Today sees the Queen christen the Royal Navy’s largest ever ship and their new flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), with a bottle of whiskey in Rosyth at 11am. The QE Carrier class is epic in scale and the city and the people of Portsmouth have been heavily involved in the process of creating both ships in the class (HMS Queen ELizabeth and HMS Prince Charles), with towering sections built by shipbuilders in the Royal Dockyard at the now empty, cavernous sheds. Fitting maybe that 500 plus years of shipbuilding craftsmanship for the Navy in Portsmouth ends with the largest and most advanced warships to ever have been made in the UK.
To get a sense of the scale, HMS Queen Elizabeth is three time the size of HMS Illustrious which until it’s current trip up to Govern for the ceremony has overlooked Portsmouth Harbour. The 56 metre tall ship, 4 metres taller than Niagara Falls, and 284 metres long…when she comes to her new home port of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth in 2017 for sea trials and then in service in 2020, she will instantly become a striking land/seamark for the city.
For every photo and TV clip you see today of HMS Queen Elizabeth and in the 50+ years of this very special ship’s service life, it is worth taking a moment to remember a part of the very fabric of this ship, including the distinctive forward Island – home to the bridge, was built in this city, by highly skilled and experienced shipbuilders continuing a cultural tradition that went back to the Mary Rose and beyond.
Below are a few images of the sections produced in Portsmouth:
Photo: BAE Systems
Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dave Jenkins, Crown Copyright/MOD 2013
QE Class artist illustration
Portsmouth is most renowned for its naval ties, however just lately people are starting to take notice of the quirky and individual fashion that is emerging in Southsea and the surrounding area.
The two were combined perfectly last weekend (June 12-14) however when the South’s best and most exciting new designers came together to show off their fashion creations at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.
The weekend cultivated in a number of events over the three days. This included a hair and beauty showcase on the Thursday, as well as local retailers selling bespoke pieces, individual designs and vintage items on the Friday. The biggest occasion of the event however was the new designers show that took place on the Saturday.
I was lucky enough to be invited the show and see some of the amazing designs on show first-hand. Stood in the photography section, I had a perfect view of the garments and got to see the excitement of the crowd as the models came down the catwalk.
Beginning the show were a number of themed collections which had been created by the students of Highbury College. These were Film Noir, China, Maritime, Menswear and Denim. Each collection portrayed exactly what it had set out to with unique designs and the collections were a great way to begin what was a thrilling show.
After a short interval, the rest of the collections, which were more experimentally themed, were shown. These included the stunning House of Martell by Georgina Jenkins, an elegant collection of special occasion evening wear that had been inspired by TV show ‘Game of Thrones’.
Also grabbing attention was Diana Wojewoda’s daring collection ‘Eternal Honour’ which was designed to reflect “the Japanese warriors who died for their lord in the 18th century”, according to the designer.
Liam Davis’ ‘The Daughters of Neptune’ and Cabrini Roy’s ‘Metallic Ice’ offerings also wowed with their stand-out designs, while Abby Pierce’s butterfly dress from her ‘The Butterfly Project’ collection actually drew gasps from the crowd for its beauty.
Two of the most dynamic collections of the show were Lauren Barnett’s ‘God Save The Circus’, which had the crowd gripped with its edgy catwalk antics and Sabrina Marhsall’s ‘Afropean’ which really brought the house down with its fun showing.
My overall favourite was Helen Johnson’s ‘Countryman Collection’ however. The beautifully embellished items were perfectly finished with some stunning headwear and the make-up and look of the models really helped to accentuate the pieces.
After the show I caught up with Lauren Barnett, one of the designers who had also helped to organise the show to see how she thought it had gone. The talented 19-year-old told me that she was really pleased with how her models in particular walked and the attitude that they gave. She also said she was really thrilled with the turnout for the event.
It had been described as “Portsmouth’s biggest and most impressive fashion event yet” and I have to say, I definitely think it lived up to this promise.
Check out some of my favourite images that I took at the event…
‘God Save The Circus’ by Lauren Barnett
‘Metallic Ice’ by Cabrini Roy’s
‘The Butterfly Project’ by Abby Pierce
Countryman Collection by Helen Johnson
Inspired by Game Of Thrones was the House of Martell by Georgina Jenkins
‘Eternal Honour’ by Diana Wojewoda
Our correspondent at the event was 23-year-old journalist & blogger Samantha Bartlett. On her own blog she covers all things music, film, beauty reviews, fashion or just things she find entertaining. You can find her blog at sammybblogs.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter @SammyLouBelle.
If you love the latest trends and fashion then get yourself down to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard this weekend where Southsea Fashion Week 2014 is being held. From this Thursday 12th June to Saturday 14th June, the South’s fashion industry is coming together to showcase the best fashion, hair and beauty designs around right now.
This year’s show has been organised by the students of Highbury College, who have promised it to be “Portsmouth’s biggest and most impressive fashion event yet.”
The event will begin with a hair and beauty showcase at the Dockyard’s Boathouse No.7 which will take place at 7pm on the Thursday evening. Here you will be able to see inspirational hair, make-up and beauty creations from exciting up-and-coming artists.
