Long reads about people, communities, issues and more.

Christmas Markets: A Review of Southampton, Winchester and Gunwharf Quays

Christmas Markets: A Review of Southampton, Winchester and Gunwharf Quays

By Mabel Wellman. Normally, I am not one for Christmas markets. In fact, my first exposure to these was slowly moving between people on Above Bar Street to get through the Southampton market in 2021 and trying not to think how having less than 5 centimetres between people (rather than at least a metre) would
The volunteers helping solve Southampton folks’ money worries

The volunteers helping solve Southampton folks’ money worries

By Megan Streb. On a typical Wednesday morning, a handful of volunteers gather at St Albans Church in Swaythling. They are there to help resolve Southampton residents’ financial problems, one at a time.  “It’s all about the client – how they are, how they are affected by having debt. I feel that having compassion for
Charlie Barnes, live member of Bastille and solo artist, on his career of contrasts

Charlie Barnes, live member of Bastille and solo artist, on his career of contrasts

By Sally Churchward. Image credit: Joe Horridge. Charlie Barnes’ latest album has been three years in the making and counting.  Like so many other musicians, he squeezes his passion  – writing, recording, booking gigs in toilet venues – between the demands of his day job, family and the general business of life.  But unlike many
Marching to stop the deaths of children – Southampton’s peace protest for Palestine

Marching to stop the deaths of children – Southampton’s peace protest for Palestine

By Sally Churchward. Additional reporting by Tom Williams.  Children and babies were in the hearts and on the lips and handmade signs of protesters at Sunday afternoon’s peace march and rally for Palestine in Southampton (November 12). Children in Gaza trapped under rubble – missing, presumed dead. 4,600 dead children and babies over the last
Interview: Will Young – pop star turned activist, on animal testing and more

Interview: Will Young – pop star turned activist, on animal testing and more

By Sally Churchward. Image: Michael Warley.  Handcuffing himself to a puppy farm was not the first time Will Young had taken direct action about something he felt strongly about.  Previously he tied himself to a tree in protest against the building of the Newbury bypass. A long-time activist, Will has been passionate about politics, democracy
Remembering JPF Goodman – a poet’s life

Remembering JPF Goodman – a poet’s life

By John Bruce. JPF – John Peter Frederick – Goodman 16/3/1960 to 7/9/2023 I’m sure there are people reading this who knew JPF far longer than I did, and who know more about him, but these are my reflections on a friend and poet who died recently. We met at the Art House, at Moving
Interview: Uri Agnon on his new show, Antisemitism: a (((musical)))

Interview: Uri Agnon on his new show, Antisemitism: a (((musical)))

Antisemitism artwork by Lily Ash Sakula New show Antisemitism: a (((musical))) comes to Southampton on November 1st. Creator, Uri Agnon, a PhD student and outreach fellow at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton talks to Sally Churchward about its background and significance. Composer and playwright Uri
City vigil for Gaza

City vigil for Gaza

by Charlie Hislop More than 250 local people attended a Vigil for Gaza in Southampton on Tuesday night, on the day that the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres called for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ (October 25). More than 5000 Palestinian civilians, including more than 2000 children have been killed in Gaza. Half of Gaza’s population
The Full Monty, Cast Q&A, Mayflower Theatre

The Full Monty, Cast Q&A, Mayflower Theatre

A new production of award-winning smash hit play, The Full Monty, starring TV favourites, Danny Hatchard (EastEnders), Jake Quickenden (X Factor, I’m A Celebrity), and Bill Ward (Emmerdale, Coronation Street) is heading to Mayflower Theatre from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 November. We caught up with the cast to chat about bringing the production across
Interview: Ashley Banjo of Diversity talks about starring in this year’s Mayflower panto and more

Interview: Ashley Banjo of Diversity talks about starring in this year’s Mayflower panto and more

Photos by Stuart Martin. This year’s Christmas pantomime at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, starring Britain’s Got Talent winners and street dance sensations, Ashley Banjo and Diversity, alongside panto royalty, Christopher Biggins. Diversity shot to fame in 2009 when they won Britain’s Got Talent and since then under the leadership
Heritage: why are people from Southampton called Sotonians?

Heritage: why are people from Southampton called Sotonians?

By Martin Brisland. Photo: Mike Daish. Do you regard yourself as a Sotonian? Do you live in Soton? Have you ever wondered where these words come from? They are thought to have been first used by a former Southern Daily Echo editor Clarence Firbank Carr (1892-1979). Echo journalists found Southampton and Southamptonian far too long
Interview with Punk Rock Factory – from online fun to TikTok stars, now selling out a venue near you!

Interview with Punk Rock Factory – from online fun to TikTok stars, now selling out a venue near you!

By Nick Mabey. Punk rock, Disney songs and sausages; in the words of Maria Von Trapp, these are a few of my favourite things. And so it was I keenly put my hand up to interview Peej Edwards, singer and guitarist with South Wales on-line-turned-live band Punk Rock Factory, ahead of their forthcoming gig at
Photos: Black Businesses, Art and Music Festival – Southampton

Photos: Black Businesses, Art and Music Festival – Southampton

Photos by Charlie Hislop and Anita Foxall. More than 50 black-led organisations in Southampton and Hampshire-based organisations  teamed up to create Southampton’s first ever Black Businesses, Art and Music Festival, held on Sunday 1st October, the first day of Black History Month. The idea was conceived by The United Voice of African Associations (TUVAA). and
Interview: Katherine Barbour, Southampton’s first Green councillor, on her first months in office

Interview: Katherine Barbour, Southampton’s first Green councillor, on her first months in office

Words and pictures by photographer Chris Moorhouse. Five months after Katherine Barbour was elected as Southampton’s first Green councillor, Chris Moorhouse asks how it’s going.  Her smile at being elected in the early hours of the morning of May 6th was an abiding image of this year’s local election count. She became Southampton’s first ever
Photos: Southampton International Boat Show

Photos: Southampton International Boat Show

Words and photos by Mike Daish. On Monday I visited the Southampton boat show. As soon as I stepped out of my front door, the heavens opened, and I did wonder if it was wise to be going. I got a little damp, but luck was on my side, and the weather improved as the
Under the Covers – August: Meet prize-winning Totton-born author/illustrator Kim Hillyard

Under the Covers – August: Meet prize-winning Totton-born author/illustrator Kim Hillyard

By books editor Carolyn Thomas. Images by Jasmine Joynson. In just a few years Totton-born children’s author and illustrator Kim Hillyard has cornered the market in life-enhancing stories featuring quirky animal heroes.  So far she’s featured a fly, a hamster, and a mammoth in her beautifully illustrated stories for children under five. Her first three
Photos: butterflies, a lady and a dragon

