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Polar Skate Co Video Premiere at The Honest Politician

Polar Skate Co have just released their first full length skate video, entitled I Like it Here Inside My Mind, Don’t Wake Me This Time, and after premiere screenings in Europe and the USA you’ll be able to see the film in Southsea at The Honest Politician, thanks to Bored of Southsea. Polar is based in Malmö, Sweden and is the creative outlet of pro skater, filmmaker and artist Pontus Alv. The Polar team includes some heavyweight skateboarding talent from all over Europe, London and New York City. Previous edits have related to tours or city visits (Portsmouth was featured in one recently, watch HERE) but this is their first full length film.

To catch I Like it Here Inside My Mind, Don’t Wake Me This Time get down to the Poli on Monday 4th of April for 7pm and grab a beer and the screening begins at 7:30pm. This is sure to be packed out with the local skate scene but if you’re in to experimental filmmaking, be sure to pop along too, Pontus Alv’s previous film In Search of the Miraculous is also worth a watch too (see below). This is one not to miss.

Polar Skate Co Video Premiere at The Honest Politician

Pontus Alv, frontside wallride around the corner. Photo: Sam Ashley
Pontus Alv, frontside wallride around the corner at the King Henry building. Photo: Sam Ashley.

Creative Video From 14:01 Skateboards Filmed at Southsea Skatepark

Skateboarding is a hotbed of creative talent in the visual arts such as photography and filmmaking. When it comes to creating skate videos there are some defined tropes such as fisheye, low follow filming, etc. so it is great to see some creative ideas pushing it forward. Sam Taylor & Dan Hawkins from YEAROFTIGER worked with local skater Nick Munday and 14:01 Skateboards producing this short film combining green screen, slowmo and Munday’s usual epic pop, all at Southsea Skatepark.

Photos from the shoot by the ridiculously talented 35mm photographer Holly Fernando.

Photos by Holly Fernando

Vote for Bored of Southsea in the Core Store Challenge

Grey (UK skateboarding magazine) and Converse Cons present Core Store Challenge 2015, a regional competition that focuses on real street skating across the UK. A select few skate shops around the UK were invited (including London’s Slam City Skates, Bristol’s Fifty-Fifty and Manchester’s Note) to take part and film an edit in just over one week and then a week to edit their footage in to a final film. Portsmouth’s very own Bored of Southsea got involved and despite some weather issues and Victorious Festival they put out an awesome skate video for the project which can be watched below. Props to all the guys involved, stoked to see some solid street skating going down in the city, all filmed and edited by Rob Crawford.

You can get involved with Core Store Challenge to by voting for your favourite film, the edit with the most votes wins, with the winners announced on the 28th of September.

Visit the website to see all of the edits and vote:

Core Store Challenge

The Count Featured on New 1401 Skate Deck

Southsea skate brand 14:01 recently dropped a new deck featuring Sesame Street favourite The Count…HaHaHa. You can pick up the deck (available in four different widths from 8″ to 8.5″) down at Bored of Southsea on Albert Road or online HERE.

The Count Featured on New 1401 Skate Deck

Skateboarding Edit by Paul Scott

Photographer and filmmaker Paul Scott recently moved down to Portsmouth after graduating in London and has already put together a short skate edit with a visiting Josh Ward-Brickett hitting up some local spots. Really like this photo of Josh and a layback frontside rock ‘n’ Roll on the lawcourts.

Check the photo and the edit below:

Josh Ward-Brickett Frontside Rock 'n' Roll by Paul Scott

Mini Wheelers for 3-7 Year Olds at Southsea Skatepark on Saturday Mornings

Southsea Skatepark is a local treasure, not just a heritage gem for Portsmouth with it being a local focal point of youth culture in the city for generations but it is also a park looking to the future too. Introduced this summer by the Southsea Skatepark trust (the independent charity that runs the park) is Mini Wheelers, a fun session at the park for 3 to 7 year olds who can learn lots of different activities such as BMX, skateboarding, scooters and more in a safe and friendly environment. This special session runs from 9am to 10am and is only £2.50 for each child.

Over the years Southsea Skatepark has seen some really talented individuals grow up riding & skating the park, these guys have gone on to being incredible, winning, young talents, maybe the Mini Wheelers this summer could be the next in the long line of talent to develop in Southsea?

You can find out lots more details about Southsea Skatepark at their website below or on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Mini Wheelers for 3-7 Year Olds at Southsea Skatepark on Saturday Mornings
Poster artwork by Mark Allerton.

Durty Sound System at Southsea Skatepark Roller Disco Tonight

All through the summer Southsea Skatepark are again teaming up with lots of DJs for their evening Roller Discos and tonight sees Durty Sound System take control once again. As you may know, Paul from DSS sadly passed away recently and this was his last booked gig. DSS have DJed at the park on loads of occasions and were key in raising money to help save Southsea Skatepark from closure some years ago before the Southsea Skatepark Trust took over from the council.

