Portsmouth welcomes American sailors as they boost business

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THOUSANDS of service personnel from the USS Theodore Roosevelt have come ashore – to the delight of businesses.

Their presence has meant a boost in trade for shops, bars, restaurants and tourist attractions.

ENJOYING PORTSMOUTH Sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt after a few beers at the The Keppel's Head on The Hard. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150324-5787)

ENJOYING PORTSMOUTH Sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt after a few beers at the The Keppel's Head on The Hard. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150324-5787)

Many have flocked to Gunwharf Quays to go on a shopping spree with the money they have saved from being on board for months, with several clothing stores reporting being busy.

Original Penguin’s assistant store manager Justine Wearn, 26, said: ‘I think the sailors are going crazy whilst they are on shore! We have definitely noticed a massive rise in sales as they are coming off the boat and spending the money that they have saved.’

Superdry supervisor Erin Fradley, 21, said: ‘We have had a big rise in sales since they have come into port.

‘Many of them are buying coats as they haven’t come with one and it is cold.’

Some of the crew are also looking to experience the culture and the history that Portsmouth has to offer.

Senior Chief John, from the Roosevelt, said: ‘I have been walking around Portsmouth looking at the historical significance of the place.

‘We are also going to the Spinnaker Tower to see the area.’

Spinnaker Tower has noticed an increase in numbers since ‘Big Stick’ anchored in Stokes Bay on Sunday.

General manager of the attraction Sarah Webb said: ‘When we have any large ship come into port we do benefit because we have a fantastic view of the area.

‘We have seen our footfall definitely increase over the last few days.’

And Dan Swan, general manager of nightclub Tiger Tiger, said: ‘We saw a definite increase in footfall and uplift in sales during our Monday night, Cult.

‘Members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt have been visiting us during the day to eat and drink while visiting Gunwharf Quays and we have received a number of comments on social media from those excited about meeting them in the evening.’

Others are also making a visit to the Historic Dockyard to take a look at HMS Victory and learn about its history.

To entice those who have come ashore bars and restaurants are flying the American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, and putting on special nights for sailors to enjoy.

Ship’s company enjoys a break and a run ashore

MARINES from the American ship anchored off Gosport have come ashore to experience what Portsmouth has to offer.

Helicopter engineer Steven Brown said: ‘I have been hanging out around Portsmouth and checking out the pubs and the culture of the city which is a lot of fun.’

Some have only experienced the city for one day after completing their required duty.

Work center supervisor Andrew Sortland said: ‘This is my first day out so I’m excited, I’m up for anything, it doesn’t really matter. I lived here for a while though so I know what’s about.’