PEOPLE have gathered at the birthplace of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth to mark his 201st birthday.
The Lord Mayor Councillor Frank Jonas, members of the Dickens Fellowship and members of the public visited the site in Old Commercial Road.
The lord mayor laid a wreath outside the house where Dickens was born in 1812.
He said: ‘He’s probably the most famous son of Portsmouth. The knock-on effect of this year of his 200th birthday has been very good. It’s been very good for the children that have taken up reading.
‘It’s really sunk in just how famous and well known the man is. We’ve had people come from all over the world to visit his birthplace, to come to conferences, parties.
‘And we had the welcoming back of his two great great grandsons from their sponsored walk for his statue which hopefully will be erected in Guildhall Square this year.
‘We’re here at his birthplace and that is something that is going to remain forever we hope.
‘Every year there is a new group of people that pick up his books and once you read one, you want to read another. So it’s very infectious. Charles Dickens is here for a long time.’