Strong Island Co.

Portsmouth Football Club

Fratton Park 1978/79

While searching through my Facebook feed, amongst all of the selfies and cat photos I noticed a really fascinating post within the Memories of bygone Portsmouth group.

Tony Cook’s five photographs were taken at Fratton Park during the 1978/79 season. Featured in the photographs were the games against Wimbledon on Saturday 14th April and Barnsley on Saturday 5th May. The game against Wimbledon finished in a 0-0 draw and unfortunately the Barnsley game finished 1-0 to the visitors.

I wasn’t even born when these were taken but I can still remember going to Fratton Park in the late 80’s and early 90’s when there was still terracing.

Managed by Jimmy Dickinson Portsmouth finished seventh in division 4 that year, thirteen points behind league winners Reading. For our younger readers the old division 4 is now known as League 2.

Thanks to Tony for bringing these to photographs to my attention, I’m sure there are plenty of Pompey fans reading this who will be equally as interested to see the photographs.

If you would like to see more from Tony’s Fratton Park archive then you can find them on the Memories of bygone Portsmouth page HERE.

Fratton Park 1979 B
No. 3 Keith Viney takes a corner v Barnsley
Fratton Park 1979 A
Derek Showers holds off a Wimbledon defender
Fratton Park 1979 C
Steve Davey attacks the Wimbledon goal.
Fratton Park 1979 D
Peter Ellis can be seen in the foreground with Peter Mellor in goal
Fratton Park 1979
Portsmouth defending a corner v Wimbledon with Tony’s father on the right watching on intently

Lee Casey – Portsmouth FC Prints

Local artist Lee Casey has followed up his ‘Pompey Legends’ and ‘In Guy We Trust‘ prints with a celebration of his favourite Portsmouth FC shirts over the years. You can get your hands on one for £30 or the set of four for £80 at

You can stay up to date on all things Casey on Twitter @leemfcasey.

Lee Casey Goalie Kit

Lee Casey Portsmouth FC kits

Portsmouth FC launch Their Home Kit For 2014/15

Portsmouth Football Club have today launched their new home kit for the upcoming season. The shirt pays tribute to the ‘Pompey Pals’ who are soldiers from the city who died in First World War. The Pompey Pals were the 14th and 15th battalions of the Hampshire Regiment, and were recruited at Fratton Park.

Unveiled on the 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s involvement in that conflict, the kit replicates the look of the Blues’ 1914 version and also contains the names of all 1,400 members of the Pompey Pals who died.

The kit is on sale today at the Pompey Store, with shirts priced at £39.99 for adults and £34.99 for children’s sizes.

Portsmouth FC 2014/15 Home Shirt

Portsmouth FC 2014/15 Home Shirt

Portsmouth Football Club have also unveiled a ‘Pompey Pals’ memorial at Fratton Park. You can find out more about the memorial HERE.

Pompey Pals Memorial

The New Theatre Royal Presents… Raucous!

Raucous are three incredible fundraising events taking place between March 15th-23rd at Portsmouth Football Club’s Fratton Park and the Portsmouth Guildhall.

Starting on Saturday 15th March at 11:30am, they will be trying to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘largest air guitar ensemble’ in the Fratton End of Portsmouth Football Club’s Fratton Park.

Also on the 15th in the Victory Suite, Fratton Park at 1pm the New Theatre Royal will begin an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for ‘longest stand up gig’. More than sixty of the country’s best comics will be coming together to tell more than 4000 jokes across a staggering eighty unbroken hours! The record should be broken sometime on the evening of Tuesday 18th March. Tickets will be on sale in three-hour-long slots from next week.

Sunday March 23rd, the New Theatre Royal will also present a comedy double header featuring two of the UK’s most popular stage and TV comedians, Lee Nelson and Joe Wilkinson. The night will be opened by The Mini Band who must be Britain’s youngest metal band.

To find out how you can get tickets visit or

New Theatre Royal - Air Guitar


Nelson/Wilkinson New Theatre Royal

Strong Island – Portsmouth FC Shareholders

Well we’ve achieved it at last! Strong Island is now part owner of Portsmouth Community Football Club with our very own community share.  After our launch of the Strong Island X PFC design on tshirts back in May, we’ve completed our share purchase as we set out to do.  If we’re honest we achieved the total a long while ago, it’s just taken a while to complete the pledge and then to bring you this news.