Paul asked Mark James to take over this DSS set tonight and with the good weather expect it to be a special evening with DJs Billy Steere, Gary Samways and Mark James spinning ultimate Disco, Rare Groove and Boogie sounds on vinyl records only. Southsea Skatepark tonight will also be collecting for Dirty Sound System’s sister charity No More Durty Water:

Check the Facebook event for more information HERE.

Durty Sound System at Southsea Skatepark Roller Disco Tonight

Southsea Skatepark Featured in new Skateboarding Book ‘Sk8-80s’

Goes without saying that at the high of the 1980s skateboarding boom Southsea Skatepark was one of the key places to skate, party, see skate tours and much more. At the time some 80s skateboarding pros called Southsea and the skatepark home (Gary Lee, Mark & Barry Abrook) and with so many visiting skaters from all over the world coming to legendary competitions the park was well and truly on the map internationally too. Photos to this day appear on blogs and Instagram from the Bones Brigade demos, Zorlac, Ben Schroeder and so many names burnt in to skateboarding history.

UK photographer Paul Duffy and long time UK skater Mark ‘Trawler’ Lawler have come together this year to create a new book that for the first time tries to capture raw skateboarding across the UK and Europe in the 1980s. ‘Sk8-80s’ is 212 pages of A4 full bleed rawness and is being self-published with it just this week now up for pre-order. The cover itself features Scottish skater Davie Phillip with a layback smith in the ‘new’ pool at Southsea Skatepark and the sneak peeks so far see the late USA skater Steve Schneer at the Shut Up and Skate comp on Southsea vert ramp. In a nice indirect way the other sneak peek spread sees Hugh ‘Bod’ Boyle on the Swansea vert ramp which just happened to have Southsea’s Claire Sambrook on the platform shooting photos at the time.

Another nice connection, Paul Duffy submitted the photo of the Southsea guys bombing the Tricorn carpark ramp to our Tricorn project last year…hoping that is in the book too.

You can find out more about the book on Facebook HERE and you can now pre-order the book for £21.99 at the link below:

Skateboarding Book 'Sk8-80s'

Skateboarding Book 'Sk8-80s' (2)

Skateboarding Book 'Sk8-80s' (3)

Skateboarding Book 'Sk8-80s' (4)

Southsea Skatepark Birthday Weekend

This weekend sees Southsea Skatepark celebrate their birthday with a weekend of competitions and fun activities for BMX, skateboarding and more. The skatepark is one of the oldest in the UK and this weekend will see some events that celebrate this heritage such as the vintage BMX crew in attendance and, for the first time, a race to see who can get to the end of the Snakerun the fastest. NOT easy. There will also be the always popular Bored of Southsea Game of SKATE plus best trick on the box, longest ollie, highest bunnyhop and even slalom too.

Strong Island Clothing Co will be holding a mini ramp competition with a bunch of prizes for the winners plus a prize for the best trick. This and the Game of SKATE will be happening on Sunday afternoon.

The weekender runs on both Saturday and Sunday and is FREE for spectators and normal entrance fee if you want to skate or ride. See you there!

Southsea Skatepark Birthday Weekend

Mark Webb, Jack Watts and Troy Hayward at the Southsea Skatepark

Southsea Skatepark by Josh Knill

Southsea Skatepark by Hampshire Aerial Photos

Signature Clothing Competition

Signature Clothing have just released their rad new range or tees, jumpers and accessories.

Signature have been kind enough to donate a ‘Stay Quiet Plot Revenge‘ T-Shirt and a Sticker Pack for one lucky Strong Island reader. All you need to do is email with your answer to the following question.

Q) Who is the last skater to feature in the recent Signature Clothing Winchester Sessions video below?

The deadline for entries is going to be midday Friday 20th March, with the winner being announced on social media soon after.

The range is now being stocked in Bored of Southsea, Albert Road so if you want to check out the clothes in person get yourself down there. You can still find the full range to buy online at I recommend taking the time to check the new gear as there is some cracking stuff there. Unfortunately I can’t win this prize so I am going to have buy my own!




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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

£800 raised at our 3rd Birthday Charity Raffle

Wow. Another Incredible success. Myself, Paul and the Strong Island Crew owe a MASSIVE thank you to all the people who donated, helped out, attended and of course bought those ever so important raffle tickets.

With your generosity we managed to raise an amazing £800 for The Portsmouth Autism Support Network and The Portsmouth Lifeboat Station.

Everyone had a great time and got fully involved in the atmosphere of the night. Free Strong Island Iced Teas were flowing, and the buffet was awesome. Pet Sounds kept the musical vibe alive and the crowd did the rest. A really good turn out of Strong Islanders made sure The Belle Isle was packed and the charity tin was full.