Photos: butterflies, a lady and a dragon

By Mike Daish. I have not been very active with my camera recently, but have taken a few pictures here and there. Most have been in my garden where I have spent many hours watching the local wildlife come and go. One of my favorite visitors is the peacock butterfly a vibrant visitor. I expect
Southampton Pride drops sponsorship from ExxonMobil and HSBC following calls from local LGBT+ environmental campaigners

Southampton Pride drops sponsorship from ExxonMobil and HSBC following calls from local LGBT+ environmental campaigners

By Sally Churchward. Picture by Mike Daish.  Southampton Pride has ended ties with ExxonMobil and HSBC following calls from local LGBT+ environmental campaigners. Previously both organisations were listed as ‘bronze sponsors’ on the Southampton Pride website. Southampton LGBT+ Climate Coalition, recently published an open letter to the organisers of Southampton Pride calling on them to
Opinion: Gaza – the Freedom Flotilla visits Southampton

Opinion: Gaza – the Freedom Flotilla visits Southampton

By Charlie Hislop. Fishing is essential to the livelihoods of the people of Gaza, but for the, fishermen going out in their boats has been likened to entering a ‘military zone’. The Israeli-imposed limit as to how far the fishermen can go out varies – frequently set at six nautical miles – and those who
Under the Covers July 2023: Meet local prize-winning children’s author Ali Sparkes 

Under the Covers July 2023: Meet local prize-winning children’s author Ali Sparkes 

By books editor Carolyn Thomas.  As the long summer holidays approach, parents all over Southampton will be juggling jobs and other commitments while keeping their children entertained.  So it seems a good time for some reading recommendations!  Not only is time with a book immensely enjoyable – when it’s the right book of course  – 
Photos: Do1Cancer fundraiser at Southampton’s Bargate

Photos: Do1Cancer fundraiser at Southampton’s Bargate

Photos by Ian Cumming.  A charity hip hop and graffiti jam was held at Southampton’s Bargate and the Common on Saturday (1st July) in collaboration with Do1Cancer, to raise money for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. It was organised by Southampton graffiti artist, Paul Donnelly, aka Flukez. It included graffiti artists showcasing their skills and a
Interview: Something In Common with The Molotovs

Interview: Something In Common with The Molotovs

By Lewis MacLean. The Molotovs are a trio of young musicians who are a new and fast rising band. The name was familiar to me before the Isle of Wight Festival but after seeing a recommendation from The Libertines’ Pete Doherty describing them as ‘F-ing Ace’, I was keen to catch them live at the
Curating A Southampton Summer Night 2023 at Turner Sims

Curating A Southampton Summer Night 2023 at Turner Sims

by Paul Bickmore. ‘A Southampton Summer Night 2023’ is coming to Turner Sims on July 14, and this year The Art House is honoured to have been asked to curate it. This was not an easy task – in the fourteen years I’ve been organising gigs at Southampton we’ve seen so much extraordinary talent grace
“I wasn’t ready to do nothing” – Supporting an African village from a shop in Southampton

“I wasn’t ready to do nothing” – Supporting an African village from a shop in Southampton

By Catherine Collins When Vivienne Gilbert had to give up work due to Fibromyalgia, she wasn’t quite ready to ‘do nothing’, and now she has set up a not-for-profit shop to help support an African village. Kookies Crafts, based in Woolston in Southampton, provides a venue for local crafters to sell handmade products by renting
Stretch in the city – the growing popularity of Park Yoga in Southampton

Stretch in the city – the growing popularity of Park Yoga in Southampton

by Nick Mabey. Running around the common one Sunday morning just over a year ago, I was surprised to stumble across about 50 people on yoga mats in the lovely green space behind the Cowherds Inn. Back home and a quick bit of on-line research led me to the world of Park Yoga.   Park Yoga
Photos: People’s Pride Party in the Park, Southampton, June 2023

Photos: People’s Pride Party in the Park, Southampton, June 2023

photos by Mike Daish. words by Sally Churchward. Thousands of people flooded to Southampton’s Palmerston Park over the weekend to celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride at the second annual Party in the Park. The two-day family friendly, inclusive festival featured a parade, entertainment, stalls and more. Performers included Hunting Hearts, Maybe Gaga, The 45s, Amrick Channa and
When three isn’t a crowd: living, loving and scheduling in polyamorous relationships

When three isn’t a crowd: living, loving and scheduling in polyamorous relationships

by Sally Churchward.    Polyamory, also known as consensual non-monogamy, is gaining more attention in the media and evidence is that it’s growing as a relationship model. Here, five people share what it’s like to be in polyamorous relationships.   “This is a constant thing between Tom and me. Someone’s into him and he says
A mission for pet owners help to stop ghost fishing nets

A mission for pet owners help to stop ghost fishing nets

By Catherine Collins. After seeing photos of dolphins, turtles and seals trapped in lost, abandoned or discarded fishing nets, Sam Cartwright and Xavier Warburton had to do something to make a difference. “We kept seeing these awful photos,” says Sam. “It turns out that in some places, nearly half of plastic in the ocean comes
Photos: Southampton Children’s Pleasure Park, a love letter

Photos: Southampton Children’s Pleasure Park, a love letter

by Sally Churchward. For generation after generation of children brought up in the city, the Children’s Pleasure Park in Southampton Sports Centre has been a brightly coloured, joyous presence. From days out spending tokens on round abouts and trampolines to birthday parties with as many ‘goes’ as you can fit in to a couple of
Photos: ABP Southampton Marathon 2023

Photos: ABP Southampton Marathon 2023

photos by Mike Daish.  Sunday, April 2, saw more than 6,000 runners take to the streets of Southampton, to take part in a full marathon and 10K and 5K runs. The annual event is an important fundraising opportunity for local charities and a large number of participants were being sponsored for their efforts, giving an
In celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility

In celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility. Here, two transgender women, Nic Beck and Mabel Wellman, share why the day is so important.   by Nic Beck. Today (March 31) is Transgender Day of Visibility, a day where we celebrate all people who identify under the trans umbrella. A day where we remind everyone that trans
Interview: Brendan Murphy on bringing Spike & co to the stage in Buffy ReVamped

Interview: Brendan Murphy on bringing Spike & co to the stage in Buffy ReVamped

by Katie Isham. This Friday night, as the sun sets, a peroxide blonde in a sweeping leather duster will take to the stage at MAST Southampton. Brendan Murphy is the living embodiment of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In his new show, Buffy ReVamped, he takes the audience along for the ride on his
Interview with AJ Jenks, who stars in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, coming to the Mayflower Theatre

