Eclectic Southsea store celebrates a year in business – with the help of Steampunk fans and Victorian vampires

Head Case Curios in Albert Road Southsea marks one year of trade
Head Case Curios in Albert Road Southsea marks one year of trade
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STEAMPUNK fans, pirates, Victorian vampires and Burlesque ladies gathered to mark the first year of business at an eclectic Portsmouth store. 

Around 50 members of the Gosport Steampunk Society plus others helped husband and wife team Tony and Zoe Duke to celebrate the first anniversary of their shop Head Case Curios in Albert Road, Southsea. 

Tony, shop owner, said he was overwhelmed by the reaction. He had invited some friends to help celebrate and said he’d hoped there would be enough people for a few photographs. However, within an hour of opening the shop was full. 

Sue Courtney, who was at the event. said: ‘Photos were taken, traffic was stopped as everyone held an impromptu re-enactment of the classic Beatles, Abbey Road scene and then the splendid fellows regrouped in the Lord John Russell for an afternoon of fun and frivolity.

‘Zoe was greeting friends at the door, pointing them in the direction of the drinks at the back of the shop and the “nibbles on the coffin” – well, really where else would you serve nibbles?’ 

Although Zoe and Tony have been in business in Portsmouth for four years, they have only been in their shop in Albert Road for a year and wanted to celebrate in style. Since opening the shop, the Dukes have seen a number of other businesses close, so they say they are proud that their business is growing. 

The shop sells Steampunk and antiques, plus new genres of pirates and Burlesque. They stock items that are unique, curious or unusual. 

Sue added: ‘Tony and Zoe make coming to the shop an experience and I can personally vouch for the fact that they achieve this. Customer service is their top priority – you can be sure to receive a warm and friendly welcome and a chat with Tony without feeling pressured to buy. There’s usually a drink to be had at the weekends, which has to be a bonus.’