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Sport & Fitness

Pompey ‘Ours’ Illustrated Print by Craig Eves

We featured work by Craig Eves previously and he recently produced a new print entitled Pompey ‘Ours’ Illustrated. The proud message ‘OURS’ was spelt out by fans in August 2013 when they held up coloured cards before Pompey’s match against Oxford United. This print illustrates the same message in the form of a beautiful line drawing printed in the club colours.

You can buy the print sized at A3 direct from Craig Eves HERE.

Pompey 'Ours' Illustrated Print by Craig Eves

Portsmouth Roller Wenches vs Croydon Roller Derby

After a successful 2013, Portsmouth Roller Wenches welcome the return of Croydon Roller Derby. Last February Croydon came to town and went back with the win so our Wenches will be out for revenge.

As always there will be an after bout party at JAGS, 119 Elm Grove, Southsea, Portsmouth.

For more information check out the Facebook event page HERE.

Roller Wenches
Poster design by Coletta L. Damage (Birmingham Blitz Dames) at

CrossFit Portsea Island – New Years Resolution?

We were recently approached by Claire Hamer asking if we would be interested in featuring CrossFit Portsea Island on Strong Island. I had no idea what CrossFit was or what it involved so I took up the invitation to see their facilities and take part in a taster session.

CrossFit Portsea Island is located at 235-237 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, some of you may know it as the site of the old One Legged Jockey vintage shop.

I’ve been a member of various gyms over the years but CrossFit is different to traditional gyms which will be packed with running machines, cross trainers and weight machines. Inside CrossFit Portsea Island you’ll find a 165 square metre gymnasium with state of the art specialist equipment – numerous barbells, bumpers, rigging, racks & ropes as a start. A strong supportive community of members with in built teamwork, camaraderie & competition is also present as well as qualified experienced trainers.

CrossFit workouts are strength and conditioning programs designed to train all abilities and levels, from the most elite athlete to any beginner. CrossFit defines itself as ‘constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity’. Each day the ‘WOD’ (workout of the day) will test a different part of your functional strength or conditioning, not specializing in one particular thing, but rather having the goal of building a body that’s capable of practically anything and everything. From olympic weight lifting to gymnastic movements an ‘athlete’/member will be diversely challenged on every visit.

I expected to walk into a gym full of Royal Marines types who would put me to shame but this wash’t the case, members include a real cross section of abilities.

Trainer Carl devised a session for me to take part in which consisted of thrusters (barbell front squats into a push press) and burpees. The goal was simply to complete three sets, there was no target for how long it should to complete the set, however it is timed so you can monitor improvements. Trainers Claire and Carl also joined in as did another member who had just arrived. The first set was relatively straight forward, I didn’t struggle too much. The second started off easy enough but a quarter of the way through it hit me. I needed to take a few short breaks to compose myself I completed it. It was hard work but it felt really good once I’d finished and got my breath back.

After my taster session I ached for about three days but strangely I really enjoyed it as I felt like I had actually achieved something.

Upstairs you’ll find The Box Dance & Fitness Studio which is used for a range of open dance fitness classes for children & adults alike. This is a hireable space for anyone wanting to hold regular bookings, one off workshops, parties, rehearsals, auditions or events. There is also sports massage and changing facilities within the venue.

For anyone who is looking for a change in their typical new years resolution then I recommend that you get in contact with the team as your first session will be free. The team will give you a first hand insight into what CrossFit really is. You can find out contact details on their website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

CrossFit Portsea Island
After my work out
CrossFit Portsea Island

CrossFit Portsea Island

CrossFit Portsea Island

CrossFit Portsea Island

Photos taken from CrossFit Portsea Island Facebook page.

John PFC Westwood Supporters Choir – Limited Edition Badges

Carl Partridge has produced these limited edition enamel pin badge as a nod to local Pomey supporter legend John Westwood. A name, and face that is synonymous with Portsmouth FC. Even if you don’t follow football, and you’re from Portsmouth you will have most likely heard of John.

