It’s fun for everyone at Guildhall’s open day

RING THE CHANGES A skilled performance by Cirque Bijou. Picture: Sarah Standing (131273-6121)
RING THE CHANGES A skilled performance by Cirque Bijou. Picture: Sarah Standing (131273-6121)

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IT’S normally a place where you go to watch bands perform.

But Portsmouth Guildhall became a hub for culture and art as families came to enjoy its free open day.

There was tarot card reading, face painting and even a visit from a replica Dalek from Doctor Who.

There were performances from drama group Dark Encounters, which gave people an insight into the history of Portsmouth and some of its most well known villains.

Visitors were also treated to an art exhibition, an arts and crafts market set up by Love Southsea and live music.

Spencer Croucher visited with his wife Nikki, 35, and their two children Finley, seven, and Ethan, three.

Spencer, who lives with his family in Milton, Portsmouth, said: ‘The weather is rubbish so I thought I would bring the kids out to the Guildhall.

‘It’s pretty good. It’s good that it’s free.

‘These sort of events bring people together.’

Portsmouth Cultural Trust, which took over the Guildhall two years ago, held the event to mark the completion of refurbishment work.

As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth City Council repaired the brick and steel frames underneath the steps and the large bronze doors are now open so people can come in during the day.

A new business lounge and art gallery was also unveiled during the event yesterday. The work cost £120,000.

Amber Shepheard, six, of Widley, enjoyed having her face painted. Her mum Michelle, 45, said: ‘It’s nice and friendly.

‘It’s a great thing that the Guildhall is going to be used more as a community space. It’s a nice place to go to.’

Hayley Reay, development officer for Portsmouth Cultural Trust, said: ‘It’s about getting young people involved in culture.

‘It’s a fantastic chance for children to come and explore the building.

‘There’s been something for all the family to do.’