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Posted by r2d2 04/07/2009 @ 08:14

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News headlines
Portsmouth, NH, bar charged in accident - Boston Globe
PORTSMOUTH, NH—The owners of a Portsmouth, NH, bar have been indicted on a charge the bar served an intoxicated person before he struck a pedestrian with his car. Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams said the indictment against the owner of Fat Belly's...
Portsmouth porn shop celebrates 30 years - Boston Herald
By Elizabeth Dinan / Seacoastonline.com PORTSMOUTH — Thirty years ago, Linda and Jim Rossetti were making and selling pizzas out of a Daniel Street shop, the name of which Linda no longer recalls. “We were killing ourselves making pizzas,” she said....
Portsmouth area religious services - Seacoastonline.com
NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH: is located at 40 Andrew Jarvis Drive, Portsmouth. 436-2733. Pastor is the Rev. Angelo Pappas. n SOUTH CHURCH: Unitarian-Universalist Church, 292 State St., holds Sunday worship and Young Church at 10 am, followed by a...
Many expected to pay tribute to late Portsmouth mayor - Foster's Daily Democrat
By CHARLES McMAHON PORTSMOUTH — Hundreds are expected to gather at City Hall today to pay homage to the "People's Mayor" Evelyn Sirrell. The one-hour tribute is open to the public and will begin promptly at 4 pm in the Eileen Dondero Foley City Council...
Pantelakos, others graduate from Portsmouth's Citizens Police Academy - Foster's Daily Democrat
By CHARLES McMAHON PORTSMOUTH — Before she enrolled in the Citizens Police Academy, Laura Pantelakos admits she wasn't always the biggest fan of police brass. But after eight weeks of ride-alongs, Taser demonstrations and looking through the eyes of a...
Paul Hart Still Has Full Support Of Portsmouth Supremo - Goal.com
Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has dropped another hint that he is keen for Paul Hart to become the club's full-time manager effective next season. The former Pompey youth director took charge of the club following former manager Tony Adams'...
Premier League - Match facts: Portsmouth v Sunderland - Yahoo! Eurosport
Portsmouth have won four of their five Premier League encounters with the Black Cats. Portsmouth's average of 2.4 goals a game against Sunderland is only bettered by the 2.5 they managed in four games against Reading (excluding teams they have played...
Portsmouth teachers union agrees to return $57g in course ... - Foster's Daily Democrat
By CHARLES McMAHON PORTSMOUTH — As many of their fellow city employees have done over the past several weeks, the Association of Portsmouth Teachers has agreed to return funds to help the city through a difficult budget process — in this case $57000 in...
Portsmouth v Sunderland - RTE.ie
Portsmouth boss Paul Hart may let the weekend's results guide his selection plans for Monday's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland at Fratton Park. He could rest some senior men if defeats for Hull City and Newcastle United guarantee...
Portsmouth tops ZHS netters - Zanesville Times Recorder
PORTSMOUTH - Patrick Friel downed Ian Rowland 6-4, 6-4 in No. 1 singles for Zanesville's lone victory in a 4-1 loss to host Portsmouth. No. 2 singles Cody Miller lost 6-0, 6-1 to John Khoury and Frank Joseph was beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Sarah Clayton in No....


Arms of Portsmouth City Council

Portsmouth ( /ˈpɔːtsməθ/ (help·info)) city located in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is the UK's only island city and is located on Portsea Island. It is commonly nicknamed Pompey. The administrative unit itself has a population of 197,700, which forms part of the wider Portsmouth conurbation, with an estimated 442,252 residents within wider the urban area, making it the 11th largest urban area in England. At the 2001 census it was the only city in England with a greater population density (4,639/km² (12,015/sq mi)) than London as a whole (4,562/km² (11,816/sq mi)), although many of London's individual boroughs had a much greater density.

A significant naval port for centuries, Portsmouth is home to the world's oldest dry dock still in use and home to many famous ships, including Nelson's flagship HMS Victory. Portsmouth has declined as a naval base in recent years but remains a major dockyard and base for the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Commandos whose Headquarters resides there. There is also a commercial port serving destinations on the continent for freight and passenger traffic.

The Spinnaker Tower is a recent addition to the city's skyline. It can be found in the recently redeveloped area known as Gunwharf Quays.

The Portsmouth Urban Area covers an area with a population well over twice that of the city of Portsmouth itself, and includes Fareham, Portchester, Gosport, Havant (which includes the large suburbs of Leigh Park), Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington and Waterlooville.

The suburbs of Portsmouth,arguably form a conurbation stretching from Southampton to Havant on the M27/A27 road along the coast, and north to Clanfield on the A3 road.

There have been settlements in the area since before Roman times, mostly being offshoots of Portchester, which was a Roman base (Portus Adurni) and possible home of the Classis Britannica. Portsmouth is commonly regarded as having been founded in 1180 by John of Gisors (Jean de Gisors). Most early records of Portsmouth are thought to have been destroyed by Norman invaders following the Norman Conquest. The earliest detailed references to Portsmouth can be found in the Southwick Cartularies. However, there are records of "Portesmūða" from the late 9th century, meaning "mouth of the Portus harbour".