“Reason To Be Cheerful, About John. I would have been 16 at the time, I’m now 25. It was my first Away Game 2004. Pompey visited Aston Villa back in the glory days of the Premier League. I sat next to John in the first half. After which we were 3-0 down, and John went off and led a conga around the Away stand! This left an impression on me and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Portsmouth is a Seaside Club and John PFC Westwood is Fratton Parks modern day Drunken Sailor. ‘He chants , he sings, all the time ringing his bell’. He is English footballs most eccentric character. Football Fans are like choirs, and John sings the loudest for Pompey!

A divisive individual, but an unforgettable one. These badges are for the fans who appreciate and enjoy the sight of that ‘tall hat’ at football games, entertaining the stands. This is fan art of a football fan.”

These enamel badges are £5 each, limited to only 100 and you can purchase yours over at



Portrait of John courtesy of ‘The Green Soccer Journal’ and Photographer Julia Grassi

Six Stickers by Adam Carroll-Smith Competition Winner

Congratulations to Shane O’Leary for correctly answering our three questions and winning a copy of Adam Carroll-Smith’s book Six Stickers.

This book is a must for all football fans and would make a great gift. You can buy your own copy from most retailers including Waterstones, Amazon and

For more information about the book check our previous post HERE.

Six Stickers

Six Stickers by Adam Carroll-Smith Competition

For years, Adam Carroll-Smith bragged about his Premier League ’96 sticker album. The only sticker book he ever completed: a special childhood achievement which helped cement his love for football. After nearly two decades gathering dust in the loft, leafing through the album he discovers a small problem. In fact, there are half-a-dozen. The precious sticker album he remembered as complete, isn’t. Six stickers are missing. Determined to re-complete his album, there’s only one thing Adam can do. He embarks on a spur-of-the-moment mission to track down and photograph the half-dozen players still missing from the album – hoping to finally complete his treasured collection.

Six Stickers is a fun and interesting story of life and football. In this epic tale of adventure and obsession, Adam gets lost in Belgium and even more lost in Kent, finds out more than he could ever want to know about Henry VIII, attempts to brush the moustache of a former Premier League legend, found out ex-Man City defender Keith Curle fancies Gary Penrice’s mum, and that Newcastle legend Philippe Albert would rather work in a factory than play football in the modern Premier League and he eats chocolate biscuits with an ex-England winger, all in pursuit of his goal of collecting those last six stickers.

This book is a must for all football fans and would make a great gift. You can buy your own copy from most retailers including Waterstones, Amazon and

Adam has kindly donated a copy for one lucky Strong Islander to win. All you need to do is answer the following questions.

1) Who won the Premier League in 1995/96
2) Who was the Premier League top scorer in 1995/96
3) Name one club which was relegated from the Premier League in 1995/96

You can email your answers to You’ll have until midnight on Sunday to get your answers in. The winner will be selected and announced here next Monday.

Six Stickers

World Seniors Snooker Championship

Former snooker stars past and present are at the Mountbatten Centre for the 2013 World Seniors Championship this weekend.  This is the second year of hosting the competition for Portsmouth after it moved here for the first time last year.

It really is the cream of the crop from past top professionals seeing former World Snooker champions Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Dennis Taylor as well as Jimmy White and Cliff Thorburn and a host of others.  The tournament is live on Sky Sports from 1pm and the climax to the tournament is today featuring the quarter finals, semi finals and then the showpiece final.

It’s great to see the city attracting big names and big events like this and is even better for snooker fans.  Tickets are available from the World Snooker website.


Picture: World Snooker

England Women’s football team coming to Fratton Park.

This Thursday 26th September sees England playing Turkey in the women’s World Cup qualifier at Portsmouth’s very own Fratton park. Kick off is at 7.05pm and will hopefully be a repeat victory for England who beat Turkey  3-0 back in 2011.

Portsmouth FC’s engagement manager Micah Hall said: “We are both honoured and delighted to be hosting this Women’s World Cup qualifier here at Pompey. We have had a fantastic turn out when England Women have played here and we are hoping that once again Portsmouth and football fans across the south, will come and join us for this prestigious event.”

There will be free activities taking place outside the ground from 5pm including interactive football based games. Games include batak boards, a speed cage, a target shoot inflatable plus a new trailer which houses digital stations and the FA WSL, Cyprus Cup and the FA Girls’ Youth Cup.

