Strong Island Co.

Vintage & Historical Portsmouth

Hotwalls Studios – Applications For Studios Now Open

Since the early beginnings of Hotwalls Studios (once previously named the ARTches project) local creatives have been keen to find out more and to sign up for one of the studio spaces. The time has finally arrived and formal applications for Hotwalls Studios are now open!

The Hotwalls Studios is located in the unique and important heritage buildings, known collectively as Point Battery. Thirteen studios are available in total, ranging in size from 194 square feet (18 square metres) to 258 square feet (24 square metres). Hotwalls Studios can be used between 7am to 11pm, seven days a week and Portsmouth City Council expect the studios to be occupied for at least 30 hours a week during this period. You can apply to rent a whole studio or to share with another person/business.

Portsmouth City Council have produced a studio application pack which contains detailed information about the studios, including rents and terms, to request a pack get in touch with PCC by emailing:

The deadline for applications is the 25th March 2016, so get involved!

Hotwalls Studios is due to open mid-summer this year, we’re really looking forward to seeing this fantastic new creative hub in the city.

ARTches Proposal Consultation (3)

Kings Theatre Family Open Day Tomorrow

The Kings Theatre Open Day returns on tomorrow (Saturday 16th January), to give the whole family a day out to remember and a behind the scenes experience of the beautiful Edwardian theatre. From 10am to 4pm you are welcomed to explore areas of the theatre you never usually get to see, with a technical tour of the stage house and a trip to the fly floor, or learn about the history of the theatre on one of the historical tours.

As well as exploring you can also try your hand at Ukulele ‘jamming’, take part in a stage workshop with the Kings Youth Theatre, or show them your best pose in our 80’s vs 90’s photo booth. Join Fareham College backstage in the dressing rooms for character make-up demonstrations, casualty special effects and character transformations with special wig and makeup techniques.

If you are interested in the history of the Kings, and the restoration of the building, an exhibition and information will be in the promenade with archivists to chat to. HMS Warrior will also have an archive exhibition and workshop taking place within the Matcham Bar.

At 3pm, a showcase of performances will take place on the stage with some sneak previews of upcoming shows this year. A day not to be missed!

Tickets are £5 single and £15 family and can be bought at the box office (phone 02392 828282) and online at the Kings Theatre website:

Kings Theatre

A History of Point – Portsmouth’s Spice Island by Gower Lloyd

Local author Gower Lloyd recently dropped off a copy in to Strong Island Co of his new book A History of Point – Portsmouth’s Spice Island which focuses on the rich history of this part of Old Portsmouth. Gower was born in Portsmouth and was brought up on Point in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and has created an incredible book that captures all aspects of life throughout the years of this particular part of the city and its residents and visitors.

Portsmouth Point, part of which was first built on in the fifteenth century is a unique place with a fascinating history. It is known locally as “Spice Island”, possibly named so due to all the spices and Eastern goods that passed through it when the East India Company and its large fleet of ships were regular visitors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

This new book attempts to give readers an idea of the colourful place this must have been throughout its history with mariners visiting from all parts of the world. It was visited by crews of both the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy and sailors from many foreign ports and at one time during its history it boasted nearly fifty pubs, together with beer houses, within its small geographical area.

Maritime trades of all description were in existence to service all the boats and crews that regularly visited the area, and for many years the Press gangs were active on Point often arriving at the Sally Port and then heading to the Point capturing local men and forcing them to serve aboard his Majesty’s ships, both home and abroad.

Numerous activities that occurred throughout the centuries on the Point are outlined in the book giving an insight into what life would have been like during that period. Many very famous people have been associated with Point throughout the centuries helping to shape both Britain’s history and that of Spice Island.

The book is A4 in size and 200 pages, packed with lots of photos, illustrations and paintings, all for only £19.95.

We’ll soon have the book for sale in our growing book section in the Strong Island Co store dedicated to books about Portsmouth and Southsea.

