Vietnam: Journey to the Centre of the Earth Part II

Starring James Mason as Professor Lidenbrock, the 1959 film of the Jules Verne novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth enthralled a young boy named David Angus, who is now a Portsmouth-based travel writer and planetary modeller. The young David marvelled over the giant mushrooms, dimetrodons and the sea at the Earth’s centre. That sea Read more

Generation Coil

Although the contraceptive coil is no longer common in many countries, it remains popular in Britain. Portsmouth-based student Isabelle Bilton recounts the experience of having one fitted in a Portsmouth hospital in uncompromising detail. My hands shook as I typed the number for the clinic; the January cold had crept under the doors and filled Read more

STAR POems: Grapefruit

Late autumn in Lavender Hill and I perched in her kitchen, a Frigidaire to my back. Florrie Mac rolled the fruit with her back to the Belling. Pigeons flirted on rooftops, and the distance between us shrank from fifty-nine years to a square of formica. When she felt the fruit yield she dug deep, nails Read more

The School Teacher: A Tale of Portsmouth Pranks Past

Playwright and songwriter John Bartlett re-tells a darkly comic anecdote his grandmother recounted to him about her school days in late Victorian Portsmouth. “With moi hand on meself what ‘ave oi ‘ere? This is moi  sweaty-boxer moi souvenir Nicky-knacky-noo That’s what they told me when oi went to school!” When my Nana was a little girl back in 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