“Time, Gentleman Please!”

The Bent Brief
The Bent Brief closed in early 2015

In response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: TIME and Pub No 3 in my series

TIME has been called on this popular Southampton pub that had a great reputation for live music. From opera to jazz, it offered a broad range of sounds. One of the pub’s former regulars was blues musician Gordon Haskell.

The highlight of the festive season was their annual pantomime – political satires written by Dr Julie Campbell who lectured at the University of Southampton; performed by students and locals together under the name of the £40 Theatre Company.

The Bent Brief‘s name was coined in competition with another pub further along Lodge Road: The Honest Lawyer (which I posted on the Photo Challenge: Change http://wp.me/p6jveM-gU ). This was due to the number of law firms that used to operate in the area in 1878. My father had been a local and met up with friends in both pubs.

To enter or see others: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/time/

Black & White in Colour 2: The Hobbit

The Hobbit, a famous pub in the Bevois Valley area of Southampton.
The Hobbit, a famous pub in the Bevois Valley area of Southampton.

The second in my series of black & white scenes photographed in colour. I also keep meaning to do a series about pubs in Southampton, so I will also call this Pub 1.

The Hobbit pub in Southampton, named after a Tolkien character, has been going for around 24 years and draws an eclectic crowd.

It has become world famous now for the law suit: The Hobbit Pub versus Warner Brothers, The lawyers, acting on the motion picture company’s half, tried to force them to change their name just before the launch of the film of the same name. The independent pub received backing both verbally and financially from British actors Ian McKellin and Stephen Fry in the right to keep the name, which was the first case brought against them. Now there is an ongoing battle over the names of their locally crafted ale and cocktails. The cases have been going on for about four years now. The Hobbit holds annual fund raisers to help support their claim.

Customers need to be over 21 and there is a small charge to see regular bands who play in their basement.

For more info: http://thehobbitpub.co.uk

Study reveals most people in Southampton count people living close to them as friends

Reblogged from http://www.dailyecho.co.uk article published Monday 23 February 2015


Alma Road is at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another.
Alma Road is at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another (Echo).

It is a city brimming with community spirit where neighbours become friends.

That’s the findings of a survey released today that has Southampton topping the charts when it comes to the most “neighbourly” city in the UK.

The research – carried out to mark the start of Love Your Neighbour Week – revealed how 90 per cent of people who were asked said they would count people who live close to them as friends.

One area in Southampton where there is real community spirit between neighbours is the Outer Avenue in Bevois Valley.

With its mixture of long-term residents and newly-moved in students in Avenue Road, Alma Road, Gordon Avenue and Earls Road, Outer Avenue Residents Association (OARA) has been at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another.

The group hold regular litter picks, parties to welcome students to the area, a cherry planting programme, table top sales and even have a wheelie bin management system.

They also rallied round to help a student who was assaulted in Portswood and bought him chocolates and a card, another example was when they brought tyres to help a resident whose car was vandalised.

Chairman of OARA, John Hayward, said: “It is good to reach out and get on with your neighbours for the common good.”

“From a personal point of view it makes a big difference, my wife and I have got to know lots of people we would have never met.

“It is nice to walk around and see the students clean and seethe planting going on and to feel like you are supporting each other.”

The survey was carried out by chocolatiers, Lily O’Brien’s and saw 5,000 people polled.

Des Hayward, 66, retired from Avenue Road, said: “We have grouped together because we wanted to have a community rather than being transient. We live here and we love the area and we wanted it to be a nice area to live in.”

Fiona Barnes,57, administrator from Avenue Road, said: “It has always been a friendly area here. We moved away in 1987 and moved back nine months later.

“People look after one another and I like the fact that even if you do not know someone’s name people say hello to each other.”


My photo of of Alma Road, Bevois Town, Southampton.
My photo of of Alma Road, Bevois Town, Southampton
Any season is street party season in Alma Road.
Any season is street party season in Alma Road.

Movember

Christian with moustache in Southampton
Christian with moustache in Southampton

Correct me if I’m wrong readers, but I think that the concept of Movember started in Sydney, Australia in 2004. An amalgamation of Moustache and November, Movember is a concept whereby a moustache is grown for the month of November to highlight men’s health issues. It has caught on throughout Europe now.

Regency-styles for men, including sideburns or beards are especially fashionable where I live in Southern England. I really like them.

Bar tender from The Rockstone Pub
Kiwi, from The Rockstone Pub
These guys are regular contenders at The Rockstone
These guys are regular contenders at The Rockstone

Each year I go to The Rockstone, a pub run by youngsters in Southampton. It holds some ‘jolly’ Beard Off competitions.  By doing so, money is raised for charities dealing with prostate cancer awareness among other issues. They will be celebrating their 4th this month.

The Rockstone Pub holds an annual Beard Off
The Rockstone Pub holds an annual Beard Off
The Lounge Kittens - musicians at The Rockstone
The Lounge Kittens – musicians at The Rockstone

Many pub landlords seem to adorn facial hair these retro-loving days.

Landlord of The Butcher's Hook micro-brewery, Southampton
Landlord of The Butcher’s Hook micro-brewery, Southampton

Stick-on moustaches are usually around in the shops in November for those unable to grow their own – usually children and women.