Interview with AJ Jenks, who stars in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, coming to the Mayflower Theatre

by Joy McKay. February 3rd 1959 was immortalised by Don McLean when he described the tragic death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson in a plane crash as ‘The Day The Music Died’ in his 1971 hit American Pie. Exactly 64 years later, in memory of these great artists, I
The Rocky Horror Show’s creator Richard O’Brien chats ahead of the show’s arrival in Southampton this month

The Rocky Horror Show’s creator Richard O’Brien chats ahead of the show’s arrival in Southampton this month

The Rocky Horror Show is on the road again, and coming to the Mayflower Theatre from March 20 to 25, celebrating its 50th year. Ahead of the show’s arrival in Southampton, Richard O’Brien chatted about the story behind the iconic show, the cinematic version and more.   What was your original inspiration behind the Rocky
The Southampton community club offering adults friendship and a warm welcome

The Southampton community club offering adults friendship and a warm welcome

by Sally Churchward. The door opens and as the latest arrival steps across the threshold they’re immediately warmly greeted, offered a drink and invited to join those already gathered.  As a newcomer to the scene it’s almost impossible to tell if the person to walk into the Friends of St James’ Park Community Club in
Review: Hampshire Local Produce Trade Show

Review: Hampshire Local Produce Trade Show

by Joy McKay. The Hampshire Local Produce Trade Show is in it’s 10th year and showcases produce and food related services based in Hampshire and the surrounding areas. I went along to the Hilton Hotel at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl see what delicious new food and drinks were being produced and sold for us in and
Vegan budget meal plan – part 2

Vegan budget meal plan – part 2

by Joy Richardson. Here is part two of our vegan budget meal plan (click here for part 1). Every year The Vegan Society promotes January as a time to try being vegan and many people enjoy the challenge of taking part. However whether you want to try joining in with Veganuary, or would just like
Campaigners to save the NHS march through Southampton

Campaigners to save the NHS march through Southampton

by Charlotte Ndupuechi. A demonstration was held on Saturday )January 28) by Southampton Keep our NHS Public. There were supporters from all across the county, all ages and all professions, there to show their support for the NHS. They gathered at the Bargate and then marched through the city centre. There were speeches and singing
Read Easy Southampton celebrates 12 months of success

Read Easy Southampton celebrates 12 months of success

Local charity Read Easy Southampton, which provides free coaching to adults who struggle to read, is celebrating a year since its formal launch.  The project, run entirely by volunteers, has had enormous success over the last twelve months.  There are currently 47 adults (known as Readers) receiving the vital help they need to gain essential
Veganuary budget meal plan – part 1

Veganuary budget meal plan – part 1

by Joy Richardson.-  Every year The Vegan Society promotes January as a time to try being vegan and many people enjoy the challenge of taking part. However whether you want to try joining in with Veganuary, or would just like to incorporate more meat free meals into your diet, vegan food can be wholesome, filling,
Childbirth can result in post traumatic stress disorder – but a Southampton therapist is offering help

Childbirth can result in post traumatic stress disorder – but a Southampton therapist is offering help

Advertising feature by Sally Churchward. Birth trauma and Bodywork therapist, Kirsteen Anderssen, uses a range of techniques to work with clients suffering PTSD following childbirth trauma, anxiety, depression or people who just want to better understand their own nervous system and triggers. She explains her approach and how transformative it can be. It’s easy to
Solent Freeport plan is approved by the Government

Solent Freeport plan is approved by the Government

by Charlie Hislop. Christmas has come early to Southampton and the Solent region apparently, with the final approval by the Government of the Solent Freeport proposal. That is according to Government Minister Dehenna Davison who was in the region to make the announcement. “This Freeport is going to give local economies a shot in the
Photos: a frosty December morning walk

Photos: a frosty December morning walk

words and photos by Mike Daish. I woke at silly o’clock on Sunday morning and decided to go see if I could get some nice frosty spiderweb photos. After some coffee and wrapping myself in a decent number of layers I headed off towards Salmon Leap in Totton.  It was so frosty out it looked like
Face Everything and Rise – the Southampton charity offering help to those facing life on Artificial Nutrition

Face Everything and Rise – the Southampton charity offering help to those facing life on Artificial Nutrition

words and photos by: Peter Nichoson   Imagine, for a moment, not being able to eat.  Imagine relying on getting all your nutrition through a tube that goes directly to your stomach, or via a central line into your bloodstream. Imagine how it would affect your life: Dinner invitations stop because people feel awkward, never
Southampton music lover finds new home for records with Oxfam Music Shop

Southampton music lover finds new home for records with Oxfam Music Shop

He had been expecting a letter for a long time, but when it arrived the contents were still a pleasant surprise. For months, Gary Smith had daydreamed about how much his mum’s records had raised for charity.  Last week, he got to find out for certain. His donations had raised a grand total of £504.
Good things can come from Twitter – & taking to the stage at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, was one

Good things can come from Twitter – & taking to the stage at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, was one

by Gus Mckechnie. For my past decades in Southampton I had wondered what it would be like to be behind the scenes of Mayflower Theatre. I currently work in an office on Commercial Road and pass the theatre every working day. I also used to for a number of years worked in the pub next
Heritage: Eleanor Coade, the remarkable Georgian businesswoman

Heritage: Eleanor Coade, the remarkable Georgian businesswoman

by Martin Brisland. The statue on the south face of Southampton’s Bargate is of King George III (1738-1820). pictured top. His head is on the body of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, a common practice for statues at the time. It was based on Hadrian’s statue in the British Museum. The statue is still in excellent
Alt rock LGBTQ+ band Hunting Hearts bring a ‘Queer Prom’ to Hampshire

Alt rock LGBTQ+ band Hunting Hearts bring a ‘Queer Prom’ to Hampshire

On November 4th at The Edge of the Wedge in Southsea, Hunting Hearts – alt rock LGBTQ+ band from Southampton – are hosting “Queer Prom”, featuring a diverse line-up of queer artists and band from across Hampshire, including Wyse from Portsmouth, Velour from Bournemouth and another Southampton based band, Artemis.  Devin Valentine (pictured top left),
Sea Girls talk about their album, Homesick, ahead of their date at O2 Guildhall Southampton

Sea Girls talk about their album, Homesick, ahead of their date at O2 Guildhall Southampton

Right before the pandemic hit, London-based band Sea Girls were poised to make their next triumphant step. Henry Camamile (lead vocals, guitar), Rory Young (lead guitar), Andrew Dawson (bass) and Oliver Khan (drums) had just come off their first European headlining tour, playing 20 dates across the continent and debut tour of the US. Upcoming
Knit the Walls community art project draws to a close with a month-long finale

Knit the Walls community art project draws to a close with a month-long finale

After more than three million knitted stitches, thousands of hours of warm conversation and countless shared stories, as well as many hundreds of cups of tea and a lot of cake, the six-year ‘Knit the Walls’ community-focused art project will come to an end this November. Across the month, God’s House Tower (GHT) will host
Detained – a personal experience of detention under the Mental Health Act

Detained – a personal experience of detention under the Mental Health Act

by Megan S. I was never able to accept why I had been sectioned or empathise with the nursing staff, who I viewed as enforcers of a grave injustice and tyranny, but I was always good at articulating my perspective, experience and grievances, good at creating awkward questions for the consultant and finding flaws and
Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls & PET NEEDS, O2 Guildhall Southampton

Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls & PET NEEDS, O2 Guildhall Southampton

photographed and written by Peter Nicholson. www.peternicholsonphotography.co.uk   PET NEEDS played the final night of a USA and UK tour at the O2 Guildhall Southampton last night (14 October). It was the culmination of weeks on the road, coast to coast across North America, touring with Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls.  I caught up with
Mayfield Nursery Quiz – think ‘pub quiz but with plants, tea and cake’

Mayfield Nursery Quiz – think ‘pub quiz but with plants, tea and cake’

by Katie Isham. The good folks at Mayfield Nursery on Weston Lane are growing more than just plants. They’ve produced the best Sunday afternoon activity.  On the third Sunday of the month (this upcoming Sunday 16th October) they play host to a café quiz! All the excitement and competition of a pub quiz, but better. 
Interview: Paul Young, coming to The Brook, Southampton, with Los Pacaminos

Interview: Paul Young, coming to The Brook, Southampton, with Los Pacaminos

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. Paul Young’s career must be the envy of artists across the world. As well as singing the opening lines on Band Aid’s  single Do They Know it’s Christmas? in 1984 and appearing at the iconic Wembley Stadium Live-Aid concert, he also released three number one albums, received a Brit
Cultural Trust plans for City of Culture runner up funds

Cultural Trust plans for City of Culture runner up funds

by Sally Churchward. The team behind Southampton’s untimately unsuccessful bid to become City of Culture 2025 have revealed new plans to boost culture in the city. It was a huge disappointment to many in the city when Southampton lost out to Bradford to claim the title, missing out on the huge investment and influx of
Review and photos: Music in the City 2022

Review and photos: Music in the City 2022

words and pictures by Mike Daish. I arrived at Guildhall Square on Saturday (September 24)  just as The Rock Choir was about to kick of the music for the day. After they finished the Soul Catchers upped the volume a bit and by now a good-sized crowd had gathered around the stage. I stayed a
New research finds community is vital for lesbian people in Southampton

New research finds community is vital for lesbian people in Southampton

by Dr Elizabeth Reed. Following a five month project in Southampton, researchers at the University of Southampton have learnt that, for lesbian people in the city, community is vital in navigating the city. We spoke to lesbian people aged between 22 and 58 who lived within 45 minutes of Southampton city centre, and we met
Heritage: Maundy Gregory, a cash for honours scandal and a link to The Beatles

Heritage: Maundy Gregory, a cash for honours scandal and a link to The Beatles

by Martin Brisland. Arthur John Maundy Gregory (1877-1941), from Southampton, was a British theatre producer and political fixer. Gregory (pictured top) gained power and wealth through handling the sale of titles and the alleged blackmail of prominent politicians. Described as “a monocled dandy”, he wore jewellery including a green scarab ring he claimed had been
Why I drum – beating out rhythms as part of Portsmouth Batala samba-reggae band

Why I drum – beating out rhythms as part of Portsmouth Batala samba-reggae band

by Katie Isham What are you drumming for?  That was the question thrown at me, not for the first time.  It’s a genuine inquiry. Not accusatory. Just curious. Being lucky enough to be part of the Portsmouth branch of the Batala samba-reggae band means I help bring Brazilian beats to events across the south coast;
Featured artist: willow sculptor Jacqueline Rolls

Featured artist: willow sculptor Jacqueline Rolls

by Sally Churchward. Artist Jacqueline Rolls is best known for her willow sculptures – from bees and other insects through animals such as pigs and hares to large unicorn and dragon heads.  But in recent years the Southampton-based artist has been pushing herself further and further out of her comfort zone, seeking out challenges and
Bastille on songwriting, being good allies and “the ‘eh, oh’ song”

Bastille on songwriting, being good allies and “the ‘eh, oh’ song”

by Sally Churchward. Being in a globally successful band and fame might seem synonymous.  But for the members of Bastille there has always been a distinction, and they’ve worked hard to keep it that way. We’re chatting backstage at Victorious Festival. Later on they will headline at the Castle Stage, before a huge crowd who
Review: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common

Review: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common

by Catherine Collins. Additional reporting by Sally Churchward. One of the biggest festivals in the south returned this weekend for a three day music extravaganza, with some of the industry’s most exciting names taking to the stages (26-28 August). This year, the organisers  put some of the biggest acts on early to encourage people through
Hampshire’s International Brigaders remembered in new book

Hampshire’s International Brigaders remembered in new book

by Alan Lloyd. Southampton author Alan Lloyd shares the background and some of the findings in his new book, Hampshire Heroes, which celebrates International Brigaders who fought in the Spanish Civil War with connections to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Fifteen years ago, I bought a copy of Bill Rust’s book, “Britons in Spain”.
New items added to Southampton music archive Stick it in Your Ear

New items added to Southampton music archive Stick it in Your Ear

By Phil Tyler of SIIYE. Southampton’s Stick it in Your Ear music archive has added three new items to its online archives. You can read all about Stick it in Your Ear, which started out more than 40 years ago as a small local tape label with accompanying free magazine, here: Celebrating 40 years of
Southampton City of Culture 2025 – what next for the city having missed out?

Southampton City of Culture 2025 – what next for the city having missed out?

On May 31st, Southampton’s dreams of becoming City of Culture 2025 were dashed, when it was announced that the award was going to Bradford. However, for the first time, all three runners up, including Southampton, are being awarded a grant of £125,000 by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  The group responsible for
Photography for mental health

Photography for mental health

by Mike Daish. I struggle from time to time with my state of mind and can get quite down and isolate myself . With the isolation and low mood comes a lack of exercise; I stop simply getting outside for a bit of fresh air. Recently I have started a second Italk course to see
Southampton’s first People’s Pride Party in the Park exceeds expectations

Southampton’s first People’s Pride Party in the Park exceeds expectations

Words: Martin Brisland. Pictures: Mike Daish. Additional pictures: Hannah Barber. The People’s Pride Party in the Park  in Southampton on the 11th and 12th June was a total success. (Read about the event’s origins here). The sun was shining for this fully inclusive event, the atmosphere was brilliant and the whole free festival was superbly
New project exploring lesbian experiences of community in Southampton seeks participants