The battle is attested in early Welsh sources as the Battle of Llongborth. The poem names the Chronicle's "young British man of nobility" as Geraint map Erbin.

In the Domesday Book there is no mention of Portsmouth. However, settlements that later went on to form part of Portsmouth are listed. At this time it is estimated the Portsmouth area had a population not greater than two or three hundred. While in Portsea there was a small church prior to 1166, Portsmouth's first real church came into being in 1181 when a chapel dedicated to Thomas Becket was built by Augustinian monks and run by the monks of Southwick Priory until the Reformation. The modern Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral is built on the original location of the chapel.

In 1194 King Richard The Lionheart returned from being held captive in Austria, and set about summoning a fleet and an army to Portsmouth, which Richard had taken over from John of Gisors. On May 2, 1194 the King gave Portsmouth its first Royal Charter granting permission for the borough to hold a fifteen day annual "Free Market Fair", weekly markets, to set up a local court to deal with minor matters, and exemption from paying the annual tax, with the money instead used for local matters. King Richard later went on to build a number of houses and a hall in Portsmouth. The hall is thought to have been at the current location of the Clarence Barracks (the area was previously known as Kingshall Green). It is believed that the crescent and eight-point star found on the thirteenth century common seal of the borough was derived from the arms of William de Longchamp, Lord Chancellor to Richard I at the time of the granting of the charter. The crescent and star, in gold on a blue shield, were subsequently recorded by the College of Arms as the coat of arms of the borough.

In 1200 King John reaffirmed the rights and privileges awarded by King Richard. King John's desire to invade Normandy resulted in the establishment of Portsmouth as a permanent naval base, and soon after construction began on the first docks, and the Hospital of St Nicholas, which performed its duties as an almshouse and hospice. During the thirteenth century Portsmouth was commonly used by King Henry III and Edward I as a base for attacks against France.

By the fourteenth century commercial interests had grown considerably. Common imports included wool, grain, wheat, woad, wax and iron, however the port's largest trade was in wine from Bayonne and Bordeaux.

In 1338 a French fleet led by Nicholas Béhuchet raided Portsmouth, destroying much of the town, with only the local church and hospital surviving. Edward III gave the town exemption from national taxes to aid reconstruction. Only ten years after this devastation the town for the first time was struck by the Black Death. In order to prevent the regrowth of Portsmouth as a threat, the French again sacked the city in 1369, 1377 and 1380. Henry V built the first permanent fortifications of Portsmouth. In 1418 he ordered a wooden Round Tower be built at the mouth of the harbour, which was completed in 1426. King Henry VIII rebuilt the fortifications with stone, raised a square tower, and assisted Robert Brygandine and Sir Reginald Bray in the construction of the country's first dry dock. In 1527, with some of the money from the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII built Southsea Castle. In 1545, he saw his vice-flagship Mary Rose founder off Southsea Castle, with a loss of about 500 lives, while going into action against the French fleet. Over the years Portsmouth's fortification was increased by numerous monarchs, although most of these have now been converted into tourist attractions.

On 13 May 1787 11 ships sailed from Portsmouth, to establish the first European colony in Australia, it also marked the beginning of prisoner transports to that contient. It is known today as the First Fleet in Australia.

Portsmouth has a long history of supporting the Royal Navy logistically, leading to it being important in the development of the Industrial Revolution. Marc Isambard Brunel, the father of famed Portsmouth engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, established in 1802 the world's first mass production line at the Portsmouth Block Mills, to mass produce pulley blocks for rigging on the Royal Navy's ships. At its height the Dockyard was the largest industrial site in the world.

Admiral Nelson left Portsmouth for the final time in 1805 to command the fleet that would defeat the larger Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar. The Royal Navy's reliance on Portsmouth led to the city becoming the most fortified in Europe, with a network of forts (a subset of "Palmerston's Follies") circling the city. From 1808 the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron, who were tasked to stop the slave trade, operated out of Portsmouth. On December 21, 1872 a major scientific expedition, the Challenger Expedition, was launched from Portsmouth.

In 1916 the town experienced its first aerial bombardment when a Zeppelin airship bombed it during World War I.

In 1926 Portsmouth was granted city status, following a long campaign by the borough council. The application was made on the grounds that Portsmouth was the "first naval port of the kingdom". Two years later the city received the further honour of a lord mayoralty. In 1929 the city council added the motto "Heaven's Light Our Guide" to the medieval coat of arms. Apart from referring to the celestial objects in the arms, the motto was that of the Star of India. This recalled that troopships bound for the colony left from the port. Further changes were made to the arms in 1970, when the Portsmouth Museums Trust sponsored the grant of crest, supporters and heraldic badge. The crest and supporters are based on those of the royal arms, but altered to show the city's maritime connections: the lions and unicorn have been given fish tails, and a naval crown placed around the latter animal. Around the unicorn is wrapped a representation of "The Mighty Chain of Iron", a Tudor defensive boom across Portsmouth Harbour.

