Lord Mayor revs up charity appeal

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The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, a keen motorcyclist, is joining fellow riders for a charity ride next month.

The annual event, on Sunday 3 April, will see him ride with other motorbike and scooter enthusiasts from Lakeside, North Harbour to Castle Field in Southsea.

Their machines will go on show at a free event at Castle Field, from 10am­ to 4pm, which will include a best bike contest, displays, stalls, a live Express FM broadcast and refreshments.

It is being organised by the Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal, in aid of local good causes, and the Royal British Legion. There will be a chance to donate to the appeal during the event.

The Lord Mayor, Cllr Frank Jonas, is a keen motorbike rider and a regular spectator at the TT races on the Isle of Man.

He said: "This year's Lord Mayor's Motorcycle and Scooter Charity Ride is building on the success of previous events. It's a fun way of raising money.

"Although my charity appeal is well on the way to hitting its target, we still have more small local charities I'd like to support with a £1,000 donation each. I'm calling on everyone to help make this support a reality for the organisations on our fundraising list."

For more information about the event, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07702 286 392.

To donate to the Lord Mayor's appeal, residents can go to


New online destination springs up for Portsmouth International Port

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PiP Site

With the fresh new shoots of spring comes a whole new look for the Portsmouth International Port website - a complete redesign and reworking of the Port’s online presence.

The new website arrives as the Port prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in June, looking back to first ferry operations in 1976 and forward to an exciting future.

The website is now fully responsive, and works on smart phones, tablet computers and, of course, PCs and laptops. That means people on the move can get all the important information they need, whatever device they are using at the time.

Uncluttered, with a clean and fresh new look, the website is now even easier to navigate. All areas of the business have been colour coded to make it easier to move around.

The website certainly packs a punch when it comes to pictures - the whole design is much more visual, with a reduction in the amount of text on each page. There are also plenty of images to help tell important stories about what makes Portsmouth International Port special.

A decision to redesign the website came after extensive customer research. Experts at the Hampshire based Purple Agency consulted with management, operators and passengers before creating the new online portal. They were keen to maintain the all-important information required by passengers, whilst giving the site a modern new look.

Martin Putman, Port Manager, said “I’m delighted with the new look All the important information passengers and business customers require is there, but with a striking new look that can be viewed on any type of internet connected device.”

The new website went live on Monday 21st of March, ahead of the all-important Easter Weekend - one of the busiest periods of the year at Portsmouth International Port.

For further information please contact Emma Gaisford or Julie Blackwell on +44 (0)1256 631 696 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Easter activities at Gunwharf Quays

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Gunwharf Quays web

Easter dining treats
Take a family trip to Frankie and Benny’s where kids eat free this Easter Sunday! Feast on Mamma’s classic F&B meatballs or a build-a-burger. Family-favourite, Giraffe, offers a kid’s meal deal including a main and a drink for just £5.65. For that chocolate fix head to Carluccio’s deli and shop from their wide selection of Easter goodies, including a chocolate bunny, white chocolate goose with a golden egg and a spring-themed Easter basket.

Family fun at Bowlplex
Hop along to Bowlplex at Gunwharf Quays this Easter, for a family bowling session with fun-packed activities including face painting, an Easter treasure trail, competitions and an appearance from mascots Bumper and Squeak. A ‘Bowl over the Bunny’ game will be running from 4-6pm throughout the Easter holidays, giving families the chance to win Easter treats. Why not round off an afternoon of bowling with a trip to the vintage carousel. Back by popular demand, the carousel will be positioned in Central Square throughout the Easter weekend.

Air Max Day
Visit the Nike store on 26th March to be in with a chance of winning a pair of Air Max trainers. With competitions running throughout the day and up to 50% off children’s and adults Air Max, everyone is a winner!

