Share your memories of the Guildhall as part of the 'Discovering the Guildhall' project for future generations.

Following a call out last month for the public to come forward and share their memories of the Guildhall and the historic events which surround it to be preserved for future generations, The Guildhall Trust is delighted with the response so far with several fascinating and wonderful anecdotes received, but would now like even more people to be a part of the exciting project.

‘Discovering the Guildhall’, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, seeks to engage with the public to create a digital archive, two short documentary films and a major exhibition for the Guildhall, enabling the historic venue to begin telling its own story and bring it to life through a network of volunteers.

Memories shared so far include those of the legendary concerts and acts people have seen at the Guildhall, the prices they paid – including just 50p to see Ella Fitzgerald, their memories of Guildhall Square, playing on the steps, seeing the building bombed out and even tales of who has taken a nap in the Lady Mayoress’ bedroom!

Local resident Charlie Watts shared, I’d led quite a sheltered life but then I saw Motorhead at the Guildhall when I was 15. I remember being quite nervous and then the Manager came over the tannoy and said ‘The management take no responsibility for loss of life’ – I was terrified but it was brilliant, it was the loudest concert I’ve ever seen!”

All memories are welcomed but The Guildhall Trust would especially like more information on the following:

  • Do you remember and did you attend the Dance of Words, May 1968?
  • Do you have memories of The Tubes gig being cancelled – 11 November 1977?
  • Have you ever performed at the Guildhall?
  • Do you remember items from the Guildhall being moved during wartime for safekeeping?
  • Did you see Ella Fitzgerald on 17 March 1960?
  • Were you present when HM The Queen opened the Guildhall on the 8 June 1959?
  • Did you come to The Beatles, Shirley Bassey, Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Genesis, Cliff Richard, Led Zeppelin, The Jam, The Pretenders, Blondie or ELO?
  • 22 May 1974 – The Who gave a special free concert for all the extras from ‘Tommy’. Were you one of the people that attended?
  • Do you remember HRH Princess Anne visiting Portsmouth Guildhall?

Memories can be submitted online or if you have items you would like to share please contact ‘Discovering the Guildhall’ Project Manager, Nicola Peacock on 023 9387 0193.

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