We should take pride in what city
has to offer

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RICK JACKSON: Girl power rules – at the age of two

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It’s easy to be cynical and sneer about many things these days.

Particularly when it comes to the city many reading this will call home, Portsmouth.

And yes, there have been recent events, most notably the announcement of BAE’s withdrawal from the dockyards and political machinations at the civic offices, that make it diffcult for people to speak of their home town with pride.

But there are beacons of light in the city – The Mary Rose Museum, being one of them. The Duke of Edinburgh paid a surprise visit last November, and now his son, Prince Charles has followed suit.

After taking a tour, Prince Charles described it as ‘a great British achievement and I hope this exhibition will give pleasure, enjoyment, interest, and new knowledge to many people throughout the world’.

Given the ongoing interest in the Mary Rose, and the way it has captured the public imagination, the heir to the throne was right in his description of the museum.

And it is right here in Portsmouth.

The city has regularly been the focal point for national and international events – look at the success of the last Fleet Review and the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar in 2005.

There is also Spinnaker Tower, which has become a south coast icon – the arguments and delays largely forgotten. Something of which people around here are mostly very proud.

But what can we look forward to?

This is where it is all too easy to sneer.

There is the Northern Quarter, which has been on the books for years. If it ever sees completion, it should be impressive – but it has been subject to chipping away at the edges.

There are talks of a £25m Sherlock Holmes centre, which have unsurprisingly proved controversial.

Perhaps we should remember to take pride in what is already here.

Portsmouth has a lot going for it, and could potentially have more – but we shouldn’t be too quick to curl that lip.