Welcome to my world!

The reflections and comments of a resident in Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Portsea Lost Heritage Walk

The Portsea Lost Heritage Walk will be held on Saturday 23 September 2017, 10.00 from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Gate on The Hard, to St John the Evangelist RC Cathedral, led by Dr Ann Coats, University of Portsmouth.

The walk will last 2-2½ hrs with a break halfway
The distance is approximately 0.8miles/1.3 km.
If the weather is too bad on the day the walk will be cancelled and rescheduled.

Aim of the Walk: to gather ideas and opinions from the public via a short Questionnaire about what heritage places should be included in a Heritage Trail, what might improve green spaces and how to link these places by walking.

Following the Dockyard Wall, we shall locate the vanished sites of the Brewery, the Daniel Street Chapel, St John’s Church and St John’s RC chapel. Three streets: Marlborough Row, Gloucester Street and Frederick Street were taken into the Dockyard in 1944. What do street names tell us about Portsea’s history?

It will connect heritage and green places and explore questions based on the Placecheck Model including, ‘What do you like?’, ‘What do you dislike?’ and ‘What do we need to improve?’

Since 2013 Dr Ann Coats, University lecturer in Heritage Property, has run the Portsea Heritage Project to engage residents and students in the heritage of Portsea. A number of ideas have emerged, including a trail. This walk will gather ideas and opinions from walkers.

The walk is free and open to all. It is supported by Friends of the Earth as part of their Walking in Portsmouth Campaign, Portsea Action Group and Food Portsmouth.

  • Wear weatherproof clothes, hat and sturdy shoes and carry water
  • Be aware of uneven pavements and some risk from moving buses, especially on The Hard
  • Walk in small groups and consider other pedestrians

We hope you will enjoy the walk!

Dr Ann Coats, School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, Faculty of Technology, University of Portsmouth, www.port.ac.uk

1. All personal data collected will be kept securely at the University of Portsmouth. We shall not name you, nor use your image or your data without your permission.
2. Findings will be used to support funding applications and may be included in academic publications, public talks and lectures, and in peer reviewed journals.
3. You have the right to obtain information about the findings of the study by contacting Dr Ann Coats at the University of Portsmouth: ann.coats@port.ac.uk.

Sole surviving D-Day landing craft gets restoration go-ahead

LCT 7074 to be focal point of The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s affiliate Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum thanks to £4.7m from The National Lottery

For the first time ever an original Landing Craft Tank (LCT) will be on display at the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth. This has been made possible thanks to an investment of nearly £5m from The National Lottery and has been planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the landings in two years’ time.

The D-Day Museum is an affiliate of The National Museum of the Royal Navy which is managing the project. Due to reopen in 2018 following a complete refurbishment, the D-Day Museum offers a much more in-depth narrative on the events that took place in ‘Operation Overlord’ on 6 June 1944 and looks specifically at the Royal Navy and how its crews coped on that day.

Over 800 LCTs with the capacity to carry 10 tanks or equivalent armoured vehicles were involved in ‘Operation Neptune’, the naval element of ‘Overlord’. The largest amphibious operation in history, it involved 7,000 ships and craft disgorging 160,000 soldiers on the beaches of Normandy. LCT 7074 is believed to be one of only 10 survivors from this extraordinary fleet.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), said:
“The importance of the Normandy landings is very well understood, but as the years pass it becomes harder for people to appreciate just how much technological innovation they demanded. Without the development of the Landing Craft Tank earlier in the Second World War, it is difficult to see how D-Day - a hugely ambitious amphibious operation - could have succeeded.

“Now, once LCT 7074 has been restored to her original appearance, thanks to the National Lottery, the stories of those she carried on ‘Operation Neptune’ can be brought vividly to life.

“It’s fitting that National Lottery money is enabling the National Museum of the Royal Navy to work with surviving veterans to record and share their memories of this genuinely historic operation in time for the 75th anniversary in 2019.”

Nick Hewitt, Head of Exhibitions and Collections at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to The National Lottery for its support in securing a sustainable future for this exceptional survivor, completing the conservation that began with salvage in 2014, and showcasing her outside and alongside the new D-Day Museum, our project partner.

“This puts 7074 in the city’s heart, engaging a potential 4.5 million annual users of Southsea Common with the story of the ship and her people; it puts her D-Day story – which uniquely links sea and land – in context for museum visitors and ensures she survives for future generations.”

LCT 7074 will be taken apart and re-assembled so it can be properly catalogued. Conservation work will be undertaken on its hull, superstructure and interior spaces which weigh in at 350 tons. The D-Day Museum’s two tanks will also go through a similar process and be displayed on the tank deck of the LCT. Helping expert conservators with this work will be 40 volunteer and two apprentices.

Cllr Linda Symes, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport AT Portsmouth City Council said: "This is great news for the D-Day museum, which is due to reopen following its transformation next year. Having this landing craft on display will help to bring the personal stories of D-Day to life in the new exhibition and we're grateful to the National Lottery for making this possible."

