Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Now O...

Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition – Now Open!


Over the past few years, we have run a little competition in the build-up to Christmas that we like to call Twelve Days of Christmas. We have joined forces with a group of local creatives and businesses who have kindly donated a selection of gifts for one lucky reader.

The premise is simple. Over the next twelve days we will be asking a question inspired by the prize of the day and at the end of the twelve days, you will be invited to submit your answers. We will then select one lucky winner who will take home all twelve prizes, just in time for Christmas.

The competition is now open and you can submit your answers to stuart@strong-island.co.uk. The deadline for entries is Thursday 21st at 7pm. The winner will be contacted by email later that evening. Please note that we are unable to send the prize in the post so please only enter if you are in a position to collect the prizes in store or have them collected on your behalf.


Paul Gonella over at Strong Island Media has been delivering photography workshops for the last five years to over a thousand people of all ages and abilities across the south coast. Rather than sitting down in a classroom, Paul has been offering people the opportunity to learn different photography skills and techniques, with support from a professional photographer. It also provides the opportunity for the more skilled photographers to get out and take photos in diverse locations with a group of others who share a passion for photography.

Everyone is welcome to come along, it doesn‚Äôt matter how confident you are with your camera, from total beginner to expert there is lots to discover. And even the most experienced photographers can pick up a trick or two. You don’t have to be restricted by your equipment, you will be welcome with your digital compact, SLR or even if you want to shoot 35mm film. Cameraphones are welcome too!

If you would like to get involved or you think that you know someone else who would be interested then you can find out more over on www.photowalkshops.com. You can also find a full list of the workshops that are planned next year, these include Staunton Country Park and Foxes Forest. There is also a special night photography shoot on Southsea Seafront and a 35mm shoot around Old Portsmouth.

Paul has kindly donated two vouchers to our batch of prizes and the last question can be found below.

Question twelve РWhat is the correct name for the photography technique which describes the use specialized equipment or software to capture images with horizontally elongated fields of view. 

Strong Island Photography Walkshop - Fishbourne Meadows


The Marmion pub can be found is found just down the road from our shop on Marmion Road. The bar offers a whole range of beverages but specialises in Gin, stocking around forty different varieties. They also offer a wide range of food on their menu, I’m a huge lover of their loaded fries, specifically the loaded halloumi fries and pulled pork skinny fries with apple coleslaw and peach salsa.

Every other Sunday night the Southsea Soulcial take over the pub. DJs Lemon and Ethan Owen play a mix of northern soul, Motown and a few other bits to bring the weekend to a close.

In our penultimate feature, we have generously been donated a £50 voucher to our winner. To be in with a chance to win the prize then you must correctly answer the question below.

Question eleven – Despite the name French Fries, it is claimed that they originated from another nearby country but which country is it?


We recently featured Sarah Fisher’s Kickstarter campaign where she sought to launch her Portsmouth & Southsea Colouring Book. She smashed her goal and the book is now a reality. The book is a collection of 52 hand-drawn illustrations of the city‚Äôs most iconic destinations. You‚Äôll find Gunwharf Quays, Old Portsmouth and Southsea seafront. There are plenty of well-known landmarks as well as some hidden gems to discover.

Sarah Fisher is a south coast based graphic designer and illustrator who has experience in book design and the publishing industry. Sarah received a first class degree in Typography & Graphic Communication from the University of Reading in 2013. She set up her own business back in 2015 and has previously illustrated adult colouring books for Cath Kidston. She has kindly donated one of the books for our lucky winner.

Question ten РWhat year was Portsmouth Guildhall constructed? 


We’ve been following Raw & Auburn for a number of years now and this season’s product launch continues to be something very special.

The attention to detail remains strong as ever and the conscious decisions to create simple and functional products that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle is still the core ethos behind the brand. The latest range has been entirely hand made using premium vegetable tan leathers. A material that will look better and better with age. The more you use it, the more the leather changes in patina and makes each piece a much more personal item.

All Raw & Auburn products are entirely hand made. From the very first cut each item is then edge dyed, burnished and finished with antique brass hardware and a final hand stamped ampersand logo. Our lucky winner will win one of their leather key fobs/rings/lanyards. I am all out of key related questions I have thought of a quay related question instead.

