Strong Island Co.

Strong Island

Strong Island Photo of The Year Competition Week 6 Winner and Runners Up

Behind again, really sorry for the delay on announcing last week’s weekly winner. For last week we saw lots of submissions come through Instagram with a wide variety of locations from around the city. We also had loads submitted through Twitter (using the same hashtag). To submit photos yourself via Instagram & Twitter for the Strong Island Photo of the Year Competition use the hashtag #SIPhotoComp2015 and you can always email photos in too to

We’re happy to announce the sixth weekly winning photo is by photographer Grzegorz Kopacz.

Port Solent Marina by Grzegorz Kopacz
Port Solent Marina by Grzegorz Kopacz (Submitted via Instagram).

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 image will now become our Strong Island Facebook header image for the next 7 days until next week’s winner.

Below are some of the runners up for this 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 (ish!). To enter simply email, Tweet or Instagram your photo that was taken in, on or around Portsmouth.

Arches at Night by Sam Carter
Arches at Night by Sam Carter.

Down to Old Portsmouth by Katrina Cawsey
Down to Old Portsmouth by Katrina Cawsey.

Busking by Chris Grant
Busking by Chris Grant.

Clouds Over Portsmouth by Billie Cawte
Clouds Over Portsmouth by Billie Cawte.

Sunny Southsea by Danielle Gridley
Sunny Southsea by Danielle Gridley.

HMS Warrior by Catherine Taylor
HMS Warrior by Catherine Taylor.

Architecture by Howard Hurd
Architecture by Howard Hurd.

Clouds over the Stack by Johnny Black
Clouds over the Stack by Johnny Black.

Pigeon by Kate Smith
Pigeon by Kate Smith.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 30

Charlie is back with 30th episode of Longlive Radio for the Strong Island Sounds podcast:

This week I’m going to fill the whole show with hip-hop. I’m not claiming to be an expert, I’ve actually always been turned off by know-it-alls and snobs and the people who’ve influenced my love of music the most have been open-minded and inviting, rather than exclusive and elitist. In turn, I like it when someone comes at a genre with their own take, which is what I’ve tried to do here. Hip-hop has played as big a part in my musical upbringing as any other style of music and like most people who have a deep-rooted love of music, it’s signposted many different parts of my life.

I hope you enjoy my selection, there’s some really obvious staples and the odd one you might not have heard before. I kick it off with what’s been called the first ever rap record, but in keeping with my ethos to music, who gives a toss as long as it gets you in the gut and makes you feel.

Cheers, Charlie x

01) Here Comes The Judge – Pigmeat Markham
02) Back To The Hip Hop – The Troubleneck Brothers
03) Just A Friend – Biz Markie
04) Ping Pong – Antipop Consortium
05) Blue Flowers – Dr Octagon
06) 1-800 Suicide – Gravediggaz
07) N.Y. State Of Mind – Nas
08) She Watch Channel Zero?! – Public Enemy
09) Deception – Blackalicious
10) Peter Piper – Run DMC
from Sam’s Selection Box :
11) You Know My Steez – Gang Starr
12) Sons Of 3rd Bass – 3rd Bass
13) My Philosophy – Boogie Down Productions
14) Straight Outta Compton – NWA
15) Fallin’ – De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub

Listen to the podcast episode below, or you can listen, subscribe and download it from iTunes. You can also find the latest Strong Island Sounds podcast episode on the Strong Island homepage under the comments section too.

Strong Island Sounds Podcast with Longlive Radio Episode 30

Stage Times Announced For Common People Festival 2015

The 2015 Common People Festival stage times have now been released and what a line up there is to look forward too! The countdown clock is now ticking and we are but days away from a bank holiday weekend of fun and frivolity.

Common People 2015

The whole weekend is packed with bands and activities to kick start our summer with the likes of Fatboy Slim, De La Soul, Dead Rabbits, Grace Jones and Band of Skulls playing.

