Somerset Live ‘Fan’s View’

On Monday, I took part in Somerset Live’s new ‘Fan’s View’ feature, which gives Yeovil Town supporters the chance to voice their opinions.

I was interviewed before the crucial fixture against Crewe Alexandra, which the Glovers impressively won 3 – 0. You can see the video online by following the link in the tweet below.

Under 12s helped by Burgess need sponsors

(Originally published in The News, available to read online here)

will-chittyAN UNDER-12s football team which was treated to a surprise training session by a Pompey player has revealed it is struggling to find a shirt sponsor.

Skilful Soccer Youth received worldwide media attention after Portsmouth FC’s Christian Burgess turned up to a training session last month.

The defender was contacted by coach Will Chitty after tweeting that he was at a loose end because Pompey’s League Two fixture away to Crawley had been…

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Costa Coffee: a threat to Albert Road’s ethos?

Up and down the country, local shopping centres and high streets are beginning to look almost identical. Each one has the same old clothing retailers, same old fast food joints and same old coffee shops.

Albert Road in Southsea, Portsmouth is a notable exception. Instead of having endless chain stores, it boasts half a mile of shops which are almost all owned by independent traders.

This is what many claim gives the road its unique atmosphere, and the eclectic mix of weird and wonderful shops have also ensured a quirky and trendy reputation, which in turn attracts an equally quirky and trendy clientele.

albert road.png

Instead of Primark and New Look, there is Dress Code, a 90s-themed clothes shop which proudly caters for both “dudes” and “chicks”.

Instead of Burger King and KFC, Albert Road-regulars often eat at the nearby Pie and Vinyl. As the name suggests, the establishment sells both pies and vinyl records, a winning combination that has seen the restaurant become massively popular.

And instead of Café Nero, the area has Café Au Cinema, which is ideal for coffee lovers and film buffs due to the fact that it is both an independent cinema as well as a coffee house.

In fact, there is a plethora of independent coffee shops to choose from including Aurora, Home Coffee, Hunter Gatherer and more. Up until now, they have all existed in peace and harmony, but something has threatened to change that.

Plans have emerged for Costa Coffee, a multinational chain, to turn a currently empty shop right in the heart of Albert Road into a new branch. Predictably, there has been uproar. Continue reading

The shop that offers vinyl, massages and tarot card readings

With many high streets losing their identity as they surrender to chain stores and well-known retail brands, the South Coast Emporium is a rarity.

Areas of the shop are rented out to local artists, crafters and collectors, leading to an eclectic mix of quirky and bizarre products.

You can find everything from naval memorabilia to restored road signs, and there’s even a coffee shop which transforms into a popular bar in the evenings.

T.J. Jackson, the man in charge of the Southsea store, explains how the system can help local traders kick-start their businesses.


Lee Bradbury learning through adversity with Havant & Waterlooville

Tears on the terrace. Fans on the floor. Heads in hands. That was the reaction to Havant & Waterlooville being relegated from the National League South. They had just drawn 1 – 1 with Weston-Super-Mare, but it wasn’t enough to save them.

Havant & Waterlooville fans react to their team being relegated

Relegation always hurts, but being sent down on goal difference must have made it extra painful for the Hampshire club and its fans.

Just eight months later, things are different, as the Hawks are flying high in the Isthmian League. They’ve lost on just four occasions so far, as they aim to get back to the level where they feel they belong.

However, despite the mood around Westleigh Park being a far more positive one these days, manager Lee Bradbury still doesn’t hide the heartbreak that he felt on that fateful day in April.

“It was awful,” Bradbury says. “We found ourselves in a position that, myself included up until about five games to go, didn’t think we’d ever be in. Continue reading

Tree Honours Memory of Centre’s Founding Member

(Originally published on About My Area, available to read online here)

A tree ceremony led by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth took place in Eastney on Sunday 4th December.

Councillor David Fuller helped plant a tree in the memory of Alan Dart, a founding member of Eastney Area Community Association, in front of over a dozen spectators.


A second tree was planted in honour of all past and present volunteers of the community centre’s Tuesday Club.

Councillor Fuller said: “I was absolutely honoured to be here and to see what goes on in Eastney Community Centre, and to hear about these people who have devoted so much help to the centre.” Continue reading

Eastney Beam Engine House is Essential Part of Portsmouth’s History

(Originally published on ‘All About My Area’, available to read online here)


A vital piece of Portsmouth’s history opened its doors to the public last weekend.

Over 100 people visited Eastney Beam Engine House to view its restored Boulton and Watt engines and take part in family-friendly activities.

A variety of other pumping engines, many in running order, were also on display on the two open days.

The Grade II-listed Victorian building was built in 1887 in order to deal with sewage from the city.

Collection supervisor Tim Gower said: “It tells an essential part of the history of Portsmouth.” Continue reading

Interview with singer-songwriter Gavin James

(Originally published in The Galleon, available to read online here)

Singer-songwriter Gavin James, who performed at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms earlier this month, has had a whirlwind year.


From supporting the likes of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran on tour, to appearing on James Corden’s TV show in America, it’s understandable that he finds it difficult to pick out a highlight.

“I got to do all the good places I never thought I’d be able to play like Red Rocks in Colorado, which is insane,” he said, referring to one of his nights on tour with Sam Smith. “The U2 ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ video was shot there, so I kind of freaked out a little bit!”

“Then there was the Ed Sheeran gig. We did Croke Park which was absolute madness. There was 90,000 people there or something like that. It’s been scary! All very scary things, but a lot of fun.” Continue reading

‘Tales from the Training Ground’ – an interview with Pompey kitman Kev McCormack

The Northern Blues, a Portsmouth FC supporters club for fans living in the Midlands and Northern England, recently sent me to Fratton Park to chat with larger than life kitman Kev McCormack.

In this episode, we talk about which football club Kev used to support when he was younger, as well as memorable characters such as Brian Clough and Ian Holloway.

The series can only be seen on The Northern Blues’ official website, where you can find all previous episodes. Click here to watch the latest installment.