You can find out more about the book at:

A History of Point – Portsmouth’s Spice Island by Gower Lloyd

Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Opens to the Public This Week

If you have visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in the last year or two it has been difficult to miss the changes happening to one of the largest buildings at the historic site, with Boathouse 4 undergoing a complete restoration and re-fit both inside and out. The building itself was hastily completed at the start of World War Two (with the building originally intended to extend all the way to Victory Gate) and it’s industrial shape and form has now been restored and converted into a Boatbuilding Skills Training Centre and is now home to the International Boatbuilding College Portsmouth (moving back from Boathouse 5). Boathouse 4 is now finished and opens to the public this week.

The building is a vast open, central space that provides a working home for small boats that will be restored by the students attending International Boatbuilding College Portsmouth and Highbury College, many of whom come from all over the world. The current boats being worked on range from a Falklands War marines landing craft through to the historic Lively Lady, which Southsea sailor Sir Alec Rose completed his single-handed trip around the world in 1968.

These and many other boats will undergo restoration with the students utilising their new skills to bring these (and future) craft back to use. Boathouse 4 has workshops for the students to learn the timeless woodworking skills required for their new careers, with them building toolboxes in the woodshop plus step ladders and tools. As well as using tools (some of which donated back to the college from boatbuilders from the dockyard through the ages) the students can also use some of the state of the art new machinery too. These workshops all open out to the main workspace and for years to come will be a hive of activity for visitors to the dockyard to watch.

The college will be actively working with the local community on a range of interesting outreach projects with schools and colleges, with young people in particular able to get a taste of what it is like to build small boats. The new classroom in Boathouse 4 gives educational visitors a base to learn but the they’ll be very quickly put to work with fun and creative activities.

As well as being a working space, Boathouse 4 now has new additions for visitors to the dockyard, including exhibition of small boats (some with particularly fascinating histories) and activities people can get involved with. With a circular, elevated walk around the building, you can learn more about the boatbuilding before visiting the brand new cafe/restaurant/bar that will be opening very soon. The decor and fittings to this new cafe/restaurant/bar are excellent and the view through the huge windows looking over HMS Warrior and the busy Portsmouth Harbour are quite simply worth a visit alone. This new space will also be home to corporate events too.

Boathouse 4 opens just in time for half-term as a brand new attraction for visitors to the city and local residents too. It can’t be understated how Boathouse 4 brings a whole new dimension to what is on offer at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. As with the recent restoration and opening of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the WWI ship HMS M.33, the dockyard now brings the country’s & the city’s naval, shipbuilding and sailing history from the Mary Rose all the way up to today, and even in to the future with the young boatbuilders working on new craft. What’s more, Boathouse 4 is a FREE attraction, you do not need to buy a ticket like you do for HMS Victory or the Mary Rose Museum, you can simply pop in as and when you like. There is no doubt that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard really is one of the very best visitor attractions not just in the south but in the UK and even Europe.

You can find out much more about Boathouse 4 on the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website (see below) and regarding opening and activities this week check out the Boathouse 4 Twitter (@Boathouse_4):

Below are more photos from Boathouse 4:

I WAS THERE! Musical Heritage Project With Portsmouth Guildhall

As part of Portsmouth Guildhall‘s 125th birthday celebrations the Portsmouth Cultural Trust & Strong Island, with the support of Arts Council England, will be running the I WAS THERE! project throughout August, with the aim to collect as many memories of special musical performances at the Guildhall, past and present, as possible. Were you in the audience at that unique show with your favourite band, on stage for the first time, or perhaps part of the team that made it all happen? We’d love to hear about it.

As well as collecting memories we’ll be asking people to send in photos of themselves with treasured mementos from these special moments experienced at Portsmouth Guildhall. It might be a drumstick, guitar pick, set list, poster, ticket, album, photo or even something more unusual! These photos can be sent in via email or social media (see details below) or you can be photographed at special I WAS THERE open days at the Guildhall throughout August. We’ll also be filming short interviews too for a film project.