Question nine РIn Gunwharf Quays the Spinnaker Tower stands overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. How high is the tower in metres?

Email: katie@rawandauburn.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rawandauburn
Instagram: www.instagram.com/rawandauburn


We are back today and featuring the lovely Port and Lemon. Founded by Tracy Evans and Kate Cooke, the pair met at an art show and discovered their mutual appreciation for each others work and a mutual love for beaches, dog walking, coastal pubs and cake.

You may have already seen some of their distinct designs which feature strong blue and white imagery, such as ‘Hello Sailor’¬†and ‘Salty Sea Dog.’ Their initial two designs were followed and there are now fifteen great designs which have developed into a range of¬†homeware¬†and¬†gifts.

Port and Lemon Tea Towels

Their range of contemporary coordinated home products and gifts can be found on the shelves of independent shops and galleries throughout Britain. Locally they can be found in our shop on Highland Road, The White Dog Gallery in Southsea and Lee on Solent, Mary Rose Trading within The Historic Dockyard and Sea Teach Chandlery in Emsworth. You can also purchase their full range online with a 10% discount available for a limited time.

Tracy and Kate have kindly donated one of their tea towels to our selection of great prizes.

Question eight –¬†Where was Henry VIII standing when he saw the Mary Rose sink?


January 2018 sees the opening of LANO Yoga, a dedicated yoga studio situated on Elm Grove. Co-founders Neil and Karl have spent the past 2 and half years building Chichester’s only dedicated yoga studio and it wasn’t a hard decision for them to want to create a dedicated studio in Southsea. It took some time to find the perfect space but once they discovered number 10 Elm Grove they knew it was right.

LANO will occupy the old ‚ÄėAuto Marine‚Äô site and is a move into a thriving neighbourhood which includes locals favourites Bread Addiction, Huis and Rosie‚Äôs Vineyard.¬†The builders have been working hard over the past few months to completely transform the space and have created two studios, one being a purpose built hot room for yoga styles such as Bikram and Hot Flow. There is also a reception area, a treatment room, a courtyard for yoga in the summer and changing rooms with showers.

Once opened in early January, LANO Southsea will be offering up to 40 classes of 7 different styles of yoga a week. These styles include Classic, Hot Flow, Bikram, Flow, Power, Forrest and Slow. Karl and Neil will be teaching these classes alongside Phoebe, Kat and others. You can find out specific details of the classes over on their website which can be found below. They have kindly donated a forty day pass worth £39 to our lucky winner.

Question seven – LANO yoga in Southsea is the second of two branches, where is the first?

Website: www.lanoyoga.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lanoyogasouthsea
Twitter: www.twitter.com/LANOYoga
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lanoyoga


Today we are going to be giving away one of our 2018 Strong Island Calendars. Each month features a diverse selection of images featuring the city of Portsmouth, each taken by local photographers who submitted their images throughout 2017.

The photographers selected for inclusion this year include David Tuckwell, Johnny Black, Andrew Malbon, Billie Cawte, Rebeka Ashton and Howard Hurd. There are also first-time inclusions from Christine Matchett, Tom Goss, Tony Wallace, Josh Holgate and Christopher Gambs. Of course, a Strong Island Calendar wouldn’t be complete without Jon Neil, the only photographer to have been featured in every edition so far!

A proportion of the profits from the calendar will again be going to the¬†Alzheimer‚Äôs Society‚Äės Portsmouth based services. They are the UK‚Äôs leading care and research charity for people living with dementia and their carers.

Support for the product has been overwhelming yet again. If you would like to get your hands on a copy then get in early because at this rate we are expecting them to sell out before Christmas. If you don’t want to hedge your bets on winning the competition or think that they will make a good Christmas gift for a loved one, then you can pick one up for ¬£12¬†in store or online now.

Question six РThe award-winning author Neil Gaiman grew up in Purbrook and has had a road in Southsea named after his novel The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. What year was the novel published?

Photo by David Tuckwell (Instagram: @davetbythesea)


As we approach the halfway point of our competition it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the Blahzy notebook. Inspired by their mutual love of all things paper, Baby Giant Design Co and Dayfold Print joined forces to create these super fun and brilliantly made notebooks.