Be artistic at Aspex gallery
Turn your little ones into artists this Easter with Aspex Gallery’s Easter holiday workshops at Gunwharf Quays. Workshops include a special mini makers workshop for preschool children, with story telling and children’s entertainment, a young artist’s workshop for 11-15 year olds and a holiday art club for 8-11 year olds. Visit for information on how to book.

Easter on the water
For a fun, alternative family activity, Miniport at Gunwharf Quays is a great opportunity for your children to express their sense of adventure sailing mini ships. A trained team ensure a relaxed and enjoyable time is had in a sheltered location alongside the marina. Head down to the Miniport from 11am – 5pm throughout the Easter holidays. Or head down to the Gunwharf marina for a 20 minute, family fast blast rib ride, an adrenaline filled ride for all the family.


Northern Parade Infant and Junior School completes solar PV installation in a bid to become more sustainable

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Northern Parade Web

A primary school in Portsmouth has become the latest to lead the charge for sustainability by completing an onsite rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, in partnership with several local organisations. The project at Northern Parade Infant and Junior School in Hilsea, Portsmouth means that the school will not only reduce its carbon emissions, but will also benefit from the use of free renewable electricity that will be generated by the panels. This will significantly reduce the running costs of the school buildings, and will allow budgets to be allocated to other key projects within the school.

The project was facilitated and funded by UK-based renewable energy investment company Low Carbon, in collaboration with local America’s Cup sailing team Land Rover BAR and its charity, the 1851 Trust. Portsmouth County Council has also offered support for this project.

The solar installation is comprised of 240 solar PV panels and has an expected annual production of 64,754 kWh - enough to power 21 homes. This equates to a total of 30 tonnes of CO2 being saved by the school every year. There is a tremendous opportunity for this school to help mitigate the negative effects of climate change while helping to educate school pupils as to benefits of renewable energy technology.

The project demonstrates how all key stakeholders are acting as responsible members of the community and are passionate about driving change within their local area. Not only will this installation save the school money and help reduce its carbon footprint, but it will also help engage the next generation and the wider community in the importance of renewable energy in the ongoing fight against climate change.

Low Carbon is a renewable energy investment company whose portfolio includes solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has been working with Portsmouth-based sailing team Land Rover BAR, captained by Sir Ben Ainslie, for several years, most recently on the team’s sustainable HQ located on The Camber. The team is keen to be an active and engaged member of the wider community, which in doing so supports the aims and goals of the team’s charity – the 1851 Trust. This charity aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and protecting marine environments, providing young people with the education, skills and training to become innovators of the future and stewards of the marine environment. To support the goals of the charity, any subsidy revenue generated from the installation at the primary school will be recycled into the 1851 Trust.

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive and co-founder of Low Carbon, and Trustee of the 1851 Trust, commented: “Low Carbon and Land Rover BAR share the same goal of mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Being part of this project presents a strong opportunity for us - to drive community involvement and engagement with renewables, and to educate the next generation as to benefits of renewable energy. This is the key to unlocking greater adoption of renewable energy across other schools, businesses and households across the country. If the recent Paris Climate Change conference (COP21) taught us anything, it is that all levels of industry, sectors and individuals can play their part in the fight against global warming”.

Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper of Land Rover BAR, four-time Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner, said: “Sports teams such as Land Rover BAR can play a powerful role in inspiring the next generation, educating individuals about the need for greater sustainability and driving positive change. We hope this project will not only help Northern Parade Infant and Junior School deliver on its sustainability goals, but also provide inspiration to schools across the country on the opportunities that renewable technology installations can bring to students, staff and the wider community”.

Cllr Neill Young, Cabinet Member for Children Services and Education said: "The installation of these solar panels as part of the work to expand Northern Parade School is great - the school is more energy efficient and the creation of renewable energy will help reduce the school's running costs. It's also good for the pupils to see technology and renewable energy in action on their school."


Biggest change to HMS Victory in nearly a century

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HMS Victory web

New colours, a new journey and a new experience. The Victory visitors once knew has changed - for the first time in decades.

