Guildhall latest

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Here is an important statement from the folks running the Guildhall Exhibition (and well done to them):


“The members of the Portsmouth Pop Music Experience Trust would like to announce recent changes to the running of the pop music exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall.


Since 11th June, 2012, the Guildhall has been managed by the Portsmouth Cultural Trust, headed by CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Andy Grays, whose background is in theatre and culture. His vision is to open up more parts of the Guildhall to the public and he wants it to become a place where people relax and meet as well as become the best concert venue in the country. As part of that development, Dave Allen, Mick Cooper and Nigel Grundy, with input from Simon the Curator, and Phil Freeman, put together the Access All Areas – The Portsmouth Music Experience Exhibition featuring local music and venues in Portsmouth during the 1950s and 1960s. It has a wall of fame showing photographs of group and band members through the years, a small cinema, a gallery dedicated to bands that have played at the Guildhall, a gallery showing local bands and venues and a large space for touring exhibitions. The spaces are situated on the first floor of the northern end of the Guildhall, overlooking the war memorial. Dave, Mick and Nigel put in many hours of unpaid work to get the exhibition up because they know what a great place Portsmouth was and still is for local music, and felt that given the opportunity presented to them, they could record its heritage and bring it to a wider audience. There was minimal budget, no money for picture frames etc. so the displays were stuck onto the walls with wallpaper paste, it’s only Rock and Roll but they like it! The exhibition has proved to be a success with visitor numbers exceeding the Guildhall’s expectations.


In February 2013, Dave, Mick and Nigel were asked by the Guildhall CEO to take over the running of the exhibition with responsibilities for staff and finance etc. That would be a serious commitment and a step further than the three of them were prepared to take, individually or collectively. At a first meeting with the CEO to discuss the situation, he said that Simon the Curator had left, and in addition Dave announced he had just taken on the responsibility for overseeing and curating a new cricket museum at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, so with a large work load he would be withdrawing from the project. There were strong feelings that as the exhibition is a success it should continue to exist. Nigel and Mick asked Phil Freeman, Pete Cross and Audrie Grundy to join them to form the Portsmouth Pop Music Experience Trust to oversee and develop the exhibition, Dave agreed to be a consultant. Staffing and financial responsibilities are to be managed by the Guildhall and a new part-time Curator. The Trust members have since asked Ken Brown, Tony Rollinson, Paul Windsor, Paul Wild and Nick Courtney to add support to the Trust as they have detailed knowledge of music from later decades. Other people with knowledge of particular aspects of music or venues will be consulted as and when their expertise is needed. The Guildhall has agreed to the Trust staging a music event in the summer to announce that the exhibition is, ‘Under New Management.’


The Portsmouth Pop Music Experience Trust intends to develop the exhibition to show local music, musicians, venues and fashion through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the new millennium. They will be developing links with the University and local music and fashion businesses and will be creating educational packages and audio visual material for use by visiting primary and secondary school pupils and college students. They will also be investigating how exhibition material could help people with Altzheimers and Dementia to recall the past. The future for the exhibition is very exciting. If anyone has any photographs, posters or tickets they could lend to the Trust to be copied or have any memories of music and venues in Portsmouth they would like to contribute, there will be contact details on how to do so on the blog soon.”


Nigel Grundy.



Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

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