Don’t forget that the ‘Day of the Dead Cocktail Bus’ was recently released and is also set to have an incredible line up with entertainment coming from numerous artist’s including, Adam Baxter, Owen B, Jack Harris, Soul 45, Sam Eynon and South Beach Recycling/Midnight Riot Records.

Another exciting release is that of the ‘After Dark’ Sessions which will include Rob Da Bank and hosts such as Jordan Mckinlay, Jody Hannan and Luca Pilato.

Common People 2015

Common People 2015

The festival is very soon to kick off, starting this Saturday 23rd of May on the beautifully leafy Southampton Common. Music will set off at 11am on numerous stages and festivities will run right through until 22:45pm.

The weekend will come to a close with a firework finale in true Rob Da Bank style and the Southampton sky will be lit up with iridescent brilliance and colour.

Rob Da Bank

Follow the Facebook page for more news and updates or visit the Website for build up news. Tickets are still available on Ticketline so be sure to pick up yours! See you there!


Portsmouth Beer Festival

Last weekend saw the return of Portsmouth Beer Festival. After the huge success of the May 2014 and Christmas sessions, the Portsmouth Beer Festival team were back.

The festival is “a celebration of craft beers and cask ales alongside a selection of ciders and draught beer”. The team had clearly done their research with the array of beers they had on display. With an eclectic mix of beers, ciders and ales, and tasting available, there was no room for disappointment.

On entering the beer festival you were given your ‘official tasting notes’. This was your beer bible. All the drinks, brewers and anything you wanted to know to help you make your selection was in this booklet in an easy A-Z format. As well as this you got a choice between a half or a full pint Portsmouth Beer Festival branded glass, for all your drinks that night which was a great souvenir to take home. Plus you received a free beer token (the value of half a pint).

Official Tasting Notes and Glass

Entertainment at the festival was well covered. There was a games room featuring a few classics – ‘play your cards right’ and ‘hoopla’, raising money for Samuels Fund and Rowans Hospice and a steady hand game by Sam FM.

Play Your Cards RightSteady Hand Sam FM

Outside in a ready-made beer garden were the food stalls, the smell was wonderful. Providing the food was Flip Burgers and O’Hagan’s BBQ and Hog Roast. It was a toss up between a perfectly crafted burger, a “no artificial anything” hot dog, or a hog roast. I decided to go for the hog roast as I was enjoying the cider.

Headlining the festival was The Southsea Alternative Choir (TSAC), supported by Mr Big Stuff and Fleetingwood Mac. It was the first time I had seen any of the bands, and was truly blown away by their performances. Particularly TSAC who played wonderful renditions of a variety of songs with the lyrics on a projector in the background for the whole crowd to join in.

The Southsea Alternative Choir 2 The Southsea Alternative Choir

The mix of festival goers was diverse, ranging from 18 – 50+. It was great to see a such a variety of people of all ages connecting over something they loved. The atmosphere was fun and friendly with a combination of good music, entertainment and a fine selection of beers and ciders.


The Portsmouth Beer Festival is due back this December for another fantastic event, which I am already looking forward to. To find out more about the charities at the festival visit and

Stand Up & Rock! Jasper Carrott And The Bev Bevan Band At The Kings Theatre

Jasper Carrott’s Stand Up & Rock did exactly what it said on the tin last night at the King’s Theatre in lovely Southsea.

Jasper Carrott

Jasper is back touring, mic in hand along with one of his best mates, Bev Bevan, who was part of the infamous band ELO.

Rockin Berries lead singer, Geoff Turton, Celtic Rock Band, Quill’s lead singer ‘Joy’ and the Bev Bevan band belted out old classics including covers of Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and Marvin Gaye.

The unique show not only revived some totally wondrous old songs but also got some fantastic musicians back on stage performing.


