The Mary Rose takes over Southsea Castle

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Tent Web

The Mary Rose and Southsea Castle go back a long way – all the way back to the construction of the castle in 1544, the year before the Mary Rose was lost, with 500 men on board. It is said that it was from Southsea castle that Henry VIII, the King of England, witnessed the loss of the Mary Rose during the Battle of the Solent, which saw a fleet of 200 French warships attempt to invade Portsmouth. More recently, in the 1980s the castle hosted a small exhibition of Mary Rose artefacts, prior to our original museum opening in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

With this much history behind them, it was only natural that Southsea Castle should host the Mary Rose Museum again as part of their hugely successful Pop-Up Museum tour, which has seen them travel as far as Gloucestershire and Norfolk, spreading the story of the Mary Rose and her new museum, which is due to reopen in the summer, to over 100,000 people! The tent they use to house the pop-up museum features a copy of the Cowdray engraving, which shows the Battle of the Solent, with Southsea Castle right at the centre!

Nine Mens Morris web

Over the Bank Holiday Weekend (29th-30th May 2016) Southsea Castle will be taken over by the ‘crew’ of the Mary Rose, who will be introducing the people of Portsmouth to such Tudor activities as Archery and Nine Men’s Morris, a game found scratched onto a barrel lid on the ship, as well as more traditional fare like dressing up and artefact handling. For our older visitors, there will also be a number of talks on the Mary Rose, covering her life, loss and recovery! Of course, all the usual Southsea Castle attractions will be available, and even better, it’s all free to enter!

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Get on your bike for Pedal Portsmouth 2016

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Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to sign up for free tickets to the Pedal Portsmouth Family Festival of Cycling 2016 which this year will take place at Lakeside North Harbour from 11am - 3pm on Sunday 3 July 2016.

There will be a host of free activities to enjoy including:

  • a fully accessible 3km traffic free cycle course
  • a cycle safari nature trail
  • bike assault course
  • fun bike handling skills
  • 'bling your bike' activity
  • balance bike assault course for pre-schoolers
  • Scenic picnic areas

This is a great opportunity for children, beginners and families to enjoy cycling together without the worry of vehicles.

PEDALPORTS FAM webEveryone who registers before the event will receive a free cycling goody bag so sign up free of charge now on Eventbrite. Make sure you select the number of tickets you need for each member of your household from the drop down box.

There is parking at Lakeside for those needing to bring their bikes by vehicle and British Cycling will be running guided rides to the event for those who would prefer to cycle in a group.

This is the second year that the council has run this event and they are hoping that even more people will sign up for it this year.

Councillor Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "It is aimed at getting children and young people cycling in a safe environment, to allow them to build confidence. Portsmouth is one of the fastest growing cycling cities in the UK. It is an ideal place to enjoy on a bike whether you are an experienced cyclist or a beginner. We hope this event will give many people the confidence to cycle more regularly and particularly encourage children and families to get on their bikes more."

Pedal Portsmouth is organised by Portsmouth City Council.

For more information visit and search Pedal Portsmouth or 'like' the Pedal Portsmouth Facebook page.


Royal Marines to yomp into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as funding from Heritage Lottery Fund transforms the telling of naval story

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The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is delighted to announce support worth £13.85million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with an award that will transform access to naval heritage and allow for the much-needed move of the Royal Marines Museum into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The project, entitled SeaMore, will create the country’s newest national museum collection in an innovative Centre for Discovery at the NMRN’s base in Portsmouth. Over two million artefacts, currently kept in 30 separate stores within 14 buildings across nine sites, will be relocated and made accessible to visitors in a bold move to revolutionise the way the epic story of the Royal Navy is told.

Many of these items, which include everything from unique documents, photographs, medals, paintings and archaeology are currently at risk in buildings and stores not fit for purpose. The Centre for Discovery will not only provide a safe haven for these collections but will be available daily to view and access in a way not previously possible.

Key to opening up the Museum to a much wider audience is the move of the Royal Marines Museum and its one million collection items from its current base at Eastney into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, alongside internationally renowned attractions like HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.

The Royal Marines Museum will move into Boathouse 6, the Grade II Victorian boathouse that currently houses Action Stations to create dynamic galleries, activities and personal stories of the unique ethos of the Royal Marines 350-year history including the Corps’ music which has captivated audiences around the world. Until such time as Action Stations transfers to ownership of the Royal Marines Museum, investment will continue to ensure it delivers the best possible experience for visitors.

The museum will be a living memorial to the loyalty, duty and sacrifices of the Corps and very importantly entirely accessible to those who have been injured or incapacitated in the line of duty. It is due to open in 2019.

Sir Peter Luff, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund said:
“We loved the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s plans to tell the very human story of the Royal Navy. It’s a compelling one of highs and lows, of triumphs and failures. The Centre for Discovery will provide a new, spacious venue to relate this narrative while the relocation of the Royal Marines Museum will give it a more prominent home and increased visitor numbers. Having already invested £55m in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, we are confident this latest award of National Lottery money will enable the dockyard to build on its reputation as one of the South East’s most popular heritage destinations.”

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, warmly welcomed the announcement:
“This is an amazing achievement by the NMRN to boost the visitor offer substantially in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with a new museum that will not only increase numbers but give visitors a chance to find out and see so much more.

“The story of the Royal Marines, their unique ethos and remarkable history as an integral part of the Naval Service will be told to many more visitors. The Centre for Discovery will genuinely transform the way we can tell the story of the Royal Navy securing desperately lacking public access to the newest national collection. This will unite our collections which are dispersed and at risk across the country but most importantly, it will deepen and enrich our visitors’ experience of our collection. The Heritage Lottery Fund has had the vision and foresight to support this internationally important project for which we are very grateful. ”

The HLF grant also includes development funding of £548,726. The overall cost of the project is £17.5 million and The NMRN received a much-needed boost from the Treasury when the Rt Hon George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the 2015 Autumn Statement that the project would receive £2 million from the LIBOR support for military-related charities.
A fundraising appeal to raise an additional £2.5 million is underway and has already received generous support from the Royal Marines family and its charities. To find out more about the fundraising appeal, contact Paul Elgood at the appeals office on 02392 728 064 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A report into the Economic Impact Assessment of SeaMore by the University of Portsmouth estimates that the project will initially generate over £26 million into the regional economy and will increase visitor numbers into the Historic Dockyard by 7-8%. The site currently welcomes 750,000 every year and has published its aim to raise this to 1 million within the next ten years.


Inspirational young choir sing for new Lord Mayor

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Mayor Making Ceremony web

On Tuesday 17 May the city of Portsmouth said goodbye to one Lord Mayor and welcomed another, and Portsmouth Music Hub was there to be part of the prestigious Mayor Making Ceremony which took place at Portsmouth's Guildhall.

In front of dignitaries, council leaders and the new Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, the Music Hub brought together a hundred children from six local primary schools to sing My Time, written by Hub composer Iain Gilmour.

It was a moving experience for everyone as the song describes the apprehension, the exhilaration and the sense of achievement which comes from taking to the stage and performing successfully; and as the new Lord Mayor began his first day of official duties it seemed an appropriate song for the occasion, performed by enthusiastic young voices wishing him well.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, who conducted the young choir, said: "The children were very excited to be part of the ceremony, and they gave an unforgettable performance of a beautiful song which captured everyone's heart and imagination. We were delighted to be there, because children and young people are so important to our city, they represent the future, and it was fitting to have them perform for the new Lord Mayor."

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