New project exploring lesbian experiences of community in Southampton seeks participants

by Dr Elizabeth Reed. Researchers at the University of Southampton are currently recruiting participants for a project exploring lesbian people’s experience of community in the city, through the pandemic.  Southampton’s City of Culture bid celebrated our diverse communities and cultures and set out a plan to make our city more inclusive by improving access to
Southampton missed out on being crowned City of Culture 2025 but the city still dares to dream big

Southampton missed out on being crowned City of Culture 2025 but the city still dares to dream big

by Sally Churchward. Hopes of Southampton becoming City of Culture 2025 were dashed last night, when Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries announced that Bradford had won the title. Southampton, and fellow runners up Durham and Wrexham, didn’t leave empty-handed though as, for the first time, each was awarded £125,000.
Satvir Kaur on her journey from inner city shop girl to the new leader of Southampton City Council

Satvir Kaur on her journey from inner city shop girl to the new leader of Southampton City Council

Words by Sally Churchward. Pictures by Chris Moorhouse. Following the local elections on May 5, 2022, the Labour Party took control of Southampton City Council. Satvir Kaur, the council’s new leader, reflects on her journey from Southampton’s inner city to being in charge of her home city, becoming the first person of colour in the
The arrival of Basque refugee children to Southampton 85 years ago was remembered at a ceremony at the weekend

The arrival of Basque refugee children to Southampton 85 years ago was remembered at a ceremony at the weekend

by Martin Brisland. “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” – this 19th Century spiritual song has had many versions, notably by Paul Robeson in the 1920s. It was sung by him at a 1930s charity fundraising concert for the Basque children at the Albert Hall. The song was often in Prince’s live set and
Tribute: remembering a friend to many, Jim O’Sullivan

Tribute: remembering a friend to many, Jim O’Sullivan

by Lew. Last Sunday, Southampton lost a dear son as Jim O’Sullivan passed away unexpectedly. He was a familiar and beloved person in and around Southampton, particular within the music and arts community.  His dedication to local music was also proven by his meticulously woven alternative music podcasts. As a man at least a decade
Pleasure Beyond Measure – free online local music archive for Southampton

Pleasure Beyond Measure – free online local music archive for Southampton

Phase 2: The Pete Holden Bequest by Geoff Wall. Southampton has always boasted an incredibly diverse and prolific local music scene, but lacking any major commercial success or identifiable sound (prior to Craig David and Artful Dodger), the spotlight has fallen elsewhere.  As a consequence, far too many bands have shone for a few glorious
Ukrainian refugees helped to settle in Southampton with community effort

Ukrainian refugees helped to settle in Southampton with community effort

by Sally Churchward. A group of Southampton residents are pulling together to help get Ukrainian refugees settled and established in the city. Melanie Tudjaroglu and her friend Kasia Davenport have been amongst those volunteering at the city’s Polish Club to help sort and pack donations for Ukrainian refugees.  With everyone busy getting the floods of
Heritage: what’s in a programme?

Heritage: what’s in a programme?

by Martin Brisland. Having reviewed a number of shows for In Common, I was at the Mayflower Theatre recently to review Matthew Bourne’s brilliant Nutcracker! production. Equal to the high standard of the ballet was a superb full size 24 page glossy programme. One of the premier theatres outside London, the 2,300 seat Mayflower started
What do Sotonians think about Southampton being shortlisted as City of Culture?

What do Sotonians think about Southampton being shortlisted as City of Culture?

Southampton has been shortlisted to the final four to become UK City of Culture 2025. But what do people who live in the city think about its culture and what it would mean to Southampton if it wins the bid and becomes the next City of Culture? We spoke to people who are active in
Southampton shopworker calls on council to make bus stops safer

Southampton shopworker calls on council to make bus stops safer

by Sally Churchward. A Southampton shopworker will be addressing the council this week, in a bid to make the city’s bus stops safer for shift workers.  Beccy Ruddick, who works in a supermarket in Southampton, has to catch the bus to work at 5am, a time when it’s dark and the streets are deserted.  She
Photos: a walk around Eling

Photos: a walk around Eling

by Mike Daish. I went out walking around Eling again a few days ago and took a few photos along the way. It is amazing to see the intricate details of the things living on the old pipe that runs along side the toll bridge. Like little explosions of colour, they remind me of fireworks
Experts to the clinically vulnerable respond to the end of covid mitigations

Experts to the clinically vulnerable respond to the end of covid mitigations

By Sally Churchward. As of today, there are no longer any laws in place to help England manage its response to covid. On Monday, the government announced the end of covid mitigations, such as the legal duty to isolate of you have covid from today, sick pay from day one on March 24 and mass
Read Easy Southampton’s Official Launch

Read Easy Southampton’s Official Launch

by Chris Richards. It is estimated that 5000 adults in Southampton are unable to read. A newly launched charity, Read Easy Southampton are offering the opportunity to change that with free, confidential, and local support to all who want to learn. Read Easy Southampton links adults of any age or circumstance, who wish to learn
Heritage: a potted history of Southampton, part one

Heritage: a potted history of Southampton, part one

by Martin Brisland. In this series of short articles I will look at the history of our area up to the present day starting with prehistoric times. There are various ways of understanding pre-history but the message is the same  – we humans haven’t been here very long. Prehistory is a time before written records and
Falling through the the justice gap: the shrinking of legal aid and access to justice

Falling through the the justice gap: the shrinking of legal aid and access to justice

by Sally Churchward. “It’s not fair” – it’s one of the first things children learn, the concept of justice, the right to it and a huge sense of wrongdoing if everything is not equitable. Equality before the law is one of the cornerstones of our society: the firm belief that everyone should be equally protected
Photos: Southampton Allstars lineup at the 1865, Music in the City

Photos: Southampton Allstars lineup at the 1865, Music in the City

by MIke Daish. I missed the fun on Saturday of this years Music in the City but made sure I got out on Sunday to make it to the 1865 in Brunswick Square. I was not disappointed, as the music was top class and such a great variety of styles. It was an almost non
Greg Gilbert – artist, poet, musician and ‘butterfly collector’. A tribute to a life filled with art, music, wonder and love

Greg Gilbert – artist, poet, musician and ‘butterfly collector’. A tribute to a life filled with art, music, wonder and love

by Sally Churchward. Artist, poet, musician, father, husband, son and friend, Greg Gilbert died from cancer on Thursday. As a local journalist, Sally Churchward followed his career – from being the lead singer of Southampton indie band Delays through his being an emerging and then celebrated artist and poet, with numerous interviews  in the city’s
International Brigade Memorial Trust’s AGM to be held in Southampton, remembering those fought fascism in Spain

International Brigade Memorial Trust’s AGM to be held in Southampton, remembering those fought fascism in Spain