A range of activities, including community roadshows and pop-up museums, will help create interest in this new display and its significance to the Second World War. The transcript of the D-Day diary of Sub-Lieutenant John Baggott, a 20-year-old trainee who commanded the 7074 will also be in display along with narratives and photos of other D-Day veterans.

Love, Nina

Just finished reading a book entitled "Love, Nina" and really enjoyed it. The title caught my eye as my niece is called Nina.

Written by Nina Stibbe, the book is a series of letters she wrote to her sister at home detailing her time working as a nanny in London.

Her language is fun and it makes a very effective autobiography. By putting in some conversation in dialog format she avoided awakward description and kept the story fresh and honest.

It's an interesting read and as a student of creative writing I find the style interesting. Dialogues are hard unless you have a very good command of personalities and tone of voice of various characters.

Have a read, it's funny in most part and a very diverting read.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Blogging from my.mobile

So excited to be able to blog from my mobile phone! We hope this means that you will see more blogs about events and life around Southsea from this page.

If you have any news or events you want to share, please email the details to southseascene@yahoo.co.uk

Meet Cressida Cowell

One of the most eagerly awaited children’s book of 2017, THE WIZARDS OF ONCE publishes in September, launching a brand new series by Cressida Cowell, author-illustrator of the 8-million-copy-selling How to Train Your Dragon series, which has inspired a generation of readers as well as a DreamWorks’ movie and TV franchise of the same name.

The Hayling Island Bookshop in conjunction with Portsmouth Grammar School are delighted to announce that they will run one of Cressida’ Launch Tour Events. The early evening event will take place at the David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth Grammar School, High Street, Old Portsmouth on September 26th starting at 5pm. The new book is suitable for children aged 8-12.

Each £12.99 ticket entitles the attendee to one copy of the new book and hear Cressida talk about her new series. Cressida will hold a book signing after her Talk. Ticket holders will also receive a poster. A selection of Cressida’s other books will be available to purchase, with cash, at the event venue which will also be signed by her if time permits.

Book tickets by calling The Hayling Island Bookshop on 02392 466620, children must be accompanied by an adult at this event. There is no charge for the accompanying adult.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

World-leading artists for Portsmouth

The new season of Portsmouth Chamber Music series kicks off on 25 September with the incomparable pianist Paul Lewis.

Lewis has a busy international career, appearing in concert halls around the globe. He is renowned for his performances of the Viennese masters, and we will be treated to favourite works by Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms.

Then on the 30 October, we welcome back the Van Kuijk Quartet which so captivated the Portsmouth audience last season. First prize winners of the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition in 2015 they will perform string quartets by Mendelssohn, Janáček and Ravel.

Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen has been touring the great UK and European concert halls last year as part of the ECHO Rising Stars series. Her partnership with star accompanist James Baillieu sees a programme of Schubert and Prokofiev sonatas sandwiched between works by C.P.E. Bach in their 27 November concert.

Welcome the new year with the series’ resident Ensemble 360 on 29 January, with a programme featuring the beautifully romantic piano quintet by Korngold, Janacek’s Concertino and Mozart’s quintet for piano and winds.

The Gould Piano Trio has been playing together for 25 years and will perform with clarinettist Robert Plane for their concert on 19 March in a programme that includes Messiaen’s superb Quartet for the End of Time.

The rising stars that are the Marmen Quartet will perform classics by Mozart and Beethoven as well as Phillip Glass’s 1985 Mishima Quartet, which depicts the six different stages of the famous Japanese writer’s life.

The chamber music series has been sponsored by the University of Portsmouth since its launch here 13 years ago with various partners including the Portsmouth Cathedral, New Theatre Royal, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Portsmouth Guildhall, its current home.

Director of Music at the University of Portsmouth, Colin Jagger, said “We are delighted to continue our contribution to the city’s cultural life and excited to present a great line-up of internationally renowned artists”

Visit www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk for further details.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Adriatic: Piran and Portoroz

I submitted this short article to the Telegraph Travel section on 30 May 2017 and it was published in the papers on 3 June 2017. Events of that day meant that I didn't remember it again until much later. Sadly, I still cannot find a copy of the original. My first published piece in a major newspaper and I have nothing to show for it except the e-mail from the Editor letting me know that my letter was picked to win the main prize.

The Adriatic

Reading about the Kempinski Palace Portoroz in last week’s Travel section reminded me of our beautiful weekend in the town and nearby Piran. We stayed in humbler Maygut hotel up the hill and the shortcut took us to the main road by the Kempinski. The promenade takes you all the way to Piran.

I remember the sea shimmering like a thousand little diamonds and the large orange orb that was the sun sinking in the background. Below us the town of Piran was slowly lighting up. We had climbed up to the battlement, intrigued by its outline from the edge of the town and were rewarded by the beautiful sunset. Across the bay Croatia was having a party. We could hear the beat of the music and imagined beautiful bodies, cocktails in hand, lounging on yachts. 

Over where we were, we made a slow descent to the town with its inviting plates of fried octopus. A little later, replete with food and wine, we retraced our steps to Portoroz. 

It was a magical day.