We will be sharing the memories you have sent us plus your photos and interviews with everyone via social media, building a picture of all of the special experiences at Portsmouth Guildhall throughout its long musical history. You will also be invited to the resulting screening and live performance event as one of our special guests.

Strong Island will be at the Guildhall to receive any contributions between 1pm and 5pm on the following days:
Sunday 9th and Saturday 15th, 22nd and 29th of August.

Please send your memories & photo contributions to or to
the Guildhall’s Twitter @portsmouthghall & Facebook, using #IWasThereGuildhall

Find out more at:

Since the first official announcement of the I WAS THERE project in Saturday’s The News (as part of their comprehensive coverage of the 125th celebrations) we have already had some great memories come in! Keep your eyes peeled for I WAS THERE flyers from the Guildhall, Strong Island Co and lots of other locations around Portsmouth.

I WAS THERE! Musical Heritage Project With Portsmouth Guildhall

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Matt Wingett, Author

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

You can read the first article, featuring Mark Waldron, Editor of the News, HERE.
You can also catch the second in the series, with Megan Barnes (a Photography Student) HERE.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Matt Wingett, a local Author with an interest in design and culture, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Matt had a look around the exhibition, he let us know what were his own Best in Show.

Hello Matt, can you start by telling us what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

Okay, it is called Teapot by Christopher Dresser. This teapot I absolutely adore because one of the things that I have thought about in best in show and one of the things that I do in museums generally is think, “Would I want that at home?” And that; I would love at home.
It’s delicate, and just look at the lines, it’s just absolutely gorgeous, with this beautiful squat curve that it’s got but this incredibly delicate spout and handle. The whole thing is just a really wonderful piece of aesthetic engineering, so I really enjoy it on that level. But it’s also got practicality, I love the fact that it’s something that will bring me comfort and that also is part of it’s appeal. It’s not only a visual thing but also it’s kinaesthetic. And also, pouring the water and hearing that, it is a complete sensual delight for me, especially with the bright chrome/silvered finish on it as well.

And could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

It’s this wonderful turner’s chair from around 1640. I absolutely love this, because it’s not only a chair, but a demonstration piece which was showing how good this turner was at his job. So, what you’ve got built into the chair is, for example, the ends of banisters, or little figures along the tops of the horizontals. However, there’s something else about this design that I really like apart from all the turning which takes a degree of skill to make. This guy was a great turner. So in 1640, working on a lathe, with a foot pedal I would guess, and that it quite an extraordinary piece. But, the other thing I like about it on a modern level is it’s square-ness, because that reminds me of is a 1970’s robot. Now, that’s something that it gives me (and nobody else probably is going to get that) but I love it for that kind of kookiness. My goodness what a thing to talk about… and what a thing to have in your house and to show off to people.

And what is the third and final exhibit and why do you like it?

Okay so we have a portrait of Miss Grace Canon. As soon as I saw this picture I fell in love with it. She has got the most calm and composed face, one that thinks straight but has a degree of humour in it. She looks like some who is confident, clear about what she wants to do, and that was immediately what I got. I also thought she was very elegant. The notes say that she was an early pioneer of motorcar racing, which makes that steely look in her eye all the more pertinent because this was a woman who liked adventure. She also lived in Southsea, so she’s got that local connection which I love, and the other side to that is she is one of the donors to this very museum!

if you could think of something, of your own, that you could donate to the museum and the city collection, what would it be?

I think it would be Portsmouth City library, which actually already belongs to the council. That building is actually a great example of brutalist architecture. It’s an extraordinarily well-designed and detailed building. So overall, I think that it isn’t recognised as being the real top-notch architectural achievement it should be.