Firstly, we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us with this project and also to everyone who has bought the tshirts. The response was truly unbelievable, a genuine reflection of the wider efforts of the city and the community in establishing PFC as a community club and keeping them afloat.  It makes us very proud on a match day to see so many of our designs gracing the stands, knowing that the support received has helped towards sustaining the running of the club.

As we’ve continued to raise money past our share pledge amount, we continue to work closely with fundraising initiatives alongside Pompey’s 12th Man and the Pompey Supporters Trust including the Fratton Park Arts project and many other events planned for 2014.

There has even been huge support from non football fans, Portsmouth people who, even though they don’t follow the team realise what a vital component the football club is to the city in terms of infrastructure, history and city pride. Thank you again for your amazing support on this and here’s to more success in the future. PUP! #WeArePompey

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Strong Island Clothing Co. Collections - Spring 2013 - Strong Island X PFC Tee (1) Fratton Park Art Project - ilovedust Murals

Play Up Pompey Music

Musicians and venues across Portsmouth are getting together to raise funds for the Pompey Supporters Trust.  Play Up Pompey Music will take place for two weeks in July.

A series of gigs and events will take place all over the city to raise funds, which will be converted into community shares in the name of the Pompey music scene. A number of pubs and venues have already signed up to the campaign, including The Festing, The Wedgewood Rooms, Little Johnny Russells, Drift and our very own Strong Island Recordings will be adding to the efforts.  The diary is already filling up with events and there’s plenty more to announce shortly.

You can find more information about the event and to get involved visit

pupm png hi

Strong Island X PFC Tee – Portsmouth Supporters Trust

Big shout to the guys over at the Portsmouth Supporters Trust for giving us an endorsement through their website for our Strong Island X PFC tee.  We’ve had a huge number of pre orders so far with many more coming in.  With £5 from each tee sold going towards Strong Island buying a community share, we’re well on track to achieve that.

If you haven’t ordered yours yet you can do so at

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Portsmouth Supporters Trust Bid Getting Closer

In the turbulent recent few months in the ever eventful history of Portsmouth Football Club, there has been a new development this afternoon.

The Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust is hopeful that its deal to buy the club out of administration will be concluded by Christmas, after signing a conditional agreement that raises hopes of an end to a tortuous saga for fans.

Ashley Brown, chairman of the PST, said he was “thrilled and proud” that it had reached an agreement with PKF (the administrators), while the chief administrator, Trevor Birch, said he was hopeful that it marked “the beginning of the end of the process”. However, the sale remains conditional on the administrator receiving permission to sell Fratton Park.

It’s by no means over yet, but it is a positive step for the PST in their bid to release the club from the grasp of a host of failed former owners.  You can find out more about the PST over at their website here.

To be continued……..

Pompey FA Cup Winners Artwork

2008 might now seem like a lifetime ago for fans but Portsmouth have won the FA cup twice and this limited edition print by Paul Parsons captures within it much of that history. The prints are A3 and framed and all for only £25 via eBay, with all money going towards a new season ticket. You can buy one HERE.

Portsmouth FC – Fanpower Competition

Portsmouth FC need your help to secure £30,000 for Pompey courtesy of Npower. If you haven’t signed up already all you have to do is visit the Facebook page at to grab your seat in the Fanpower Stadium application and start making noise about Pompey on Facebook and Twitter.

Running until June 1 2012, the more ‘mentions’ and ‘status updates’ on Facebook that include Pompey first-team players’ surnames, the manager’s surname, Fratton Park, Portsmouth and Pompey – as well as ‘check-ins’ to Fratton Park – you make, the more chance we have of securing the money.

The same also applies to your Twitter accounts with points given per mention, so help support Pompey and make some noise now!

The club are currently top of both competitions so are in line for the £30,000 prize. Let’s continue to show the rest of the Football League why we are the best fans in the land. Full terms are available on the Facebook site.

Fans are also being asked to recycle unwanted mobile phones to raise needed funds for the club. For more info click here.

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Southsea & Portsmouth Guide

Local photographer Steve Bomford recently sent over a series of scans from the 1926 Official Publication of the Southsea Beach & Publicity Committee Portsmouth Corporation book ‘Southsea & Portsmouth’.

