Finally, a big summer event for the north of city

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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There may be some readers who remember the old fair held on Portsdown Hill above Cosham each Easter Monday. It was certainly still going in the 1930s.

It was originally a market, but it transformed into a traditional funfair.

It attracted so many that a small lock-up was built to the east of Fort Widley to hold troublemakers who were released when the fair ended.

All of you will certainly know of, and will probably have attended, Portsmouth City Council’s giant fireworks display on King George V playing fields at Cosham each November – an event dominated by an enormous bonfire and one which still hosts a funfair. It attracts thousands from across the city and beyond.

What is interesting about the first event is that it was originally called the Free Mart Fair and was held at Old Portsmouth. It moved north because it outgrew its site.

All of which goes to show that when large and attractive events are put on in the supposedly unfashionable north of the city, people will turn out in droves.

So today we are delighted to report that at long last someone has had the vision to put on a major event at those same King George V playing fields, something akin to all those which traditionally have been held, and still will be, at Southsea.

Organiser of the Portsmouth Summer Show, James Ralls, one of those behind the successful Victorious festival on Southsea Common, says: ‘You won’t see anything like this in that part of the city. Portsmouth is getting bigger and bigger in terms of the interest in culture and there’s a huge demand for more events.’

And about time too. For those who have complained for years about a lack of decent events in Portsmouth’s northern wards, their prayers appear to have been answered.

For this ambitious project could kick-start a renaissance for those culturally-neglected areas.

And on top of the America’s Cup World Series and this year’s Victorious festival it’s now the whole city which is looking to a brighter future.