The 2021 AGM of the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) is being held in Southampton over the weekend 8th-10th October 2021. The AGM is a chance to remember the bravery of the men and women from Southampton and across Hampshire who volunteered to fight fascism in Spain as part of the International Brigades.  During the
Trans, queer punk rockers Hunting Hearts on street safety, stereotypes and structural oppression

Trans, queer punk rockers Hunting Hearts on street safety, stereotypes and structural oppression

During Pride month, Devin Valentine, Lucy Rose and Beck Lombardi, from queer, trans punk rock Southampton band Hunting Hearts talk about gender, perception and safety with In Common’s Sally Churchward. Sally: Quite rightly, there’s been a lot of talk about street safety lately, particularly women’s safety, following the tragic death of Sarah Everard and ongoing
Parenting a child with autism: lots of days I cry because I don’t understand him and feel that I’ve failed him

Parenting a child with autism: lots of days I cry because I don’t understand him and feel that I’ve failed him

by Sally Churchward. A Southampton mother shares the difficulties she experiences in getting the support for her autistic son that he needs. Judgements – Laura Jones* has had enough of them. “To judge me as a parent is easier and quicker than giving my son the help he needs,” says the mother of three from
Opinion: Kill the Bill – joining Southampton’s protest against the controversial bill

Opinion: Kill the Bill – joining Southampton’s protest against the controversial bill

by Charlie Hislop. Kill the Bill! Kill the Bill! That was the cry when 400 or so people assembled in Southampton’s Guildhall Square on Good Friday to protest the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.   In front of a crowd of mainly young people, a succession of speakers highlighted the wide-ranging measures in the proposed legislation, which has seen protests
Opinion: Women don’t feel safe

Opinion: Women don’t feel safe

by Emma Louise Harris. Last week was vile for women. Bookended by what should be two celebratory days; International Women’s day on Monday and Mother’s Day on Sunday, yet filled with horror. On Monday, Labour MP Jess Phillips read out a list of the 118 names of women who have been killed by men since
Experience: life as a single parent during covid

Experience: life as a single parent during covid

by Sarah Groszewski I became a single mother in August 2019, when I moved nearly 100 miles away from the life I’d built in London over the past 12 years, to start again in Southampton, when my marriage ended. The main thing that struck me was how much easier it was to be a single
Campaign launched for single parent equality after research shows lockdown discriminatory

Campaign launched for single parent equality after research shows lockdown discriminatory

As children return to school this week, Ministers are facing calls to make being a single parent a protected characteristic under the Equality Act after a survey shows the pandemic restrictions heightened single parents’ experience of discrimination.  In the UK today, a quarter of families are headed by a single parent. Despite this, single parents
On being a mother to my trans daughter – how poems helped say what needed to be said

On being a mother to my trans daughter – how poems helped say what needed to be said

by Claire Dyer. There’s a poem in Yield called ‘Trans’. It imagines travellers from another planet who, on reaching Earth, see for themselves some of our ideas around gender stereotypes. There are two types of mother in this poem:   and there are those they call mother who sometimes stand triumphant, waving banners from high
Celebrating 40 years of music in Southampton with Stick it Where?

Celebrating 40 years of music in Southampton with Stick it Where?

by Geoff Wall. January 2021 sees Southampton’s very own STICK IT IN YOUR EAR! musical enterprise celebrate its 40th anniversary with the publication of STICK IT WHERE? – the illustrated history of Stick It In Your Ear! ….and other true stories – a 500+ page CD-rom e-book that’s directly available from www.siiye.co.uk More by accident
New Forest children’s Christmas trail

New Forest children’s Christmas trail

by Sally Churchward. This self guided Christmas trail  was written for use in the New Forest, but should be suitable for most woodland areas. Cut and paste it onto your own document, making sure that the answers are on a separate sheet! It indicates that a prize is on offer, so you need to make
The sometimes surprisingly radical history of the humble tea towel

The sometimes surprisingly radical history of the humble tea towel

by Martin Brisland. In life you often start in one direction and end up going in another. I was researching the history of radicalism in our region (Southampton) with a view to writing an article for In Common. I started off looking into the Independent Labour Party and ended up finding out about the history
Southampton Top 10  The songs that come from the SO

Southampton Top 10 The songs that come from the SO

by Howard Bowden. When The Beatles released their 1969 single The Ballad of John and Yoko – opening line: ‘Standing in the dock at Southampton’ – it would become the first of THREE number ones in just 32 months to reference events in the SO postcode area. Two years later, Rod Stewart, superstar rocker and
First union for disabled people launches, renewing fight for equality

First union for disabled people launches, renewing fight for equality

The Disability Union has launched, in order to build power and a national voice for disabled people powerful enough to influence policy; whilst also helping people with their day-to-day disability struggles.  The date of this launch is significant as last month marked the 25th anniversary the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. The Disability Union aims to help kick-start and
Southampton – City of Culture?

Southampton – City of Culture?

by Charlie Hislop. City of Culture? Southampton? Really? Too right! The announcement that we are competing to be UK City of Culture 2025 is the best news for the city in a long time. Strange right now with COVID lockdowns, theatres closed, and empty streets – but what an opportunity for Southampton and all of
Photography: A little black and white

Photography: A little black and white

by Mike Daish.  Once again, thanks to lockdown 2, I am shielding, so have been taking a few photos while out getting my daily exercise. I gave myself a little challenge to shoot some black and white images and to do as little post editing as possible. I am fairly pleased with the resulting photos
Experience: Cancer in a time of covid

Experience: Cancer in a time of covid

by anonymous. There is a very thin line that holds the fabric of our lives together. Things can change at any minute. These are my reflections from the perspective of going through the journey alongside a person with cancer. The Second World War broke out on 3rd September in 1939. A different kind of battle
Identifying outside the boxes – non-binary people share their journeys of self-identification

Identifying outside the boxes – non-binary people share their journeys of self-identification

by Sally Churchward. “I’d draw my own box and tick that.” B Parsons, a gender queer non-binary drip artist and performance poet from Winchester. They/their/them. “Before, I tried out different terms for myself, but I didn’t identify with them. When non-binary was put to me, I realised ‘That’s my box!’ In the early days, you
Opinion: my experience of a Calais refugee camp

Opinion: my experience of a Calais refugee camp

by Lewis MacLean. Immigration is a contentious issue for some and wishy-washy for others. In reality, things never change for the refugees themselves. After years of the press reporting on desperate immigrants losing their lives when attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the English Channel is now the focus. The result is a steep rise in 
Southampton’s Speakers’ Corner

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 current Southampton Speakers’ Corner was rarely
Facing fines and deregistering children – not all parents agree that schools are ‘covid safe’

Facing fines and deregistering children – not all parents agree that schools are ‘covid safe’

by Sally Churchward. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that every child should be in school. But many parents are choosing to face fines by keeping their children at home or deregistering them. Could the government’s hardline approach to getting children back to school backfire, with parents being forced to choose between the best
Southampton’s new online music archive