To mark the FA’s 150th anniversary and 20 years of the them taking over the running of the women’s game tickets can be purchased for as little a £2.50! Buy tickets here.



Equi-Knocks – Portsmouth Roller Wenches vs Rainy City Tender Hooligans

After a break over the summer, Portsmouth Roller Wenches are back to full strength to host their third bout in 2013. Manchester’s Rainy City Tender Hooligans are making their journey down south to see what the wenches are made of.

Advanced Tickets are £7 and available HERE.
Tickets on the door: £8
12 years and under go FREE!
Doors open at 1.30pm. First whistle at 2pm

There will be an after party however details to be confirmed closer to the time via the Facebook Event HERE.

Portsmouth Roller Wenches

Portsmouth Roller Wenches and Wreckers Helmet

Great British Tennis Weekend

Next weekend Milton Park are opening up the courts for you to turn up and use for FREE as part of the National Great British Tennis Weekend. Equipment will also be provided if you don’t have your own. You don’t need to book to use the free play courts and equipment, just come down to Milton Park ready to play tennis. Alternatively you can book onto a specific coaching session and make the most of the coaching staff on hand.

You can find out more about coaching sessions HERE.



Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

Last November saw the launch of our 2014 Calendar at an Exhibition at the Wine Vaults. You can read an article from Becki Partridge about the event HERE.

We cannot take all of the credit for the exhibition, the content was all provided by you, the Strong Island readers. Not to forget the exhibition was made possible by the team at Southsea Gallery who printed and framed the photographs. If you see a photo that you like you can purchase it in Southsea Gallery located at 51 Albert Road.

The exhibition can be found in ‘snug’ on the far right hand side of the Wine Vaults.

If you would like to know how to get involved in next years calendar then click HERE to find out more information.

Phil Tickner Calendar Exhibition 1

Phil Tickner Calendar Exhibition

Photos are by the awesome Phil Tickner, be sure to give him a follow on Flickr and on Twitter @HoldYourColour.

Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

A Kind of Conjuration at the Cellars

You would think witch trails a thing of the distant past. However, during the second world war a woman was tried and convicted under the ancient Witchcraft Act.

A play about the trial was performed at The Cellars at Eastney last week. Local theatre companies New Apollo and Cop The Needle brought audiences A Kind of Conjuration. This hour-long theatre piece, directed by Steve Pitt, featured a group of five actors, and was based on the real-life trial of Scottish medium Helen Duncan in 1944, for events that took place in Portsmouth.

The intimacy of the venue worked well for the subject matter, and enabled the performers and audience to connect in a way that isn’t possible in larger venues. When the judge, played by Christopher Marlowe, addressed the jury during the court scene, he spoke to the audience as if they were the jury, making them feel involved in the action.

Angie Lily was fantastic in the court scene, nipping backstage to change elements of costume in-between each character, resulting in a highly entertaining whirlwind of at least five different characters (and accents) testifying in quick succession. Henry Oastler was on comedic top form for his appearance in the court scene, displaying subtle character traits such as a tuck of the chin, transforming him completely from his other role in the play as a newspaper journalist. James Kirby and Tim Lowe also gave entertaining performances.

Writers Stuart Olesker and John Stanton incorporated excerpts from the original court transcript, adding authenticity to this brilliant piece. A highly refreshing and thought provoking performance.

A Kind of Conjuration will next be performed at the Square Tower on 25th June as part of Portsmouth Festivities. (Doors open at 7pm, performance starts at 8pm). On this occasion the play will be preceded by a monologue from the late Harry Price, ghostbuster extraordinary. Tickets from 023 9282 6249 or 023 9273 6288 or online:


Ashley Harley in Portsmouth News:
“a little gem”
“hauntingly good”
“not to be missed”
“solid direction”

Heather James in Portsmouth News:
“I was riveted”
“very witty and entertaining”

David Richards of Remote Goat:
“a sellout”
“a joy to watch”
“superb performances”
“a very high degree of professionalism”
“a very effective mix of the serious and the comedic”
“another triumph and a thoroughly enjoyable evening”

The original flyer for the show at The Cellars

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Our 2014 Calendar was a huge success, the quality of images and huge amount interest it received really took us by surprise. We managed to double the sales of the 2013 Calendar, meaning we raised just over £600 for the Feel Yourself Campaign and the Alzheimer’s Society. We received over a thousand submissions by email and by use of the Instagram hashtag #sic2014.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2015 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

If you have been taking any photos during this extreme weather we would love for you to submit them!

