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

STAR POems: The Hammock

By John Pearson I am the man-length canvas pulled out of store, strung between grey bulkheads ready to still the pitch and roll of any ship. I am a solitary place a cocoon to relieve the last watch’s weariness. I am a lying sick bed and even a second skin wrapped around a dead sailor. Read more

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

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

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

Portsmouth Writers’ Season – Tom Sykes

On 13th March, jihadist militants killed 14 tourists in the beach resort of Grand-Bassam in the West African republic of Ivory Coast. This was of course a tragic incident, but it was also isolated and unprecedented. In the spirit of encouraging people to keep visiting this extraordinary country, S&C presents a brief extract from the first ever full-length English language guide to Ivory Read more

David Bowie: From South London to Heaven, Stopping at Southsea

Giada Nizzoli remembers the impact and influence of pop genius David Bowie, who sadly died today. Whether you’re a long-time fan or were simply thrilled by the lightning bolt crossing his face, whether you own his entire discography or only one of his records, a tape or just a few tunes in your playlist, whether you know all his songs by Read more

How Sid the Fish Became Sid the Coal

Writer and actor John Bartlett remembers an eccentric Portsmouth character and the peculiar gifts he would bring. The bitter northeasterly wind had been blowing all day bringing with it the odd flurry of icy sleet. I was working at Seymour’s, an architectural salvage yard on Beck Street, Southsea, owned by my friend Andy. As an Read more

Remembering Gallipoli: exhibition at the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Dianna Djokey and Fiona Smythe from the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth and Ahmet Baştürk join DJ Ritu on the A World in London radio series in a special broadcast on the legacy of the Gallipoli campaign. Reporting by T-VINE. The campaign at Gallipoli, or Çanakkale, fought against the Ottomans one hundred Read more

Lately Remembered in Emsworth Part II

In the next instalment of his memoirs, local actor and playwright John Bartlett recalls halcyon summers, a family rivalry and revenge exacted with an ice-cream cone… My favourite room in my grandparents’ house had a sideboard with a dusty collection of vases, glass decanters, silver gravy boats and other things that had been forgotten about. Read more