Holmes Fest 2017 Celebrates Conan Doyle in Portsmouth

Portsmouth’s very first Holmes Fest is coming up on 28th June, celebrating the world’s most famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, and their relationship to the city. Holmes Fest host and local writer, Matt Wingett, reports. Wednesday 28th June sees the very first Holmes Fest to be held in the town where Read more

Election ’17: The Marshal and the Mayniac

Portsmouth-based historian and acclaimed author of The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion 1215-17, Richard Brooks, argues that important lessons from the medieval period should be remembered in this current age of Brexit, economic crisis and nationalist bigotry. 800 years ago, England was divided and beleaguered. Through ineptitude and treachery King John had lost Read more

Election ’17: UK to Crumble After June 8th?

Author and S&C Contributing Editor Gareth Rees asks whether, given the current political climate, the United Kingdom can survive as a united kingdom. And if not, might we finally start to deal with a few nostalgic national myths? When you leave your village and go abroad, you not only learn about another part of the world, Read more

Pompey Bar Room Banter 1: The Tale of Tank

S&C contributing editor John Oke Bartlett has been collecting anecdotes from Portsmouth pubs for years. This one has an unexpectedly explosive denouement. There is nothing better than whiling away the time in an old pub with a pint of fine ale and engaging in friendly chitchat with the locals. The Nelson, now closed and long Read more

STAR POem: New Road – a la Kelly’s Directory, 1972

By John Pearson   New Road, place of the Doll’s Hospital with Jack Grant Racing to Parham and Sons furniture removals shifting towards Marriott’s, upholsterers, lino and carpet dealers.   Mile End School of Motoring driving people to the New Road Wine Store and the Salutation taking in the sweet scent of Madam’s Blooms.   Read more

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

Portsmouth Writers’ Season: Alison Habens

Novelist, academic and S&C Contributing Editor, Alison Habens discusses her creative intervention into the life and times of a legendary Portsmouth author. I was walking along Kings Road, on the last day of summer or the first day of autumn, just back from my tropical holiday in time for a new term to begin. September 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

Portsmouth Writers’ Season: William Sutton

An excerpt from Lawless and the Flowers of Sin, William Sutton’s second Victorian mystery, published by Titan Books and launching on 12th July 2016. Sergeant Lawless explores the nightlife of Soho in his role as inspector of vice. This later takes him to Portsmouth Harbour, where he sees women brought ashore to Spice Island. The 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