‘It is of little use to invite intending holiday makers to a town, unless there are attractions to offer, under all conditions of our notorious fickle ‘English’ climate. We do not make the statement that the sun shines every day at Southsea, but records show that we do get the maximum amount of sunny hours. Last year again, 1,923 hours were recorded, the highest number (with one exception) in the United Kingdom. Admitting that the question of sunshine is an important one, it is contended that a holiday resort must have other attractions, such as charming amenities, efficient public services, splendid variety of amusements, good facilities for all outdoor sports, and a good selection of cheap excursions and places of historical interest, to make a general appeal to those who are seeking a health-giving and enjoyable holiday.”

I love all the old hand drawn adverts and especially like the ‘medically recommended’ page. Where the sun lingers longer. Couldn’t be closer to the truth still to this day. It’s a shame the ‘most artistic cafe in Southsea’ is no longer in operation and the amount of people gathered on South Parade beach is incredible. Be sure to check out the full set with over 80 pages of photos, adverts and chapters all about Portsmouth & Southsea over at Steve’s Flickr HERE. A really interesting read if you like your history. And we know you do.

Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Inside the Memorial

Due to possible damage due to the storm and the high winds it was possible to access the inside of the war memorial down on Southsea seafront the other day. I always though it was a solid structure but it turns out it is hollow with sunken foundations and access to the top. From the plaque inside, it looks like the ladder is for maintenance if there is a lightning strike (the top of the memorial has a huge copper globe).

No disrespect was meant by taking a very brief look inside, just architectural curiosity and finding out something not commonly known about a Southsea landmark.

Ladder Up




Our Langstone Harbour Trip with the RSPB

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

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

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

Long Island.

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

Round Nap Island.

Cormorants on Round Nap Island.

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

Black Headed Gull.

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

South Binness Island.

Oyster Catcher and Black Header Gulls on South Binness Island.

South Binness Island.

Black Headed Gull chicks on South Binness Island.

South Binness Island.

Sandwich Tern.

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

Little Tern.

Little Tern.


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

Oyster Island.

Oyster Island.

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

Baker’s Island.

Oyster Catcher on Baker’s Island.

Surrounding the boat at Baker’s Island.

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

Commercial vessel passing Round Nap Island.


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

Little Egret at Hayling Island Oyster Beds.

Diving Common Tern.

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

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

Created Local – Marc B.B

Local Light Artist & Photographer Marc B.B sent over these incredible light images taken around Portsmouth. Specialising in Night Photography, Light Painting, Long Exposures and so on Marcs pictures are created at a time when most people would be packing away their cameras and heading home. Portsmouth has a strong creative vibe, especially in the photography realm and being part of a group called ‘Portsmouth At Night’, Marc regularly meets up with like minded folk to go on weekly excursions in and around the city to photograph it, in the dark.

“Whilst some may find it a little bizarre, i think the images speak for themselves. Turning everyday objects, landmarks, even benches into works of art of their own is both exciting and a challenge. Some of my best work has been in collaberation with others and being able to pool resources and ideas has always been invaluable to me. I am always striving to find parts of the city that can be shown in a ‘good light’ as Portsmouth is such a great place to live.”

Be sure to check out Marcs website for amazing photos, and if this style night photography interests you head over to Portsmouth at Night at They meet up as a group every week somewhere in Portsmouth and simply take advantage of the night. Everyone is welcome to join, at all levels of competency. Night, night.

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

Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea poster

You know we love a bit of Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea here at Strong Island. Not too much info on this one, perfect for holidays though. The flickr link states the photo of the poster was taken in Eastney, but I’m not sure where.

Via : Bob Franklin

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 3

The next episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up recently. This episode is of a round Portsmouth car journey back in 1998.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 4

The new episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up yesterday. This episode is of a bus trip from Old Portsmouth to Southsea to Eastney.

I still lament the loss of the Portsmouth Transport Museum.

Portsmouth on Film – Episode 2

A new episode of Jonathan & Matthew Ring’s vintage family footage ‘Portsmouth on Film’ went up this week.

This episode has focuses on Canoe Lake and the Model Village.

Strong Island Clothing Co.