Guns, Glitter and Gewgaws: A 1950s Christmas

In a S&C Christmas exclusive, actor, playwright and S&C Contributing Editor John Bartlett recalls the Christmas customs of his childhood. Some of these customs remain with us, others now seem alien or eccentric. In 1956, my father Reg fell ill whilst serving on board the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. He had to leave the ship Read more

Talking to Pompey Students Helped My Mental Health

Star & Crescent Contributing Editor Rikki May remembers the first time he ever spoke publicly about his mental illness at a University of Portsmouth event – and how it helped him no end. For the past five years I’ve worked for the University of Portsmouth’s Sport and Recreation department. One morning in February 2014, I Read more

The Sailor Dad I Never Knew

S&C Contributing Editor John Oke Bartlett never really knew his father, who served in the Royal Navy in World War II. Now, some years after her death, he’s compelled to record as much as he can to put some substance around the weathered gravestone in the naval cemetery in Gosport that marks Reginald’s final resting Read more

Home Thoughts of Portsmouth From Abroad

Having left Portsmouth for the United States and then come back to Pompey in later life, Gareth Rees ponders the meaning of travel and the definition of home. It’s hardly uplifting hearing folk running down their hometown. It’s the locality which is sunk in apathy. It’s not me, of course. And I’ve been guilty of Read more

What’s Happening in Syria Once Happened Here Too

New Star & Crescent Contributing Editor, Gareth Rees, takes a philosophical and psychological tour of Portsmouth’s own Cathedral of St Thomas. A guy from Dubai once told me that if, in his travels, he couldn’t find a mosque, a visit to a cemetery would be an adequate substitute. My mind flies to old Mr Goddard Read more

We Buried My Dad in the Woods

S&C Contributing Editor Christine Lawrence shares what happens when a loved one dies suddenly and you discover that they want a natural burial with no ‘fuss’. What followed was an interesting journey which brought her closer to her father than she had been for some years. We buried Dad in the woods. He didn’t want a religious ceremony Read more

Embrace Your Jealousy

Local author and organiser of Portsmouth Plugged In, Charlotte Comley, gives helpful advice to writers and creatives alike as she tackles the difficult subject of finding yourself feeling jealous about the success of others. So, it’s a temperamental July, you’re melting in the morning heat, thinking about your to-do list, and a friend turns up Read more

Bells, Music and Burlesque in Victoria Park

Gareth Rees reminisces about the day he and his friend Robbie were invited to play music at the park-keeper’s cottage in Victoria Park. We arrived early and sat outside the venue in the park sipping our fee in the form of Bishop’s Tipple ale. It was a fine spring evening and still light. But it was chilly and Read more

A Journey Home: From Krakow to Portsmouth and Back

Portsmouth-based novelist Christine Lawrence tells a poignant tale of family, immigration and reconnection with the past. The plane banked, ready to descend from the sky. The bright sunlight beaming through the tiny cabin windows dimmed as we dipped into the cloud. I looked at my husband, he took my hand and held it in his. I Read more

The Ever-Present Spinnaker Tower – A Photo Journal

Local photographer Piers McEwan places the Spinnaker Tower in his sights in this reflective piece about one of Portsmouth’s best known landmarks. Through a lens it’s an easy target.  Obvious.  Anyone could take its picture, right?  And they do.  Selfies with it, shots from the viewing platform, shots from below looking up to enhance its Read more