Well done to all the people who were lucky enough to get one of the prizes. If not more. Winners win prizes…..

Thanks to everyone who came down, all of the very generous prize donators and of course extra special thanks to Paul, Graham, Ben, James, Andy and all The Belle Isle staff for letting us hold our party and making sure no one went thirsty. Cheers guys.

Without the support from our readers, contributors and friends Strong Island would not be in the position to hold such an event, and we greatly appreciate it.

Prizes were very kindly donated from the following people: LJRs / The Belle Isle / Sopranos / Southsea Skatepark / Caravan Gallery / Michelle So Scone / Boed / Southsea Boutique / Dead Mans Glory / Lou Bush / Helen at Kings Theatre / Geoff at The Wedge / Love Southsea / Mikey Ayling / Mark Persuad / Southsea Gallery / james Porter / Parmiters, Ian & Sue / James Weaver / Alanna Smith / Matt Howarth / Bruce Jamieson / Jamie Olivers (Megatron) / Diana Goss / James Batchelor / Fran Bierton / Paul Thurlow / Bonzo Studio / Head Hairdressers / I Love Dust / Holgarama / Stuart Trett at Ye Olde Bike SHoppe. Apologies if I forgot your name.

We’re already looking forward to our 4th Birthday Party next year. Hope you can make it. All the best and thanks again.

Tristan & Paul

Photos: Matt Saxey

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.


Portsmouth on Film – Episode 1

Jonathan & Matthew Ring recently released a book of archive Portsmouth photography that was taken by their grandparents over the years (find out more about the book HERE). As well as photographs they also found a load of footage filmed around the city and have just released their first episode of their Portsmouth on Film.

This episode has some great footage from the early 90s, including some from the Tour de France.

Eastney Beam Engine House

If you love a bit of not often seen Portsmouth history, Eastney Beam Engine House is open to the public for free from 1pm to 5pm on every last weekend of the month. Hidden just off of Henderson Road in Eastney, the Victorian building contains two restored and working 150 horsepower ‘James Watt & Co’ Beam Engines powered by steam which were installed to operate water pumps in 1887. This new system proved very successful and is still the basis for today’s underground drainage system on Portsea Island.

Sadly due to essential building work you won’t be able to go inside the buildings this weekend, but there will be talks with staff and photos and artefacts.

Engine House

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.

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.

Our Langstone Harbour Trip with the RSPB

On a grey yet thankfully dry Sunday morning if I had a Portsmouth bucket list, I had one of the items near the top ticked off with a boat trip with the RSPB. Personally, I’ve always loved Langstone Harbour. When I first moved to Portsmouth I lived at the Furze Lane Langstone campus of the University of Portsmouth and the harbour was on my door step and one of the first places I explored with my bike and camera. Throughout the years I’ve been lucky enough to explore every yard of its edge plus the sandbank and the Phoenix Breakwater with my camera, from high tide to low, but I haven’t had a chance to explore the islands.

The thing, for me, that makes Langstone Harbour extra special is that it is a wild habitat right on the doorstep of the most densely populated city in the UK. Considering the close proximity to well over two hundred thousand people, the harbour is surprisingly biodiverse and a key nesting location for birds on the south coast. More surprising is that for birds, Langstone Harbour has way, way more calling it home through the seasons than its neighbour Chichester Harbour. So…all of this wildlife shares Portsmouth with us, and us with them. Particularly at this time of year: nesting season. So for the very, very novice twitcher side of me, a boat trip out to see the birds with the RSPB was a fantastic opportunity.

We set off from the slipway at Broadmarsh Costal Park south of Havant with Wez at the boat controls and Dawn to help both myself and Tristan find out more about the wildlife and what the RSPB do in regards to the harbour and the bird populations. It was a good start with lots of Mute Swans seeing us off from the quayside and even a low flying Heron passing overhead. We travelled south, in parallel with the shore of Long Island, one of many different islands in the harbour that have (since the late 1970s) become protected bird preserves of the RSPB. We passed the southern tip of the island, which is one of the few areas where the public can land (we saw kayakers taking a break on the small shingle beach) before moving south west to Round Nap Island.

Long Island.

I’ve always been intrigued by the harbour’s islands and as they are off limits to the public this was my first chance to see them up close. Round Nap Island is quite small and at high tide seemed like a very flat and precarious home to the nesting birds and visiting birds too. On the shingle we saw Black Headed Gulls with their brown, fuzzy and big chicks who will be very soon flying themselves. Also on the island we saw quiet Cormorants taking a rest from fishing and curious Oyster Catchers exploring the shingle and waterline for food.

Round Nap Island.

