Seeking memories of Portsmouth's historic Guildhall

Discovering the Guildhall
Discovering the Guildhall

Discovering the Guildhall is a new National Lottery-funded project seeking to engage the public to share their memories of the Portsmouth Guildhall and the historic events which surround it.

The project will culminate in the production of a digital archive, two short documentary films and a major exhibition to preserve these memories for future generations.

Discovering the Guildhall project manager Nicola Peacock said: “Which legendary concerts at the Guildhall have you attended – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who? Were you there when HM Queen Elizabeth II reopened the venue in 1959? Did you see the Guildhall after it was gutted in the Blitz in 1941? Have you ever performed on the stage or worked there? Did you meet your partner at the Guildhall? Do you have any tickets, programmes or merchandise you would be happy to loan, gift or that may be copied?

“The Guildhall is now asking for people to come forward and share their memories and memorabilia as part of this fascinating project. Memories can be submitted online at or if you have items you would like to share please contact Discovering the Guildhall project manager Nicola Peacock on 023 9387 0193.

“The project has already engaged with over 40 local volunteers who have expressed an interest to work on the project in a variety of roles including oral history interviewers, transcribers, archive researchers and to assist with the exhibition and film making.”

Nicola added: “We are delighted at the response we have had so far and the number of people who just want to get involved in this project. The Guildhall is very close to the hearts of the people of Portsmouth and beyond, many with wonderful memories that have been created here, which we can’t wait to hear and share.

“The project is an important step for the Guildhall to be able to tell its own story and develop a network of volunteer supporters that will bring this to life. It is intended the project will lead to a permanent exhibition valuing the history and impact of this iconic venue.”

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