Rocking around the green oasis on Southsea seafront

Visitors follow the winding paths through the Rock Gardens
Visitors follow the winding paths through the Rock Gardens
With long gunnery gaiters and sword bayonets fixed to their rifles, we see marines changing guard just inside Eastney Barracks' main gate. 'Robert James Collection

NOSTALGIA: Were these Portsmouth marines being punished?

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When it comes to the history of the colourful little oasis on Southsea seafront called the Rock Gardens, Jackie Baynes is the go-to woman.

She spent years researching the story of the gardens to produce her book An Earthly Fairyland – the Story of Southsea Rock Gardens and the Rock Garden Pavilion.

The full colour publication draws on the memories of local people to tell the story of this much-loved seafront attraction and the rise and fall of one of its most successful entertainment venues.

Jackie has even produced a 2016 calendar featuring a year in the life of the gardens with pictures taken by her tracing the plants which are at their best there each month.

She gives talks based on the book and is always happy to hear from people with fresh memories about the gardens and the pavilion.

You can contact her on (023) 9283 1461.