Jasper performed in Portsmouth as a young comedian and admits it is still one of his favourite spots to visit, also admitting that it sparks some incredible memories of the very stage he performed on last night and urges the community to keep the theatre alive and looked after by supporting it with bums on seats and small donations.

Jasper Carrott

It is great for one of our local historic venues to be so highly spoken of and visited by such brilliant entertainers.

Follow the show on Facebook or visit the official Website for tour dates and show information.

Watch Student Film from Underwater Filming Unit at University of Portsmouth

You’ll probably know the name Triton Scuba, they are located on Highland Road in Southsea with a scuba gear store, put on diving trips & diver training and they often set up a diving pool at local events for people to try out diving for the first time. Maybe a little less known is that David Jones at Triton Scuba is one hell of an underwater cameraman and photographer. With years of work diving with a camera for magazines and for TV programmes all over the world, you could well have seen some of his submersed imagery along the line.

Back in 2013 we worked with David and Triton on the Creating Balance project, where as part of a larger project with Anglepoise and the University of Portsmouth we placed a lamp in Southsea Marina for a few months. Working with David and his team made the underwater lamp possible, you can see the film about the underwater Anglepoise lamp HERE). Soon after David was approached by the University of Portsmouth to teach a unit entitled Underwater Filming and Media, a subject very few universities cover.

Recently David shared a film from one of his students, showing what work they get up to on this innovative and creative course unit. Danielle Wiltshire for her course produced a short promo film for Vobster Quay inland diving centre. Fantastic to see the quality of work coming out of this course and to see the University, working with local creatives, breaking new ground (or waves?) with innovative teaching subjects.

Check the photos below from a recent course trip and the Danielle’s film.

Underwater Filming Unit at University of Portsmouth

Underwater Filming Unit at University of Portsmouth

Under The Spotlight – Photography Exhibition at Coastguard Studio

You’ll probably remember earlier this year the Under the Spotlight exhibition held at the Coastguard Studio in Southsea, where over 50 local artists, photographers, designers, street artists and more were part of one of the largest group shows in a while. This Saturday sees the opening of a spin-off to that exhibition Under the Spotlight – Photography that, as the name suggests, places the attention firmly on photographers’ work.

This new group exhibition brings together 30 photographers who are either based in Portsmouth and Southsea or have very strong links with the area. The photographers are:

Monika Feczko-Guzman, Shaun Roster, Salvatore Alessandro, Matt Ankers, Ashton Keiditsch, Aaron Bennett, Guilhem Brandy, Billie Rae Cawte, Thomas Martinez, Diana Goss, Andrew Paul Hayward, Matt Maber, Isabel Hernandez, Elmer Maniebo, Andrew Malbon, Harry Murphy, Jon Neil, Awful Shame, Emily Whiting, Mad Johnny, Cameron Windsor, Paul Windsor, Dario Scovacricchi, Mark Persaud, Connor Warren, Jessica Bowers, Jonty Sexton, Deborah Holton, Yasmine Collins & Ali Tollervey.

If you’ve been following Strong Island for a while or have bought our calendar over the years many of those names will be familiar to you, there is no doubt this will be a fantastic collection of images.

The exhibition opens this Saturday at 5pm, find out more details on the exhibition Facebook event HERE and over at:

Under The Spotlight - Photography Exhibition at Coastguard Studio

Portsmouth Live! Concerts as Part of Americas Cup Weekend inc. Bastille, Spandau Ballet & More

Excitement builds for the upcoming long weekend (July 23rd to 26th) of Americas Cup racing in the Solent just off of Southsea beach with more details of concerts that will be happening each night once the sails are lowered and the yachts are moored up. One of the main nights for Portsmouth Live! will be Saturday night with a heavyweight lineup by the Victorious guys featuring Bastille, Spandau Ballet, McBusted & Carly Rae Jepsen. On the Thursday and Friday evenings will be the South Coast Proms, with The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines taking the stage for a two-hour concert plus a Naval Sunset Ceremony by the Royal Marines Corps of Drums.

