Strong Island Co.

Seafront & The Coastline

Champagne Bar at Southsea Castle

Last Friday saw the return of the Champagne Bar to Southsea Castle. The sun was shining and the crowd was in equally high spirits.

With lighting provided by Mijaro the castle looked fantastic. On hand to provide music for the evening were Civilisation of the Rough‘s DJ Mark Persaud and Herma Puma‘s DJ Pimpernel Jones. Live music came courtesy of funk band Big Love Soul, they went down a treat and had everyone busting a move in the marquee area.

With upcoming DJ sets from Funktifino, Hipshaker, Gentle Bren, Handsome Dave Rocker as well as live music from Southsea Alternative Choir and The Smiley Campbell Band it’s clear that you are going to be hard pushed to find a better place to spend your Friday evenings this summer.

The Champagne Bar will be open from 6pm until late and be free entry every Friday (apart from the Victorious Festival and Americas Cup weekends where they will be having a week off). You can stay up to date with all things Champagne Bar by following them on Facebook.

Photo’s from James White Photography.

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Champagne Bar James White 1

Champagne Bar 2015 Poster

Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 1 Winner and Runners Ups

With the first week’s submissions for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition all collected from email, Twitter and Instagram (using the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015) we’re happy to announce the very first weekly winning photo and photographer, ‘Sunglasses Spinnaker’ by Alessandro Salvatore, an amateur photographer based in Southsea.

This weekly winner will now be entered into the finals of the competition which will happen in December where everyone can vote for their favourite weekly winning photos. This week’s winner was chosen because it showed an innovative new way to capture a familiar landmark of Portsmouth, capturing the city lights at night in a reflection. This image will now become our Strong Island Facebook header image for the next 7 days until next week’s winner.

'Sunglasses Spinnaker' by Alessandro Salvatore
‘Sunglasses Spinnaker’ by Alessandro Salvatore.

Below are just some of the 200+ photos we received in the first week. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted! Don’t worry if your photo didn’t win or make the shortlist, you can enter photos every week until the finals in December. You can now submit photos for this week’s weekly winner selection which will be chosen and shown next Monday. To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.


Photo by Tony Benham.


Photo by Paul-Stanley.


Photo by Zac-Austin.


Photo by Tom Jacobs.


Photo by Stefano Pollina.


Photo by Rhys Geehan.


Photo by Liam Ritson.


Photo by Kate Smith.


Photo by Johnny Black.


Photo by Jamie Thorpe.


Photo by James Henderson.


Photo by Hayley Reeves.


Photo by Gemma White.


Photo by Christopher Greening.


Photo by Chris Grant.


Photo by catspaws_22 (on Instagram).


Photo by Catherine Taylor.


Photo by Billie Cawte.

My Dog Sighs Bank Holiday Treasure Hunt

The lucky ones among us have a nice long bank holiday weekend to look forward to, and local artist My Dog Sighs invites you to spend that time on a treasure hunt. He has painted thirty one paintings based on the lyrics of his favourite tune and pasted them up across Southsea.

Your task is to find all thirty one and take a creative photo of each. The first person to find and photograph them all will win a My Dog Sighs hand painted tin can with two runners up winning one of his a tee’s. To enter you need to tag My Dog Sighs to the photo on your chosen social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and send him a message to say you were successful including a link to the photo’s.

My Dog has been kind enough to give you a few clues with an image of each painting on his Facebook page, which you can find HERE.

We do ask that you please don’t try and remove the paintings. The paper is 60 years old and very brittle. It is unlikely you’ll get it off in one piece. Not to mention that you will spoil the fun for everyone else! If for any unfortunate reason any of the paste ups are removed, a photo of the location will suffice.

Happy hunting!

MDS Treasure Hunt 1

MDS Treasure Hunt 2

MDS Treasure Hunt 3

The Champagne Bar Returns For 2015

We are really excited to inform you that the Champagne Bar will be returning to Southsea Castle from Friday 10th April. Mark the date in your diary now because you don’t want to miss live music from Big Love Soul and DJ on the night will be Civilisation of the Rough‘s Mark Persaud.

The Champagne Bar will be open from 7pm and be free entry every Friday, apart from the Victorious Festival and Americas Cup weekends.

To stay up to date with all things Champagne Bar by following them on Facebook HERE.

Champagne Bar

America’s Cup World Series Tickets Now Available

With the ongoing construction of the Ben Ainslie Racing HQ at the Camber and recent VIP visits you would most likely be well aware that this (and next) summer sees Portsmouth home to a stage of the America’s Cup World Series. The four day event on Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th July will see world’s best sailors battling it out on high speed AC45 foiling catamarans out on the Solent off shore of Southsea.

From today tickets have become available, with both free-to-view and paid ticket options. The paid tickets will provide access to the official event “Fanzone Arena”, allowing up to 5,000 fans per day to immerse themselves in the world of the America’s Cup whilst enjoying prime views of the race course and access to exclusive event entertainment. The free-to-view area will be located on Southsea Common, to be named ‘The Waterfront Festival Arena” where only pre-registered ticket holders will gain access. All tickets are only available through

www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ACWSPortsmouth

Ticket holders can celebrate securing tickets by entering the #goldenticketACWSUK social media competition too. You can find out more at:

www.acwsportsmouth.com/goldenticket

World class hospitality packages also go on sale from Monday 2nd March through Official Hospitality Provider Sportsworld. Offering premium experience packages in the prime site ‘Waterfront Pavilion’ – the only site that will have direct views overlooking the racing – a mere 100m away. Details are available on:

www.acwsportsmouth.com/hospitality

This event is sure to see thousands of visitor coming to the city plus a special date in the diary for everyone who wants to witness the formula one of sailing off the beach of our city.