The new journey comes hot on the heels of the ship’s new paint job, inside and out, gloriously returning her to her Georgian heyday.

Visitors will now get to experience HMS Victory through Nelson’s eyes, as the drama of the battle unfolds, deck-by-deck, hour by hour, as the ship sets sail on September 14th, 1805.

And now for the first time ever, they will be able to ascend on to the Poop Deck and see stunning views of the naval base and surrounding Historic Dockyard. They will also be able to walk around Nelson’s Great Cabin, access the carpenter and bosun’s store and see Captain Hardy’s Cabin displayed for the very first time as the working accommodation of a Captain. The length of the visitor route onboard has been increased by as much as 80%, accessing areas previously not seen.

“This is the most exciting transformation of one of the world’s most iconic ships in nearly a century,” said Head of Historic Ships at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Andrew Baines.

“The story of HMS Victory, and of Nelson, is now being told in a completely fresh way. The idea is to show visitors the ship as Nelson would have seen her, as part of an exciting new journey around his flagship.

“We also hope to bust old myths that have been talked about for years.”

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Some of those myths being exploded include where Nelson slept. For example, did you know Nelson didn’t actually sleep in a cot, and the drapes weren’t actually sewn by Lady Hamilton as previously believed?

There were also no – or very few - Weevils in biscuits. Any sign of food being infested or going off would not have been issued and subsequently condemned.

To coincide with the greatly improved visitor experience onboard, new and untold stories of Nelson’s flagship can be seen in a brand new exhibition “Sparring with Time” in The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Victory Gallery, which is based in the building just opposite Victory. It tells the story about the ship as an object and historical artefact and the ongoing work to build on the legacy of the ship.
Victory is now facing a new battle - the battle against time – and it is currently undergoing a multi-million pound conservation programme. Visitors can also find out more about her history, her different colours and take a closer look at how she is put together.

Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), Professor Dominic Tweddle, said: “Victory is iconic and it is very much cherished by the thousands who visit her every year. In fact, 28 million people have seen her since she arrived at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

“Now people can see her in a completely new light. Visitors will get to experience her anew, and see all of the wonderful areas of the ship that could not have been accessed until now.

“They will be able to follow in the footsteps of Nelson, and get a real picture of what life was like onboard Victory as she went to Trafalgar.”

Visitors can walk the gangway into Victory, where the 821-strong crew are getting ready for the Battle of Trafalgar, on September 14th, 1805.

As part of the new experience, visitors will move through the quarterdeck and climb up to the Poop Deck, for the first time ever.

They will then descend into Hardy’s Cabin, dress for the first time as an authentic working environment for the captain of the ship.

Captain Hardys day cabin webCaptain Hardy's day cabin onboard HMS Victory dressed, for first time, as a working space, with new colour scheme and dressing.

The route to Trafalgar continues down to the Upper Gun Deck, where facts about how the crew on board stayed healthy can be learned. Contrary to popular belief live animals were not kept on this deck despite as many as 50 live bullocks being delivered to the ship regularly.

And for the first time, visitors will get to walk around Nelson’s Great Cabin, a space where Nelson discussed plans for the battle with his officers on September 29 and 30, where “no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy”.

As visitors move through further through the ship, time is ticking for Nelson in his heroic hour.

Victory gets battle ready on the Lower Gun Deck, with every gun primed for action, and sailors are on the brink of an event that will change history forever.

Amid the chaos of war, visitor can follow the mortally-wounded Admiral as he speaks his last words on the Orlop Deck. This area has been simplified and is more in keeping with 19th century sentiment to avoid retrospective memorials to Nelson. The Devis painting of “The Death of Nelson” has been removed for conservation and redisplay off the ship.

The experience continues through the gunner’s store, where little has changed since the early 1800s and through to the carpenter’s store – again a first for visitors - as they learn about the toll war has taken on Nelson’s flagship.


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