Heritage: The man with two gravestones

by Martin Brisland. Charles Smith lies in the graveyard of St John the Baptist church in North Baddesley. At that time, it wasn’t often a poor man had one, let alone two tombstones side by side. In the early 1800’s country gentlemen and wealthy merchants controlled society. As Justices...

People in Common: Jim Chorley

by Martin Brisland. Jim Chorley – acoustic/folk singer-songwriter from Southampton. They say you should write about what you know. ‘Painting Circles in the Corn’ is certainly that. It is Jim Chorley’s song which immortalises an amazing family story. In 1991 Doug Bower and Jim’s father, Dave Chorley, from Southampton,...

Southampton’s Speakers’ Corner

by Martin Brisland. Did you know that Southampton has its own Speakers’ Corner? It is located in Hoglands Park, the second largest of our Central Parks. Situated near the former Debenhams store it is complete with dias and railings. Today people use social media to voice their opinions. The...

Southampton: a tale of two universities

by Martin Brisland. Southampton is one of a handful of places with two universities; the University of Southampton and Solent University. They attract about 40,000 full and part time students including many from abroad, making us a truly cosmopolitan city. This has a major positive economic impact. Solent has...

Opinion: Life after lockdown

by Martin Brisland. Since WW2 ended in 1945 we have talked about events being “since the war”. We are now at a new watershed, a line in the sand. Perhaps in the future we will refer to post 2020 events as being “since the pandemic”? I do not aim...