VERITY LUSH: Green shoots of recovery sprouting in northern Portsmouth

It is always fantastic to see new local businesses pop up, and even more so when you know the person behind the business, and the hard work that they have put into making it happen.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th April 2018, 9:00 pm
New commercial life is sprouting in Copnor Road
New commercial life is sprouting in Copnor Road

Local woman, Jo Johnstone, opened a new hair salon this week in Copnor Road, Portsmouth.

Jo is an experienced hairdresser and I have known her for several years, so I was particularly impressed and excited when she said she had decided to bite the bullet and open her own business.

To me, this is an act of great bravery. I wouldn’t have the first clue about setting up on my own, but hundreds of more courageous folk than I do so on a daily basis.

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Hair At 339

Taking those first steps towards finding premises, employing staff, and the umpteen responsibilities that come on top of this, is staggering. But Jo has made it look easy.

The salon is a welcome addition to Copnor Road. This is a local road with myriad shops and businesses, and it’s able to accommodate and cater for many because of stretching all the way from Baffins to Hilsea.

‘Hair at 339’ is to be found at the Gatcombe end of Copnor Road, and particular care has been taken to ensure clients receive a warm and non-intrusive welcome, in calm surroundings, with tasteful décor.

Given Jo’s own loyal client base, the women she has taken on to work, and the footfall along Copnor Road, I am certain she will be successful.

Hair At 339

I’ve written before about the northern end of the city and its sad demise, but it’s been wonderful to see it picking itself up again. New premises are opening where old ones left or closed during the recession, and there is now a good mix of independent businesses as well as big-name high street stores.

We can’t ask for more, really. Neither all-local nor all-big-brand stores would work in today’s society, but a healthy balance of both, with local people making that step and being successful, is such a positive move.


This week, a large yellow glow appeared in the sky.

People everywhere squinted and shielded their eyes while peering up to the heavens and shaking their heads in disbelief.

Following the appearance of this rare UK phenomenon, The Sun Shining, numerous photos of the fabled star began to pop up on social media. These were swiftly accompanied by posts claiming this could even herald the start of

that other invariably short-lived British rarity, The Summer.

By today, I fully suspect social media shall instead be full of a complete 360 degree turnaround, with claims of ‘too hot’, ‘blasted heat’, and the waft of our once-yearly-if-we’re-lucky barbecue-singed meat floating over the


Enjoy it while it lasts!


Much as Brits love a good moan about the heat during our sparse share of sunshine, it is an instant cheerer-upper.

Today, drivers everywhere were actually giving way to each other!

All of us on the roads were beaming cheerfully from behind our wheels, waving each other forward and flashing our full-beams with merry abandon.

Limbs were out again. Shorts and T-shirts, nay – even a vest top or two – had crept out from the backs of drawers and cupboards citywide.

And all of these were accompanied by smiles. Our good old, slightly yellowed, British teeth were being flashed in all directions.

You’ve got to love us as a nation.

We’re bonkers, but to paraphrase Lewis Carroll, all the best people are.