South Parade Trust Enamel Pin Badges

The fine folks over at the South Parade Pier Trust have released their new range of enamel pin badges, available here. Show your love to the pier and your support to this non-profit organisation by having one in your stocking. Also be sure to keep an eye out for their exciting new project, in partnership with the University of Portsmouth School of Architecture, landing in early 2015. You can keep up to date with all the going ons of the Trust by giving them a like here and follow here.

The enamel pin badges are also for sale at Southsea Rock on Marmion in Southsea, and at the reception of Highbury College Library on Winston Churchill Avenue. Hurry, whilst stocks last!

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Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

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Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

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Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

Victorious Todd Lawton

Tristan Savage

South Parade Pier Petition

For those who aren’t aware, South Parade Pier is Grade II listed building which means Portsmouth City Council has legal powers to order repairs, however they have declined to use them. The pier has had no major repairs since new owners bought it in 2010 and is now in a state of progressive collapse and boarded up by Portsmouth City Council due to it being unsafe. New operators have claimed since February that they own the pier but have not actually purchased it, according to latest information from the Land Registry.

South Parade Trust have organised more than 12,000 people have now signed a petition for listed building repairs to be ordered at the pier. The Trust announced the petition milestone this week after a phenomenal weekend of canvassing at the Victorious Festival. They collected nearly four signatures a minute throughout the entire weekend.

South Parade Trust are a community group calling for full, immediate, end-to-end repairs at the pier to allow the restoration of safe public access to the whole pier. Chairman Leon Reis explains “Before Victorious, nearly 8,000 people had signed our petition – a great success in its own right. But today the total is 12,195,” he said.

“It is important to note that 12,195 signatures is equivalent to more than 8% of the entire 147,000 Portsmouth electorate registered with the council – enough to swing the entire council elections next May if people voted for candidates supporting full, end-to-end repairs to the pier.

“The council continues to spend £3,000 of ratepayers’ money every week on security at the pier but does not try to recover it from the owners of the pier, nor does it attempt to enforce either of the two court orders against the owners that PCC spent ratepayers’ money on going to court to win.

“South Parade Trust only need 1,000 signatures to automatically generate a delegation to the full council and a debate on this issue, and we will continue to collect signatures until we are ready to present the petition to the council. One question the council has still to answer is: how many signatures from local people do we need before they will start to listen to what the people of this city want?”

If you have not signed the petition then you still can online via www.SouthParadeTrust.org/petition. Please take the time to sign it and share with friends.

You can follow the South Parade Trust on Facebook and Twitter @PeoplesPier1.

South Parade Pier - 1932

Catherine Taylor
Catherine Taylor
Luke O'Brien Calendar
Photo by Luke O’Brien

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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The Infamous Harry Pounds Scrapyard Submarines

Many of you will remember the once iconic Submarines at the Harry Pounds Scrapyard on the way in to Portsmouth. We even featured a few photos by Robin Hinson back in 2010.

Although I never got to explore the sub aquatic giants myself I was lucky enough to find this little gem a few weeks ago. Although I can’t remember where, so sorry if I nabbed it and forgot to mention you.

Watch the video for a unique view of these “Uk, Admiralty Standard Range Diesels 16 Cylinder V mechanical supercharged monsters!”

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.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 4

The new episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up yesterday. This episode is of a bus trip from Old Portsmouth to Southsea to Eastney.

I still lament the loss of the Portsmouth Transport Museum.

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.

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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.

Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea poster

You know we love a bit of Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea here at Strong Island. Not too much info on this one, perfect for holidays though. The flickr link states the photo of the poster was taken in Eastney, but I’m not sure where.

Via : Bob Franklin

Transport No. 1: Portsmouth Trolleybuses

With Portsmouth’s long history and particular geography it’s public transportation systems have been varied and have changed dramatically over the years. Over the next few weeks we are going to focus briefly on some of the more interesting ones, starting with the Portsmouth Trolleybuses.

The Portsmouth Trolleybus service provided by the Portsmouth Corporation was first introduced on the 4th August 1934 and covered most of the island and up to Cosham. The trolleybuses themselves were like normal double decker buses but were powered by overhead power cables like trams. The power lines for the trolleybuses criss-crossed overhead above the roads with routes and these wires became a constant in the city’s skyline, much like modern San Francisco and Vancouver.

The Guildhall (buildings in the distance are where the council buildings are now)

The trolleybus service continued until the 27th July 1963 and then sadly the wires torn down and almost all of the trolleybuses scrapped, today only two of the trolleybuses survive. No. 201, which was in Portsmouth’s transport museum before being moved, now lives on display in Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. No. 313 was the very last trolleybus to run but now is in fully restored working order and running at East Anglia Transport Museum (see it running here).

Ready for scrap (with the old airport in the background)

You can find out about all of the trolleybuses and see more photos here and watch below to see them in action with super8 footage from the 1950s and 1960s. Still looks strange seeing traffic through Guildhall Square.

P.S. Will the Portsmouth transport museum ever find a new home?

Snow, Snow, Snow

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

Adam Wintle (see more here):

Adam Wintle

Adam Wintle

Elizabeth Bick (see more here):

Elizabeth Bick

Elizabeth Bick

By The Castle

Apologies for a little self-linkage, but I’ve added some photos from a July day down by the castle on Forever Circling (a photography, etc blog I update daily).

It’s sunny today too, roll on spring and summer.

Around the Castle

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

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