The city was bombed extensively during World War II, destroying many houses and the Guildhall. While most of the city has since been rebuilt, developers still occasionally find unexploded bombs. Southsea beach and Portsmouth Harbour were military embarkation points for the D-Day landings on June 6 1944. Southwick House, just to the north of Portsmouth, had been chosen as the headquarters for the Supreme Allied Commander, US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, during D-Day.

After the war, much of the city's housing stock was damaged and more was cleared in an attempt to improve the quality of housing. Those people affected by this were moved out from the centre of the city to new developments such as Paulsgrove and Leigh Park. Post-war redevelopment throughout the country was characterised by utilitarian and brutalist architecture, with Portsmouth's Tricorn Centre one of the most famous examples. More recently, a new wave of redevelopment has seen Tricorn's demolition, the renewal of derelict industrial sites, and construction of the Spinnaker Tower.

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Portsmouth at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of pounds.

A tenth of the city's workforce works at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, which is directly linked to the city's biggest industry, defence, with major sites for BAE and VT Group located in the city. VT have been awarded some of the construction work on the two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers, although this involved the merger with BAe ship group. This will create 3000 new jobs in the city. There is also a major ferry port which deals with both passengers and cargo. The city is also host to the European headquarters of IBM, and the UK headquarters of Zurich Financial Services.

In the last decade the number of shops in Portsmouth has grown dramatically due to both the buoyancy of the local economy and improved transport links. In the city centre, shopping is centred around Commercial Road and the 1980s Cascades Shopping Centre, with over 100 high street shops between them. Recent redevelopment have created new shopping areas, including the upmarket Gunwharf Quays, containing fashion stores, restaurants, and a cinema; and the Historic Dockyard, which aims at the tourist sector and holds regular French markets, and an annual Christmas market. Large shopping areas include Ocean Retail Park, on the north-eastern side of Portsea Island, composed of shops requiring large floor space for selling consumer goods; and the Bridge Centre an 11,043 square metre shopping centre built in 1988, now dominated by the Asda Walmart store. There are also many smaller shopping areas throughout the city.

There is a small fishing fleet based in the city.

Tourism is also a growing sector of the economy.

The housing boom has also spurned economic growth with prices rising at a speed second only to London.

The city is administered by Portsmouth City Council, which is currently a unitary authority. Portsmouth was granted its first charter in 1194. In 1904 the boundaries were extended to finally include the whole of Portsea Island. The boundaries were further extended in 1920 and 1932, taking in areas of the mainland. Until April 1, 1997 it was a non-metropolitan district of Hampshire. Portsmouth remains part of the Ceremonial county of Hampshire. The city is divided into two parliamentary constituencies, Portsmouth South and Portsmouth North, represented in the House of Commons by, respectively, a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, Mike Hancock, and a Labour MP, Sarah McCarthy-Fry.

The city council is made up of 42 councillors. The Liberal Democrats have overall majority control of the city council, with 23 Liberal Democrat, 17 Conservative and 2 Labour. The Council is currently led by the Liberal Democrats with the two independents forming part of the administration. Gerald Vernon-Jackson is the council leader. Councillors are returned from 14 wards, each ward having three councillors. Councillors have a 4 year term, only one council seat is up for election in each Ward at any one election.

Portsmouth is a mainly white city in terms of race with 94.7%. Portsmouth's long association with the Royal Navy has meant that it represents one of the most diverse cities in terms of the peoples of the British Isles, with many demobilised sailors staying in the city, in particular, Scots, English from the Industrial North East and Northern Irish. Former Prime Minister James Callaghan's father was a Protestant from Northern Ireland. Similarly, some of the largest and most established non white communities have their roots with the Royal Navy, most notably the large community from Hong Kong. Portsmouth's long industrial history in support of the Royal Navy has seen many people from across the British Isles move to Portsmouth to work in the factories and docks, the largest of these groups being the Irish Catholics (Portsmouth is one of a handful of cities with a catholic cathedral); surnames like Doyle and Murphy are extremely common in Portsmouth. Portsmouth is the City with the highest number of emigrants, in the UK, particularly the most skilled .

The city has two Theatres - both designed by the Victorian/Edwardian architect and entrepreneur Frank Matcham. The New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk near to the City Centre, specialises in classical, modern and avant-garde drama and the newly-restored Kings Theatre in Southsea's Albert Road has many amateur musicals as well an increasing number of national tours. Other venues include the Third Floor Arts Venue in the Central Library and the South Parade Pier, as well as the Portsmouth Guildhall itself, which hosts numerous musical events and an extensive annual programme of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and is on the national touring circuit of well known singers and groups..

The city has three established music venues: The Wedgewood Rooms, The Pyramids and The Guildhall, an imposing neoclassical building designed by William Hill and based on an earlier design used for the town hall in Bolton. Since the late 1970s only three acts from the city have made the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart: the critically acclaimed indie/rock bands The Cranes and Ricky; plus the novelty pop act Same Difference.

