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.
My chemo-brain quips have been improving since I have been doing this blog – I haven’t had many for a while. Mainly I get names mixed up now. I was able to correct typos about floods in Columbia instead of writing Cumbria.
I have been obsessed with Venice too for some reason lately. I actually booked a flight to Venice instead of Vienna where I will visit friends – that proved costly; I called a woman Venice instead of Veronica, and on New Year’s Day, I announced that we were having Venice pie instead of venison pie
I took part in The Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth’s Historical Dockyard this year. If you have ever wandered why so many British actors get the best parts in Hollywood movies, then perhaps take a look at this year’s festival slide showon YouTube (by photographer Steve Spurgin): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mPDpbDtbO8
With very little rehearsal, over 400 volunteers dressed in Victorian costume to bring this attraction to life, for thousands of tourists from all over the globe.
In the UK, we live and breath theatre from an early age, starting with making costumes to take part in the school’s nativity play. History is now taught by people dressing up and re-enacting the period they are learning about, be it Romans or WWII. To learn Shakespeare for exams we do not just read the play, we act it. More people belong to amateur drama groups in Britain than sports societies.
Portsmouth is the birthplace of Charles Dickens. The Historical Dockyard is where centuries-old ships, such as Nelson’s Flagship The Victory, HMS Warrior and The Mary Rose etc are moored.
The dry dock is also where parts of Les Miserables was filmed. So all these scenes were brought to life by costumed actors, singers, school groups, historical and Victorian interest societies such as steam-punks or the Victorian Strollers.People from 5 to 80 years-of-age played famous Victorian or Dickensian characters for three full days and with very little breaks. It was in the open air while the tale-end of Hurricane Desmond was blowing a gale and in addition there were a few down-pours.
First visitors are greeted by carollers, then those in Victorian Uniforms, dockyard workers, stilt-walking-police, postal clerks, servicemen, sailors. Then by beggars, prostitutes and suffragettes – undertakers, a ruthless judge in a courtroom setting, prisoners, gliding angels, pearly kings & queens singing cockney musical hall ditties, workhouse children being enticed to steal by Fagin and the Artful Dodger, chimney sweeps, a green-gowned Father Christmas. There were snow machines, carousels, a Downton-Abbey type dinner table set with turkey and trimmings, various stage sets. There were three a pubs – one mock, one real with bands singing sea shanties and even an inflatable one. There was a market selling Christmas crafts and fayre from mulled cider to hog roasts.
I was part of Groundlings Theatre that organised around 200 of us. I played an aristocratic snob preaching Victorian manners. “It is the height of rudeness to have one’s elbows on the table.” At the end of each sketch, Charles the Butler pushes a custard pie in my face. I endured around 40 of those!
The finale each year is a parade lead by a full pipe band in kilts and bear-skins and headed by Queen Victoria. We were not allowed to carry phones and cameras, so I could only took a few snap-shots in the Green Room. Most of these photos are from Portsmouth News.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”
HMS Victory was Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Built in 1758, she is the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission and is one of the most visited museum ships moored at Portsmouth, England, where I took these photos.
27 British ships led by Nelson onboard The Victory, defeated 33 French and Spanish ships under French Admiral Villeneuve just west of Cape Trafalgar, Atlantic.
The Franco-Spanish fleet lost 22 ships, without a single British vessel being lost. The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the 18th Century and was mainly achieved because of Nelson’s new style of naval tactics.
Nelson was shot by a French musketeer during this battle and died shortly after.
To this day Nelson is regarded as one of Britain’s greatest war heroes and his statue on tall pilar stands in London’s Trafalgar Square.
To visit Portsmouth’s Historical Dockyard visit http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk
Further photos I took accompany my poem ‘Portsmouth’: https://southamptonoldlady.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/portsmouth/
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.”
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.
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.
Many pub landlords seem to adorn facial hair these retro-loving days.
Stick-on moustaches are usually around in the shops in November for those unable to grow their own – usually children and women.
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.
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.