Long reads about people, communities, issues and more.

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