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Strong Island

The Battle Of The Sexes

Feel Yourself Campaign aims to promote awareness in younger men and women about the importance of checking for breast and testicular cancer regularly. Both types of Cancer are on the increase  and catching them early is the key to successful treatment.

Feel Yourself was started by Maddie Wallace while she was being treated for breast cancer. With no family history and no previous health problems, Maddie never checked herself. One day she bumped into a friend who had just undergone chemotherapy and that friend reminded her how important it is to check yourself often. This is probably what saved her life.

Maddie has been a whirlwind of motivation for Portsmouth and a drive to encourage us all to monitor ourselves for signs of Cancer.

The Battle of the Sexes is an event that will be held on the 23rd April at Southsea Castle. Doors will be open from 7:30pm and tickets cost £5.

The charity fundraiser evening will aim to raise awareness about Cancer and help enable people to spot the signs of it early enough to act on it quickly.

Special guests including Marley Blandford and the Fugitive Orchestra will entertain event goer’s and help mark the night with some fantastic music.

To purchase tickets please visit the website and follow events on Facebook.

Battle of the sexes

Battle of the sexes

Battle of the sexes



The Movement Initiative Presents ‘Celebrate’

The Movement Initiative Presents ‘Celebrate’, an evening packed with performances by some of the best dancers in the area across a multitude of genres.

The show is made up of pieces from some of the areas most prominent schools, dance organisations, crews and soloists under one roof for one night only in The Kings Theatre.

Confirmed to appear on the night include Phoenix School of Dance, Odyssey, Tiger Tone, #PPL, Kingsmen, Wolfpack, Tega Alex, Belle Fisher, Dream Chasers Collective and many more.

The show starts 7:30pm tickets are £9.50 or £7.50 for children and concessions. To find out more about the event check out the Facebook page HERE.


Record Store Day 2015 and the Castle Rd Fete

Is it really a year since the last Record Store Day? Tomorrow brings every vinyl fanatics’ favourite day of the year with the Pie & Vinyl team putting together their biggest RSD to date. The release list for tomorrow can only be described as exhaustive, featuring far too many artists and special editions to name in this post but you can check out the full inventory available tomorrow here (.xls download). If you spot something that you absolutely need in your life, make sure you get down to the store well in advance of the 8am opening and join the sure-to-be large queue. Tea will be on hand for all attendees alongside many music-orientated conversations so there’s no need to hide behind your iPad while you’re waiting.

For those without an inclination to black circles of musical goodness, Castle Rd will be taken over by a plethora of market stalls selling everything from vintage clothes and gluten free baked goods to pizza and festival tickets. The fete kicks off around 10am with the sellers accompanied by Pie & Vinyl’s obligatory stage featuring sets from the likes of Curl, TRAAMS, Kassassin Street and special guests The Champs. Bands will be taking to, and potentially destroying, the stage from midday all the way through to 8pm so make sure to pace yourselves out there.

Curl and The Boy I Used To Be at The Fat Fox

Last night at The Fat Fox saw the first UK show by French/Portsmouth band Curl in five years supported by local favourites The Boy I Used To Be.

Fresh off the back of the launch of their Grip EP, The Boy I Used To Be were on fine form despite the low turnout, smashing through the set list with professionalism interjected with signature humour. It’s always a pleasure seeing these guys perform on any stage.

Curl’s set felt like a homecoming show replete with a strong audience and on point stage decorations. The band is the product of an ongoing electronic music project by founder and guitarist Frank Amendola. Since its inception, the band has grown at a steady pace to include a variety of musicians including local vocalist Hayley Alker and drummer Jonny Callendar (Cranes/Vex) providing a definitively Anglo edge to the downtempo, electro rhythms.

If you didn’t the chance to see Curl last night, don’t fret as they’ll also be playing at Castle Rd on Saturday as part of the Castle Rd fete and Record Store Day celebrations.

For more photos from last night, check out our Facebook page here.

Strong Island Calendar 2016 #SIC2016

Yet again we were overwhelmed with the interest and success of our 2015 Calendar. I hope that you are all enjoying them and it is inspiring you to get involved and submitting your photo’s for inclusion for next years calendar.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2016 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 #SIC2016.

There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth. We would love to see more submissions from all over Portsmouth not just our favourite Southsea landmarks so please share this with friends who you think might be interested in getting involved.

Along with Instagram 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.

We have a couple of our 2015 Calendars left but if you are interested then get in quick as these are likely to go within the next week or so! You can get your copies from the Strong Island shop HERE.

Strong Island Calendar 2016

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.