For many years a series of symphony concerts has been presented at the Guildhall by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988 and 1991 the city was host to a major international string quartet competition, whose winners included the Takacs (Hungary), Endellion (UK), Hagen (Austria) and Ysaÿe (France) quartets. (The competition subsequently moved to London.) The Portsmouth Sinfonia (1970-1979) approached classical music from a different angle.

The city is home to FA Premier League football team, Portsmouth F.C., who play their home games at Fratton Park. They have two Football League titles (from 1949 and 1950) to their name. They are also current holders of the FA Cup, having won the 2008 competition. Their other FA Cup triumph came in 1939. They returned to the top flight of English football (Premier League) in 2003, having previously been relegated in 1988 after just one season following an exile from the top flight that had stretched back some 30 years. Notable current and former players of the club include David James, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Alan Knight, Paul Walsh, Darren Anderton, Guy Whittingham, Micky Quinn, Mark Hateley and Jimmy Dickinson.

The City's second team, United Services Portsmouth F.C. play in the Wessex League Division One. Portsmouth Rugby Football Club play their home games in the London Division 1 at Rugby Camp, Hilsea. Like many towns on the English south coast, watersports are popular here, particularly sailing and yachting. Locks Sailing Club at Longshore way is the city's premier dinghy sailing club. The city's rowing club is located in Southsea at the Seafront near the Hovercraft Terminal.

In literature, Portsmouth is the chief location for Jonathan Meades' novel Pompey (1993) ISBN 0-09-930821-5, in which it is inhabited largely by vile, corrupt, flawed freaks. He has subsequently admitted that he had never actually visited the city at that time. Since then he has presented a TV programme about the Victorian architecture in Portsmouth Dockyard.

In Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park, Portsmouth is the hometown of the main character Fanny Price, and is the setting of most of the closing chapters of the book.

In Dicken's Nicholas Nickleby, the hero and Smike make their way to Portsmouth and get involved in a theatrical troupe.

Portsmouth Point is an overture for orchestra by the English composer William Walton. The work was inspired by Rowlandson's print depicting Portsmouth Point. It was used as an opening for a Proms Concert in the 2007 season.

H.M.S. Pinafore, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, which is set in Portsmouth Harbour. Using the operetta music of Sullivan (arranged by Charles Mackerras) and The Bumboat Woman's Story by W S Gilbert, John Cranko's 1951 ballet Pineapple Poll is set at the quayside in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth also runs its own series of concerts encompassing a range of music at the Bandstand in Southsea Common.

The city is also known for its vibrant south Asian community and is where Bollywood starlet Geeta Basra hails from. She was born and raised in the city where her family still live.

The City hosts yearly remembrances of the D-Day landings to which veterans from the Allied nations travel to attend.

ITV1 Meridian is the local ITV television franchise. Portsmouth was one of the second-tier of cities in the UK to get a local TV station, MyTV, in 2001. The station later rebranded to PortsmouthTV, but its limited availability in some parts of Portsmouth had limited its growth, and the station later went off-air as a result of the parent company becoming insolvent.

The local commercial radio station is 107.4 The Quay, whilst the city also has a non-profit community radio station Express FM on 93.7. Other radio stations based outside of Portsmouth, but received there are Ocean FM, on 97.5FM, Galaxy South Coast (previously known as Power FM) on 103.2FM, Wave 105 on 105.2FM and BBC Radio Solent on 96.1FM. Original 106 launched on 1 October, 2006; based in Southampton, they have a newsroom in the Portsmouth area. Patients at Portsmouth's primary hospital Queen Alexandra also have access to local programming from charity station Portsmouth Hospital Broadcasting.

When the first local commercial radio stations were licenced in the 1970s by the IBA, Radio Victory was the radio service for Portsmouth, however in 1986 it was replaced by Ocean Sound, later renamed as Ocean FM. With the launch of cable television, Victory was relaunched as a cable station. The station went on to win a Radio Authority small scale licence, launching on the 107.4FM frequency. However, due to bad RAJAR figures the station relaunched in 2001 as The Quay, with Portsmouth Football Club purchasing a stake in the station during 2007.

In the British crime survey of 2001, Portsmouth did not have a distinctly different profile to the other cities in its basic command unit profile. However, for that period it did have a large number of sexual assaults and rapes. A BBC News report in May 2006 reported that it was Britain's worst city for sexual assaults and rapes, based on the 2001 British crime survey by the think tank Reform. Police officers responded by saying "Police in Portsmouth have worked closely with partner agencies and the city council to develop a climate where victims feel confident to report rape, which is generally an under-reported crime" and that this could be the reason for the increased number of reported sexual assaults. However, in a subsequent government survey, the number of reported sexual assaults and rapes had decreased by 22.8% bringing the rate below most large UK cities.

HMP Kingston, a Category B & C prison is located near central Portsmouth.