Stick on moustaches are popular
Stick on moustaches are popular

However in the last few years Movember has even prompted women, prone to excess hair growth for their sex, to grow moustaches and even beards for the month. I think they also look amazing.

Harnaam (above) and Siobhain (below) went on TV to highlight women's hair-growth last year.
Harnaam (above) and Siobhain (below) went on TV to highlight women’s hair-growth last year.

Siobhain-Fletcher

I myself draw on a Duchamp-style line with an eye-brown pencil while looking in the pub mirror, but not until I’ve had a few beers.

Goodwood Gaggers at the Regency Ball
Goodwood Gaggers at the Regency Ball
Tony the actor
Tony the actor, Goodwood Regency Ball
Dave Tart the Poet at East Street Arts Festival, Southampton
Dave Tart the Poet at East Street Arts Festival, Southampton
Seamus the Postie
Seamus the Postie, Southampton
James the boffin
James the boffin, Southampton

 

 

Sir Bevis – Hero of Southampton

Josian & The Lions from the Hours of England illuminations.
Josian & The Lions from the Hours of England illuminations.
Southampton Bargate, the city's gatehouse and a remnant of the Medieval wall that surrounds the city centre of Southampton. Legend has it that Sr Bevois Earl of Southampton was its founder. The bronze lions (in honour of Josian) replaced the wooden ones in 1743.
Southampton Bargate, the city’s gatehouse and a remnant of the Medieval wall that surrounds the city centre of Southampton. Legend has it that Sr Bevois Earl of Southampton was its founder. The bronze lions (in honour of Josian) replaced the wooden ones in 1743.

beviscover2Place names are all over Southampton with characters from the Bevis legend: Bevis (a slave turned hero), Josian (the independant Princess) the Lions and the giant Ascupart.

Lynn Forest-Hill is launching her new book Bevis of Hampton as a ‘limited festival edition’ for Southampton’s first literary festival SO: To Speak, which takes place in October 2015.

I am so looking forward reading this translation of the story of Sir Bevis (Hero of Southampton) from Middle English into modern English. I had a sneak preview when I was shown a few of the pages for layout purposes. It has excellent explanatory notes under each page of text. Lynn Forest-Hill is a literary scholar specializing in Medievalism, she is a Fellow of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture at the University of Southampton and is the Education Officer for the Tolkien Society.

This is a Southampton brass coin I have. It was used as a token with the head of Sir Bevois
This is a Southampton brass coin I have. It was used as a token with the head of Sir Bevois

Lynn has written multiple papers regarding J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and her research has been used in articles featured in the Times Literary Supplement. For the last nine years, She has been leading three local reading groups; one studies Shakespeare’s work and the other two focus on the examination of poetry.
I have been following her research on this book on her blog, where she has wonderful links to this legend including a film and even one on how middle english sounds: https://bevisofhampton.wordpress.com
so to speak roundFor more about the SO: To Speak festival:

http://www.sotospeakfestival.org

For more about the legend of Bevis and the Romance poem:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bevis_of_Hampton   +

http://www.tudorrevels.co.uk/articles.php?itemId=58

The Book of Hours forms part of the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.
To view the illuminations:

It’s not Immigration Street. It’s Memory Lane.

"We are Southampton" march against Love Productions' view of Immigration Street
“We are Southampton” march against Love Productions’ view of Immigration Street 

This post is from another Sotonian blogger ‘The Parcel Talks’ and her memories of an area that Love Productions (makers of Benfits Street) tried to make a controversial programme about called Immigration Street. Southampton as a port has always been multi-cultural. But many who live in this area have been here for two or three generations. True Sotonians in city of transient people. When will they be called British? Most refused to take part in the film.

If you LIKE it here, visit her blog and LIKE it there https://theparceltalks.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/its-not-immigration-street-its-memory-lane

The Parcel Talks

Idly channel hopping one night I stumbled upon Channel 4’s pseudo-documentary, Immigration Street. I had remembered the surrounding furore in the media from when it was being filmed in my home town, Southampton. I had hoped that the controversy would prevent it from going ahead, and duly forgot about it.

Southampton Symbols of Southampton.

Due to the inflammatory title and controversy over the production company’s previous series, Benefits Street, this was never going to be a balanced and reasoned discussion on the subject of immigration. Nor was it likely to be a positive representation of the area of St. Mary’s, Southampton. It started off innocently enough, but as the programme progressed, it descended into chaos. Clearly out of their depth, the production team defensively struggled to keep control amid growing dissent, culminating in disturbing scenes of violent unrest in the community. The selective editing reminded me of Martin Parr’s sneering lens, disingenuously…

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BANKSY ART ERASED IN SOUTHAMPTON

BanksyNoFuture

The famous graffiti artist, Banksy, is believed to have added a mural of a child holding a balloon to the slogan, ‘No Future’ on a wall in the Bevois Valley area about five years ago. Southampton used to have many good graffiti artists in the late 70s, early 80s in the Punk era. But some of the can-sprayers had some bad handwriting. “No Future” was a common slogan then. Though the Council’s zero tolerance towards graffiti (except that commissioned in the skateboard area of Hoglands Park) means that any illegal spraying or fly-posting is immediately ‘whitewashed’. Alas this piece of art disappeared almost as soon as it appeared.