Despite being born at St Mary’s Hospital and having lived here most of my life, I’d like to confess to being an ignoramus when it comes to most things Pompey.
Ask me about Elton John’s favourite pie shop in Sydney or Captain Cook’s rather incongruous ending in Kealakekua Bay and I could bore you into a stupor.
But ask me about the simply outrageous military missions that have originated a pebble’s throw from my front door and I’m stumped.
I was at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport this week. It’s the first time I’ve ever been and it was superb.
The tales of heroism and human endeavour sent chills down my spine and made me immensely proud of the men and women that serve in our forces and the sacrifices they make in their lives for the greater good.
Would you spend three months 500ft underwater in an engineered sardine can, with 65 other men, eating tinned food and cabbage, unable to wash, with recycled air, no daylight and toilets that could maim you with pressurised splash-back?
I was a conscientious student and can remember learning about the Romans, Tudors, the Battle of Hastings, the Great Fire of London etc. But I can’t remember being taught about the amazing back story of my own city.
Most people will grow up and grow old in the city they were born in, so why not go heavy on teaching local heritage and culture and celebrate the great people that shaped our surroundings?
Okay, if you came from Newport Pagnell and the most historical event in your birthplace’s history was someone from Big Brother stopping to buy a Scotch egg in the petrol station, it may play less of a role in the curriculum.
But when you’re talking about Dickens, Henry VIII, Brunel, Eisenhower, Churchill, Lord Nelson, Pounds, Cockleshell Heroes, D-Day landings etc – ours is a city that’s brimming with global significance.
I confess that I’m unsure of exactly what local history is delivered in lessons in 2013.
But as my daughter comes home from school talking about Aboriginal ‘dream-time’, we’re also making time for the implausible story of the great FA Cup Heist of 2008.