Cormorants on Round Nap Island.

The RSPB routinely (at times, daily) check the nesting islands to ensure the birds aren’t effected by the many different dangers to them, their nests and their young. At low tide some of these islands are accessible by the mudflats so some islands have electric fences to protect against foxes and other predators. Another serious danger to these birds are storms and surging tides. Recently a storm washed away nests and seriously effecting the breeding of some of the harbours most important visitors.

Black Headed Gull.

From Round Nap Island we set off to the much larger South Binness Island, the most southerly of the islands in the harbour. As we travelled along the southern shore of the island we saw hundreds and hundreds of Black headed Gulls and their young plus the sharp edged Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and our first sighting of the beautiful Little Terns that visit the harbour each year. The Little Terns have struggled in recent years to raise young due to weather and tides and in 2013 this island was raised up with 500 tonnes of aggregate with the hope that their ‘scrapes’ would be better protected.

South Binness Island.

Oyster Catcher and Black Header Gulls on South Binness Island.

South Binness Island.

Black Headed Gull chicks on South Binness Island.

South Binness Island.

Sandwich Tern.

Little Terns are very special visitors to Portsmouth. Unknown to me until fairly recently, Portsmouth and Langstone Harbour is home to one of the largest colonies of these special birds, along with Blakeney Point and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Minsmere in Suffolk. You might find the birds in much smaller groups around the coast of the UK, including Scotland…but right here in Portsmouth is a key nesting site in the UK. Sadly these birds have difficulty in producing young as our weather has been bad in consecutive years but they will continue to try through the rest of the season. There are only 1,900 (approx.) breeding pairs in the UK so the work done locally by the RSPB to support and help these birds is vital. To put it in context, on South Binness Island alone in 2008 the island had 4,886 nesting pairs of Black Headed Gulls.

Little Tern.

Little Tern.


We travelled west past the island and out to a place I have wanted to visit for years, Oyster Island. Many years ago this small island was home to an oyster watchman’s house built in 1819. I had heard that you could still see the foundations and remains of the house (which was possibly washed away in a storm) still on this tiny island south of Farlington Marshes. As we approached you could clearly see on this tiny island the timber beams of the house plus bricks and more. Hard to believe that someone could live out here, right on the harbour.

Oyster Island.

Oyster Island.

From here we travelled to Baker’s Island with it’s northerly wild side. The RSPB obviously tries to not disturb the birds but there are occasions when it is necessary to land on one of the islands. Routinely the RSPB need to count the nests and check for any issues. Sometimes they have to fix fencing and maintain signs, etc, on this occasion Wez had to replace the electric fence battery so we grounded the boat on the beach for a few minutes. Obviously it is vital these islands are not visited by the public so this was an unexpected privilege to see this habitat up close for a minute or two.

Baker’s Island.

Oyster Catcher on Baker’s Island.

Surrounding the boat at Baker’s Island.

We set off from here and travelled east across the harbour and midway saw a large commercial vessel leave the quay at the Lafarge Tarmac site and travel towards the harbour entrance. It was a good reminder that despite being a quiet harbour there is still commercial activity on a day to day basis. There are also fishing vessels that work within the harbour too.

Commercial vessel passing Round Nap Island.


The old oyster beds on Hayling Island’s north westerly edge (next to the ‘Billy’) have a long history, from farming huger amounts of oysters for consumption in London (ending due to pollution) to them being neglected until recent years when they were restored and made a protected RSPB area. These interlinking beds are now home to many different birds and access is prevented from Hayling Island as well as from boats. From here we saw a harbour favourite the Little Egret and also a solo Great Crested Grebe before it dived under the water and disappeared. On the way back to Broadmarsh we were lucky to see about a dozen Common Terns feeding, with them circling, hovering and then diving in to the harbour waters. We also saw some Little Terns too, who only feed around one kilometre from their nesting sites.

Little Egret at Hayling Island Oyster Beds.

Diving Common Tern.

In only a matter of two hours we had an incredible trip around the harbour and were introduced to not just the birds that call Portsmouth home but also the dedicated work by the RSPB, who with a very small team have to protect the habitats and birds. If you want to keep up to date with the work done by your local RSPB team be sure to follow their blog HERE. A huge thank you to Wez and Dawn for the trip!

Interested in seeing some of these birds yourself? It is actually pretty easy from the shoreline of the city of Portsmouth. We’re working with the RSPB on a series of articles starting tomorrow and we’ll be running a competition too. More details tomorrow.

Strong Island Easter Bike Ride Video

The guys over at have put together a nice little edit from the Bike Ride on April 4th. It really shows the vibe of the day well. Good times. I better get on the phone and book the Police escort for August.

It’s going to be a Strong Movember

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 our MoSpace 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

Strong Island Clothing Co.