First Southsea Show in years is a great success

Crowds flock to the Southsea Show and carnival which was held on Southsea Common for the first time in five years. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132176-3)
Crowds flock to the Southsea Show and carnival which was held on Southsea Common for the first time in five years. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132176-3)
Dale Winton

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AFTER a hiatus of seven years the Southsea Show was back at the weekend – bigger and better than ever.

Thousands flocked to Southsea Common to enjoy the activities on offer in the sunshine.

From the traditional fairground rides and craft stalls, to boxing, archery and even scuba diving, there was something for the whole family to enjoy.

The event, over Saturday and Sunday, stirred up childhood memories for many who enjoyed the show when they were younger.

Lucy Smith, 32, from Belvoir Close, Fareham, took along her six-year-old daughter Katie Hart.

She said: ‘We’ve had a really great time today, I’m so impressed.

‘There’s so much to do, especially for the children.

‘Katie has made a lovely wand and has even been scuba diving.

‘I remember coming to the Southsea Show when I was a little girl. I’ve got great memories of the animal tent and now Katie has great memories too.’

Gavin and Suki Wood came down with their daughters Alisha and Tasmin from London for the show.

Suki, 42, said: ‘My husband’s parents told us all about it as they live in Gunwharf and used to go years ago.

‘For us it’s really exciting, a great day out for the girls and for us.’

As well as the fantastic entertainment in the arena, bands performed all day on both days to the crowds who enjoyed the shows from the comfort of deck chairs. Many couldn’t help but get up and dance along. And there were fantastic shows in the big top.

On Saturday night Chesney Hawkes took to the stage with a brilliant set – his dad even made an appearance.

Zeenat Turner, marketing manager for the Southsea Show, said: ‘It’s been an incredible weekend. Sunday was even busier than Saturday. There were lots of families enjoying the free activities.

‘It’s been a great success. We’ve been taking feedback from visitors as they exit and on social media to make it bigger and better next year.’

One of those who enjoyed the show was Caroline Collins, of Chatsworth Avenue, Cosham, who took her children Harry and Gwyneth to watch their father Patrick take the stage with his band The Targets.

Mrs Collins said: ‘We’ve done so much. We went to the Southsea Greenhouse and did some flower arranging. There are lots of crafts for the children to do, it’s all very hands-on.

‘And what’s brilliant is it’s all Portsmouth and Southsea related.’