Month: May 2014

McCarthy and Stone’s Savoy Buildings Petition – Yes or No?

The proposed building Savoy Buildings site development. This image copyright McCarthy and Stone.
The proposed building Savoy Buildings site development. This image copyright McCarthy and Stone.

Now, there’s been quite a lot of passion generated by my post about the Savoy Buildings, picture above, with several people commenting that they would like a petition to sign.

Now, in my opinion, petitions like this are always rather silly.  If I set up a petition criticising a project, then of course there’s nothing to measure it against.  The person defending the project can easily say: “Well, you’ve got X,000 signatures against.  But there are plenty more in favour.”

So for that reason I’ve set up two petitions, to see what people really think of the proposed Savoy Buildings.  I’ve kept the emotional language out of the petitions and provided URLs with which you can study the proposals more closely.

To see the proposals, you can also visit them from here:

Now, this building looks set to be built on this site – let’s be clear. This petition at least means that the opinion of the people of Portsmouth (which they were not asked) is registered somewhere. Who knows – there may still be some pressure to bear on local councillors in the planning stage if enough people make a fuss?

If you think this will be HARMFUL to the long term development of Southsea and that it is an inappropriate building for the site, go here:

If you think McCarthy and Stone’s plans will be really good for Southsea seafront, go here:

It’s simple and it’s fair.

And if a representative of McCarthy and Stone wants to write the text for the one approving the site, they just need to contact me.

Well, let’s see what the people of Portsmouth think!

Singing trio’s brand spanking wartime show tells Blitz’s biggest secret

Vocal vintage-style trio The Three Belles who formed in Portsmouth three years ago need your help.

The popular trio are heading to Edinburgh to launch London Life, a riotous comedy revue based on the little-known “specialist” magazine from the 1930s and 1940s.

"Dig for Victory!" (photo copyright (c) Beck Photographic
“Dig for Victory!”
(photo copyright (c) Beck Photographic

The normally reserved singers decided to put on the show after stumbling on a pile of London Life magazines in an antiques shop.

“We started reading the magazines and couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” explains Anneka Wass of The Three Belles. “Because this magazine, published in the middle of the war was dedicated to people with very particular fads – like wearing rubber or spanking.  It was in fact, a World War 2 fetish magazine.”

A cover from a 1941 issue of London Life
A cover from a 1941 issue of London Life

She goes on to say that after they picked their jaws up off the floor they began to see the comedy potential.

“Their stories are often funny, poignant and sometimes moving. They never spoke about it in public, but these people decided to seek fun in unconventional ways at a time when rubber, leather and clothing was strictly rationed.  It’s never rude, always in good taste – but extremely funny.”

True stories in the show include the woman who made herself a rubber dress from bath curtains only to nearly choke on rubber fumes after sitting in front of a fire, or the married couple who discovered a stiff-upper-lipped love of cross-dressing at a Christmas party.

“The background to their lives is danger,” says Sally Taylor, also of The Three Belles. “It’s tragi-comic. It’s never been told before.”

The Three Belles will be weaving 1940s songs into the show such as Gimme Some Skin, Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar, and the earlier Masculine Women, Femine Men.

In order to take the show to Edinburgh, the singers need to raise £10,000 to cover expenses.

“It’s not a cheap business going to the Fringe,” says third Belle Isabelle Moore. “We need help, and have launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo that runs until May 24th. Remember, your Belles Need You!”

London Life, The True Story of the Secret Kinks of World War 2 will premiere in July in London before transferring to the Edinburgh Fringe on August 11th.

To find out more about The Three Belles show go to:

For more information about London Life magazine: