Portsmouth Festivities features First World War tales in film

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, second right, and Minister of State for Schools The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, centre, with representatives from Portchester Community School  and Henry Cort Community College

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DOZENS of people watched First World War tales come to life as they were projected on a big screen in the shadow of HMS Victory.

The Historic Dockyard played host the to screening of Faces, an art project that put together recordings of volunteers from across Portsmouth.

The screen at HMS Victory showing Faces. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141761-5700)

The screen at HMS Victory showing Faces. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141761-5700)

It was on show last night as part of the first day of the Portsmouth Festivities.

Among them was Alan Morris, 56, of Hilsea, who contributed a story about his grandmother Florence Herbert who worked on trams in the First World War.

He said: ‘Because of the war, women started to do work in jobs they’d never done before.

‘My grandmother got a job as a clicky – a tram conductor.

‘She was working on a tram and my grandfather would buy a ticket and at some stage he plucked up the courage to ask her out.’

Alan contributed research to the art piece, which was led by Helena Eflerova, along with Cowplain-based Kye Wilson. The pair’s work was commissioned by the festival.

Kye said: ‘It’s great that it’s Portsmouth people in the cast.’

The project told the story of the build-up to the outbreak of war.

Elliott Diamond, 17, of Queens Crescent Southsea, was recorded reading parts of The News from the era.

The screening followed the launch of the 10-day festivities,which aims to celebrate culture in the city.

The United Kingdom’s poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, visited Portsmouth Grammar School for the festival’s first event yesterday.

The Manchester-based poet and playwright read a selection of her work to about 160 school pupils and members of the public at the school’s David Russell Theatre. Also performing were Scottish instrumentalist John Sampson and Portsmouth’s poet laureate Sam Cox.

Samantha Worsey, general manager of the Portsmouth Festivities charity, said she was thrilled Ms Duffy was taking part.

She said: ‘Talks and literature are quite a crucial part of the festival so having the endorsement of someone of the calibre of Carol Ann is a huge endorsement for the charity.

‘You could see from the faces of everyone in the audience that she’s got quite a following.’

For more details of upcoming events see portsmouthfestivities.co.uk

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