Most of the city of Portsmouth lies on Portsea Island, located where the Solent joins the English Channel. This makes Portsmouth the United Kingdom's only island city and the thirteenth most densely populated place in Europe. It is the second most densely populated place in the UK, after Inner London. The island is separated from the mainland to the north by a narrow creek, bridged in places to make it - in appearance - a peninsula. The sheltered Portsmouth Harbour lies to the west of the island and the large tidal bay of Langstone Harbour is to the east. Portsdown Hill dominates the skyline to the north, providing a magnificent panoramic view over the city, and to the south are the waters of the Solent with the Isle of Wight beyond. Being a seaside city, it is low-lying -- the majority of its surface area is only about 10 feet above sea level, the highest natural point on Portsea Island being Kingston Cross (21 feet) although the road surface over Fratton raliway bridge reaches 25. There are, therefore, dangers that rising sea levels as a result of global warming could cause serious damage to the city. The west of the city is mainly council estates such as Buckland, Landport and Portsea. These were built to replace Victorian terraces were destroyed by bombing in World War II. After the war the massive estate of Leigh Park (one of the largest housing developments of its kind in Europe) was built to solve the chronic housing shortage during the post-war reconstruction. Since the early 2000s the estate has been entirely under the jurisdiction of Havant Borough Council, but Portsmouth City Council remains the landlord for these properties, thus making it the biggest landowner in Havant Borough. Old Portsmouth which is the oldest part of the city, was also known as Spice Island and was famous for its pubs, that serviced the many sailors calling into the port. Districts of Portsmouth; Widley, Paulsgrove, Wymering, Cosham, Drayton, Farlington, Port Solent, North Harbour, Highbury, Hilsea, Anchorage Park, North End, Tipner, Stamshaw, Copnor, Landport, Buckland, Baffins, Fratton, City Centre, Portsea, Old Portsmouth, Southsea, Milton and Eastney.

The city's post-1992 university, the University of Portsmouth, previously known as Portsmouth Polytechnic, has notable achievements in mathematics and biological sciences. Several local colleges also have the power to award HNDs, including Highbury College, the largest, which specializes in vocational education; and Portsmouth College, which offers a mixture of academic and vocational courses in the city. Additionally there are several colleges in the surrounding area, all of which offer a varying range of academic and vocational courses available. Post 16 education in Portsmouth, unlike many areas, is carried at these colleges rather than at secondary schools.

As of 2007 for the first time in over a decade, no school in Portsmouth is below the government's minimum standards and thus none of them are in special measures but many are still among the worst performing schools in the country. St Luke's C of E VA Secondary School is, in terms of performance, one of the worst schools in the country though it has improved in recent years. St Luke's is one of the few religious schools in the country that operates its intake policy as a standard comprehensive taking from its catchment area rather than being selective on religious background. This is the opposite of its nearby rival St Edmund's RC school. The rivalry between St Edmund's Catholic School and St Luke's Church of England school (Protestant) has often become violent. This has its roots in the Catholic-Protestant conflict of Northern Ireland as the city has both large communities of Irish Catholics and Irish Protestant, who settled in the city because of the Royal Navy. Both Admiral Lord Nelson School and Miltoncross School were built recently to meet the demand of a growing school age population.

Portsmouth's secondary schools are to undergo a major redevelopment in the next few years with three being totally demolished and rebuilt, (St Edmund's, City boys and King Richard's) and the rest receiving major renovation work.

Most of Portsmouth's tourist attractions are related to its naval history. In the last decade Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard has been given a much needed face-lift. Among the attractions are the D-Day museum (which holds the Overlord embroidery) and, in the dockyard, HMS Victory, the remains of Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose (raised from the seabed in 1982), HMS Warrior (Britain's first iron-clad steamship) and the Royal Naval Museum.

Many of the city's former defences now host museums or events. Several of the Victorian era forts on Portsdown Hill are now tourist attractions. Fort Nelson is now home to the Royal Armouries museum, Forts Purbrook and Widley are activities centres. the Tudor era Southsea Castle has a small museum, and much of the seafront defences up to the Round Tower are open to the public. The southern part of the once large Royal Marines Eastney Barracks is now the Royal Marine Museum. There are also many buildings in the city that occasionally host open days particularly those on the D-Day walk which are seen on signs around the city which note sites of particularly importance in the city to Operation Overlord.

The city also hosts the D-Day museum a short distance from Southsea Castle; this museum is home to the famous Overlord Tapestry.

The millennium project to build the Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays was completed in 2005. The tower is 552 ft tall and features viewing decks at sea level, 325 ft, 341 ft and 357 ft.

Other tourist attractions include the birthplace of Charles Dickens, the Blue Reef Aquarium (formerly the Sea Life Centre), Cumberland House (a natural history museum), The Royal Marines Museum and Southsea Castle. Southsea's seafront is also home to Clarence Pier Amusement Park.

Portsmouth is also home to the Genesis Expo, the UK's first (and to date only) creationist museum.