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

A Hard Choice – Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student

Throughout the running of the current exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum people get to choose their favourite items from the Portsmouth City Collection that are on show in A Hard Choice (you can see and read our preview of the exhibition HERE). Every month different items chosen by many visitors are given rosettes showing the current favourites. Strong Island, working with the Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services (with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund), are asking lots of different people from around Portsmouth what their personal favourite items are in the exhibition and why.

Next up in this series of articles we met up with Megan Barnes, a local photography student with an interest in art and history, at Portsmouth City Museum. After Megan had a walk around the exhibition, she let us know what were her own Best in Show.

Hi Megan, can you let us know what your first best in show object is and what you liked about it please?

It is the souvenir clock of the coronation of King George, and I just love the craftsmanship of it. It’s completely different to all the others that are on display (in the community case) and I like the fact that they’ve kept it bronze, which is nice, and it keeps it natural. It just caught my eye completely, separately from the others, and the woodwork ones are lovely, but I really think it gives a real feel to it because of the materials. It gives it that powerful feel. I mean, it’s a strong material that has been used and the symbolisation of the coronation complies with that in a way.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (2)

So could you tell us what the second exhibit you’ve chosen is and what you liked about this image?

This is called a Pier to Pier race. I love black and white photography anyway; it gives such a strong image compared to other photos, and I just love the story behind this, because the whole picture captures how big this event was. The fact that she had to fight to get her place and then came second as a disabled swimmer, I think is brilliant anyway, but I just love the people in it and it makes me laugh, because you wouldn’t get that, say down Southsea, nowadays. It’s also weird to see it that busy, because you don’t get that. And I think that’s because Southsea gets forgotten, even though it’s such a beautiful place, I mean I have family down there and we visit there a lot, but it does; it gets forgotten.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (3)

And can you explain to us what your third choice is and what you liked about it?

This image, of a child with a dog and a squirrel, caught my eye because I love paintings, especially old-fashioned ones. I think they’re just stunning and with the materials they had back then and what they achieved, but this one I just love the girl’s face and the little dog in the corner. But the story of the frame and how it took a long time to find the correct frame for it; how early she (the curator) had to get up and go to London to make sure she got her place to get this framed show that actually it’s a marvellous piece. I just love looking at it, the colours, it just hasn’t lost any of it’s originality, and considering how old it is I just think it’s stunning.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (4)

Finally, what thing would you personally consider donating to the city collection?

So, this only started a couple of years ago, but my family and I go camping every year and we go to Swanage. They have a carnival type week and a masquerade night, and I’ve been collecting quite a few of their masks that they have on sale, so I have about 6 of them now. I think that would be what I would put forward because they’re stunning; they’re just so pretty.

A Hard Choice - Best in Show With Megan Barnes, Photography Student (1)

Don’t forget you can visit A Hard Choice exhibition and the rest of Portsmouth City Museum and other museums in the city for free the Easter and beyond. You can find out more about the museums and what activities are taking place at:

Portsmouth Museums now on Instagram

Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services run all of the city’s museums and care for the large city collection with everything from archeology through to fine art. To give more of an insight in to what goes on behind the scenes of the different museums and what the dedicated staff and volunteers do to curate exhibitions and care for the collection they have set up an Instagram account. If you’re on Instagram give them a follow at @PortsmouthMuseum.

Below are a few examples of the photos going up on the Portsmouth Museum Instagram:

Portsmouth Museum on Instagram (1)

Portsmouth Museum on Instagram (2)

Portsmouth Museum on Instagram (3)

Collectors and Collecting Conference at the University of Portsmouth

For the last few months or so the act of collecting and the role of the collector (or curator) has been something we’ve been talking about a lot, particularly in reference to the current main exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum: A Hard Choice. The exhibition is personally curated by the city’s Collections Manager Rosalinda Hardiman and it puts a focus on how important collections and curation can be.