Tickets for Portsmouth Live are available in 30 minutes (10am) and then until Tuesday 26th May. If you have already booked your ticket to the America’s Cup World Series event and and live in the city with a PO1 to PO6 postcode you will be able to access an ‘early bird’ opportunity exclusive to The News to secure your Saturday night ticket via:

Tickets will then go on sale to the general public after 10am on Tuesday 26th May. For pricing details visit the News website HERE.

Bastille at Blissfields, photo by Si Gross.

Safer Portsmouth | Bicycles

Portsmouth as a city possesses a high number of bicycle enthusiasts. Whether you are using your bike to commute to work, racing or just getting from A to B. Sadly bicycle theft is a relatively easy crime to commit. With their increased usage over the summer months we need to do as much as we can to deter criminals and assist the Police in recovering the bike if the worst is to happen and your bike is stolen. There are some simple steps to follow…

* Get a good bike lock (preferably a D-Lock) and attach your bike to something secure, e.g. a bike rack or a lamppost.
* Always lock your bicycle, even if you are only leaving it for a couple of minutes.
* Have your bike’s frame security-marked or engraved.
* Keep your bike in a secure garage or shed. Keep the door locked and keep it out of public view.
* If you have quick-release wheels, lock them up as well or take them with you.
* Remove lights from the bike and take them with you.
* Register your bike with schemes such as Immobilise or Bike Register.

One of the biggest problems the Police encounter is the victim being unable to offer a full description of their bike. This makes it much more difficult to identify it as stolen, please take the time to make a note of your make, model and frame number. The frame number can be found in a number of places including the head tube, under bottom bracket, seat tube and down tube.

The Safer Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Portsmouth are really pro-active and offer a FREE security marking events. You can find out your nearest one by contacting your local Safer Neighbourhood Team, you can find their details by entering your postcode on the Hampshire Constabulary website Here are just a few of the events that you can take your bike along to be marked.

You are likely to have seen the brightly painted unclaimed bikes locked up around the city. These were put there by Portsmouth Police to encourage cyclist to lock their bikes up securely. The bikes were placed around the city, particularly where there are increased reports of bike thefts.

Northern Portsmouth
Cycle marking events

Southern Portsmouth
Milton Park, Mondays (13.00 hours – 15.00 hours)
25th May | 22nd June | 20th July | 17th August

St Mary’s Hospital, Thursdays (11.00 hours – 14.00 hours)
28th May | 25th June | 23rd July | 20th August

Canoe Lake, Sundays (11.00 hours – 14.00 hours)
7th June | 5th July | 2nd August

Eastney Community Centre, Thursdays (19.00 hours – 21.00 hours)
11th June | 6th August

Hampshire Police

Strong Island Summer Portsmouth Photography Walkshops

Through Strong Island Media we have delivered photography workshops over the last 3 years to over a thousand people of all ages and abilities across the south coast. Working with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, University of Portsmouth, Making Space, Hampshire Cultural Trust plus many schools and youth groups we’ve developed Walkshops, where rather than sitting down in a classroom you actively learn different photography skills and techniques out and about with your camera, with support from a professional photographer.

We’ve delivered dozens of these Walkshops from Worthing through to Bournemouth and as far north as Surrey but for the first time we’re now offering them to the budding photographers in Portsmouth. We’re blessed with a visually rich and diverse city, with harbours, beaches, woodland, wildlife and lots of heritage to explore through photography. These photography workshops throughout the summer will take place at different locations around the city and will involve a leisurely 2 hour walk with fun & creative photo activities allowing you to find out much more about your camera and how to get the best from it in the future. We’ll be looking at composition, perspectives, textures, leading lines, creating narrative and also how to take control of aperture and shutter speed.