Local independent retailers will join the show on the Friday, where they will be selling some quirky bespoke pieces, independent designs, vintage items and eclectic jewellery for all fashion fans to purchase.
The retailers will be back again at the event on the Saturday in the day before the main new designers show in the evening. Two shows have been organised at the Dockyard’s Action Stations, taking place from 4-5:30pm and 7-9pm. Here the city’s most promising new designers will show off their themed collections, with topic’s including Denim, Menswear and Film Noir.
Alongside Highbury College, firm UnLtd, which provides support to social entrepreneurs, is also sponsoring this year’s event.
Tickets for the show start at just £2.50, which we’re sure you’ll agree is a bargain for such as exciting event in an idyllic setting. For more information about buying tickets, just head over to the Southsea Fashion Week 2014’s website HERE.
You can also find more information about the event by visiting the Facebook page and check out our recent interview with one of the organiser’s of the event, Lauren Barnett HERE.
See you at the show!
By Samantha Bartlett
Our correspondent at the event is 23-year-old journalist & blogger Samantha Bartlett. On her own blog she covers all things music, film, beauty reviews, fashion or just things she find entertaining. You can find her blog at sammybblogs.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter @SammyLouBelle.
HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is to be featured in Heston Blumenthal’s latest show Heston’s Great British Food on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.
The Historic Dockyard hosted the Michelin Star chef and his production team on board HMS Victory for filming back in the summer. In this new series, Heston reveals the secret history of some iconic British dishes and then transforms them, as only Heston can.
HMS Victory is included as while Heston delves into the history of the Great British Roast Beef Dinner. He travels back to late medieval times and the Victorian era before finding himself in the early 1800s, uncovering just how important beef was to Admiral Nelson and his Navy.
Heston takes inspiration from a key period in Britain’s maritime history. By the Napoleonic Wars, beef had achieved such an important place in our hearts, and was used as a recruiting tool by Nelson’s Navy.
The team explored the lower poop deck of the ship, where Heston prepared a recipe called Lobscouse, an old naval traditional dish using a variety of ingredients. Heston discovers that beef preserved in salt was a vital ration for Britain’s seamen before the Battle of Trafalgar. Heston decides to soak four of his cuts in his own take on salty brine. But where Nelson’s sailors used salt to preserve their meat, Heston uses it to keep the meat moist and uses fresh herbs to draw extra flavour into the cuts.
If you are unable to watch it tonight due to christmas parties or other activities then make sure you check it out on 4oD. Be warned, if you watch on an empty stomach you’ll be straight down to the Toby Carvery afterwards!
Photos from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Facebook Page.
Like everyone else in Portsmouth, the announcement a little over a month ago that BAE were ceasing shipbuilding in Portsmouth hit hard at Strong Island (you can read our article after the news was announced HERE). With over 500 years of history, shipbuilding in the Dockyard is part of the city’s identity and cultural DNA, ship maintenance is not the same as shipbuilding and it looked like a literal end of an era. The day after the news was announced we began working with local marine & defence consultancy Stanton Burdett Ltd on Portsmouth Shipbuilding, shaping a proposal that could make shipbuilding in Portsmouth viable and sustainable.
In the past month Portsmouth Shipbuilding has met with every stakeholder relating to this issue from UKTI to the shipbuilders themselves and today Portsmouth Shipbuilding is happy to announce the release of the proposal presentation, containing the details on how and why shipbuilding could continue. The key aim is to utilise the existing skills, facility and management expertise to create a successful and sustainable shipbuilding company, operating within Portsmouth Dockyard to deliver small and medium commercial/naval vessels for the domestic and export markets. Portsmouth Shipbuilding would be a social enterprise engaging with the local community and supporting the development of skills for 12-18 years olds & will also work with colleges, universities, businesses, councils and industry alike to create a collaborative programme of engagement, training, apprenticeships and mentoring to support grass roots Maritime working and Naval heritage for Portsmouth and the local region.
To find out much more The News today announced the proposal with the front page and a detailed two page article and interview (you can read online HERE) and the proposal presentation is now available to download from the updated Portsmouth Shipbuilding website.
We hope that with this proposal to be tabled to the city and the Government, the first real alternative to the closure, we can get the support of the people of Portsmouth and show that the city as a whole (and people further afield too) wish to continue 500 years of shipbuilding in the city.
If you could show your support initially by spreading the word to your friends & family it would be really appreciated and a like and a follow on the Portsmouth Shipbuilding Facebook page and Twitter account would not only lodge that support but also mean you will find out about the developments in the coming weeks straight away.
BBC Two’s hugely popular programme Stargazing Live is back in the New Year. BBC Learning along with several partners, including the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitaiton at the University of Portsmouth are hosting an event in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on Tuesday 7th January.
In the unique setting of the Historic Dockyard, you’ll be able see amazing science demos, stunning images from the world’s best telescopes, and take part in fun space-themed practical activities including Mission X: Train like an Astronaut, Solar System Science and Be an Interplanetary Weather Reporter. You’ll also be able to meet a Mars Rover and have a go at controlling robots. There’ll be comedy and music for everyone including a performance from the Portsmouth Military Wives.
