online.



Inside the Memorial

Due to possible damage due to the storm and the high winds it was possible to access the inside of the war memorial down on Southsea seafront the other day. I always though it was a solid structure but it turns out it is hollow with sunken foundations and access to the top. From the plaque inside, it looks like the ladder is for maintenance if there is a lightning strike (the top of the memorial has a huge copper globe).

No disrespect was meant by taking a very brief look inside, just architectural curiosity and finding out something not commonly known about a Southsea landmark.

Ladder Up




Created Local – Dan Tonkin, Adayin Design

Local cycle machine and all round nice guy Dan Tonkin recently updated his website under the design pseudonym Adayin Design. Dan has been on the local scene since forever as a skater, photographer, web/graphic deisgner and keen cyclist with a heavily growing portfolio of work. A very multi talented individual that will leave you standing in a bike race.

Check out and aslo Dan’s Flickr stream. Sorry I can’t make The Randonnee this Sunday mate. Really quite gutted to be honest.

Tearing Down The House – Roller Hockey Club

It has been on the cards for a while now but finally yesterday the old Roller Hockey Club House at Southsea Skatepark was torn down. It had become unstable and hadn’t been used for a while. I was lucky enough to gain entry back last year and took a few photographs. If anybody has any old photographs of the club house seen in better times then please let us know.

The Old Days - Roller Hockey Club
Free Art and Live Painting Event at Southsea Skatepark

Lots of exciting plans at the Skatepark so watch this space.

This photo of Cody taking a leap of faith form the club house roof has always been a winner in my book.

Southsea Rock Gardens circa 1985

More random finds. It’s a shame to say I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Rock gardens looking this nice. Not sure how often upkeep fits into the Council agenda these days. Back in 1985 however it looks amazing. Click the photo for a bigger view.

Photo : Dom Walton


I’m not a BMXer and only cruised on my Raleigh Burner to get to skate spots when I was young, but i’ve always had huge admiration the those guys. They’re freakin’ nuts. I remember Freestylin’ mag when I was younger and would always have a flick through if I could. I loved the whole style thing surrounding BMXing in the 80’s. Mag wheels, crazy colour co-ordinated bikes and big attitude.

Well, you can relive all the that, at least to a visual extent, in the form of the Freestylin’ book. Some of you may have already seen this but may not know you can download the 158 page PDF here.

Go straight to page 106 for an article on Craig Campbell at Southsea Skatepark. Sick.

Local Photographer – Diana Goss

A familiar and friendly face around Albert Road, Diana Goss is a freelance creative portrait photographer with her own studio and whilst based in Southsea is often found all over Portsmouth as well as Bournemouth and Brighton too. Specialising in both Fashion and Boudoir work (see, and going by her website ( and Flickr obviously enjoys any type of people portraiture both in the studio and outside at such events as Goodwood Revival, music shows, weddings and even equine work. Not only that but you most likely have seen a few of her common props around town, a 1960’s Bentley, a 1955 Oldsmobile in red with red leather seats and a 1960’s red Pontiac!

Some of Diana’s work is available in Albert Road in Matt Sills’s Wallspace gallery (you may have also picked up a few free prints during the last Albert Road day) and if you’re interested in any commission work such as model shoots and portfolios, event photography or are interested in modelling for one of Diana’s photography projects give Diana a shout via email.

This is a cross processed film shot Diana took of the Wallspace Gallery with her namesake camera, a Lomo Diana and below that are a few more examples of her work:

XPRO Gallery

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ by Sue Pike

I’ve been holding on to this for a while now as I wanted to make a feature of it and had to wait for the exhibition to finish to give it pride of place on the front page. If like myself you’re always looking around at our local architecture you will have noticed many of the buildings within the book Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’. Some could even be right on your doorstep but you have never noticed, or peeked over that high wall. Thomas Ellis Owen’s work is all over the city and you’d be forgiven for walking past as a lot of it is hidden or down those streets you may not stroll down too often. Other buildings however are right in your face. Ever noticed the huge block of flats at the entrance to Waitrose, the detailing on the building at Dover Court opposite the old Havana bar?

“Thomas Ellis Owen is probably the best known of Portsmouth’s nineteenth century architects, his construction of villas and substantial terraces in Southsea being responsible for the emergence of the district as a middle class locality. His work was recognised by Pevsner and Lloyd in their magisterial Buildings of England: Hampshire, and later by a rather more detailed architectural enquiry by two students, Preedy and Stewart. My own research was principally concerned with dating Owen’s properties and analysing their inhabitants. What Sue Pike has done is to cast the net very much wider, not only by providing great detail about Owen’s family, but also by demonstrating the impressive breadth of his activities outside architecture. Indeed, his interests were so wide that there must have been few aspects of Portsmouth’s development in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s in which he was not involved. Infrastructural fields such as gas supply, the Portsea Canal, railways, the Camber Docks and hospitals lay within his purview, while he assisted in the purchase of land for one of Portsmouth’s defining features, the Palmerstonian forts. His tithe map has proved of inestimable value to local historians. Meanwhile Owen was an important local politician. All these facets of Owen’s life have been fully laid bare in this thoroughly well researched book by Sue Pike, who is to be congratulated on her labours.” Professor Ray Riley

Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ is a really interesting read and contains stunning colour photos of many Owen properties in Southsea and Alverstoke by Gosport photographer, Tim Martin. There is no real target audience and hopefully it will appeal to old and young alike. The detailed captions may be helpful to first year architecture students but it showcases Southsea well and may well appeal equally to academics, photographers, interested newcomers and people who just want a really nice book to put on their coffee table. I’m a huge fan of both history and architecture so this book is a real winner for me, and I have no doubt that if that’s not really your bag you will still appreciate what Thomas Ellis Owen Shaper of Portsmouth, ‘Father of Southsea’ has to offer.

You can purchase a hardback copy for £25 via the publishers and and read up on the book and the author Sue Pike over at

Southsea Common Barbecue Zones

I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.

Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.

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