John ‘JJ’ Marshallsay set up the Facebook group Memories of Bygone Portsmouth in 2013. Today it has just over 35,300 members. He became interested in the history of Portsmouth from an early age, thanks to his grandad telling him stories of his own childhood growing up in the city. JJ has amassed a vast collection of books about the city. In this trail he recounts his youth, talks about the military history of Hilsea Lines, as well as anecdotes of the island.
One of the city's most varied and historic wildlife havens, Hilsea Lines contains woodland, hedgerows, meadows, both fresh and brackish water areas, marshland and coastal habitats all within 80 hectares. The history of Hilsea Lines very much reflects the development of Portsmouth as a military base. When complete Hilsea Lines extended for 2.5km along the whole northern side of Portsea Island and largely remain today.
This trail was created in collaboration with Seekers Create, a creative social enterprise who work with young people to plan, design and create heritage trails for the community to enjoy.
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