There’ll be a great welcome in the (Portsdown) hillside

COMMENT: Carrier sends out a strong message to the world

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Well chaps, it looks like we’re going to have to take the snarl off our faces, swallow the bile and the insults, and make nice.

Not just because a study by researchers at the University of Cambridge says Portsmouth is the most unfriendly place in Hampshire, but because what with all these visitors we’re going to be getting we’d better slap a smile on our faces and get genial.

But then again I’m not sure we need to change very much.

Not only did we manage to host more than 5,000 US sailors in the city, we also managed not to break them too much, despite the fact that when they’re on deployment they’re not allowed to drink alcohol.

Our boys (and gals) obviously went easy on them. See? We’ve been considerate.

Then of course we’ve had a prime ministerial visit that went off without a problem, despite about 900 reasons for it not to.

We also manage to host some of the world’s greatest athletes when they come to take part in the Great South Run without anyone tripping up. It’s a triumph!

So when I read about how popular the America’s Cup festival is going to be, how many people are expected at Victorious Festival and now how many people will come to Portsmouth to watch the British leg of the Tour De France if we get it, I’m not too worried about our guests.

Like with most visitors there will be extra pressure on bathrooms and landings. There will be hold-ups in the corridors and catering that needs to work overtime to satisfy extra appetites.

But, like most visits, there will be an excuse to go out and experience new things that are happening that otherwise you wouldn’t see or do.

And, finally, it might feel like a relief when they go, but you’ll have enjoyed the fact they came at all.

Portsmouth, unfriendly? Bunkum!

To all those planning a visit, come on down. You’re welcome. Take off your shoes and make yourself at home.

I’ll just head back to Gotham City and get Alfred to make us all a nice cup of tea...