Widow of former Portsmouth arts pioneer Chris Carrell makes private audio biography to look back on their life together

MEMORIES of the former city arts officer have been chronicled by her widow in a private audio biography.

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 8:49 am

Carole Carrell told the story of her life and that of her husband, Chris Carrell, to pass onto their children.

Chris was said to have ‘brought culture to Portsmouth,' and died in April 13, aged 80, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Carole also wanted to illustrate what life was like during the Second World War and reflect on the memories she had with her husband.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The widow of a former Portsmouth arts pioneer has had her childhood come to life in a private audio biography. Picture: Carole Carrell

Read More

Read More
Tributes paid to former Portsmouth arts officer Chris Carrell

She said: ‘I thought it would help the children to know that a previous generation went through five years of awful worry,

‘People used to come out of the shelter and not know if the house was still there.’

The biography was produced by Adam Krum, who runs a business called Tales of Time.

Carole has poured her heart into poetry and painting since her husband passed away. Picture: Adam Krum

Carole added that reflecting on her childhood, where she grew up in post-war Britain, was a valuable thing to pass onto her children.

The 77-year-old met Adam at Spark Community Space in Sherlock’s bar.

Spark was set up to help combat loneliness and reintegrate people back into society.

Carole has been struggling with grief following the loss of her husband, whom she married in 1996.

Adam Krum interviews, records and edits every audio biography himself. Picture: Adam Krum.

She said the Spark sessions helped her cope emotionally

She explained: ‘It was somewhere you could go and be yourself.

‘You could burst into tears if you wanted, either sit and talk or not.

‘You’re mixing with people who are lonely or suffering the same as you, and you can empathise with each other.

The widow added that everyone was devastated by Chris’s passing and she received around 100 cards.

She described him as ‘gentle, kind, lovely, and driven.’

Chris worked as the arts officer for Portsmouth City Council between 1992 and 2001.

Among his many achievements, Chris set up the Europe in Portsmouth festival gave Princess Diana a tour of the event.

Adam Krum, 39, heard all about Chris’s and Carole’s life story.

He met Carole at Spark, and was asked to produce the heirloom after building up a rapport with her.

The owner of Tales of Time said it was great to learn more about Carole.

He said: ‘She’s been through some very hard times, but Spark has really helped her.

‘From my perspective, and after meeting her at Sherlock’s and interviewing her, I could tell she got a lot off her chest.

‘She was extremely proud of her husband and his achievements.’

Adam started Tales of Time after being made redundant during lockdown.

He previously worked for 17 years at a medical emergency company, specialising in independent travel.

Adam decided to create an audio biography business while on job seekers allowance, after talking to his parents about childhood.

Inspiring Enterprise, a National Lottery funded project that supports new businesses, helped get Chris off the ground.

Chris said he wanted to chronicle cherished stories.

He added: ‘The idea is to capture people's stories and memories, and pass them on from generation to generation.

‘It is so family history doesn’t get lost.’

One thing Adam remembers most about interviewing Carole is her poetry.

She self-published a collection after Chris passed away called 'Life is just a bowl of Atoms.'

They covered a breadth of topics, from Quantum Physics to love.

Dreamboat was the poem that tugged on Adam’s heartstrings the most.

Carole said Dreamboat explores marriage generally, but was instigated by her happy memories with Chris.

Adam said he could tell the emotion poured out of Carole when she wrote it.

He added: ‘They’re amazing, really heartfelt, witty, they literally made me laugh and cry at the same time.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.