Picks of 2015 – Pompey People

This week we’re revisiting some of our best pieces from 2015. Today we highlight just a few of the people who make Pompey the city we all know and love.

(Click on the image or title to read the article.)

Christine holding Andrew as he dies.
Christine Lord holding her son Andrew Black as he dies.

Christine Lord – Mad Cows Disease: Still a Threat to All of Us

“…what I’ve found out is like a dystopian sci-fi novel.

“I uncovered that as early as 1985 – 86, the government knew that if someone ate infected BSE material, it could kill them. The basic facts were covered up to protect the meat industries and the pharmaceutical industries – it was about money.

“My son was killed at the altar of greed and money.”



Gareth Rees – A Cleaner’s Diary

“…if there is such a thing as a cleaning school, why aren’t us cleaners sent to this? Perhaps because if there was training, we’d become skilled workers and wages would have to reflect this. It wouldn’t make sense for a company like this to pay us fairly. Hospital superviruses are the price for being cheap about cleaners.”

Dave Allen as Captain of the First XI
Dave Allen as Captain of the First XI

Dave Allen – That and That? A Tale of Two Pompey Passions

“Some people find my equal passions for cricket and popular music surprising. It’s not uncommon for people to like sport and ‘pop’ but the degree to which I immerse myself in both is unusual. Mick Jagger is often seen at Test Matches, England cricketer Graeme Swann sings in a band, but a restrained fondness for one or the other is usually sufficient for most people. Passion demanding daily involvement in both, is less common.”

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Dianna Djokey – We Stand On Common Ground

“I wish I’d had the courage to ask that young teenager what his thoughts were on the uncomfortable situation that took place at the bus stop that evening. I will never know, but the one thing I do know is that if I had another chance to see that 6ft man again, I would tell him respectfully: If you are rejecting migrants you are rejecting your British history.

“And never does a proud Brit want to do that.”


Susie Edmonds – My Coming Out Story

“My life feels like it was lived in two parts, the first part before coming out and the second part after coming out.  Before is incredibly painful and although there are happy parts it still feels like a life unlived. In truth I’m still trying to come to terms with so many lost years. I have always known I was gay even before I knew what it meant. I clearly remember standing on the playground in infants school repeating what I knew was the right thing to want in life.  I would get married and have two kids but somehow, even then I knew that wouldn’t happen.”


Sarah Cheverton – The Rainbow Papacy

“…when I was asked to interview two Catholic priests, nothing could have prepared me for Fathers Brizz and Paul Miles-Knight. The Fathers fervently believe in a church community from which no one is excluded. They also happen to be gay and married – to one another… Both Fathers are Portsmouth born and bred, and felt a strong desire to build their religious ministry, the Community Parish of Holy Angels, here. They met via the internet and were married almost nine years ago, the first ordained priests in Britain to marry in a civil partnership.