Champagne Bar James White 5

Champagne Bar James White 4

Champagne Bar James White 2

Champagne Bar James White 3

Champagne Bar James White 1

Champagne Bar 2015 Poster

Video for New Kassassin Street Song ‘To Be Young’ by Jack Daly and James Sharp

Kassassin Street are crushing it at the moment with sold out shows here and there and everywhere and the new song ‘To Be Young’ quite rightly getting a lot of love with DJs and blogs. Eddy Temple Morris at XFM made the new single his Best Record In The World This Week recently and the song hit the UK Viral Top 50 chart on Spotify.

The new video for To Be Young is produced by Southsea’s own Jack Daly and James Sharp, both serious young talents in stills and film. Great to see these guys produce an awesome film for a song sure to be going places up and out the city. Serious props to all involved and stoked to see a lot of Strong Island friends in there too.

Kassassin Street - To Be Young

Torn Speaker Launch Party At The Cellars With Science Of Eight Limbs, Rickyfitts & More

Tomorrow being Thursday 16th April, Torn Speaker launches at The Cellars in Eastney with an amazing line-up featuring experimental, psychedelic rock duo Science of Eight Limbs who are mindbogglingly tight, punk duo Frauds from Croydon as well as local favourites and one of the finest live bands to come out of Portsmouth, the thrashy twosome Rickyfitts playing a rare hometown show and also opening the night will be Freak a new grunge trio born out of the ashes of Dirty Legion combining doom filled, sludge riffs with elements of punk.

Torn Speaker themselves are Max Goulding of Rickyfitts and The Park Studio and also Holly Mullineaux, guitarist of the buzzy Wyldest who are blowing up the blogosphere right now. The two decided to start the night to promote and put on bands they love, bringing some of the most exciting new acts to town. They’re already planning their second show and by the sounds of the line-up that they have planned, it’s going to be a great one. Entry is just £4 and doors are at 7.30pm and with it being a four band bill on a week day, expect an early start. More details about the show can be found on the Facebook page here

Southsea Fest 2014 - Rickyfitts

Southsea Fest 2014 - Rickyfitts


SomaHigh Come To Portsmouth

SomaHigh came to Southsea last night to play the infamous Wedgewood Rooms. Supporting Bipolar Sunshine, they warmed up the crowd before the main act came on.

SomaHigh are new to Portsmouth and Southsea and have some brilliant gig venues lined up for the upcoming months including ‘The Fat Fox’ on the 2nd May as part of Feedback Festival.

Introducing band members Sean Strugnell (bass and guitar), Leon Azor (bass and vocals), Paul Wolf (vocals, synth and keys) and Ryan Smith (drums), the band are keen to introduce themselves to Portsmouth.

Southampton based SomaHigh began when Singer/Songwriter, Sean Strugnell and bass player, Leon Azor were introduced to the notorious Camden music scene by Buzzcocks legend, Steve Diggle. Aspirations grew and the guys careers as musicians began. The band’s stage presence is energetic and  their adventurous sound, described as a blend of Indie, Rock and Electro creates memorable melodies.

SomaHigh have performed numerous live shows and have shared the stage with artists such as Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, 65 Days of Static and Cage the Elephant.

The bands powerful and charismatic performances have won them slots at Bestival in September last year and their new material will see them playing various festivals in the future including this year’s Common People.

Follow SomaHigh on Facebook or visit their website for event dates.







Today Have A Hard Choice Exhibition Tour With Rosalinda Hardiman

The Portsmouth City Museum‘s hugely successful A Hard Choice exhibition continues with many different talks, tours and displays over the coming months. Today you can join Collections Manager Rosalinda Hardiman for an introductory tour of the exhibition A Hard Choice. On the tour you can learn some of the stories behind the objects on show and Rosalinda’s reasons for selecting them for the exhibition.

The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is free. Give the City Museum a call 02392 834744 to book or ask at Reception.

Rosalinda Hardiman

Portsmouth City Museum

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Irving & Co. Local Brewery

Seeing as Portsmouth has such a rich history for pubs and naval culture I thought i’d bring your attention to something that combines the both.  Irving & Co brewers are situated at Railway Triangle in Farlington and have their doors open for tourists as well as turning out a fine range of real ales to a huge number of pubs in and around the Portsmouth area.

Irving and Co brings the welcome return of brewing to Portsmouth and a brewery to excite the taste buds of drinkers in Hampshire, Sussex and beyond. The company aim is to produce the highest quality traditional cask beers supplying the local market within 45 miles of Portsmouth.