With BBC presenters and leading experts in astronomy from the University of Portsmouth and other groups across the South, you’ll have everything you need to discover more about the wonders of space. Professional and amateur astronomers will guide you through what you can see in the night sky and give you tips on how to get started on your own.
The event is suitable for adults and families with children aged seven years of age and over. Please note that activities will take place inside and outside so make sure you wrap up warm, it will be January after all!
This is an event run by the BBC and not the live broadcast of the Stargazing Live programme. You can find out how you can get your tickets by checking out the BBC Events page HERE.
The new Mary Rose Museum, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, has in the months since it’s grand opening established itself already as a much loved treasure of the city by not only visitors but also the people of Portsmouth. With over 100,000 visitors in only the first two months of the doors opened it has been a key attraction this summer. The museum was also a centre piece of the Victorious Festival last weekend with it open to festival goers and also it being home to the kids deck.
The building’s characteristics in not only it’s stunningly clean, simple ship lines of it’s aesthetic design but also the incredible, cutting edge technical solutions to create the museum around the ship and the scheduled monument dry dock make it something very special both nationally and internationally, with it now shortlisted for World Building of the Year 2013, in the Culture category. The awards have 280 projects (some completed, some designed) shortlisted and the list includes buildings that have captured the public’s attention from all corners of the world, including a mobile research station in Antarctica!
The Mary Rose Museum’s architects Wilkinson Eyre Architects won the World Building of the Year 2012 with their Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore so fingers crossed that when the winner is announced during 2nd-4th October at the World Architecture Festival the Mary Rose Museum wins!
Sad to hear this morning that a decision has been made by the MOD to scrap the four mothballed frigates currently moored up in Portsmouth Harbour. The four Type 22 ships HMS Cumberland, HMS Campbeltown, HMS Chatham and HMS Cornwall have become a local landmark in the harbour and can be seen clearly from Gosport, Portsdown Hill and the M275 but will be leaving for scrapyards in the Autumn. There has been talk by a fair few people about how one of them could have been scuppered in the Solent to create a diving attraction or even a surf reef for Southsea Beach but it seems that will be a wish yet to be fulfilled.
These photos were taken on a Strong Island Clothing Co shoot last summer and give a closer look to the four craft.
Back in April we were lucky to get a look at the new Mary Rose Museum on the first press tour in preparation for today’s grand opening. We’ve been closely following and posting the development of the museum from it’s early days of design, development and build and it I would be lying in saying it wasn’t really exciting to see the new museum in the flesh. Personally, I remember closely watching the TV as a boy and watching the discovery of artefacts from the sea bed and it’s eventual lifting from the bottom of the Solent. I had also previously visited the old museum back in 2000 but with the promise of the new, cutting edge building and the vast amounts of new artefacts, as well as a new telling of the story, meant this was a whole new way of discovering the Tudor ship.
The building itself is quite simply incredible. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre architects and built by Portsmouth’s own Warings, the building had to be constructed around the ship still undergoing treatment and also on top of a dry dock that is a listed monument all of it’s own. The wooden structure takes on the silhouette of a ship itself, clad in dark timbers, wrapped in a band of the people both local and worldwide who donated money and even marked with engravings, in the same way makers and owners of the original Tudor artefacts marked their personal objects. The ship itself lies within the structure and is now going through the final drying process and within a few years the gallery walkways, lined huge atmospherically controlled display cases, will open up on the other side with uninterrupted views of the different levels of the ship for the very first time.
The museum is also home to thousands of artefacts (a very large amount shown for the first time) that are placed together in context not only to where they were used on the ship but also objects and belongings that for the first time tell the story of the people who served and died on the ship. The museum excels in creating a personal context to many of these artefacts such as a piece of paper from a book, peppercorns, shoes, food bowls, tools and even Hatch the dog. Also for the first time bones and facial reconstructions of the crew ware also on display to give the full human picture. It is a little hard sometimes to understand just how so many different things survived and where things didn’t (rusted away for example) the museum uses ghost-like plastic to bring the remains back to life. Sometimes it is the markings on objects like the blade marks on a cutting board that give a compelling connection back to the past and the people who used it.
From a community perspective the museum has a large education section, home to a large classroom and a science laboratory for education purposes. Local schools and schools from all over the UK will discover not only the ship and those who lived on it but also the science behind how the ship functioned, how it was preserved and how it was restored. With up to four workshops a day this will mean thousands of local young people will have the support of the museum bringing history and science to life.
Also on a local level, the shop in the reception area of the museum stocks many products by local designers and makers, with a large collection from designers Port and Lemon for example.
Today sees the grand opening of the museum with events all over the city and with reports and articles in local, national and international press and on TV. The museum is sure to become a key asset to the cultural landscape of Portsmouth and no doubt for the country as a whole on an international level. A huge congratulations goes out to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the team behind The Mary Rose Museum, the science staff and everyone involved from us at Strong Island. We’ll be back to visit very, very soon!
Find out more at: www.historicdockyard.co.uk