Southampton’s new online music archive

by Geoff Wall. Stick It In Your Ear (SIIYE) has just launched an online archive of  local music originally recorded on originally recorded on reel to reel tapes and published on cassette in the 1980s. Southampton-based SIIYE started life in the 1980s as a magazine, rather like a catalogue, that described and gave details about
From The Beatles to War Horse: Southampton’s Mayflower theatre has been at the heart of entertainment in the south for more than 90 years

From The Beatles to War Horse: Southampton’s Mayflower theatre has been at the heart of entertainment in the south for more than 90 years

by Martin Brisland. Did you know that the Mayflower, built in 1928, has one of the largest auditoriums in England with more than 2,300 seats and used to have a tea garden on the roof! In the late 1920s the Moss Empire theatre group built six 2,000 seater venues, including Southampton. The style used was
Matchgirl strikes: women unite and fight

Matchgirl strikes: women unite and fight

by Martin Brisland. Main image copyright TUC Archives, used with permission. The female sewing machinists’ strike of 1968 at the Ford Dagenham plant resulted in the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970. Their story was told in the 2010 film Made in Dagenham. Eighty years before, in London’s East End, the female workers at
Brave New Southampton: Wyndham Court, modern architecture & the municipal socialist city

Brave New Southampton: Wyndham Court, modern architecture & the municipal socialist city

by Owen Hatherley. This essay was originally written as a lecture to accompany Southampton photographer Rachel Adams’ exhibition Life Is Brutalist: a portrait of Wyndham Court, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city’s landmark building. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the planned physical exhibition had to be called off, but Rachel’s striking photographs can be viewed
Photos: reflecting on the end of shielding

Photos: reflecting on the end of shielding

Pictures and words by Mike Daish. Shielding has been paused so I am now gearing up to return to my normal job which is working a local shop. After four months spent mainly at home and having been on my own for much of that time,  it will be quite a big change. The past
Opinion: Industrial Workers of the World uniting in Southampton

Opinion: Industrial Workers of the World uniting in Southampton

by Nathan Brown and Pete Hayward. Activists from the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW) are seeking to launch a Southampton branch.  Currently they come under the auspices of the Reading branch, but as local members have started meeting and organising, they are going to go through the process of being recognised as an
Photos: the little things

Photos: the little things

by Mike Daish. I often hear the phrase, it’s the little things that matter most and I tend to agree. Since being able to get outside, with the easing of lockdown, and enjoy the local countryside again I have loved watching all the little things I have missed so much. Each day I go out
Southampton: a tale of two universities

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 been a university since July 2005,
Easing the lockdown: my first walk outside

Easing the lockdown: my first walk outside

word and photos by Mike Daish. Today I took my first walk in a little over two months.  Due to a medical condition I was informed that I should isolate in my home for 12 weeks. I am still isolating but am now allowed to leave the house. I am very lucky to have a
The Southampton Doorstep Portraits Project

The Southampton Doorstep Portraits Project

by Martin Brisland. A record of a unique moment in time by photographer Katherine Mills. We have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in some way. For a local photographer who would typically be earning from weddings and family occasions at this time of year it means creative thinking to come up with ways
Directory of businesses in and around Southampton currently operating

Directory of businesses in and around Southampton currently operating

by Frances Churchward, additional research by Georgina Morgan. In these very frightening times, one thing that has given a spark of positivity is people coming together as communities and supporting one another. People have stayed in their homes for weeks on end, not only for their own sakes, but also, to protect those more vulnerable.
7 Ways To Cope During Challenging Times

7 Ways To Cope During Challenging Times

By Cheryl Rickman, www.CherylRickman.co.uk. During challenging times, we may not be able to control our circumstances but we can control our response. Positive Psychology Practitioner and Author of  The Little Book of Resilience, Cheryl Rickman explores how to make the most of the situation we find ourselves in during Lockdown and beyond. 1.  Define your new normal.
Photos of much loved locations in Eling

Photos of much loved locations in Eling

by Mike Daish. I am confined to my flat at the moment and have been inside for almost four weeks now. To pass some of the time I am looking at old photos and enjoying the memories they invoke. Something I do regularly is go out on little cycle rides locally and take a few
10 reasons to be cheerful about Southampton

10 reasons to be cheerful about Southampton

by Martin Brisland. We 260,000 Sotonians are lucky to live in such a wonderful part of the country. Here are ten reasons to be proud of our home city and some activities to look forward to when we come out of lockdown. Heritage The Romans, Saxons, Vikings and the Normans have all left their mark
The Southampton hobbyist producing PPE for the NHS in his garage

The Southampton hobbyist producing PPE for the NHS in his garage

by Sally Churchward. As the full horror of the coronavirus crisis and, specifically, how under equipped our hospitals and unprotected frontline staff are, Damien Long knew he could help. The former advertising agency project manager spent much of his spare time creating and sometimes even designing replicas of props from sci-fi films and books on
Looking back on Southampton’s historic music scene.

Looking back on Southampton’s historic music scene.

by Martin Brisland. I recently reviewed Million Dollar Quartet at The Mayflower for In Common and it set me thinking. The musical is set at Sun Records studio in Memphis and chronicles December 4th 1956. By chance,on that distant Tuesday, Elvis Preseley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis jammed together and the impromptu
March in photos

March in photos

by Mike Daish. I took my camera out with me around Eling, and in Southampton centre, catching the arrival of spring, at the same time as coronavirus also sweeps into the area. The first three photos were taken at Eling near the little toll bridge and tide mill. These were taken while out on one
How historical pandemics have affected Southampton.

How historical pandemics have affected Southampton.

by Martin Brisland. The current Coronavirus pandemic is obviously worrying but such major health events are sadly nothing new. Southampton has been an important port for centuries but the passage of many people through it from all over the world means that it is prone to importing diseases. In the 1300s we had a leprosy
Hampshire People’s Pride – bringing politics to the party

Hampshire People’s Pride – bringing politics to the party

by Sally Churchward. Last summer saw the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising – a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. They were long frustrated by police brutality and were fighting back.  For Jake Radwell, founder and chairperson of  The People’s
Plastic not so fantastic – trying to break the plastic habit

Plastic not so fantastic – trying to break the plastic habit

by Chris Richards. What happened when a Southampton family of four tried to go cold turkey on buying plastic for a fortnight? Chris Richards reports.  Plastics! Everyone has an opinion about them and no single solution is going to work universally. The issues surrounding plastics, as are reported widely, are their major contribution to the
Is it transformation or the end of the road for Southampton’s Art House?