On Friday 5th June 2015 the University of Portsmouth are holding a one day conference entitled Collectors and Collecting which will focus on collecting. For centuries humans have conceptualised their identities through the activity of collecting. The practice of defining culture, space and time through interactions and relationships with objects appears to be a recurring feature of human history and has led to a long tradition of memorialising the past in libraries, museums, archives and personal collections. Since civilisation began, there has been an ever-increasing trend for collecting objects, from exotic souvenirs of antiquity to photograph albums, objets d’art to folk tales and songs, literary mementoes to governmental archives. In recent years, this has led to the meaningful object being explored and theorised in many disciplines, including literature, art and museums studies, to name but a few.

The conference aims to look at all aspects of collecting from early modern collections of souvenirs to Victorian forms of control through categorisation and the nostalgic renewal of past forms; from the eclectic juxtapositions of Modernism all the way through to today with modern creative uses of the archive, fandom and cult collectors.

The conference will host keynote speaker Professor Susan Pearce, currently Professor Emeritus of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, who has written extensively on the meaningful object, and the interrelations between individuals and artefacts. The programme also includes another 15 talks from a variety of experts in the field covering many different related subjects:

  • – Collectors and collections from the perspective of literary, film and art history disciplines
  • – The representation of collections and collectors in literature and film
  • – Collections in Museums, archives, libraries and galleries
  • – Literary collections and literary collectors
  • – Fandom and cult collecting
  • – The Imperial Archive and postcolonialism
  • – Expanded definitions of the collection – countries, people, memories
  • – The psychology of collecting and habits of collecting
  • – The history of collecting; the relations of collecting to history
  • – Collections of: photography, manuscripts, souvenirs, postcards, stamps, naturalists’ collections (insects etc.), books, music, stories, autographs, magazines, albums and scrapbooks, letters, life-writing etc.
  • – Theories of the collection including thing theory, archive theory, object theory, museum theory and cultural memory theory
  • – Subjectivity and objectivity in the collection
  • – Experiences of researching the collection and fictional researchers

You can see the full programme HERE (PDF).

Tickets for the day are only £35 including lunch and can be booked online:

You can find out more about the conference by emailing or visit the Collectors and Collecting conference blog.

Collectors and Collecting Conference at the University of Portsmouth

Lyndon Richards Old Portsmouth Houses on House Bricks Exhibition at Aspex Gallery

I first discovered the house brick paintings of Lyndon Richards during last year’s Portsmouth Festivities Spice Island Art Trail where a small street of bricks were arranged in Portsmouth Cathedral (you can see our article HERE). Each brick formed a painted building or house, with people able to commission their own home to be painted. The thing that caught my eye was the Old Portsmouth buildings, with much of that part of the city destroyed during the Blitz bombing raids aimed at the Dockyard, it was interesting to see this part of the city come to life through these brick paintings.

Aspex Gallery have a new exhibition opening today with Southsea artist Lyndon Richards with the Old Portsmouth houses on original house bricks on display in the Cafe from Friday 15 May – Sunday 7 June. This exhibition of eighteen works marks the beginning of a much larger project. Lyndon is planning to spend the next 2 – 3 years painting a brick portrait of every building in Old Portsmouth’s High Street c.1860, with a view to this becoming a permanent external exhibition.

“My brick house portraits are inspired by my dual passions: Art & Architecture. When I paint, I seek to capture the very essence of a building, its beauty, character, history, and memories within. I am inspired by the complexity of architecture, its history and evolution, a collaboration of skills and trades producing works of art to be cherished and loved.

The brick houses — each of which feature a house on Old Portsmouth’s High Street — are painted to scale, ensuring balance, integrity and preservation of the original architecture. I only use house bricks from the 19th century to ensure an individuality that compliments the uniqueness of each portrait.”

Entry to this exhibition is FREE. A preview evening, open to the public and also free, will take place on tonight from 18.00-20.00h.

Lyndon Richards Houses on House Bricks Exhibition at Aspex Gallery (1)

Lyndon Richards Houses on House Bricks Exhibition at Aspex Gallery (2)

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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.