English Heritage and the Ministry of Defence are in the process of turning the Portsmouth Block Mills into a museum.

Portsmouth is unusual among British cities in having two cathedrals; the Anglican cathedral of St Thomas, in Old Portsmouth, and the Roman Catholic cathedral of St John the Evangelist, in Edinburgh Road, Portsea.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth was founded in 1882 by Pope Leo XIII. Vatican policy in England at the time was to found sees in locations other than those used for Anglican cathedrals, and the Ecclesiastical Titles Act forbade a Catholic bishop from bearing the same title as one in the established church. Accordingly, Portsmouth was chosen in preference to Winchester.

In 1927 the Church of England diocese of Winchester was divided, and St Thomas's Anglican Church became the cathedral for the newly created Diocese of Portsmouth. When St Mary's Church, Portsea, was rebuilt in Victorian times, it had been envisaged that it might be the cathedral if Portsmouth became the seat of a bishop, but St Thomas's was given the honour because of its historic status.

Another historic old Portsmouth church, the Garrison Church, was bombed during World War II with the nave left roofless as a memorial. Of more modern buildings, St Philip's Cosham is cited as a fine example of Ninian Comper's work. There are numerous other active churches and places of worship throughout the city. There are several Mosques, a Synagogue and a Jewish cemetery in the city.

Local bus services are provided by First Hampshire & Dorset and Stagecoach serving the city of Portsmouth and the surroundings of Havant, Leigh Park, Waterlooville, Fareham, Petersfield and long distance service 700 to Chichester, Worthing and Brighton. Hovertravel also run a service from the City Centre to Southsea Hovercraft Terminal and The Hard Interchange.Countryliner also run a Saturday service to Midhurst. National Express services from Portsmouth run mainly from The Hard Interchange to London, Cornwall, Bradford, Birkenhead and Eastbourne. Many bus services also stop at The Hard Interchange. Other bus services run from Commercial Road North, Commercial Road South and Isambard Brunel Road. A new bus station has been proposed next to Portsmouth & Southsea Station replacing Commercial Road South bus stops and new bus stops and taxi ranks on Andrew Bell Street to replace the Commercial Road North bus stops when the Northern Quarter Development is built.

There is an ongoing debate on the development of public transport structure, with monorails and light rail both being considered. A light rail link to Gosport has been authorised but is unlikely to go ahead following the refusal of funding by the Department for Transport in November 2005. The monorail scheme is unlikely to proceed following the withdrawal of official support for the proposal by Portsmouth City Council, after the development's promoters failed to progress the scheme to agreed timetables.

There are three road links to the mainland, signposted as "Out of City" from the City Centre. These are the M275, A3 (London Road) and A2030 (Eastern Road). The M27 has a junction connecting to the M275 into Portsmouth. The A27 has a westbound exit onto the A3 (London Road) and a junction onto the A2030 (Eastern Road). The A3(M) is a short section of motorway which runs from Bedhampton north to Horndean.

The A3 links Portsmouth with London, though much traffic uses the M27 and M3 to avoid traffic jams at Hindhead. The M27, M3 and A34 provide the other major route to the Midlands and the North of England.

The city is connected to Route 2 of the National Cycle Network.

The city has several mainline railway stations, on two different direct South West Trains routes to London Waterloo, via Guildford and via Basingstoke. There is also a South West Trains stopping service to Southampton Central (providing connections to Crosscountry services to Birmingham and Manchester), and a service by First Great Western to Cardiff Central via Southampton, Bath and Bristol. Southern also offer services to Brighton and London Victoria.

Portsmouth's stations are (in order, out of the city): Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth and Southsea, Fratton, Hilsea and Cosham (the last being on the mainland).

Portsmouth Harbour has passenger ferry links to Gosport and the Isle of Wight. A car ferry service to the Isle of Wight operated by Wightlink is nearby. Britain's longest-standing commercial hovercraft service, begun in the 1960s, still runs (for foot passengers) from near Clarence Pier to Ryde, Isle of Wight, operated by Hovertravel.

Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port has links to Caen, Cherbourg-Octeville, St Malo and Le Havre in France, Bilbao in Spain and the Channel Islands. Ferry services from the port are operated by Brittany Ferries, P&O Ferries, Condor Ferries and LD Lines. On 18 May 2006 Acciona Trasmediterranea started a service to Bilbao in competition with P&O's existing service. This service got off to a bad start when the ferry Fortuny was detained in Portsmouth by the MCA for numerous safety breaches. The faults were quickly corrected by Acciona and the service took its first passengers from Portsmouth on the 25 May 2006. During 2007 AT Ferries withdrew the Bilbao service at short notice, citing the need to deploy the Fortuny elsewhere. The port is the second busiest ferry port in the UK after Dover handling around 3 million passengers a year and has direct access to the M275.

The nearest airport is Southampton which is approximately 20-30 minutes away by motorway, with an indirect South West Trains rail connection requiring a change at Southampton Central or Eastleigh.

