Hovertravel is helping everyone to enjoy the full day on Saturday 8th June when Southsea Common hosts the first ever Portsmouth Revival Festival by running an extra late service at 22:30.
Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, explains: “We have been supporting the D-DAY 75 anniversary events throughout the week and we will be running one extra late service from Southsea on Saturday 8th June at 22:30 to allow people who want to enjoy the full 15 minute fireworks display starting at 22:00.”
The Portsmouth Revival will be a weekend of entertainment and activities for all the family featuring music and dancing from the 1940s, arena displays, military and vintage vehicles, vintage fairground rides, a 1940s vintage market, and archive
and war film screenings. There will also be a Red Arrows flypast at some point during Saturday afternoon.
Then the evening starts with the Sunset Concert for Heroes, a 1940s themed concert featuring the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir, the D-Day Darlings, and the Royal Marines Association Concert Band all performing on the main stage at Southsea Common. This is a free and un-ticketed event which starts 19:30 and finishes at 22:00.
Finally on Saturday, there will be a D-Day 75 themed firework display on Saturday 8 June at 10pm, supported by Gunwharf Quays. The fireworks will be lit from barges moored off Southsea seafront, making Southsea Common the perfect place to watch the display and conclude Saturday’s entertainment.
The Island is busily preparing to welcome 36 elite soldiers and their magnificent horses for the Royal Isle of Wight County Show. The countdown has begun until the Household Cavalry comes to town on Sunday 30 June as the ‘mane attraction’ for the long awaited celebration of rural life.
This wouldn’t be happening without generous support from partners, including the Island’s communication company, WightFibre. John Irvine, the Chief Executive, commented: “It’s absolutely brilliant having the Household Cavalry on the Island, it’s a real coup. And supporting this giant community event is a great way for us to give something back to the community, which is what we’re all about.”
To plan a few last details, the partners met up for a bit of horseplay at the Island Riding Centre at Newport. The soldiers and their horses will stay here before performing their world famous Musical Ride at the Northwood Showground. This is a display of military manoeuvres, set to music, and it’s breathtaking in its precision, with lots of pomp and pageantry. The Queen’s Household Cavalry are regulars at Trooping of the Colour, Royal weddings and coronations, and it’s their first time performing on the Isle of Wight.
Louise Buckner, owner of the Island Riding Centre, has a very special reason for hosting the soldiers and their horses on their visit to the Island – her grandfather was in the Household Cavalry in the 1940s. She says: “It’s a massive thing for us having the Queen’s horses and soldiers to stay and it’s great for the Island. We can’t wait! Plus so many friends have offered to ‘help’, so they’ll have the shiniest boots!”
Louise and her husband Paul are building two new stables, especially for the giant horses that carry the huge silver drums. They’ve commissioned Martin Coombes from M&J Animal Housing, who says: “it’s a huge honour to build stables for the Queen”. The stables will have crowns on the top as a tribute to their VIP guests.
The Cavalry – who rotate active service with ceremonial duties – will be transported 100 miles from London to the Island in a coach provided by Seaview Services. Phil Robinson, Chairman of Seaview Services, says: “We’ve moved the Polish Army, the Royal Green Jackets, and lots of sailors including Sir Ben Ainslie. We like to do things properly. We’ll also be bringing over the giant silver drums, if they’ll fit in the coach!”
Mary Robinson, Secretary of Seaview Services, who has been a regular at the County Show all her life, says: “It’s always a lovely day out, and I saw the Household Cavalry at the Lord Mayor’s Parade in London and it made feel proud to be British. We’ll be bringing as many people as we can!”
At the Show, the soldiers will be served lunch in the WI Tent. Hazel Breach, Federal Treasurer of the Isle of Wight Women’s Institute, confirmed that the menu would include a ploughman’s lunch with a selection of cheeses, pate and ham. “And because we’re the WI there will be plenty of cake, from the traditional Victoria sponge to more exotic lime and coconut,” she revealed. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming these lovely young men and intend to spoil them.”
In fact, she confided, her members are so keen to meet the servicemen, that they’ve all volunteered to cater for the lads. “The ladies at the WI are having duals at dawn to decide who’s going to be serving them!” she joked. “I’m chairman of the catering committee, so I’m top of the list! Some of the WI members are even offering their spare bedrooms and saying the horses can stay in the garden!”
Graham Biss, Chairman of the Show, commented: “It has only been possible to bring the Household Cavalry to the Island due to the support from our partners including Wightlink who are bringing the troop across the Solent. This is going to be the event of the summer. As well as the Cavalry, there’s so much else to see and do, from tractor rides, to clay pigeon shooting and handling a pig. Plus you can get up close to loads of amazing animals. We’ll see you there!”
- Tickets are available online now from iwcountyshow.co.uk for £9 for adults (or £10 on the gate) and it’s free for U16s with a paying adult.
To demonstrate their dog-friendly approach, Hovertravel is dedicating a weekend in March to encouraging dog owners to try the fastest ferry across the Solent. All dogs always travel free on Hovertravel and for Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March, adult dog owners can also benefit from half price Day Return tickets.
Hovertravel connects Southsea in Portsmouth with Ryde on the Isle of Wight in just ten minutes and dogs stay with their owners throughout the journey. Our current fleet are much quieter than our previous craft, so there is less noise to disturb dogs or their owners and water bowls are available in both our terminals.
Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, adds: “We welcome all well-behaved dogs on our hovercraft and we are using this weekend offer to show just how easy and simple Hovertravel is for dogs and their owners. The Isle of Wight has superb walking opportunities, from a straightforward stroll along the sand at Appley Beach to a strenuous scramble up Culver Down where the dog-friendly Culver Haven Inn even offers a free dog biscuit for all customers.”
Customers can only book this offer in Hovertravel’s terminals at Southsea and Ryde on the day of travel with a dog present. For more details on this offer and information on dog friendly hotels and beaches please visit https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/Dog-Friendly-Island/index.php
The inaugural Annual Isle of Wight Corporate Football Charity Shield is being held this Sunday (24th March) at Brading Town Football Club. Five corporate-sponsored teams will battle it out from 11am until the first ever winner of this charity event is announced at 5pm.
The organiser of the event, Hovertravel, says anyone is welcome to come along to support their friends, family, colleagues in what promising to be a fun-filled day of football. Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, Loretta Lale adds: “We wanted to create an event which allowed businesses to raise funds for their chosen charities and give us the opportunity to continue our efforts for Dementia UK Admiral Nurses for the Isle of Wight. This first year has seen an excellent response and we wish all the teams good luck.”
Corporate teams and the
Hovertravel Ltd – Dementia UK
Hose Rhodes Dickson – Isle of Wight Property Expertise – Mountbatten
Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferry – Mountbatten
Southern Vectis – the island’s buses – Prostate Cancer UK
IFPL – Wight Aid
Spear Recruitment Ltd – Dementia UK
With all proceeds to be split amongst the above charities and an entry price of just £1 per adult and 50p per child, this is great way to help some local charities and enjoy some great football matches.
There will be refreshments on-site with beverages and hot food on sale and a fully licensed bar will be open for the event. There will also be a cake stall coordinated by Hovertravel, with the assistance of the 1st Brading Scouts, raising funds for Dementia UK Admiral Nurses for the Isle of Wight. Parking is available in the Brading town car park.