Each design has one thousand copies made and once they have gone… they move onto a new next design, keeping these little beauties rare and exclusive. If you would like one of these A6 notebooks then get involved! You can’t write without a pen and today’s question is inspired by just that.

Question 5 –¬†In what year was the first ballpoint¬†pen¬†was invented by Hungarian journalist Laszio Biro?

Baby Giant founder James Martin is currently running an awesome project where he is looking to give something back to the awesome creative industry. His idea is to give a charity, individual, business or institution the opportunity of getting their new logo done completely free of charge. Check the following link to find out more and be sure to share it with anyone who you know that might be interested – www.logoinspirations.co/thegivebackproject.

Blahzy Notebooks
Blahzy Notebooks


On day four we¬†revisit¬†Compass Candles. The business was founded by Sam Crouch last year. He specialises in hand poured natural Soy Wax candles with a cedar wooden wick.¬†Products on offer include scents such as creme br√Ľl√©e, mulled wine and cafe latte. Find the full list of what is available at www.compasscandles.co.uk/products.

Back in April Sam started experimenting with the containers for his candles. He began by cutting Corona bottles himself although by his own admission they weren’t the cleanest of cuts or finishes. After partnering up with a glass cutter to provide a professional finish and a couple of local bars to source a range of bottles, the bottles are now finished to an extremely high quality. For the wine and spirit bottles, you can go for the Gin and Tonic or Pink Champagne scents, or even a scent from the list of their standard candles.

Gin bottles appear to be the most popular but you can email Sam to request for a specific bottle filled with the scent of your choice. Just in time for Christmas you can go for one of his festive scents, Mulled Wine and Christmas Spice.

Compass Candles have recently collaborated with HMS Spirits Company. The south coast distillery provided some empty bottles of their flagship spirit, Mary Rose Gin. We have one of the aforementioned HMS Spirits Gin candles to give to our lucky winner.

Question four – What berry beginning with J is most famously associated with Gin?


If you haven’t yet visited the No. 6 Cinema then I highly recommend it. You will find a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters. Located in the Grade II listed Boathouse 6 in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Their 275-seat auditorium boasts one of the biggest screens on the South Coast.

I always try and get down about 40 minutes earlier to take advantage of their well-stocked bar serving wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks. Today’s question for a pair of tickets is inspired by Murder On The Orient Express, which they are showing on December 21st.

Question three РWhat nationality is detective Hercule Poirot?

Read more about what you can expect to find at No 6 this December –¬†www.strongisland.co/2017/11/30/stus-picks-no-6-december-2017


On day two of our special Christmas competition we shine the spotlight on 2 Sisters. Formed by sisters Lauren and Chloe Piper, the pair share a passion for design, whether that be sign-writing, up-cycling furniture or creating digital prints and artwork.

2 Sisters were created after the siblings breed on new life to some old fence panels with some seaside themed designs. A few years later they have created a range of hand-painted, bespoke made products. You’ll often find them selling their work in various markets and stores across Hampshire. This is where they received a number of requests for special commissions which are now also available from their online store.

Lauren and Chloe have generously donated one of their Surf Inspired Enamel Mugs, their new A4 Southsea inspired print as well as some nautical postcards. Today we have a nautically question inspired by 2 Sisters love for the south coast.

Question two –¬†What is the main body of a ship called?

Website: www.2sistersuk.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/2Sistersuk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/2sistersuk
Instagram: www.instagram.com/2sistersuk


Our first prize comes courtesy of David Tuckwell or better known by many as @DaveTByTheSea over on Instagram. David has deservedly gained a large following over the past two years and in his own little way of giving something back, he‚Äôs become one of Portsmouth’s biggest exponents of the Free Art Friday movement.

David¬†explains “I was introduced to the Free Art Friday movement¬†by My Dog Sighs. It was after a conversation whilst photographing him that I started putting a plan together to start doing it myself. At first being a photographer I thought it wouldn‚Äôt work but in a couple of months it has evolved from a couple of small 4√ó4 photographs blu-tac‚Äôed to a wall or sign, to photographs in envelopes, to photographs in a spray painted milk bottle.” And that is exactly what you can win.

Question one – In photography the ISO describes what?
A – How expensive the camera is.
B – How many exposures you can make.
C – How sensitive the camera is to light.


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