Malcolm Irving ably assisted by Mark Doswell bring together 29 years of combined brewing industry experience to produce beers that they thoroughly enjoy and about which they care passionately. It’s not just a job, it’s definitely not just beer, it is a way of life.

New Book – Portsmouth from Family Archives

A new book called ‘Portsmouth from Family Archives’ has just been published. Brothers Jonathan and Matthew Ring started developing the book last summer. All the photographs included in the book were from their grandparents. They spent a great deal of time compiling, scanning and restoring slides and film from 1950s to 2006, including behind the scenes filming in Portsmouth.

The 100-page book is available online at Amazon. Bonzo Studio and Southsea Gallery on Albert Road, Southsea are currently selling it, and they hope other shops will sell it too. They are also planning to do the summer market at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.

“It’s been great fun, and such hard work keeping it a secret from everyone! We hope everyone enjoys the book and the photos inside it as much as we did.”

Photos below – A photo of Jonathan Ring, their Grandmother and Matthew Ring; unveiling the book to their grandparents; book cover and the slides.

Facebook group can be found here:

Sneak Peek - Showing the Grandparents the Portsmouth Book

Slides - Portsmouth Book (Coming Soon)

Bike Ride Panoramics

We will have loads of photos and stories from Sunday’s hugely successful Strong Island Bike Ride and to get started we have some huge panoramics taken by George Crick. Sadly we can only show some of the small versions here that do not do them justice so be sure to visit George’s website to see the all of the photos in full size, and spot yourselves in there!

George’s panoramics will be available to buy in Wallspace Gallery in Albert Road from Saturday for a bargain price of just £35.

Matt Saxey’s Bike Ride Photos

Head on over to Matts Flickr and check out a few more photos from last Sunday’s ride. Great photos that really help capture the event.



Local Photographer – Duncan Allan

We recently mentioned local photographer Duncan Allan’s framing skills but we also want to profile Duncan’s creative photography too. With a wealth of knowledge in different cameras and experimentation in many different techniques (both with film and with Photoshop and Lightroom), Duncan has a strong collection of images from the local area and all around the world. Here are a few of our favourites but they are just the tip of the iceberg, to see more check Duncan’s Flickr.

Red Scale


The now defunct Brickwoods Brewery was Portsmouth’s largest local brewer before it’s final demise in 1983. Many old pubs (and many houses that are converted old pubs) still have tiles and signs with the old brewery’s name on so in a way, it still lives on, just in the city’s background. Keep your eyes peeled. You can find out more about the company here too.

I came across these amazing beermats via Google, some interesting designs. Notice the sun motif…


Vintage Southsea Postcards

I dug these off the internet a while back and forgot I had them. Some real old school winners here. Click the read more link at the bottom of this article to see the full set.



Transport No. 2: The Hovercraft

Southsea seafront has iconic and familiar structures and views but ever since the mid 60s we also have the familiar sound of the hovercraft engines as it repeatedly arrives and leaves for Ryde. This hovercraft route itself was the first Hovercraft passenger service in the world and Hovertravel Limited, founded in 1965, is the world’s longest established commercial hovercraft operator. The first hovercraft was first developed on the Isle of Wight in 1955 when inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell tested out his idea for a floating/flying craft by putting a cat food tin inside a coffee tin. After fine-tuning his designs, Sir Christopher Cockerell secured funding to build a hovercraft. Saunders Roe, the flying boat firm in Cowes on the Isle of Wight was given the contract. The commercial success of hovercraft was initially huge but subsequently suffered from rapid rises in fuel prices during the late 1960s and 1970s. Since the channel routes abandoned hovercraft the United Kingdom’s only public hovercraft service is now our one operating from Southsea.

In 1972 Hovertravel’s SR-N6 012 overturned off of Southsea with a loss of five lives. This was the world’s first fatal accident involving a commercially operated hovercraft. Apart from this one incident the service has an incredible safety record and is used day in day out to transfer up to 100,000 passengers a year.

The hovercraft is a wonderful and now unique form of local transport and something to celebrate and also to actively enjoy with a trip. Booking and travel information is available at the Hovertravel website.

To discover more about hovercraft we are lucky to have the Hovercraft Museum just down the road in Lee-On-Solent which houses the world’s largest library of documents, publications, film, video, photographs and drawings on hovercraft and a collection of actual hovercraft too including the last two remaining SR.N4 craft, the world’s largest civil hovercraft.

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.

Harbour Tour

If you’re brave enough at this chilly time of year head on down to Gunwharf and take a tour around the home of the modern Navy. With aircraft carriers, the HMS Ark Royal, HMS Illustrious and Invincible, there’s plenty to see. Oh, and they sell beer on board.

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