You may be aware that unfortunately due to an error our end the original batch of calendars contained a couple of errors. To rectify this the problem with the calendar we re-printed all of the calendars and offered everyone who bought one a free replacement (with free P&P where required). We are confident that we have managed to replace the vast major because of the online ordering records, however if you bought one from Lou Lou’s, Southsea Gallery or the Victorian Market then we don’t have your details so we need you to contact us ASAP to arrange a replacement! Those unclaimed calendars by the end of the week are likely to be donated to the staff of the charities we are supporting

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are just a few of the submissions that we have already received that might give you some inspiration.

Charlie Thompson Fratton Park

Charlie Thompson 2
Both Charlie Thompson
Todd Lawton
Todd Lawton
Roberta Curxes
Roberta Fidora
Danny Miles
Danny Miles

Road To Blissfields 2014 by Sophie Perryer

It’s that time of year again, when Southsea’s finest traipse out on a Friday night to listen to some of our home-grown, burgeoning talent. This year was no exception, with the likes of Becky Jerams, Poppobowa, Sabre and the B of the Bang taking to the stage to fill our ears with a range of musical goodness.

The evening was held this year at the Cellars at Eastney, and certainly had a more relaxed atmosphere – Strong Island’s Stuart Barker was even spotted wandering around with a cup of tea at one point!

The relaxed atmosphere lent itself perfectly to Becky Jerams soulful, syrupy vocals, gliding effortlessly over lyrics and melodies alike. Becky has enjoyed considerable success over the last few years with her song writing: her track ‘La La Love’ was featured in a Mandy Moore movie, and she has written for the likes of Chesney Hawkes and Loz Bridge. These accomplishments certainly showed through in her music; her sound was very much grown up pop and polished, while still retaining a youthful, wishful quality in her lyrics. A great start to the evening.

Becky was followed by Popobawa, a Gosport based trio relatively new to the music scene – so much so that Road To Blissfields was their debut live show! To say the boys coped well would be an understatement; they delivered a strong set with some interesting melodic choices which made for a distinctive sound, and the combination of this with hazy vocals akin to Friendly Fires was very striking. The best part? You can download their EP for a ‘name your price’ on their SoundCloud page.

Also hailing from Gosport were SABRE – the fivesome delivered catchy synth beats and impressive vocals not dissimilar to the Maccabees or Bombay Bicycle Club, with a little Two Door Cinema Club thrown in for good measure. Their raucous sarcastic comedy appealed to the crowd, and the banter between the band members was enjoyable.

Last but certainly not least were the B Of The Bang. The contrast of the almost gravelly voice of the lead singer and the Roxanne on keyboard’s ethereal vocals lent an almost eerie sense. The band delivered well thought-out tracks which were both directional and abstract, and conveyed a sense of their musical versatility and talent. Without a doubt a well deserved victory.

Congratulations to the B Of The Bang“>B of the Bang on their slot at Blissfields, and thank you also to the other artists for once again showcasing to us the quality of our local talent! Thank you too to Bellyeyesmile, Joel Ransom, the Cellars at Eastney, Strong Island, and all those others who had a hand in organising a top evening.

By Sophie Perryer

*We will be giving away a pair of tickets to Blissfields over the next six weeks so be sure to keep an eye out.*

Becky Jerams
Becky Jerams

Becky Jerams




B Of The Bang


B Of The Bang

All photo’s by Daniel O’Neill

Victorious Festival 2014

In January the Victorious Festival team announced that the festival will be moving to Southsea Seafront. The team appear to have planned a bigger and better event building upon the success of previous years.