Heathrow and Gatwick are both about 60-90 minutes away by motorway. Gatwick is directly linked by Southern services to London Victoria, whilst Heathrow is linked by coach to Woking, which is on both rail lines to London Waterloo, or by tube to either Victoria or Waterloo. Heathrow is directly linked to Portsmouth by National Express coaches.

Portsmouth had an airport with grass runway from 1932 to 1973; after its closure, housing, industrial sites, retail areas and a school were built on the site.

The telephone area code for Portsmouth is 023 followed by an eight digit number (always beginning with 92), and was previously (01705), and before that (0705).

Portsmouth will help build and be the home port of the two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers ordered in 2008, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. This has secured the base future for the next 40 years and will revitalise shipbuilding in the city.

Development at Gunwharf Quays continued until 2007 with the completion of the 29 storey East Side Plaza Tower (nicknamed Lipstick Tower). The development of the former Whitbread Brewery site has included the construction of a 22 storey tower known as the Admiralty Quarter Tower. Also announced at the end of October 2008, a new 25 storey tower named, which has been proposed at a height of 100m (330ft). As a result it will be 5m taller than Number One Tower therefore potentially becoming Portsmouth's second tallest structure after the Spinnaker Tower.

Portsmouth's regeneration is being continued in the city centre with the demolition of the Tricorn Centre, a car park and shopping centre and housing development and a prominent but unpopular example of Brutalist architecture. The site is due to be transformed by 2010 to include shops, cafés and restaurants, a four-star 150-bed hotel, 200 residential apartments, and a 2,300-space car park. However after numerous delays and not beginning any construction at the time originally proposed, it will likely see a completion date after 2010.

Portsmouth is in the midst of a continuing housing boom with many former commercial, industrial and military sites being converted into residential properties particularly large blocks of flats, leading to an increasing population. If demand upon services such as water and transport infrastructure continues to increase at the current rate demand will surpass maximum capacity in under 5 years.

In April 2007 Portsmouth F.C. announced plans to move away from Fratton Park, their home for 109 years, to a new stadium situated on a piece of reclaimed land on The Hard beside the Historic Dockyard. The £600m mixed use development, designed by world renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, would also include 1,500 harbourside apartments as well as shops and offices. The scheme has attracted considerable criticism due to its huge size and location. It also involves moving HMS Warrior from her current permanent mooring, the HMS Warrior trust refused to move. In Autumn 2007 Portsmouth's local paper 'The News' published that the plans had been turned down as the supercarriers to be situated in Portsmouth dockyard sight lines would be blocked.

In answer to the Navy's objections regarding the supercarriers, Portsmouth FC have planned a similar stadium in Horsea Island near Port Solent. This plan will involve building a 36,000 seated stadium, around 1,500 apartments as the original plan yet this time not around the stadium but as single standing structures. Yet the new plan also involves improving and saving land for the Royal Navy's diver training centre by the proposed site and buying a fair amount of land from the UK Ministry of Defence. Also a new £7m railway station is to be built at Paulsgrove in Racecourse Lane near the site where there was originally a station. Along with these new roads towards the stadium, it has also been proposed to build a new bridge from Tipner alongside the motorway. This will be for people walking to the stadium and for a park and ride scheme that will also be introduced. There are also plans to capitalise on the proposed development for the local tip which will be neighbouring the new stadium.

If the new proposals are accepted, the stadium is predicted to be finished for the 2011/12 season. As part of the plans, the club's previous stadium site at Fratton Park would also be redeveloped once the new stadium is completed. Make Architects has been commissioned to draw up designs for 750 new apartments on the site. Planning applications for the proposed development will be submitted in the autumn.

Portsmouth is twinned with two European cities, and has sister and friendship links with a numbers of other places around the world. Many of the schools in the local area conduct visits to the cities in order to educate its residents on foreign languages and culture.

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Anglican Diocese of Portsmouth

Portsmouth Cathedral

The Diocese of Portsmouth is an administrative division of the Church of England Province of Canterbury in England. The diocese covers south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The see is in the City of Portsmouth in Hampshire, where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Saint Thomas of Canterbury.

Founded in 1927 under King George V, from part of the Diocese of Winchester, the diocese consists of the three Archdeaconries of Portsdown (comprising the Deaneries of Portsmouth and Havant), the Meon (comprising the Deaneries of Fareham, Gosport, Petersfield and Bishop's Waltham) and the Isle of Wight (comprising the Deaneries of East Wight and West Wight).

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Bishop of Portsmouth (Anglican)

The Bishop of Portsmouth is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Portsmouth in the Province of Canterbury.

The diocese covers south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and has its see in the City of Portsmouth, where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Saint Thomas of Canterbury which was elevated to cathedral status in 1927.

The Bishop's residence is Bishopsgrove, Fareham, Hampshire.

The office was created in 1927 when the new diocese was formed from part of the Diocese of Winchester. The present bishop is the Right Reverend Dr Kenneth William Stevenson, the 8th Lord Bishop of Portsmouth who signs Kenneth Portsmouth.

