Long reads about people, communities, issues and more.
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
by Sally Churchward. “I don’t want people to think that if something is difficult to do, they’re not cut out for it, because that isn’t true. I’m proud to be autistic and disabled. It’s part of me.” These are the words of Southampton artist Spring Wise. Spring has spent her life doing things that were
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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