Is it transformation or the end of the road for Southampton’s Art House?

by Sally Churchward. It is central to Southampton’s grassroots arts scene. But is it the end of the line for The Art House? The Art House has helped a lot of people in the 12 years since it was started by a group of creative individuals, who recognised a gap in the city’s arts scene,
The big Southampton Christmas quiz

The big Southampton Christmas quiz

by Martin Brisland. A Christmas quiz to help entertain you and your guests over the festive period. Simply answer true or false to the questions below. The answers are at the bottom, so no cheating!   The last public tram service was on New Years Eve 1949.  After the 1940 bombing of Southampton money received
My NHS story: Free at the point of need

My NHS story: Free at the point of need

by Martin Brisland. Saturday 15th July 2017 was a day to remember. Well it would be if only I could remember it. I know it was morning, I was in bed and a thunderclap pain hit in the back of my head.  I recall taking two paracetamol and lying down. It was about six weeks
Supporting refugees and asylum seekers at Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group

Supporting refugees and asylum seekers at Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group

by Neil Merrick. It was six in the morning when Lesley Sheldon-Browning and Nyala left Southampton for a day trip to Liverpool about two years ago. For Lesley, the journey had begun an hour earlier when she left her home outside the city to pick up Nyala on the way to the station.
Clearing the air in Southampton

Clearing the air in Southampton

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. There’s an internet meme going around which runs, “I grew up during a time when everyone went outside to play in the fields, built dens and climbed trees, we got dirty, bathed on Sunday” and it rambles on about drinking tap water, whittling conkers and being regularly beaten by grandparent, or something
Artist, poet, musician & dad Greg Gilbert on his need to create

Artist, poet, musician & dad Greg Gilbert on his need to create

by Sally Churchward. Greg Gilbert first made a name for himself as the frontman of indie pop band Delays, but in recent years returned to his originally intended career, art. Since his first exhibition, in 2013, he has made a name for himself as an accomplished artist and, more recently, a poet.   On November
Photo gallery: LeftFest at the 1865 Club, Southampton

Photo gallery: LeftFest at the 1865 Club, Southampton

Southampton’s biggest LeftFest event yet, held today (Saturday, October 19) at the 1865 Club was pronounced a huge success. The event saw performers such as Southampton Ukulele Jam, Two Left Feet theatre company, spoken word artist Potent Whisper and Tom Walker, better known as his fictitious disgruntled news reader character Jonathan Pie take to the
Football & politics: St Pauli’s Southampton supporters

Football & politics: St Pauli’s Southampton supporters

by Sally Churchward. IT’S a Monday evening in a Southampton pub and a group of football fans are gathering to watch the big game. A flag is hung from a wall, team scarves are unfurled and jackets are removed to reveal tops emblazoned with the team’s logo. It’s a derby match and there is an
Jeremy Corbyn & Rebecca Long-Bailey in Southampton

Jeremy Corbyn & Rebecca Long-Bailey in Southampton

by Sally Churchward. Jeremy Corbyn  pledged to set up a ‘people’s power company’ to ‘give power to the people’ once his party is in government. The statement concluded his speech to the capacity crowd of Labour Party members at Southampton’s 1865 club on Wednesday, October 9, and was met with a standing ovation. The leader
Launch of TransVerse: We Won’t Be Erased

Launch of TransVerse: We Won’t Be Erased

by Anita Foxall. TransVerse: We Won’t Be Erased!, an anthology of poems and lyrics by transgender and non-binary writers, was recently launched at The Art House Café, in Southampton. The event consisted of performances by some of the poets and gave us a chance to speak to the editor, Ash Brockwell, about this project. How it
Preview: Vulvas In/Formation at The Railway

Preview: Vulvas In/Formation at The Railway

by Sally Churchward. Fanny, vulva, vagina, front bottom, frou-frou, chuff…the list goes on. There are a lot of words to describe women’s genitals but, says Emma Rees, one which actually describes the whole of the area is widely considered the most offensive word in the English language: c**t. Emma will be taking part in a
In Common Launch Party at The Art House

In Common Launch Party at The Art House

The Art House in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter was packed on Saturday night as people came together to celebrate the launch of the city’s new community news and features website In Common. In Common aims to help bring people in the city closer together and to celebrate and promote what’s good about the city, including the
Southampton Climate Strike

Southampton Climate Strike

Millions of protesters have taken to the streets across the globe to demand that governments take real action on the climate crisis. Protests took place on the streets of Southampton throughout Friday, September 20. They included a protest at Carnival HQ, a meeting at October Books in Portswood, a clothes swap in Guildhall Square, a
My Life with M.E. – Exploding the Myths

My Life with M.E. – Exploding the Myths

by Chrissy Russell. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Yuppy Flu, post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) The list goes on. Each decade has seen a new name, but the erroneous perception of it remains the same. The Word Health Organisation classifies the disease as Myalgic
Southampton Pride August 2019

Southampton Pride August 2019

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. If you’ve missed the references or don’t know much about LGBTQ+ history, then I hope you’ll forgive me for reminding you that this year we are commemorating 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York – the start of the modern gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Daniel Crow & a space: transforming city’s art scene

Daniel Crow & a space: transforming city’s art scene

by Sally Churchward. God’s House Tower, a new multi-million arts venue in Southampton’s Old Town, will open in September. It will house a permanent exhibition about the building’s heritage, changing exhibitions, talks, workshops, events, a cafe and a shop, and is set to become a major tourist attraction on the south coast, and to significantly
Hedgehog – Success in a Bursledon garden

Hedgehog – Success in a Bursledon garden

by Martin Davis. You’ve probably seen information from conservation groups recommending that we make holes in our walls and fences for ‘hedgehog highways’, especially in residential areas.  Well here’s a success story. The evidence Early this year I moved to a house in Bursledon, and for a while I had my suspicions about there being
October Books: how the radical bookshop is booming

October Books: how the radical bookshop is booming

by Sally Churchward. For the staff and volunteers at October Books, there is delicious irony in the fact that the building in which the radical bookshop is now based used to house a bank. “I love it, it’s so ironic,” exclaims volunteer Glyn Oliver, who has been helping with fixing up the new venue, around
Water Life: Southampton’s houseboat community

Water Life: Southampton’s houseboat community

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. What prompts us to choose the homes we inhabit? Is it purely a financial decision, is it the space we need or is it deeper? Maybe it’s family pressures or maybe it’s a dream  Megan had always dreamt of living on a houseboat, so at age 21, when her dad talked about
The Rebel Gardeners are coming for your street

The Rebel Gardeners are coming for your street

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff (I’m the one in the ‘wild’ t-shirt). So here’s the thing – I really don’t like concrete, tarmac and paving stones. Yes, yes, I know they’re useful and are probably the only way for a modern city to function – but seriously? Our cities are a monochrome of greyness; the sun comes