All you have to do is bring along your camera to take part. It can be anything from a digital compact through to an SLR and if you want to shoot 35mm film, cool! If you don’t have your own camera we have a selection of digital compacts you are free to borrow for the workshop. We can even offer 35mm SLRs for you to use if you like. Even if you just bring along your cameraphone you’ll learn loads that’ll make a big difference to your mobile photography.

Walkshops are 2 hours long (from 10am to 12pm) and cost £10 either in advance (booked online) or in person at the start of the workshop. Group size is limited to 15 per workshop. All ages welcome.

Walkshop dates and locations are as follows:

20th June – Old Portsmouth, meeting at the Round Tower
4th July – Southsea Seafront, meeting at Clarence Pier
18th July – Hilsea Lines/Foxes Forest, meeting at Hilsea
8th August – Eastney, meeting at Hayling Ferry Point
15th August – Southsea Castle
19th September – Southsea Seafront, meeting at Rose Gardens

You can book online on any of these walkshops right HERE using Eventbrite & PayPal. For more information give Paul a call on 07752 007101 or email

Seal Primary Academy

Conservancy Sunset Workshop

Chamberlayne Photography Workshop

Next »


Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Big thanks to Khalid who sent over these vintage photographs scanned from The Images of Portsmouth (1993). We have a small selection so I’ll put one page up each week.

Love this first shot of the band stand on the common in the 1920s showing how the site was originally used before the Skatepark was built around it in the 70s. So many deckchairs, it must have been big business back then. It’s a shame they didn’t keep the bandstand as it was with the little steps and iron railing. It’s a little different NOW as Marcus’s ariel shot shows. Click the image to see the high res scan up close.

Pier and Snow

Here are a few photos from a walk down to the pier on Wednesday during the snowfall. There are some more over on Forever Circling.

Whiteout #2


Walk Together

Created Local – Matt Howarth

Local illustrator, blogger, cyclist and member of the I Love Dust crew has just relaunched his website with a brand new design and loads of new content. be sure to take some time and give it a good look, plenty of visual gems in there.

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.

Rolling right Inuit part II

Following on from the previous post about the Igloo seen on Southsea Common, Khalid Saleh was kind enough to get in contact with some more information and some photos. It took Khalid and 6 of his friends 5 and a half hours to build the Igloo using what looks like icecream tubs and glow sticks were donated by passers by from the Navy.

It’s still standing today and Meridian will be doing a short interview with them. Not sure when that will air, but hopefully I’ll catch it.







Inside the Round Tower

The Round Tower in Old Portsmouth is an often visited landmark but few people get a look at what lies inside those walls. On Friday a few lucky members of The Solent Camera Club (on one of it’s Friday evening meets) were able to explore it’s cavernous interior including the brick arches, rusted cannons and stalactites.

Photos kindly supplied by Duncan Allan.


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

Old Portsmouth

I found this photo of Old Portsmouth shot form The Spinnaker last night. I don’t think I’ve seen it shot from this angle before. It almost looks like another town at first glance. Some great details. Cricket in full swing, all the catchers traps on the roof of the fish market, enjoying a beer at The A Bar, Lawn Bowls, all on a cracking sunny day. Click on the image for full size.

Photo – eNil

Old Cycle Race

At some point between the wars this was taken during a cycle race at the Alexandra Park velodrome up in Tipner, which is still there.

Cycle Race
(Click on image to see a larger version)

Created Local – Caleigh Illerbrun

Old University friend Tom Hall sent me over a link to his extremely talented and prolific girlfriend Caleigh Illerbrun’s online portfolio With illustration, painting and 3 dimensional work firmly tucked under her belt Caleigh has an impressive amount of work on her site, some of which is up for grabs. Currently selling coasters over in her SHOP, Caleigh needs a little help identifying the favourites as she has an advert coming out soon in a magazine.

I’m loving the ‘Wood Tree’ coaster set below, and very much so the ‘Bearlamb’ acrylic & pen at the bottom. You can also follow Caleigh on Facebook and also her blog.

Strong Island Clothing Co.