The Extraordinary People of Portsmouth: Mary Goodchild

In her latest profile of everyday yet remarkable Portsmouthians, S&C Contributing Editor Christine Lawrence meets a 103-year-old lady who recalls Zeppelins, D-Day and the Great Depression. Maud Mary Goodchild, known as Mary to her friends, a delightful lady and Portsmouth resident, was born in Brighton in 1913. She spent the first eight years of her Read more

Saved by the Rats Part II

Our Contributing Editor Gareth Rees concludes the harrowing story of a World War II serviceman from Portsmouth who was taken POW by the Japanese. Find Part I here if you missed it. I crawled through the mud down the sides of the prisoners’ huts but then had to cross about fifty yards of exposed ground Read more

Saved by the Rats: Stories of a POW Part I

In the 1980s, Gareth Rees advertised for a good personal story in The News. A man rang him and said he’d been a prisoner of the Japanese in World War II. When Gareth went to Waterlooville to meet the man he wasn’t sure whether to let Gareth into his flat because he noticed Gareth had Read more

The Chubb Lock: A Portsmouth Invention

The name of Chubb has been synonymous with the most secure form of locks for 200 years and it was in Portsea that the family business established itself in 1804. The late great local historian Tim Backhouse tells us more. Charles Chubb was born in Fordingbridge, Hampshire in 1779 and together with his brother Jeremiah Read more

If You Want a Nincompoop for Your Neighbour…

We reluctantly present some words of praise for Portsmouth’s most (in)famous Conservative by Sir Eugene Nicks QC, KBE: soldier, lawyer, lover, brother, mother and Policy Advisor to the All-Portsea Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799). Ladies, gentlemen and your valets, before I wax on and wax off about the scalding topic of the day, Read more

Tim Backhouse Season: The Magnificent Merediths

At his death in 1909, Portsmouth-born George Meredith was one of the most famous writers of fiction in England. But his relatives were quite intriguing too. The late historian Tim Backhouse decided to research the Meredith family back in 2012. George Meredith was born in Portsmouth on the 12th February 1828, his birthdate falling between those of two other Read more

Tim Backhouse Season: The Moleyns Assassination

Portsmouth’s own historian Tim Backhouse throws light on one of the murkiest murders ever to have taken place in the city. The early months of 1450 were an anxious time for the English who were in great danger of losing control of Normandy to the French under their King Charles VI. The then Bishop of Read more

Portsmouth’s Jewish History Part II

The late scholar Dr Audrey Weinberg concludes her fascinating study of the growth of the local Jewish community and its significance on the national stage. The first legal document confirming the existence of a synagogue in Portsmouth is the lease of 1780 which conferred the White’s Row property to Isaac Levi (engraver), Elias Levi (engraver), Read more

Portsmouth’s Jewish History Part I

The late Dr Audrey Weinberg examines the origins of Portsmouth’s Jewish community, which was to become highly influential in local public life. The history of Jewish settlement in Portsmouth, which for most commentators commences with the founding of the first synagogue in the eighteenth century, can be associated with two important moments in English political history. Read more

Tim Backhouse Season: Playing the Aborigines at Cricket

The late great chronicler of Portsmouth Tim Backhouse shares a little-known but momentous event in the long and illustrious history of Hampshire cricket. The first Australian cricket team to visit England was composed of Aborigines. It was led by former English cricketer turned Australia coach, Charles Lawrence, and was made up of stockmen who had Read more