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HMNB Portsmouth

HMS Invincible, HMS Westminster and Almirante Cochrane: current and former ships of the Royal Navy moored at HMNB Portsmouth

Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth (HMS Nelson), is one of three operating bases for the Royal Navy (the others being HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport). Portsmouth naval base is located on the eastern shore of Portsmouth Harbour and is part of the city of Portsmouth and is situated north of the Solent and Isle of Wight. The base is home to the oldest surviving Drydock in the world, as well as being the base port for 66% of the Royal Navy's surface fleet. The base is home to a number of commercial shore activities including shipbuilding, ship repair, naval logistics, accommodation and messing (delivered by BVT Surface Fleet); and personnel support functions (eg medical and dental; education; pastoral and welfare) provided by the Ministry of Defence. The base is the oldest in the Royal Navy, has been a vital part of its history and the defence of the British Isles for centuries and was at its height the largest industrial site in the world . The Naval Base is also home to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which allows members of the public to visit important maritime attractions such as the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior.

In 2006 the Ministry of Defence announced that a review would be undertaken to examine the future of the three Naval Bases. The Naval Base Review was seeking to examine the long term future needs of the Royal Navy, with the most likely outcome being either retaining the three current Naval Bases, but with reduced capacity in each, or closing one of the two on the south coast of England. The results of the review, released in 2007, have stipulated no base closures.

The base commander is Commodore Rob Thompson.

The harbour is under the control of the Queen's Harbour Master, currently Commander Steve Hopper, who is the regulatory authority of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth, an area of approximately 50 square miles (130 km2) that encompasses Portsmouth Harbour and the Eastern Solent. Shipping movements are handled by a team of admiralty pilots headed by the Chief Admiralty Pilot, Anthony Bannister.

Portsmouth naval base is home to 2/3 of the Royal Navy's surface ships, including the two aircraft carriers (HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal). The naval base employs 17,200 people. In addition, Portsmouth will help build and be the home port of the two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers ordered in 2008, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. This has secured the base future for the next 40 years and will revitalise shipbuilding in the city.

It plays host to a large part of the surface fleet of the Royal Navy including Invincible-class aircraft carriers, Type 42 destroyers, the majority of the Type 23 frigates, fishery protection vessels and a squadron of mine counter-measures vessels (minesweepers and mine hunters). Most of the vessels based in Portsmouth form part of the Portsmouth Flotilla, under the Fleet First reorganisation which saw the three (Portsmouth,Devonport and Faslane) port flotillas replace the frigate and destroyer squadrons and other groupings.

In total some 17,300 people work in the base. Until recently it was the base of the Second Sea Lord who flies his flag in HMS Victory, which is the oldest commissioned warship in the world (although it was originally built at Chatham Dockyard). The Second Sea Lord is now at William Leach Building on Whale Island, which is the headquarters of the Commander in Chief Fleet..

Along with Chatham, Woolwich, Plymouth and Deptford, it has been one of the main dockyards for the Royal Navy throughout its history. The Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust was established in 1994 to foster and promote the history and industrial archaelogy of this great organisation and a more detailed history may be found at: Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust.

The wreck of the Mary Rose is on display in a purpose built museum. The oldest Drydocks in the world were built by Henry VII in 1495. Ships from Portsmouth were a key part of the fleet that drove off the Spanish Armada in 1588.

During this period, this (like the other dockyards underwent reforms proposed by Sir Samuel Bentham, Inspector-General of Naval Works. Among his innovations were Portsmouth Block Mills, an early example of truly industrial scale production.

From here Nelson, embarking on HMS Victory, left Britain for the final time before his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

HMS Warrior, the first ocean going Ironclad is moored in the dockyard.

The first modern warship HMS Dreadnought was built in 1906.

HMS M33, a WWI monitor.

The destroyer flotillas (the capital ships having been evacuated to Scapa Flow) were essential to the defence of the English Channel particularly during Operation Dynamo and against any potential German Invasion and the base itself served a major refit and repair role. The German military realised this importance and the city and base in particularly was heavily bombed as a result.

Portsmouth and the Naval Base itself were the headquarters and main departure point for the military and naval units destined for Sword Beach on the Normandy coast as a part of Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings on 6 June 1944. Troops destined for each of the landing beaches left from Portsmouth aboard vessels such as the armed merchant cruisers HMCS Prince Henry and HMCS Prince David, escorted by the destroyers HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Sioux. The majority of the naval support for the operation left from Portsmouth, including the Mulberry Harbours.

In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. In response a task force of British military and merchant ships was dispatched from Portsmouth Naval Base (and other naval bases) to the islands in the South Atlantic to reclaim them for the United Kingdom.

Following some losses, the majority of these ships returned to Portsmouth later that year.

In the summer of 2005 Portsmouth Naval Base and the Solent played host to two special events organised as part of the Trafalgar 200 commemorations recognising the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. These were the International Fleet Review and the International Festival of the Sea.

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Source : Wikipedia