Last week saw the second wave of artists confirmed to perform live. The line up already consisted of awesome headliners Dizzie Rascal, Seasick Steve but they have now been joined by Razorlight, British Sea Power, Slow Club, Foy Vance, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and The Bog Rolling Stones. There will be DJ sets from Alt J, Terry Hall of the Specials, 2manyDJs and COR. Not to forget some of the best local talent such as Matt Jarvis, Eloise Keating and our favourites the Southsea Alternative Choir are also performing.

Personally I’m really excited about the Sunday line up, I’ve been a huge fan of Seasick Steve for years and I even went to Bestival dressed as him for the Under the Sea fancy dress theme. Sunday also see’s British Sea Power performing, they have been regular visitors to the Wedgewood Rooms during their tours in the past, most recently in April 2013. They are easily one of the best live acts you could ever have the pleasure of seeing. The Saturday headliner Dizzie Rascal isn’t too shabby. I caught him at Bestival in 2010 and I can promise you, he knows how to put on a show and get you dancing!

There will be more artists announced closer to the time. You can find out first by following Victorious on Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park. If you would like to be involved in the boutique market then drop the team an email on

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. There are limited early bird tickets available but hurry as they are only available at the reduced price for the next ten days! Adult Day tickets are currently available for £15 per day and will be £20 after. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets will cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for free.

Over the next five months we will try and keep you up to date on announcements and preview the performers and attractions that you can look forward to.

Victorious Festival 2014

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum

Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete is a brand new exhibition commemorating 10 years since the demolition of this distinct and controversial building that between 1966 and 2004 was a fundamental part of the Portsmouth skyline. The exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum goes far beyond documenting the building from an architectural perspective, although for the first time many, many original drawings, plans and photographs are on display from the building’s architects, much of it for the first time ever. Where this exhibition explores beyond the groundbreaking and (for many) iconic Brutalist architectural design is documenting how it was experienced and used by the people of Portsmouth. The exhibition opened on the 15th and formally had its opening celebration to a capacity crowd on Saturday 22nd.

The exhibition on the ground floor of the museum is loosely arranged in to two areas, with the first section detailing the origins of the building from concept to design and build. As you enter this space the striking architectural plans on the wall are what first catch the eye. The lines and form of the concrete structure can almost take you back in time to the exciting and economically optimistic early 1960s, with the original and then cutting edge design still feeling strangely fresh even now. This is reinforced with the many original pamphlets, magazines and books that show the enthusiasm the project launched with. This part of the exhibition also establishes where the Tricorn sat within the Brutalist movement and also with some other buildings in the city such as Portsdown Park and Portsmouth Central Library, both of which are in the exhibition in the form of architect sketches and models.

The second section focuses on how the people of Portsmouth experienced the structure over the years it stood in the city centre. Part of this section is an incredible collection of posters and artwork from the nightclub but there is also related music, photos and even period clothing giving a sense of how the building was, for a time, a hub for the community. This section also looks at how the building was a creative inspiration for many, including artwork, skateboard decks and in particular, photography. It is in this section the Strong Island community photo panel is located, with over 100 photos capturing the structure in artistic angles and light. This area is also home to some striking work by Jon King and James Earle, both of who explored the building with their cameras throughout it’s demolition. Both areas also contain oral history, with interviews, opinions and memories on the Tricorn from both architect and members of the public. Also in both areas of the exhibition are feedback walls, which welcome comments from people visiting the exhibition. Despite the exhibition only being open for a week these are already full with amazing contributions.

On Saturday 22nd the exhibition was formally opened including attendance by VIPs such as Owen Luder, one of the original architects, plus many people associated with the Tricorn from right back to it’s design and construction through to its final demolition. The event included speeches by Owen Luder, Celia Clark and Councillor Lee Hunt, possibly the most interesting was the story of the Tricorn told by Owen Luder himself. It was fascinating to see how for him the aspirations for the building were in many ways dashed due to an economic turndown happening with an extended delay in securing contracts with key business tenants. Of particular note were his thoughts on how the space itself has been used “54 years on it is back to how it was when I first saw it in 1960, a carpark”.

The exhibition runs through to the 29th June.

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (1)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (2)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (3)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (4)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (5)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (6)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (7)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (8)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (9)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (11)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (12)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (13)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (14)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (15)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (16)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (17)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (18)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (19)