Local Photographer – Pompey Shoes

I’ve been following Pompeyshoes on Flickr for a while now, yet somehow missed this great shot of a sunset down on the seafront. Be sure to check his Portsmouth & Southsea set for more great photos and interesting perspectives.



The dockyards, taken on 18th July 1914. The dockyards and harbour are quiet as almost all the ships are anchored at Spithead ready for the Royal review by King George V.

(Click to see larger image)

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.

The Infamous Harry Pounds Scrapyard Submarines

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

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

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

Created Local – John Illsley

We got sent a link to John Illsley’s website recently, loads of amazing photos including many from all over Southsea and Portsmouth, be sure to check it out. Here are a few examples:

John Illsley

John Illsley

CHAOS – 20 years & out!

20 years!!!! That has to go in the books as Southsea longest running night? Give or take, most people you bump in to have been to a least one Chaos night, and most spent a grimy late one down the pier dancing like idiots and spilling Newcastle Brown all over the place. I’ve a lot of fond memories of the earlier days at Chaos, mostly after skating and sitting in the pub saying I’m not going. Not this week. Then 8 pints later jumping in a taxi…

If you have any stories or cool photos from Chaos we’d love to see them. Or even some of the old flyers. There have been some pretty interesting designs over the years. I’ll always remember the photo flyer of the kid on the dance floor with a girl and his ‘wandering hands’.

Jay Dunstan got in contact and had this to say:

“To coincide with our 20th Birthday on Saturday 26th November – we’re announcing that this will be the last ever “Chaos”.

Starting in 1991 at South Parade Pier, moving to the Wedgewood rooms in 2008 – we’ve been crowned the South Coasts longest running Independent Club night, winning The Guide Awards “Best club night”, “Best DJs” (x 2) and the promoters Ped & Jay being awarded a special award for contribution to the Portsmouth Music Scene. Chaos has provided Dj’s and club nights at Guilfest, Southsea Fest & Isle of Wight Festivals.

Having been a constant in our lives and the Portsmouth clubbing & music scene for 2 decades – Its been a very tough decision to stop the regular club night. But we feel that now is the best time to unplug the speakers for the last time.

Chaos was always quite literally about being ‘alternative’ – alternative in music policy, but also offering an alternative to the traditional and mainstream clubs. Our ethos was always simple – play music we liked, to people to we liked & do it prime time on a Saturday night 52 weeks a year!

Our feeling is that the current scene is very different now and although still loving every element of the gigs, festivals and guitars – a regular club night offering everything we did, now isn’t whats required. Clubbers will always want an alternative, but the music scene is now so split and venues, pubs & clubs are all competing for survival – we felt it was a good opportunity to step back, take a deep breath & raise a glass to rock n roll!

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of Chaos over the last 20 years – venue managers, bar staff & door stewards – sound & light technicians – – street teams – performers & bands and of course the roll call of DJ’s past & present that have provided the soundtrack to so, so, so many silly, drunken and above all fun Saturday nights.

Hey ho, lets go!”

The 20th Birthday & Last EVER Chaos – Saturday 26th November 2011

Flyer: Chaos Flickr

Fog Lights!

I love fog, even more so at night time because all the street lights are on and it’s like this weird eerie zombie town. People appear out of no where and even cars creep up on you before you notice them in the deathly silence of the fog. I watched, or should I say waited, as the the Hovercraft came over from The Isle of Wight. I could hear the roar of the engines for five minutes till I could actually see the craft as it pulled on to shore. Spooky.

My little point and shoot isn’t much cop in low light fog but there are a few more over on my Flickr

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

Local Photographer – Paul Gordon

Local photographer Paul Gordon has spent a lot of time hanging out and photographing the local skaters over the summer, both in the skatepark and out and about. The photos from the summer are now up in galleries on Paul’s website As well as the skating photos there are also loads of other galleries too including sport, portraiture, landscape, etc. Have a flick through.




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