Glorious Shanklin Chine

I’m focussing on the Isle of Wight at the moment and another magical childhood memory – visiting the mysterious and exotic Shanklin Chime! The formation of the Chine (a local word of Saxon origin for a deep narrow ravine), has taken place over 10,000 years and the stream running through it would originally have flowed into…

Singular Statues: #12 – The Pioneer Statue

The Pioneer Statue is located on Broad Street, Old Portsmouth close on the water side to one of the old Sally Ports.  It was presented to the City of Portsmouth by The Pioneer Heritage Foundation on 27th August 2001 to act as a “permanent legacy to the commitment of the Europeans who courageously left their…

Singular Statues: #10 The Mudlarks

My mother grew up on The Hard – her grandmother ran her own pub there – now sadly gone, destroyed in WWII.  She told me about the poor of Portsea and I seem to remember her telling me stories about the Mudlarks. She didn’t consider them “the poor” – she considered them her kith and…

The Pickwick Bicycle Club

My introduction to The Pickwick Bicycle Club came as a result of the unveiling of the UK’s first statue to honour the novelist Charles Dickens, in the city of his birth, Portsmouth. Cycling in from stage right, weaving their way through bollards, chairs and pedestrians were a bevy of five or six cyclists – some…

Singular Statues: #9 Charles Dickens Unveilled

It was a truly British occasion – 7th February 2014. A few ladies and gentlemen were dressed in Victorian attire and suddenly, through the Guildhall precinct on what can still be termed Commercial Road, came a team of penny farthing cyclists weaving through the pedestrians (The Pickwick Bicycle Club) – all to a backdrop of…

A Dickens of a thing …

I started this A3Traveller blog with a post on Charles Dickens for we share a common birthdate, so it seemed somewhat appropriate, especially given he is a local lad made good. It’s wonderful to hear therefore that a statue to this literary master will be unveiled in the city of his birth at Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square…

What the Dickens?

For my first post, I thought it appropriate to write about arguably Portsmouth‘s most famous son, Charles Dickens, as we share the same birthdate, 7th February.  This year is, of course, his bicentennial and here are five things you can do to join in the city’s celebrations: Visit the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum * in Old Commercial…